Looking back at Photokina 2012

Concluding remarks, and what's next?

By PF Staff in Photokina 2012 on Oct 22, 2012

It has been about a month since the Photokina trade show ended, and over the course of the past several weeks, we posted articles about our findings in a special homepage category dedicated to the event.  We didn't, however, post any concluding remarks, so we will now take the opportunity to do so.  In addition, for those who will be visiting the PhotoPlus trade show in NYC this weekend, consider this a preview of what you'll be seeing there.

Just before Photokina, Pentax made 8 new product announcements in addition to announcing a new premium lens coating called Pentax HD coating.  We summarize them by category below:

Pentax K-Mount DSLRs

Pentax K-5 II

The Pentax K-5 II is the successor to the original Pentax K-5, which was launched in October of 2012.  Only two things are new in this camera: the autofocus system has been improved, and the LCD should now be easier to see while outdoors.

Pentax K-5 IIs

The Pentax K-5 IIs is an industry first for an APS-C camera: it's essentially the same as the K-5 II, but the anti-aliasing filter in front of the sensor has been removed, dramatically increasing resolution while risking the presence of moire in certain situations.

Pentax K-Mount Lenses

SMC Pentax 18-270mm

This superzoom is a welcome addition to the Pentax K-mount lens lineup, even though it's nothing more than a re-badged Tamron lens.

HD Pentax 560mm

This weather-sealed professional telephoto lens looks quite impressive, but it's also very expensive.

Pentax Q Mirrorless System

Pentax Q10 Camera

The Q10 is an improved version of the now-discontinued Pentax Q.  It features better image quality, faster autofocus, longer battery life, and new in-camera capabilities.

Pentax Q 15-45mm

This lens is roughly equivalent to a 83-250mm DSLR lens, and makes the Pentax Q system much more versatile.

Pentax Q to K Adapter

With this adapter, you'll be able to mount DSLR lenses on the Pentax Q, allowing you to take extreme macro or extreme telephoto images with ease.

Pentax 645 Medium Format System

Pentax 645 90mm Macro

Pentax's new medium format macro lens is bound to be extremely sharp.  It also features built-in shake reduction, which Pentax wouldn't comment on at Photokina.

These products ended up being the focus at Photokina; nothing else new was announced during the event itself.  So, what can we take away from all this?

Canon and Nikon Enthusiast Full-Frames at Photokina

What Pentax Ricoh's future full-frame will be up against

By PF Staff in Photokina 2012 on Oct 5, 2012

Canon and Nikon showcased new "intro-level" full-frame DSLRs at Photokina this year, both of which are in the low-$2000 price range. The two cameras are design-wise typical members of their respective brands: the Canon 6D with a simplistic design and a smoth and quiet shutter, and the Nikon D600 with a sharper design, buttons sprinkled all over, and a loud and aggressive shutter sound. 

A thorough evaluation isn't possible at a trade show like this, so what we can offer is subjective first impressions and some photos of the products.

Canon and Nikon went separate ways in this segment just like they did in the mid-range segment with the Canon 5D Mark III and the Nikon D800, respectively. Canon took the more conservative approach with "just" 20 MP in the 6D, whereas the Nikon D600 offers up 24 MP. Only a thorough test can reveal if the Canon will win in noise comparison. It's practically a given that it will lag behind in resolution.

Read on for technical specifications and our first impressions!  While both camera seemed like fine additions to their respective lineups, it's clear that certain features were left out merely to justify the lower price points.  This yields a gap in the market which we're sure Pentax Ricoh could fill, for example by releasing an affordable full-frame with in-camera stabilization, a 1/8000s shutter, and superior framerates for both stills and videos.  As long as this hypothetical Pentax body would retain the excellent handling and user interface of the current bodies, we are sure it be a worthy rival for the other intro-level full-frames.

Pentax K-30 vs K-5 IIs Cross Sections

On display at Photokina

By PF Staff in Photokina 2012 on Sep 30, 2012

For those interested in the inner workings and structure of a Pentax K-30, a body which was sliced in half was put on display by Pentax Ricoh.  The same holds true for the Pentax K-5 IIs, shown toward the end of this post.

The autofocus module including the secondary mirror (though misaligned) is clearly visible.

K-30 Cross-Section

cut 1

Below we have a similar cut of the Pentax K-5 IIs for comparison. The two cameras are clearly built in a similar way, with the only obvious difference being that the K-5 IIs body (not just the chassis) is made of metal.

Pentax Ricoh Developing a 360-degree Lens

A gadget almost gone unnoticed at the exhibit

By PF Staff in Photokina 2012 on Sep 29, 2012

Pentax displayed a 360 degree prototype lens ("the yo-yo") at Photokina. Not many noticed it, probably because it was off to the side in its own small display case.

360 degree lens take 2

Once the images are captured, you can use a computer to pan in all directions and center/zoom in on any point of interest in the spherical image.

The Giant Ricoh Printer

Ricoh flaunts its technology at the Pentax Ricoh booth

By PF Staff in Photokina 2012 on Sep 28, 2012

Ricoh has produced printers for many years mainly as OEM manufacturers to other brands, but has now decided to market a monster printer in their own name, Ricoh Pro L4000. At the trade show the printer was busy prnting 645D images of impressive quality!

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