How much are you willing to sacrifice to shave an inch off your camera? That's the question Pentax tacitly raises with its introduction of the Q interchangeable-lens camera (ILC), a model with a body the size and weight of a point-and-shoot (without lens, of course)--and the price of a dSLR. The company achieves this feat of shrinkage by incorporating a tiny 1/2.3-inch backside-illuminated (BSI) CMOS sensor, which in turn allows for a smaller-than-usual lens mount and more compact lenses. And it looks like there will be a lot to like in the Q--it's got an … Read more
The Pentax Optio RS1500 is nice-looking out of the box, but its removable faceplate also lets you quickly change its appearance as often as you want by covering it with whatever color or design you choose.
The camera ships with 10 standard skins, but you can also download an Adobe Air-based Pentax Personal Skin Designer to import an image and save a skin as a PDF for printing. It was a pretty solid idea when Pentax launched its predecessor, the RS1000, last year.
This update improves the skin-changing process by eliminating the need to remove screws to swap faceplates; it's now a screwless design with an interchangeable lens ring (choice of orange or black included).
Under the skin is a fairly basic 14-megapixel point-and-shoot. In front is a 4x27.5mm-equivalent wide-angle lens; in back is a 3-inch LCD. Shooting options include auto scene recognition, 720p HD movie capture, creative digital photo filters, tracking autofocus, and a Digital Panorama mode.
All that for a sub-$150 price in a credit-card-size body sounds like a sweet deal. Look for it in April.… Read more
Pentax dropped its Optio P-series ultracompacts from its 2010 point-and-shoot lineup, and launched the H90 instead. Today, Pentax announced the Optio S1, a new line and camera that's a lot like the H90, but with rounded corners.
Basic specs include a 14-megapixel CCD sensor, 2.7-inch LCD, and a wide-angle f3.9-5.7 28-140mm-equivalent lens with a 5x zoom. Unlike the H90, though, the S1 has sensor-shift image stabilization.
As for shooting modes, it's geared for those who typically never leave auto. However, there are a couple extras like a high dynamic range (HDR) option for better highlight … Read more
Today Pentax announced the smc D FA 645 25mm f4 AL SDM AW lens for the 645D digital medium-format SLR camera. This is the second lens in the 645D series, along with the smc D FA 645 55mm f2.8 AL SDM AW lens($1,100). The new D FA 645 25mm f4 is an ultra-wide-angle lens offering the equivalent focal length of 19.5mm in 35mm format terms. When mounted on a 645 film camera the new lens has an equivalent of 15.5mm. This is the widest of all Pentax 645 lenses.
The 25mm 645D lens, along with … Read more
The Pentax Optio WG-1 follows in the design footprint set by the W90. The WG-1 breaks new ground, though, by being crushproof; it's a first for Pentax and only Olympus offered that protection previously in a point-and-shoot.
The crushproofing allows the WG-1 to survive a weight force up to 220 pounds. It's also dustproof, waterproof down to 33 feet, and freezeproof down to 14 degrees Fahrenheit. It's shockproof, too, able to take a 5-foot drop.
Like the W90, Pentax circles the 5x f3.5-5.5 28-140mm-equivalent lens of the WG-1 with five LED lamps used for macro … Read more
Pentax, never one to shy away from attention-grabbing colors for its dSLRs, will be gracing us with a retro black-and-silver limited-edition version of its K-5 midrange dSLR. In addition to the cosmetics, the K-5 Limited Edition Silver model will also have a thicker grip than the standard model and more durable glass protecting the display and status LCDs.
The company will also release three of its prime lenses to match, the smc PENTAX-DA 21mm F3.2 AL Limited Silver, the smc PENTAX-DA 40mm F2.8 Limited Silver, and the smc PENTAX-DA 70mm F2.4 Limited Silver. When this shiny crowd-pleaser … Read more
Pentax has released new firmware to its K-x and K-7 dSLR cameras. The firmware updates, v1.02 for the K-x, and v1.11 for the K-7, add support for SDXC (secure digital extended capacity) memory cards, which are currently available up to 64GB capacity, with 128GB cards to be available very soon. While these firmware updates allow K-x and K-7 to use SDXC memory cards, Pentax notes they are not compatible with the new UHS speed class found on some new SDHC and SDXC memory cards.
We generally recommend installing the latest firmware updates for your camera, so you can … Read more
November was a bad month for me and my gadgets. My trusty Pentax K10D got janky and quit recognizing memory cards, and I took a header on the icy hills of Seattle and crunched my iPad, though I was impressed it still worked.
At home, I've got a whole drawer full of busted electronics. I've done some repairs myself (installed hard drives, changed out power supplies, and fixed bent battery pins), but some tasks are beyond my skill set. I love both my camera and my iPad, so relegating them to the drawer of broken toys didn't appeal to me, and I sent them in for repairs. I've never used a tech repair service before, so I was a bit hesitant at first. Here's how it all panned out.
Pentax told me my camera was covered under warranty and had me send it to its repair vendor for the West Coast, CRIS Camera Service in Arizona, with a description of the problem and a copy of my purchase receipt. I was told that it would take up to four weeks to repair my camera and ship it back. It took two, and it's now good as new.
What's great about CRIS is that it has a repair-tracking system on its Web site. It assigns you a customer number and work order number, and you can see exactly where your gear is in the process, from examination to cleaning to waiting for parts. It was really great to be kept in the loop.
Hopefully, I'll never need its service again, but if I do, I won't be a bundle of nerves like I was this time about getting my shooter fixed. And CRIS doesn't just repair Pentax; it can work on pretty much any major brand of camera.
The iPad was a different story. Apple's warranty doesn't cover dumbly slipping and landing on its products, so I knew I was going to have to pony up and just go for it. I took it to Apple, which quoted me $350--plus shipping--to fix the dented case, slightly discolored LCD, and bent glass. I cringed at that, especially when I was told that the repair process could take up to two weeks, depending on parts. Even broken, my iPad couldn't be out of my reach for that long. … Read more
We're stealing lines from "Love, Actually" today, because Natali can quote it by heart when it's super a propos to a guy very disturbingly embedding a camera in the back of his own head. Ew. But hey, it's art! Also, Twitter says it's not suppressing Wikileaks as a trending topic--although it's a trending topic in our show. And AT&T is the worst carrier in America, says Consumer Reports. Hey, at least we didn't say it this time. --MollySubscribe: iTunes (MP3) | iTunes (320x180) | iTunes (640x360) | RSS (MP3) | RSS (320x180) | RSS (640x360)… Read more
When I first saw this limited-edition Pentax K-r digital SLR called the K-r Korejanairobomoderu, I thought it was a dSLR made from Legos. And then I remembered that sadly, this is the company's second go-round with this Korejanai Robo design; it gave the same paint job to the K-x around this time last year.
If you were hoping to pick one up for the holidays you're out of luck. Only 100 are being made and reservations start on December 24, with the cameras shipping in January. They're available through Pentax's Japanese shopping site for approximately $1,… Read more