There's not much to say, but it makes an interesting picture: Though they've been available in a gajillion colors (warning: really annoying music on autoplay) in Japan for months, Pentax is finally offering a select few colors of its K-x entry-level dSLR here in the U.S.--bright blue, orange, green and purple. You can preorder them via the Pentax Web store.
The medium-format market is mostly an obscure niche of the digital-camera industry. Prices are high, customers must have lavish budgets, and optics and sensor technology is different from the SLR realm.
Heck, most people hadn't heard of the brand names involved. Until now: This time it's Pentax that announced its entry into the market with a product called the 645D.
It's not going to rewrite the rules of photography. It'll be available only in Japan, at least for starters when it ships in May, it needs its own lenses, and it costs 850,000 yen--about $9,200. But there are enough interesting developments here that it's worth noting.
Medium-format cameras have been niche items for years, distinguished from SLRs chiefly by their larger of a film frame. Now that digital sensors are in and film is out, though, the comparative costs of medium-format cameras have surged, because making a large sensor is a lot more expensive than making a smaller one. Pentax's model uses a 40-megapixel Kodak sensor measuring 44x33mm, larger than a "full-frame" SLR that uses the 36x24mm frame size of 35mm film and a lot larger than the sensors in mainstream digital SLRs.
To go a bit beyond the press release, I recommend reading Luminous Landscape's interview with Pentax's Yasuyuki Maekawa about the 645D. It triggered a number of thoughts about medium format and Pentax's effort. … Read more
If Pentax's approach toward a range of colorful dSLRs wasn't attention-grabbing enough (the K-x is available in more than 100 customizable options), the company's latest "innovation" should capture even more eyeballs.
Designed by Japanese artist Ossu Syugeibu, the Cameraman is a headless ragdoll that screws onto the tripod mount of your dSLR, so the shooter effectively becomes the head.
The face is the lens cap, which has a sketchy smiley profile. Sure, it looks ridiculous, but the Cameraman injects an element of fun into drab-looking dSLRs.
There are a lot of rugged point-and-shoot digital camera options this year. But while most manufacturers are new to the market, Pentax is on its 11th generation with the Optio W90. The 12-megapixel camera is waterproof down to 20 feet, shockproof to 4 feet, and freezeproof to 14 degrees Fahrenheit.
Built from reinforced polycarbonate plastic, the W90 has a 5x f3.5-5.5 28-140mm-equivalent lens in front and a 2.7-inch display on back. If you look closely at the lens surround, you can see there are three LEDs to help brighten your scenes. They're also designed to work … Read more
Pentax's X70 24x zoom camera was one of the better extreme megazooms we tested last year. The 2010 version of it--the 12-megapixel X90--features a slightly longer 26x f2.8-5 26-676mm-equivalent lens in a compact body measuring 4.4 inches wide by 3.3 inches deep by 4.3 inches deep with a weight of 15 ounces. Other than the lens, the X90 doesn't change much from 2009.
The X90 has full manual and semimanual controls, sensor-shift image stabilization, 2.7-inch LCD and electronic viewfinder, and support for Eye-Fi wireless SD memory cards.
It isn't overflowing with shooting … Read more
With the Pentax Optio I-10, it's definitely more about the design than the features (not that there's anything wrong with its shooting abilities). The look was inspired by classic film SLR cameras and really helps it stand out from the myriad look-alike compacts coming in 2010. It would have been nice to find an optical viewfinder and manual shooting options to round out the retro styling, but here's hoping Pentax will add one to a future model. Instead you get a flash above the lens and opposite it in back, a speaker.
The core features are in … Read more
Pentax makes only a handful of compact digital cameras, but the models it has continue to be competitive with offerings from other manufacturers. For example, there's the newly launched H series, starting with the H90, a stylish 12-megapixel ultracompact with a 2.7-inch LCD, a wide-angle 28-140mm-equivalent lens with a 5x zoom, and 720p HD-quality movie capture at 30fps.
You also get all the auto features expected for its class, Eye-Fi wireless SD card support, digital filters such as Toy Camera and Retro to apply to your photos, and an Image Recovery function to recover pictures that you've … Read more