We're happy to finally be able to announce the winners of our September, 2012 "Forests" photo contest! In first place was forum member atnbirdie, who took the photo "Mossy Cave Trail" in infrared (pictured above). This photo was shot with a modified Pentax K100D and the 18-55mm kit lens.
Our runners-up were forum members capelson and chaza01 with "Misty Forest" (left) and "The Common" (right), respectively.
All three winners are now being featured in our winners' showcase, where you may comment on their photos. Stay tuned for a post about the "making of" our winning entry! We'd like to congratulate our winners once again, and hope to see everyone partake in our November "Sports" photo contest!
Despite the fact that many photographers don't like its looks, The Pentax K-01 mirrorless ILC just won the Gold German Design Award in the life style design category. There were 1500 candidates for the award, so the K-01 really did well!
After the recent pice drops the K-01 can be had for about US $349 which is a really good deal. You basically get the excellent image quality of a K-5 for the price of a point and shoot! Earlier this year, the K-01 also won the Red Dot Design Award.
Adobe has just made available a release candidate version of their Photoshop Camera RAQ 7.3 plugin, which allows Photoshop to open, process, and correct RAW camera image files. This new version adds support for the following cameras:
- Canon PowerShot S110
- Canon PowerShot G15
- Canon PowerShot SX50 HS
- Casio Exilim EX-ZR1000
- Casio Exilim EX-FC300S
- Nikon D600 (full support)
- Olympus PEN E-PL5
- Olympus PEN E-PM2
- Olympus STYLUS XZ-2 iHS
- Panasonic DMC-GH3
- Pentax K-5 II
- Pentax K-5 IIs
- Pentax Q10
After installing this update, you'll be able to open .PEF files from the K-5 II and IIs. The update also adds lens correction profiles for the Pentax Q 06 15-45mm Telephoto Zoom lens.
Since the recent debut of the Pentax K-5 II and K-5 IIs, many of you have decided to upgrade your Pentax DSLR, whether it be to the latest K-5 II for those with the original K-5, or the original K-5 (now only $799) for those with older cameras.
In the US, Pentax DSLRs normally come with one year of manufacturer's warranty, which is fairly standard in the industry. Pentax is a bit more generous in Canada and Europe by offering a 2-year warranty as standard.
For those in the US, assuming that you didn't buy one of the expensive third-party wear-and-tear warranties together with your camera, however, after one year you'll have to pay for any repairs that might become necessary yourself- and it's often the case that things don't start breaking until just after your warranty period expires!
Fortunately, Pentax has a nice solution for this: for under $20, you can get an extended warranty for your camera which extends the manufacturer's coverage by two years, to a total of three. The warranty must be purchased within 30 days of your original purchase, and it only applies to cameras purchased from US authorized retailers. It's valid for the K-5 IIs, K-5 II, K-5, K-30, and K-r: basically all the Pentax cameras that you can buy new. In addition to extended service coverage, the warranty also includes one free cleaning and calibration should you want one. Considering that Pentax's warranty service process is much less painful than that of third parties (mostly because they are unfamiliar with Pentax), we find the extended warranty to be a must-have for any Pentax DSLR owner.
Not many stores carry this warranty, but you can get yours from B&H or Adorama even if you didn't buy your camera from them. We hope that this post saves you a lot of trouble later down the road! $19.95 will protect your DSLR investment for three years- it's a steal compared to the hundreds that Nikon charges for ESC.
Sigma today has confirmed that in addition to being available in the Sigma, Nikon, and Canon mounts, the new Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM A1 lens will also be coming for Sony and Pentax! This is a full-frame lens that's part of Sigma's new "Art" lens series for professionals.
This lens will be a fine addition to the Pentax K-mount lens lineup, as Pentax themselves offer no such lens (the SMC Pentax-M 35mm F1.4 prototype never ended up being mass-produced). The current non-macro Pentax 35mm lens is a comsumer-grade DA 35mm F2.4; the previous full-frame FA 35mm F2 is being phased out.
The Pentax Q10 (the smallest interchangeable lens digital camera out there) has just hit the shelves at B&H, where it has been discounted to just $554.95, $45 off MSRP. The camera is also available on Amazon at full price. In the US, the Q10 is currently available in both red and silver, and the supplied kit lens is the 5-15mm 02 standard zoom. We find that this initial kit choice is a very good one, as it gives Pentax Q10 users a lot more flexibility than the 8.5mm 01 standard prime did. The Pentax Q, which was the Q's predecessor, was at first only available with this prime lens, and the kit cost a monstrous $799.
On top of this, the Pentax Q lens system is now much more complete than it was last year, thanks to the imminent availability of the 15-45mm 06 telephoto zoom and the Pentax K (DSLR) to Q mount lens adapter. Because the crop factor of a DSLR lens on the Q/Q10 cameras is 5.5, you can easily take sharp extreme telephoto or macro shots with this adapter. We'll be sure to post some samples in our in-depth review once we receive the camera!
With the announcement of the K-01 back in February, Pentax became the first camera manufacturer to have one of their cameras designed by a celebrity industrial designer (Marc Newson). While we'll leave it up to you to decide whether or not the camera looks appealing, Pentax did themselves admit at Photokina that the K-01 didn't get the kind of response that they had expected from photographers. Initially, sales were slow, and many classified this camera as a joke simply because of its looks. It's launch price of $749 (body-only) is about what everyone expected, and as such there wasn't much appeal to this camera apart from the fact that it takes the same lenses as Pentax DSLRs and vintage film cameras.
Now, the tides have turned completely. Pentax USA has slashed the price of the K-01 to a mind-blowing $346, and even at this low price it comes with a FREE case, SD card, and card holder at some retailers. What does this move mean? Simply put, Pentax wants to get this camera to sell. We think they've been successful, as dozens of our forum members decided to pick one up this weekend (some even went as far as getting two bodies!).
More importantly, however, it also means that you can now get a camera with fantastic image quality for a fraction of what a comparable DSLR would cost (the Pentax K-30 is $749, the Pentax K-5 II is $1199, and the Nikon D7000 is $999; all three practically have the same sensor as the K-01).
Looks aside, the Pentax K-01 is a very capable camera. With a 16.3 megapixel APS-C sensor, ISO 100-25,600, full-HD video at 30fps, and full P/A/S/M and RAW shooting capabilities, it doesn't lack much as far as features go. The K-01 is currently the most advanced Pentax camera for shooting videos, as it supports focus peaking for easy manual focusing, an external microphone input, manual video controls, on-demand video AF, and a variety of framerates including 60FPS in 720p. To learn more about the K-01's performance and specifications, check out our in-depth Pentax K-01 review.
For those of you unfamiliar with Pentax cameras, the K-01 uses Pentax's K-mount, which is the same mount found on DSLRs and all film SLRs since the 1970's. This makes the Pentax K-01 backwards-compatible with thousands of lenses, meaning that you'll practically always be able to find a lens that fits your needs. No matter what your budget is, there will always be a K-mount lens for you; the cheapest lenses start at less than $5 used, while the fastest telephotos can cost as much as $10,000. K-mount lenses come in a variety of flavors, including fully manual, manual focus, traditional autofocus, and silent SDM autofocus. All these lenses are fully supported by the K-01; visit our Pentax lens database to learn more about the different Pentax lens series. See also our custom-tailored Pentax K-01 lens guide.
Despite its discontinuation over in Japan, shipments of the Pentax K-5 still keep on popping up in the US, and prices at authorized retailers are falling. Adorama has just dropped the price of the K-5 to $799, the lowest we have seen from any US brick and mortar store that also does business online.
Pentax DSLR shipments typically consists of only a few dozen pieces, so act fast if you wish to secure your upgrade to the K-5 before it's gone. At this low price, the K-5 costs about 55% less than it did at launch!
Combined with the new low price of the Pentax K-01, Pentax sure is doing a good job of keeping its cameras competitive!