A new feature-enhancing firmware update was released today for the Ricoh GR. The update bumps the firmware version number all the way up to 3.00 and includes the following changes/additions:
- New "Slight" custom image effect
- "Muted" might be a better term for this JPEG preset, which makes colors appear more faint than in other modes. This preset supports further customization of vividness, sharpness, contrast, and vignetting.
- AF mode customization for the AFL/AEL button
- Previously, this button could only be user for spot AF when the switch was set to AFL. With the latest firmware update, options for mutli AF and pinpoint AF have been added, though spot AF continues to be the default setting.
- "Ambient Brightness" film GR imitation
- When the new Ambient Brightness setting is set to Original, the camera tries to mimic the lighting of photos from film GR cameras. The default setting of Normal leaves the lighting unchanged. RAW files taken in Original mode can be developed with Normal lighting in-camera, but the opposite does not apply.
- Folder naming by date
- You can now choose to name folders based on date (xxx_MMDD) or image sequence number, the old behavior which continues to be the default.
- ISO Auto-High settings bugfix
- On the ISO Auto-High Settings page, the Change Shutter Speed option will now be shown in 1/3EV increments whenever the camera's ISO (sensitivity) step is set to 1/3EV increments.
- New aspect ratio RAW development option
- When developing 3:2 RAW files in playback mode, you can now select the aspect ratio (3:2, 4:3 or 1:1).
As always, the latest GR firmware update is cumulative: it also includes all the previous updates, so you do not need to install any prior updates if you're still running the original firmware.
If you're ready to upgrade your GR's firmware, download the update file straight from the Pentax web site and read on for installation instructions.
My friend had asked me to take traditional, happy photos of her daughter. It was a hot day in Florida, and after being in the sun for a while, the six-year-old was pretty cranky. We walked back to my friend's apartment building, and as I saw how the stairs floated down, I spied an opportunity. I asked her to sit on the stairs for just one more shot and told her that she didn't need to smile for this one. I switched from a standard portrait lens to the DA 12-24/4 and crouched down quickly. I didn't want to lose her attention, so I didn't even take the time to line up the shot well - I just fired three quick shots, and in the second shot, her expression just connected with the camera.
Last year's Black Friday sale brought us many deals on the K-5 II DSLR, but not nearly as many attractive offers on the filterless K-5 IIs. Today, all this changes: B&H and Adorama have slashed the price of the K-5 IIs to just $699, the lowest price from any US authorized dealer (including Amazon). Enjoy this cool low price until the K-5 IIs is gone for good!
If you don't live in the US, keep in mind that B&H ships internationally, so this sale price may still be lower than your local price even with shipping and customs added on top. International shipping costs depend on where you live; more information is available during checkout.
During the summer of 2013, Pentax announced the 07 "Mount Shield" body cap lens for the Pentax Q line of ultra-compact mirrorless cameras. This intriguing lens is only as thick as a traditional DSLR lens cap, so as its name implies, it can be kept on your camera full-time in place of an actual cap. Weighing in a 8 grams and at just 6.9mm long, you can hardly even tell that it's there, so naturally it also makes your camera fully pocketable! If you're looking to compare it with a Pentax DSLR lens, we'd have to say that its closest cousin would probably be the ultra-thin and ultra-versatile Takumar 18mm F11.
The 11.5mm F9 cap lens employs a single-element pinhole design which means that its optical capabilities are limited: it transmits very little light and its focus is fixed between 30cm and 2 meters, so you won't be using it to photograph landscapes or distant subjects. If you want something to be in focus, you have to physically move the lens. The 11.5mm focal length corresponds to a long "normal" field of view, similar to what a 50mm lens would see on a Pentax DSLR. The field of view is bit wider on the Pentax Q7 of course.
Although you can't expect to get any razor-sharp or distortion-free photos with it, overall it's certainly a fun little lens, so we're prepared a fun little video review of it:
To put the size of the cap lens into perspective, here's a photo of it alongside the 01 Standard Prime (8.5mm F1.9), which is already ridiculously-small for an interchangeable camera lens.
Size comparison: Pentax Q10 beside the 07 and 01 lenses
Based on our experience in the field, this lens is best for portraits or family snaps, pets, and other close-ups: though it probably won't be replacing your smartphone for all practical purposes. Read on for some real-world sample photos and more images of the lens.
We've just updated our Recommended Gear page with the latest and greated products by Pentax and for Pentax. All the equipment featured on this page is something we truly enjoyed while putting together our in-depth reviews and homepage reviews over the course of the past year. We've picked out gear for every skill level, and we're confident you'll be happy with its performance, so don't miss it!
The page features 4 cameras, 6 zoom lenses, 10 prime lenses, and 6 different accessories suitable for all different kinds of kits.
So, whether you're a beginner looking to start to expand your kit, or a seasoned shooter looking to add a lens to your lineup, click here to check out our Pentax gear recommendations.
Of course, different photographers have different needs, so if you have questions about any items listed above or if you'd like personalized advice, don't hesitate to post on the forum!
Ricoh Imaging (Pentax) exhibited at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas over the course of the past three days. The show wrapped up yesterday, so let's take a look at what was shown at the Pentax booth and what new announcements were made. We'd like to note that since Pentax Ricoh Imaging was re-branded to just Ricoh Imaging late last year, the Pentax logo has since been removed from its corporate identity (and booth branding), but the same great Pentax products were of course still on display. Note that in our homepage postings, we will continue to refer to Ricoh Imaging as "Pentax".
The sizable Pentax booth was the fifth-largest at the show, behind Canon, Nikon, Sony, and Olympus and the same size as the Fuji and Panasonic booths.
The one and only CES product announcement related to Pentax this year came from Sigma, which announced the new Sigma 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM "Contemporary" superzoom lens for all camera mounts, including Pentax. This lens is designed as an all-in-one solution for everyday use and it is more affordable than the 18-250mm in the current Sigma lineup. Like other modern lenses, the 18-200mm of course includes silent autofocus.
This new lens replaces the Sigma 18-200mm OS HSM II which was originally launched in mid-2012. Compared to its predecessor, the 18-200mm "Contemporary" sports a redesigned plastic barrel that resembles the other Sigma Global Vision lenses rolled out over the course of 2013. The barrel design is more elegant and simpler than before. The new lens also features rounded aperture blades, weighs less (430g), and focuses closer in macro mode (1:3). Best of all, it's being launched at a reasonable introductory price of just $399 in the US - a whole $100 less than its predecessor. This makes it a great upgrade over the standard 18-55mm kit lens as well as a viable alternative to the Pentax 18-135mm for those who do not need weather sealing and who desire the extra reach.
For the full specifications of this new Sigma lens, visit its entry in our lens database. It is already available for pre-order at US retailers including B&H Photo.
Sigma also announced at 50mm F1,4 "Art" lens at CES, but it will not be produced in the Pentax mount based on what we know so far.
The new year is here, but that doesn't mean that all the great holidays deals on Pentax gear are gone. In fact, there are five excellent deals going on right now that are not to miss!
Includes DA L 18-55mm
Compact 12MP Digital Camera with a classic design
4x Zoom Lens, 3-inch LCD Tilt Screen, 1920X1080 full HD Video, Shake Reduction, RAW support
Water proof, shock proof, dust proof, shake reduction, 1920x1080 full HD video
For additional savings, buy together with Photoshop Elements 12 for a total of $242 at B&H
Includes free ($211.90 value):
Note: click "buy together and save" before adding to cart at Adorama
Includes free ($211.90 value):
Get yours before it's gone for good! Only 2000 produced worldwide.
The real steal here in our view is the K-500 which produces images of excellent quality and nevertheless can be had at a bargain price: cheaper than any new competing entry-level camera. This is a kit to recommend to anyone who is contemplating moving up to a DSLR.
The price of the MX-1 is also very attractive, as it is less than half of the launch price of the camera.