Pentax K5II review by Jim Keenan at Digital Camera Review: Flagship imaging features and quality at a prosumer level price.

"Persons for whom video is a major selling point in a DSLR may want to look at a brand other than Pentax. While the K-5II produces a fairly decent quality full HD video image, the full HD is available only at 25 fps, which may impact faithful rendition during capture of fast moving subjects. More significantly, the AF system does not feature a continuous autofocus and, unlike the K-30 doesn't even allow the user to reestablish a second autofocus point, albeit slowly, during any single video capture. Like the K-30, the K-5II is a little slow to transition to live view after switching the mode dial into video. Arguably, the entry-level/prosumer model K-30 offers a superior video component to the company's flagship. . . . read more

Pentax K-01 goes out of production, is the company withdrawing from the Aps-c mirrorless segment altogether?

Seems a sensible question to ask if you put together 2+2. On one hand no followup model has been announced, and on the other hand Pentax executives have time and again stated that the K-01 sold very poorly. That leaves the Q10 toy camera as the only mirrorless option offered by Pentax, hardly a presence worthy of its historic brand name. In any case, R.I.P Pentax K-01, we'll hardly miss you.

Pentax MX-1 review by Mark Goldstein at the Photography Blog: "If you're looking for a good-looking, well-built, advanced compact camera, and you can afford to take a more leisurely view of the world, then the Pentax MX-1 is well worth considering."

The first buyers of the MX-1 have noticed the painfully slow RAW file processing times, and Mark Goldstein verifies this. I'm completely flabbergasted as to why Pentax couldn't address this issue before releasing the camera, did all of their testers only shoot in Jpeg modes? Its a big shame, because this brass laden gem seems to otherwise be a very capable and feature-rich compact shooter:

"Quite apart from its obvious retro appeal, the MX-1 ticks a lot of the boxes that any experienced photographer is looking for in a serious compact - a “sensible” 12 megapixel count, a very fast lens, raw file support, a reliable 25 multi-point AF system, and a high-resolution, tilting LCD screen. It's a shame then that the excruciatingly slow Raw processing times would ultimately force us to shoot in JPEG format, especially since you can also edit the Raw files in-camera.

. . . read more

Does size matter? The Pentax Q10 droppes into Hotel DXO Mark, leaves a "cute, but tiny" impression.

"The Pentax Q10 puts in a reasonable performance, but there has not been significant enough improvement in image quality since the Pentax Q to make it a worthwhile upgrade. If you’re looking for a first camera within this segment, and are not drawn to having the very smallest hybrid camera, then there are better performing cameras available at a similar price point. Finally, if you’re undecided between the best high-end compact cameras or a hybrid camera, then in our comparison here, your choice will be whether you want fractionally higher image quality, the compact models, or the benefits that come with interchangeable lenses – the Pentax Q10. The other benefit of the Q10 is the recently added K-mount adaptor that allows older Pentax lenses to be used . . . read more

Pentax MX-1 hands-on field test by Chris Niccolls at the Camera Store TV

The Pentax retro styled, brass laden MX-1 prosumer camera is poised to take on such household names as the Canon G15 and the upcoming Fujifilm X20. Is it up to the task? Oh yes, Chris seems mightily impressed by the MX-1's optical performance and unusual array of features: 

"We weren’t planning on doing a video on the MX-1, the specs looked good but it didn’t stand out to us as a hugely exciting camera.  Then we had a chance to play with the camera for a bit, and both Chris and I were impressed with the quality of the camera in every respect.  Also, after a number of weird design missteps, the MX-1’s retro design does exactly what we’ve been hoping Pentax would embrace.  It brings back fond memories of great classic Pentax . . . read more

Roger Cicala checks out the cost of a whole system-mirrorless, (Olympus) vs the Dslr establishment of Canon, Nikon, Pentax and Sony.

 All I can say is 'ouch'. And it was a double ouch for Roger, since after going through all the trouble assembling a kick-ass micro 4/3 system he found out it wasn't that portable any longer, so in the end he chose something even smaller. No, not the Pentax Q:

"In my last post I made a preliminary list of systems I was going to consider. Some people are a little surprised I’m considering crop sensor cameras. I’m surprised that they’re surprised. I’ve shot with a micro 4/3 system for months and it certainly met 80% of my needs, so an APS-C based camera may be just fine. Or I may decide that I need to have a full-frame camera. I’ve generally shot full frame for the last several years. . . . read more

Pentax SMC DA 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3 SDM zoom Lens Review at EPZ: "This lens does perform well at shorter focal lengths, but the lack of sharpness at the telephoto end my be enough to put many prospective purchasers off this lens"

Pentax smc DA 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3 SDM lens review and comparison

Every superzoom lens is a super compromise, especially at the tele-end of things, and this one ain't the exception. Gary Wolstenhome uses a Pentax K-5IIs camera to review the lens, and provides plenty of full sized samples to back up his claims:

"Lenses that cover high zoom ranges such as this lens are always a bit of a compromise. However, this lens does perform well at shorter focal lengths, but the lack of sharpness at the telephoto end my be enough to put many prospective purchasers off this lens. Even so, when used within its limitations it is still more than capable of producing decent results. If the convenience of having one lens that covers all situations is the most important consideration, then this could be the lens for you." . . . read more

Pentax issues new firmware updates for for the K-5II/s, K-30, K-01, K-5 and K-r Dslr Cameras.

Not as sweeping update, here's what's new:

Optimized contrast AF when using [HD PENTAX-DA 560mmF5.6ED AW] lens.
Improved stability for general performance.

Get the update for your camera at the Pentax global software download page.

Pentax K-5 II vs K-5 IIs side-by-side shootout by John Riley at EPZ: "Removing the AA filter lends an incredible clarity to the detail in images. Shoot carefully on a tripod, use good lenses and the benefits will definitely be worth it."

So, removing the AA filter does have a big impact on the picture clarity and resolution. How big of an impact? Check out Johns' full sized side-by-side image samples, they give a pretty good idea on the difference. 

"This was clearly an interesting proposition and I was keen to see for myself what difference, if any, the removal of the AA filter would make. The conclusion was quite obvious as soon as the images were examined. Removing the AA filter lends an incredible clarity to the detail in images. Shoot carefully on a tripod, use good lenses and the benefits will definitely be worth it. Architecture, landscape, still life, studio work, all will benefit from the IIs variant. However, to be fair, the II . . . read more

Pentax launches Q10 limited Evangelion NERV edition, for Japan only, for Mushroom lovers only.

Pentax does what it best can with the Q10, outing it in yet another color scheme. 1,500 of each hallucinogens will be made, to be sold in Japan only, with the usual kit lens, and custom packaging of equally epic colonization. Each camera has its own name of course: PENTAX Q10 Evangelion model TYPE00: Ray, PENTAX Q10 Evangelion model TYPE01 and PENTAX Q10 Evangelion model TYPE02: Asuka. Deliveries will begin in April, and for those of you not dazzled enough, here's the Press Release chewed by Google Translator:

"PENTAX Corporation Ricoh Imaging (President: Noboru Akahane) are: limited quantity of 1500 each set, collaborative model "PENTAX Q10 Evangelion Model" of digital SLR cameras to commemorate the release of "Evangelion Q" Three types of will be . . . read more

Pentax Q10 review at the Tech Radar: Those in pursuit of the best image quality for their money, while retaining the flexibility of interchangeable lenses, will be better served by camera with a larger sensor, such as the Sony NEX-F3

All fine and dandy when it comes to describing the body and features of the Q10, but the image quality is a whole other issue. A reputable site can't say it outright, so I'll step in and say what they think: It just plainly sucks, a camera not to be taken seriously. Even Pentax themselves thinks somewhere along these lines, designating the Q lenses as 'Toy Lenses'. 

The Pentax Q10, like its predecessor, is quite an interesting camera. With it being no bigger than many other advanced compact cameras, yet able to accept interchangeable lenses, it fills the gap between traditional advanced compact digital cameras and larger mirrorless camera systems well. The price is reasonable too. At £379.99/US$529.99 (around AU$579) with the standard 5-15mm lens, it's competitively priced when compared to rivals, such as Canon's PowerShot S110. . . . read more

Pentax K-5IIs review by John Riley at EPZ: ...so does it make a difference? Yes, a significant difference. Is it worth the difference in price? Yes.

Pentax K-5 II, and Pentax K-5 IIs dslr cameras

This is a review of the K5-IIs model, one of two Dslr cameras without an Antialiazing filter currently available on the market, the other being the Nikon D800E. The Camera was tested with the smc DA 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 ED AL [IF] DC WRsmc DA 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AL WR and the smc DA 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3 SDM lenses, a bit of a curious choice when evaluating a highly resolving camera like the K-5IIs. And for all us peepers, there are many full-res images with intact EXIF information accompanying  this review:

"This review was started as a journey of discovery, hoping for the answer to the basic question – does it make a difference and is it worth the difference in cost? The camera is basically well established – compact, efficient, rugged, weather  . . . read more

Using Adapted Lenses On Your Mirrorless Cameras, by Chris Gampat at Digital Camera Stuff.

"Mirrorless Cameras are not only capable of shooting really amazing images, but they have the ability to do so with nearly any lens. Sure, many systems have their own lens lineups with autofocus and other bells and whistles, but maybe you've got a collection of lenses already. Even if you don't, browse around Flickr and you'll see that people hunt after lenses in order to adapt them to their cameras. If you see yourself becoming one of those lens collectors, then you'll want to keep in mind a couple of pointers before and when you put that lens onto your camera. . . . read more

Pentax releases firmware version 1.01 for the K-5II and K-5IIs, adds contrast adjustment on rear lcd and improved stability.

Pentax K-5 II, and Pentax K-5 IIs main features firmware download

"Thank you for using a PENTAX K-5II/K-5IIs digital camera.
PENTAX wishes to announce the release of Firmware Update Software Version 1.01 for K-5II/K-5IIs.
Firmware in this document is the software that runs inside digital cameras.
Changes to V1.01
Enabled contrast adjustment on Monitor.
(Added [contrast ]on [LCD setting ]menu)
Improved stability for general performance.

. . . read more

Pentax has found a way to finally sell the K-01 Mirrorless camera in high volumes, thanks to the old trusted formula of initial price divided by 2.

The K-01 was announced with big fanfare in February 2012, mostly due to the fact that it was designed by Marc Newson, a designer who thinks that cameras that look like bricks are a good thing. However, the K-01 didn't sell well, partially because of the quirky and at times abysmally slow focus, and partially because the buyers turned out to not be drawn to the brick design concept. Things changed recently however, when the K-01 found itself right on the top spot of best selling compact system cameras at Amazon: . . . read more

Pentax announces the brass-clad MX-1 prosumer camera a "classic design reminiscent of film cameras"

Pentax MX-1 in silver

Denver, CO (January 7, 2013) — PENTAX RICOH IMAGING AMERICAS CORPORATION (PENTAX) has introduced the MX-1, an advanced digital compact camera whose craft design and vintage lines appeal to a wide variety of photo enthusiasts. It’s fast F1.8-2.5 lens produces sharp and crisp imagery in a variety of settings and the camera’s 1/1.7 inch, 12.0 effective megapixel backlit CMOS sensor renders impressive low-light performance. . . . read more

BCN Ranking has compiled the list of most sold mirrorless and Dslr cameras in Japan during 2012, get ready for some surprises.

bcn japan sales ranking for dslr and mirrorless cameras in 2012

The Japanese camera market tend to be different from the western ones, and in some cases VERY different, like the relatively strong Pentax presence in both categories. Google transgorbler has this to say:

Top 20 share sales by reflex camera digital SLR series 2012
(: May 24 to 12 January 1, 2012 the aggregation period)
. . . read more

Pentax SMC DA 50 mm f/1.8 lens review at Lens Tip: In many categories (chromatic aberration, vignetting, astigmatism, work against bright light or distortion) it actually is the best in its class or at least among the best instruments available.

"When it comes to optics, the Pentax 1.8/50 is a very solid lens which compares favourably with its competitors. It would be difficult to find a flaw here; if only the lens performed a bit better at the maximum relative aperture and had a better coma correction, we would be completely satisfied. However it’s worth emphasizing that none 1.8/50 lens doesn’t fare well at the maximum relative aperture so the Pentax certainly doesn’t lag behind its rivals. In many categories (chromatic aberration, vignetting, astigmatism, work against bright light or distortion) it actually is the best in its class or at least among the best instruments available. . . . read more

Pentax K-5 II with DA 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 ED AL DC WR lens review at PhotoRevue: If photography is what you're doing, and you want a very capable Dslr and lens combination that is also weather sealed, this thing is for you. Skip, if you want good video.

Pentax K-5II black, rear.

"Noise was very well controlled and image files shot at the highest sensitivity settings could be considered usable at small output sizes, provided allowances were made for some softening of details and visible granularity. Up to ISO 3200 noise was barely visible. At ISO 6400, slight granularity could be seen when images were enlarged. Granularity became a little more pronounced at ISO 25600, which was when softening became evident. But it wasn't until ISO 51200 that noise and softening made images almost unusable. . . . read more

The Pentax K-5IIs (its the one without an anti-aliasing filter) gets measured up by DXO Mark, comes out unscathed.

"Removing the anti-aliasing filter for greater definition on the Pentax K-5 IIs hasn’t had a negative impact on its DxOMark Camera Sensor Ratings. It’s an exceptional camera that’s top of its class for semi-pro models and holds its own against many expensive pro models, too. It can’t compete with the latest evolution of Nikon full-frame models, like the D600, D800 & D800E or the Sony A99. Where it does fall down however is in the Sports category with Low-Light ISO ratings that don’t come close to professional sports cameras or the full-frame models of the Nikon D600, D800 or D800E. If it’s a studio or . . . read more

Nikon D800E vs Pentax 645D review at Pentax Forums: A battle primarily between resolution, versatility, and value.

"Given its surprisingly-good image quality and comparatively low price, it seems that the Nikon D800/800E has taken away many of the advantages that the Pentax 645D held just a year and a half ago.  The Nikon D800E lets professionals and enthusiasts alike enjoy extremely high-resolution photos without having to step up to a medium format camera.  

Granted, you won't get the most out of your D800E without premium lenses and a sturdy tripod, but the fact that the D800E . . . read more

Pentax K-5 IIs vs Pentax K-5 II Moire and sharpness comparison and analysis at NeoCamera.

Moire, what it looks like.

A very nice little test, where both the difference in Moire, and the effect of the anti-aliasing filter can have on sharpness is clearly visible:

"The lens starts losing sharpness at F/5.6 where we see the diagonal pattern weakening. By F/6.7 is is minimal on the K-5 II but still strong on the K-5 IIs. At F/9.5, the anti-alias filter of the K-5 II prevents moire while the K-5 IIs still shows a clear diagonal pattern. Stopping down further, one can see the diagonal pattern gone from the K-5 IIs when it passes the diffraction limit at F/13. . . . read more

Pentax K-5II review at NeoCamera: Stuffed with a myriad of features, this Dslr is best at almost everything, except for sports.

Pentax K-5II black, front, no lens.

"Image quality is top-notch, with only the K-5 IIs delivering more details among cropped-sensor DSLRs. It shows extremely low noise, very good sharpness, superb dynamic-range, natural image colors and outstanding white-balance. The unique RAW data recovery feature presents an entirely different image workflow, where one can shoot JPEG and only when needed turn the last capture into a RAW file and reprocess it either in-camera or one the computer. Still, the K-5 II has such sophisticated image parameters that one has a tremendous control over the look images. . . . read more

Pentax Q10 review at Ephotozine: As good as a compact camera, for the price of an entry level Dslr, but stylish.

Pentax q10 silver, front side, with lens.

"The Pentax Q10 has a good set of features and has extremely solid, well-built body. Clearly a lot of thought has gone into its design and it's one of the best looking Pentax cameras you're likely to find, particularly in red! Unfortunately image quality isn't fantastic, about as good as you'll find on an average compact camera, but colour reproduction is good. If you are interested in a mirrorless camera with improved image quality you'd be better looking at those with larger sensors. . . . read more

Pentax K-5 II/s Gets DXO marked, and earns a crown: The best Aps-c Dslr ever, bravo Pentax.

Pentax K-5 II with lens

"The Pentax K-5 was released in September 2010 (review for the Pentax K-5), just over 2 years before the K-5 II. What Pentax appears to have done is to incorporate the last 2 years worth of technological advances into essentially the same camera. There is an increase in the low-light performance but it is very slight. Reading through the specifications side by side they could almost be interchangeable. The differences that are there include an improvement in the performance of . . . read more

Pentax K-5 II Review at PhotographyBlog.com: Small but thoughtful upgrade to an already excellent camera.

"The K-5 II's image quality is excellent, producing noise-free images all the way from from ISO 80-800. Noise starts to become apparent at ISO 1600, with a little more noise and smearing of fine detail at the higher settings of 3200 and 6400, while the fastest speeds of 12800, 25600 are suitable for smaller prints. The incredible headline-grabbing top-speed of . . . read more

Pentax K-5 IIs review at NeoCamera: The best Aps-c camera yet, at least when it comes to photography.

"Image quality is unrivaled among cropped-sensor DSLRs with extremely low noise, class-leading sharpness, superb dynamic-range, natural image colors and outstanding white-balance. The unique RAW data recovery feature presents an entirely different image workflow, where one can shoot JPEG and only when needed turn the last capture into a RAW file and reprocess it either in-camera or one the computer. Still, the K-5 IIs has such sophisticated image parameters that . . . read more

Pentax issues firmware update for the K-30, fixes AF and general performance issues.

Thank you for using a PENTAX K-30 digital camera.
PENTAX wishes to announce the release of Firmware Update Software Version 1.01 for PENTAX K-30.
Firmware in this document is the software that runs inside digital cameras.
Changes to V1.01
. . . read more

Pentax K-30 review at Imaging Resource

Can a DSLR based on the...let's say 'controversial' K-01 be any better? Well, this is Pentax we're talking about, makers of excellent DSLR, and weird anything else cameras:

"On paper at least, the Pentax K-30 shows great promise, with a weather-sealed body, a pentaprism viewfinder with ~100% coverage, and twin control dials. These are all features that Pentax's rivals reserve for their more expensive cameras. To get . . . read more

Pentax K-5 II/IIs grand review at Pentax Forums

If there is one single review you need to read if you're interested in this camera, this is it. It may have some slight pro Pentax bias, but let;s face it, most people that will look into the K-5II/IIs are already Pentax gear owners:

"The K-5 IIs offers significantly increased resolution at low ISO when used with sharp lenses and when there is no . . . read more

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