With the recent launch of the SMC Pentax-DA 50mm F1.8, you now have three lenses to choose from if you want a new autofocus 50mm from Pentax. In our latest in-depth comparative review, we take a look at the SMC Pentax FA 50mm F1.4, D FA 50mm F2.8 Macro, and DA 50mm F1.8 side-by-side to see which one is the "niftiest" fifty!
It's finally time for another batch of official PentaxForums.com T-Shirts and Polos, this time to celebrate the 2,000,000-post milestone! Through September 23, forum member SlickYamaha will be taking orders for these high-quality shirts via the shirt order form on our homepage.
T-Shirts are available in black or white starting at $22, while Polos are only available in black and start at $35. Sizes from S through 4XL, as well as TALLs, will be available. Visit our forum to learn more about the shirts, or order yours today! Worldwide shipping is available.
Once these shirts sell out, they will be gone for good!
(Click to enlarge)
We're very happy to be announcing the winners of our official July, 2012 "Motion" photo contest, who submitted three very impressive photographs!
In first place was forum member TOUGEFC with "Spin Me", which he took with a Pentax K-5 and a DA 15mm F4 Limited lens. The photo, shown below, is now also being featured in our Premier Gallery, where you can leave a comment if you'd like!
It's not the long-awaited full-frame, or even a DSLR for that matter, but today Pentax has announced a very interesting 16-megapixel all-in-one "bridge" digital camera called the Pentax X-5. The X-5 looks the part: it closely resembles the Pentax K-5 DSLR in terms of styling, with a sizable grip and a traditional would-be prism housing bearing the Pentax logo. Its button layout is very close to that of the intro-level Pentax DSLRs, with a few modifications here and there to support features unique to this type of camera, such as built-in power zooming and the electronic viewfinder.
The X-5 houses a very powerful "megazoom" lens featuring 26x optical zoom over an aperture range from F3.1 to F5.9. Its zoom range is equivalent to 22.3-580mm on film, meaning that you can zoom all the way from wide-angle to extreme-telephoto without having to switch lenses (or cameras). On top of that, the lens focuses as close as 1 centimeter, allowing you to take real macro shots (this feature is also found on the Pentax Optio WG-2, where we found it to work very well)!
Best of all, this camera is loaded with features and only costs $279, making it an amazing value! It can shoot full-HD video, capture photos as quickly as 10FPS, and gives you plenty of manual control if you want to forgo full automation. On the back of the camera you'll find a large 3-inch tilting LCD (with half-VGA) resolution, as well as a QVGA (approx.) electronic viewfinder (EVF). We think that this camera will be an attractive option for many consumer photographers, as well as a nice backup body for more serious shooters, and we hope to bring you an in-depth review of it once it becomes available! Until then, you can pre-order the camera in black or silver and expect it to ship toward the end of September.
Today, we've observed a $50 price drop on the Pentax K-30 at authorized Pentax retailers, including B&H photo in New York and Amazon.com. Although not all big Pentax outlets seem to be showing the new price at this point, it wouldn't surprise us if the Pentax K-30 body price started falling to $799 nationwide over the course of the coming days. The camera's original MSRP was $849.
This appears to be the first official price reduction of its kind for the K-30 in the US. Users in our Pentax Price Watch forum have spotted better international deals (i.e. one from the Pentax Web Store in Singapore), though as with all international purchases, these may be subject to customs fees, higher shipping costs, or warranty restrictions, all of which can quickly close the gap in price.
Even at the original MSRP, we believe the K-30 was fairly priced for its class, but we hope that this and future price drops will also make the camera an attractive intro-level option!
Development of new technology for our digital cameras moves ahead at a fast clip with the objective of removing current shortcomings.
In this blog post we will take a look at the trends in the following areas, all of which are related to improving auto-focus and making it suitable for movie recording:
- Determining proper focus during movie recording
- Auto-focus motors
- Touch screen focus point selection
Cameras have recently been introduced that feature one or more of these improvements and we are convinced that more and more camera makers will embrace these new technologies. Not only will movie recording benefit, but also still photography, in particular in connection with mirror-less cameras and when using live view with a DSLR.
The reviews, previously sorted by likes and thereafter by date, are now sorted just by date by defaut. Users can additionally choose to sort by likes, rating, or author, with the ability to reverse the order of the results as well. We hope that this new feature makes our equipment databases an even handier resource- enjoy!
Please refer to the screenshot above to familiarize yourself with the placement of the sorting controls. They are found just before the first review on each page.
Last week, rumors surfaced on our forum stating that the Pentax K-5 was slowly being discontinued in Japan, and that several stores were no longer carrying it. Today, as unfortunate as it may be, it appears that these rumors were true, and that the K-5 is indeed being discontinued. We have confirmed with multiple US retailers that the Pentax K-5 lens kit is no longer available, and it is further evidenced by the fact that the Pentax K-5 18-55mm kit is now marked as "discontinued" at B&H Photo Video in New York City. It's no surprise that it sold out first at the largest Pentax retailer, and we would also not be surprised if the Pentax K-5 body were to follow suit in the coming days.
Originally introduced in October, 2010, the K-5 served as Pentax's flagship APS-C DSLR for nearly two years. It was undoubtedly one of the most successful and one of the most-loved Pentax cameras of all time, but that's not to say that it was perfect. Upon the introduction of the mid-range Pentax K-30 DSLR this July, the K-5 started showing its age in many areas, despite being designed to be in a higher price class.
Photokina, one of the world's largest photographic trade shows, is coming up in about one month in Cologne, Germany. We have no doubt that the K-5's successor will be announced there, and we simultaneously hope that this successor will build upon the strong points of the K-5 and improve on it where it was lacking, rather than being an entirely new camera (we will report on this live from the event next month).
Even if a successor is announced soon, however, this discontinuation does mean that Pentax will be down to just one DSLR in its entire DSLR lineup for at least two months. After discontinuing the K-r early this year, Pentax lost their intro-level body, and with the discontinuation of the K-5, they no longer have a high-end body, either. This puts Pentax in a tough situation, and may even end up scaring away prospective users due to the dwindling camera selection. It also means that Pentax has decided to keep each camera's production cycle relatively short, rather than following in the footsteps of other DSLR manufacturers, who keep many of their models on the market far longer. For camera buyers, it will also be a shame that the great K-5 prices won't be around for much longer.
When Ricoh acquired Pentax last fall, they stated that they wanted to become a serious competitor in the DSLR industry. Now, the company is under even more pressure than ever, as both Canon and Nikon are expected to release an intro-level (i.e. affordable) full-frame DSLR at Photokina. If Pentax follows up with an APS-C body at the event and offers no full-frame DSLR in months to follow, they may lose all hope of entering the professional DSLR market. Based on recent trends in the camera industry, it would hardly be surprising if the APS-C DSLR would start being phased out in favor of lineups consisting exclusively of full-frame bodies, with smaller sensors allocated instead for mirrorless and compact cameras.