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Tablets for Photographers

Road Warrior Tools- can you take it all with you? · 07-24-2014 · By cjfeola in Columns

When you're a foreign correspondent, packing becomes a science. For years I lived out of a duffel that went over one shoulder and a Domke bag that went over the other. It got so that I could land in Tokyo, develop film and print while doing laundry, hand load more film canisters, replace batteries, repack and be on a plane headed out in 24 hours.

When you pack like that you become fairly particular, about size and weight and speed, and the little things that make travel work. I developed a habit of carrying every type of money in different pockets. That way when I woke up in the morning and couldn’t remember what hotel, city or even country I was in, I could head down to the lobby, follow my nose to the coffee, and keep pulling things out of my pockets until they gave me several cups.

When digital cameras replaced film, I started thinking about a digital road warrior kit: a single bag with cameras, lens, and some way to process the files and then upload them for safe keeping.

I started with laptops, and while they worked, they were always too big, too clunky and took too long to boot up for my tastes. Also, my family never seemed to believe that I would be “just a few minutes” when I dragged a laptop out on vacation…

Tablets would seem to be the perfect answer, so of course I’ve tried. Several. For the last two years I’ve carried an iPad Mini, which I’ve now replaced with the Asus T100.

I’ll start with the Asus, since most are familiar with iPads big and small. In a nutshell: the Asus T100 is the Pentax K-01 of tablets.

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Just posted: Pentax K-3 Review

Pentax K-3 Prestige Edition Announced

The K-3 DSLR with a special gunmetal finish and grip · 07-23-2014 · By PF Staff in Pentax News

Pentax has just officially announced the Pentax K-3 Prestige Edition, a special version of the K-3 featuring with a gray gunmetal finish, black logo lettering, and an accompanying grip.  The Pentax K-3 Prestige also includes a special black leather neck strap (O-ST1403) in addition to the other accessories typically included with the camera.  The K-3 Prestige will come loaded with the latest firmware from the factory, but in all other ways, its specifications are identical to those of the standard K-3.  Like the black K-3, the K-3 Prestige has a magnesium alloy finish, weather sealing, and a stainless steel chassis.  

This is the second special version of the Pentax K-3, following the Pentax K-3 Premium Silver, which was launched alongside the black K-3 last November.

In the US, the Pentax K-3 Prestige retails for $1399.95 and it will start shipping in August: click here to pre-order yours at B&H.

Check out our Pentax K-3 review to learn more about Pentax's 24-megapixel flagship DSLR.

44 comments for this news post 44 Comments   Continue reading about Pentax K-3 Prestige Edition Announced Read more..

Table of Equivalent Focal Lengths

The crop factor unmasked · 07-23-2014 · By PF Staff in Photographic Resources

Many of us have cameras with different sensor sizes; this raises the question of which lenses need to be used to get the same field of view on two different formats. Below we provide a table listing focal lengths with equivalent Field of View (FoV) across several sensor sizes.  The actual field of view (in degrees) is shown on the far right. Click the table to enlarge.

Note that the focal length of a lens (say 50 mm) is an optical property of the lens and remains the same no matter what sensor size camera the lens is mounted on.

In other words, an smc Pentax-A 50mm F1.7 lens as shown to the right is a 50 mm lens when mounted on a Pentax Q7 (1/1.7 inch sensor size), on a Pentax K-3 (APS-C sensor size), or on a Pentax film SLR (aka 24 x 36 mm or full frame). The focal length does not change with the camera. But the field of view which the lens captures does change. And so does depth of field, but that is for another article.

Some manufacturers have the bad habit of marking their lenses not with their true focal length, but with the focal length of the equivalent lens on a full frame (24 x 36 mm) camera. This is confusing. Pentax doesn't belong to that camp; they mark their lenses correctly (i.e. with the true focal length).

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On Becoming A Great Photographer

Interviews with 3 Professionals · 07-21-2014 · By ccrookston in Photographic Resources

Like most amateur weekend shutterbugs, I spend a fair amount of time at websites like PentaxForums and flickr doing one of my favorite pastimes: looking at other people’s photographs.  And not surprisingly, what I see is a small percentage of pics that are true, honest, incredible works of art. They inspire me!  

But on the other hand, I also see vast oceans of photographs that are (at the risk of sounding rude) pretty much junk.

Noticing this disparity got me thinking. What is it, I wondered, that’s behind the great photographs and the great photographers?  What is the process that goes into making a truly awe-inspiring photograph? And what is the journey required to reach a level of talent where one can churn them out continually?

Not being a great photographer myself (I consider myself only slightly above average) I decided to satisfy my curiosity by finding and interviewing people who make their full time living as photographers. I wanted more than just technical info on lens, camera, aperture etc.  I wanted personal stories.  I wanted backgrounds.  After some hunting, I found three who were willing to share some of their (not so secret) secrets.

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Pentax K-3 Photo Contest Round 2 Winners

32 photographers moving on to the final round · 07-19-2014 · By PF Staff in Photo Contests

We are happy to announce the winners of round two of our Pentax K-3 photo contest: the photographers who shot the photos below will be moving on to the third and final round of the contest for a chance to win the camera!

In this round, members could vote for up to four of their favorite photos from among the 101 submissions.  A total of 362 members cast their votes, and voting was restricted to users who joined our site prior to the start of the contest.

Overall, this was a very close race, with just a handful of votes separating most of the images.  The full results can be viewed in the poll.

Without further ado, here are our round 2 winners, with the number of votes indicated in parentheses:

30 comments for this news post 30 Comments   Continue reading about Pentax K-3 Photo Contest Round 2 Winners Read more..

Using the Histogram to Get Better Photos

Decipher what it says, use it to your advantage · 07-18-2014 · By mattb123 in Photographic Resources

Have you ever wondered what that graph-looking thing on your camera display or in Lightroom was? Or what you are supposed to do with it? If so, then read on to find out more about the mysterious histogram and what it can do for you and your photography.

A histogram simply is graphical representation of the distribution of data. This can be applied to many things dealing with science and statistics, but in this context we will be discussing the histogram function on our cameras and the histograms generated by image editing applications like Photoshop or Lightroom.

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Pentax 645Z First Impressions

Impressive medium format image quality at a record-low price · 07-16-2014 · By PF Staff in Reviews

Nearly two weeks have passed since the first shipments of the Pentax 645Z left retailers worldwide, and we have now had a chance to test the camera and go hands-on in a variety of scenarios.  In this post, we will be presenting our first impressions of the camera.

For those of you unfamiliar with the 645Z, here's a quick overview: it's a 51-megapixel medium-format DSLR camera, which means it uses larger lenses and has a larger image sensor than most other consumer and professional DSLRs out there.  This size increase is accompanied by an increase in image quality, since physically-larger sensors can essentially deliver more resolution with less noise than smaller sensors.  The design and purpose of the 645Z is centered around image quality, and we feel that the camera is most appropriate for studio and especially landscape photography. 

The 645Z is the successor to the Pentax 645D, which was originally launched in 2010 with a $9999 price tag. The 645Z is available for $1500 less: $8499.  While this price may seem astronomically-high at first, it is actually extremely competitive within the medium-format market, where the bill easily ends up in $20,000+ territory for a camera body or kit.  Plus, by launching the 645Z at $8499, Pentax has narrowed the gap between the cost of a complete 645Z system and the cost of competing full-frame DSLR systems, which adds the potential to attract additional customers who crave extra-high resolution.

The bottom line is simple: the 645Z is a camera primarily for professionals who require high-resolution files as well as extremely demanding enthusiast photographers who are willing to fork over the cash. 

Now, let's get back to our first impressions review of the 645Z!

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Save 50% on Topaz ReMask

Masking software: one of Topaz Labs' most popular plugins · 07-15-2014 · By PF Staff in Pentax Deals

From now until the end of July, Topaz Labs is running a special 50% off on Topaz ReMask, masking software that makes it quick and easy to extract the subject from your photos.

Head over to the Topaz Store and use the coupon code julyremask at checkout to take advantage of the savings.  ReMask is normally priced at $69.99, but during this sale you can get it for half that- $34.99.  You can also download a free 30-day trial.

Below is a video demonstration showing how easy ReMask makes it to change the background of an image, even when the subject has very complex edges:

Like other Topaz plugins, Topaz Clean requires a compatible host program to run, such as Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom, Apple Aperture, iPhoto, Corel PaintShop, Irfanview, and others. You can also use Topaz's own editing suite, PhotoFXLab.

Along with Topaz DeNoise and Adjust (which we've reviewed here on PF), ReMask is one of Topaz's most popular plugins.

Click here and use the coupon code julyremask at checkout to get ReMask for half off!

5 comments for this news post 5 Comments  

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