A lens that is sharp wide-open, produces beautiful bokeh, suppresses aberrations, and has no distortion? Well, that about sums up the Sigma 35mm F1.4 "Art", Sigma's latest optical masterpiece, when we used on a Pentax DSLR. But is it perfect?
Pentax has just announced a Limited Edition Ricoh GR kit featuring a special lens hood (GH-3), leather case, and leather strap. The Limited Edition GR's magnesium-alloy body is sheathed in a metallic vintage green finish with a glossy shine. It has a marbleized ebony grip pattened in burl wood and is accented with charcoal buttons.
In the US, this special GR kit will be available in limited quantity exclusively through the Pentax Web Store located at us.ricoh-imaging.com. It carries a $100 price premium over the standard GR and will therefore retail for $899. It is expected to arrive in November.
The Ricoh GR is arguably of the most-praised cameras currently in the Pentax-Ricoh digital lineup. To learn more about this truly-pocketable APS-C compact, check our our in-depth Ricoh GR review. With its 16-megapixel filterless sensor, 18mm F2.8 lens, and small size, we find the GR to be a fantastic camera for street photography!
There's no doubt that in the past couple of years, Sony has been one of the biggest innovators within the photo industry. In late 2012, Sony released the RX-1, the world's first compact digital camera to feature a full-frame sensor. Last month, its QX-10 and QX-100 cameras were an attempt to revolutionize cell phone photography. And today, Sony has announced two competitively-priced mirrorless cameras with full frame sensors: the Sony Alpha 7 (A7) and Alpha 7R (A7R). The 24-megapixel A7 will retail or $1699 in the US, while its 36-megapixel big brother, the A7r, starts at $2299.
The Sony A7 is the world's first mirrorless interchangeable-lens camera with a full-frame sensor and autofocus support (the Leica M was the first without AF). It employs the Sony E-mount, the same mount used on the VG-900 full-frame camcorder. The great thing about the E-mount is that when paired with the appropriate adapter, it can support Pentax K-mount DSLR lenses without the need for any corrective optics. This makes the A7 a viable choice for users of legacy Pentax lenses that have been waiting for a full-frame camera. And hence this news has made it to our homepage!
One of the key selling points of the Sony A7 its compactness. Weighing in at just over 400 grams, it is lighter than any current Pentax DSLRs (not to mention Canon and Nikon full-frame DSLRs), yet it continues to have weather sealing. And while it isn't as bulky as a DSLR, the A7 is still plenty wide and it has a large grip, making it easy to hold. Let's take a look at the full specifications:
No low-pass filter
|Max. Resolution||6000 x 4000 pixels||7360 x 4912 pixels|
|ISO Range||50 - 25600|
|Shutter||Electronically-controlled, vertical-traverse, focal-plane shutter
1/8000 - 30s, Bulb
|Lens Mount||Sony E-Mount (full-frame)|
|Rear Monitor||Tiltable 3.0" LCD with 921,600 dots|
|Electronic Viewfinder||XGA OLED screen with 2.4 million dots|
|Max. Burst||5.0 FPS||4.0 FPS|
(474g w/ battery and card)
(465g w/ battery and card)
|Dimensions (WxHxD)||126.9 x 94.4 x 48.2 mm|
|Battery Life||340 shots with rear LCD on|
|Media Slot||Single slot:
Memory Stick PRO Duo/PRO-HG Duo/XC-HG Duo
SD/SDHC/SDXC (USH-I compliant)
Wi-Fi, NFC, Multi Interface shoe, Multi Terminal Interface, headphone jack, microphone input, DC in, HDMI type D, USB2
PC tethering support
|Retail Price (USA)||$1699||$2299|
As the table above indicates, the A7 is a state-of-the-art camera, featuring a high-resolution electronic viewfinder, tilting LCD monitor, built-in Wi-Fi, and even NFC (Near Field Communications). Its button layout also looks promising: the presence of dual control wheels, customizable buttons, and a dedicated exposure compensation button will likely satisfy just about any enthusiast photographer. The new 24- and 36-megapixel sensors found in the A7 and A7r seem promising, and if their image quality can match that of the Nikon D600/D800, then Sony will surely see a lot of success with this camera.
As Pentax enthusiasts, we'd like to spend the remainder of this article discussing what this camera might mean to the Pentax community as a whole, rather than scrutinizing its every specification and feature.
Now that we're halfway through October, lots of Pentax deals have started popping up accross the web. In this post, we've summarized all the savings and deals that we could find! If you spot any other deals, please share them in the Pentax Price Watch forum.
Now that the SMC Pentax-DA Limited lenses have been discontinued (and replaced by HD Limited versions), their prices have been dropped to pre-MAP levels while supplies last! There are also other great deals on cameras, lenses, and bundles, so be sure to check out the whole post.
SMC DA 40mm F2.8 Limited - $389!
Have you been on the fence about whether to acquire this incredible pancake prime? Here's your chance, but hurry, it's while supplies last and at this price, it won't be long!
Continue on after the break for tons of more deals and specials on cameras, other lenses, software, and more!
This summer, Pentax announced the K-50, a redesigned outdoor DSLR that delivers lots of advanced features at a great price. Since then, we've published our in-depth review, and just last week Adorama posted some sweet deals on Pentax K-50 bodies and kits.
Now, it's time for us to put this great camera in your hands! We're happy to announce that:
We are giving away two Pentax K-50 DSLR kits!
By spreading the word about the K-50 and doing a number of other simple tasks through the widgets below, you can earn up to 50 raffle tickets to win one of the two cameras. In order to give everyone a fair shot at winning, we are hosting two separate giveaways with a wide variety of ways to enter. Entering will only take a few minutes of your time!
We would like to thank Adorama Camera in New York for sponsoring this giveaway.
The first giveaway allows you to enter simply by reading about the K-50, checking it out at Adorama, and sharing information about it, among other tasks. See the widget below for details:
Our second giveaway mainly designed for users of Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus. Earn chances to win by Liking us and Adorama on Facebook, inviting a friend to enter the giveaway, or sharing information about the K-50 with a friend.
You can of course enter both giveaways, so have at it! Good luck!
Learn more about the K-50:
On Friday we were invited to the Pentax headquarters in Tokyo for a hands-on tour of the new Pentax K-3 as well as a Q&A session with Ricoh Imaging (Pentax) executives, including Mr. Kawauchi, whom we also interviewed earlier this year at CP+.
The K-3 body that we were shown was still a pre-production model. Although it was fully-functional and able to take pictures, we were asked not to comment on its performance or image quality. According to Pentax, the first K-3 units will go on sale in Japan as early as October 25th, so be sure to check back at that time for our first impressions of the camera. B&H photo has informed us that it expects to receive its first K-3 shipment in approximately three weeks, so all K-3 pre-orders should go out around that time.
Without further ado, where is what we learned from Pentax Japan:
Q: Who is the manufacturer of the K-3's 24-megapixel CMOS sensor?
Q: Will production K-3's have the Ricoh logo on the back side?
A: Yes. While some pre-production K-3's still had the Pentax logo, the final version of the K-3 will feature the Ricoh logo.
Q: Has the performance of the Shake Reduction system in the K-3 been improved?
A: Yes. Pentax expects the mechanism to compensate for up to 3.5 stops of camera shake, or half a stop more than previous generations (on average).
Q: Has the bounce flash overexposure issue that plagued the K-7 and K-5 been fixed in the K-3?
A: Since the K-3 features a new metering system, Pentax is not aware of any overexposure problems with P-TTL flash and the K-3. We believe this issue was originally caused by a hardware problem.
Adorama is currently running an exclusive deal on the weather-sealed Pentax K-50 DSLR. Whenever you purchase any K-50 kit, you will receive the following bonus items for free ($315 value):
- $200 Adorama gift card
- Lexar Class 10 32Gb SDHC memory card
- Pentax DSLR Black Slingbag 2
- 2-year manufacturer's warranty extension: 3 years total warranty
The K-50 comes in three colors: black, white, and red. It can be purchased as a body-only or bundled with the 18-55mm WR, 18-55 + 50-200mm WR, or 18-135mm WR kit lenses (all three lenses feature weather-sealing). All available kits include the 4 bonus items listed above.
In order to make the savings even sweeter, Adorama is offering bundle deals on 13 different lenses; 9 of these bundes are exclusive offers not available at other stores.
|DA 35mm F2.4||$35|
|D-FA 50mm F2.8 Macro||$75|
|DA 50mm F1.8||$65|
|DA 10-17mm Fisheye||$100|
Exclusive Bundle Discount
|DA 100mm F2.8 WR Macro||$100|
|DA 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 WR||$50|
|FA 50mm F1.4||$50|
|FA 77mm Limited||$150|
|DA 17-70mm F4||$75|
|DA 18-270mm F3.5-6.3||$50|
|DA 55-300mm F4-5.8||$50|
|DA* 16-50mm F2.8||$150|
|DA* 50-135mm F2.8||$150|
|To take advantage of these savings, click on "save up to $150 with bundle" on this page.|
The Pentax K-50 is an excellent choice for photographers who are looking for a capable camera that's also a great value. Its weather-sealing, bright pentaprism viewfinder, and tried-and-tested 16-megapixel sensor add to its versatility and make for an excelent all-around DSLR.