DA 55-300mm F4.5-6.3 PLM Now Shipping

New pulse motor autofocus technology

By PF Staff in Product Updates on Aug 19, 2016

After making its Japanese debut a few weeks ago, the HD Pentax-DA 55-300mm F4.5-6.3 ED PLM WR RE is now shipping in the US!  UK and Australian retailers are still awaiting stock.

This compact collapsible telephoto lens debuts a new type of autofocus technology (within the Pentax lineup) called the pulse motor that promises to deliver very fast everyday focusing and solid performance during video recording.  The new Pentax K-70 requires either a PLM or DC lens for continuous autofocus in video mode.

Order your copy of the 55-300mm at B&H Photo

Learn more about this lens in the official announcement, and stay tuned for our in-depth review along with a review of the lens on the K-70.

Since this lens uses a new KAF4 mount with electronic aperture control, it can only expose properly on the Pentax K-3 II, K-1, K-S1, K-S2, K-70, and newer models. Furthermore, with focus-by-wire, it can only focus on models that support KAF3 lenses, namely the K10D or newer.

Pentax K-70 Now Shipping

Listed as "in stock" in the US

By PF Staff in Product Updates on Jul 26, 2016

The Pentax K-70 started shipping in Japan on July 22nd, and as of the evening of July 25th, plenty of stock has arrived at B&H Photo.  Other major US Pentax retailers currently do not show availability.

Order your Pentax K-70 at B&H Photo | with 18-135mm lens

We've also spotted the K-70 at SRS Microsystems in the UK.

The K-70 is a highly-capable mid-range DSLR which builds on last year's Pentax K-S2 by introducing continuous video autofocus and hybrid live view autofocus for the first time ever in a Pentax DSLR.  It's also the first sub-flagship body to offer 14-bit RAW and a 24-megapixel sensor.

Learn more in the Pentax K-70 announcement, and stay tuned for our first impressions review! 

In the US, the K-70 is priced at $649 for the body only or $899 with the 18-135mm lens.  The camera is available in both black and silver.  Beware of grey market sellers trying to sell the camera for more on eBay and Amazon.

Now that the K-70 is available and the K-50 and K-S1 have been discontinued, the price of the K-S2 has dropped to around $499 to fill the entry-level position in the K-mount lineup.

Pentax K-S1 Discontinued

Compact, colorful Pentax DSLR

By PF Staff in Product Updates on Jun 25, 2016

After we said good bye to the Pentax K-50 last week, the time has come to bid farewell to another camera: the Pentax K-S1.  This compact beginner DSLR, originally launched in late 2014, was easily recognizable for its unique design.  According to Ricoh, the K-S1 was primarily intended to appeal to new customers, but the company admitted that this model was ultimately unsuccessful in that respect.  K-S1 availability is starting to dwindle at Pentax retailers worldwide; some major stores are already sold out, while others have limited stock.

Learn all about the Pentax K-S1 in our in-depth review

Standard colors for the K-S1 include black, white/grey, and blue/black (shown above).  Many other hand-picked color options were available for special order, including a "sweets" collection (shown below) and combinations intended to match different types of clothing.

Pentax K-S1 "Sweets" Collection

The K-S1 18-55mm kit was originally launched for $799 in the US.  Today, remaining stock is sold at half that price, thus making the K-S1 a good value.

Pentax K-1 Available at Adorama

Listed as "in stock and ready to ship"

By PF Staff in Product Updates on Jun 20, 2016

Ever since it made its debut at the end of April, the Pentax K-1 full-frame has been in high demand and short supply, in part due to the recent Kumamoto earthquakes.

Today makes the first time that the K-1 has been in stock at a major US retailer for a full 24-hour period.  Adorama received a shipment yesterday and still lists the camera as "in stock and ready to ship":

Order your Pentax K-1 at Adorama

Other major retailers that we've been following still show the camera as back-ordered.  Third-party grey market sellers on Amazon have even been taking advantage of this by offering the K-1 at a premium.

We've recently published our in-depth review of the Pentax K-1 and can safely say that it's among the most compelling Pentax cameras released to date, second only to the 645Z in terms of image quality, and more versatile when it comes to features.

If you are awaiting deliver of the K-1, be sure to stop by the review for usage tips and recommended settings, which can be found alongside our detailed analysis of the camera's performance.

Ricoh Theta S Ranks as Amazon's Best-Seller

#1 spot in US and Canada on June 16, 2016

By PF Staff in Product Updates on Jun 17, 2016

Yesterday the Ricoh Theta S reached the #1 best seller rank on Amazon.com and Amazon.ca within the point-and-shoot camera category.  It has since fallen to the #2 spot on the US site, making way for an $88 Sony compact.  The Theta also holds the #2 spot on Amazon.co.uk.  Amazon updates its rankings hourly, so they are always subject to change.

To put things in perspective, on the US site the Theta ranks as #40 overall in the Camera and Photo category, well ahead of the most popular DSLR (the Canon Rebel T5) at #63. The most popular Pentax DSLR (the K-50) currently ranks just below #1000 within the Camera and Photo category, while securing the #37 spot among DSLRs amidst an ocean of Canon and Nikon offerings.

As the latest spherical model, the Theta S delivers high-quality 360-degree images in an ergonomic and user-friendly package.  It started shipping at the beginning of this year.  New features introduced in this model include live view, video recording/playback via a smartphone, and more than twice the effective resolution of previous Thetas.  Learn more in our in-depth Ricoh Theta S review.

Amazon listing for the Theta S as of June 16, 2016

The Theta's success shows the importance of innovation as users shift their demands within the camera market.  Interestingly, the Theta S managed to secure its spot at the top of the list despite being among one of the most expensive cameras in its category. But as 360-degree cameras become more common in future years, will the Theta be able to maintain its momentum alongside an increasing number of competitors?  As a pioneer in consumer spherical imaging, Ricoh Imaging certainly has a big opportunity ahead of it.

While the original Ricoh Theta wasn't launched until November, 2013, we got our first glipse at Pentax Ricoh's spherical lens at Photokina 2012.

Amazon.com point and shoot best-sellers as of June 16, 2016

Photos from the Theta can be viewed as traditional JPEG files, or interactively on theta360.com, the Ricoh Theta desktop software, and the Theta smartphone app.  See an interactive example below:

Interactive sample photo by forum member severalsnakes on theta360.com

The Theta S costs $346 USD / $449 CAD / £299 and is available from Amazon's worldwide sites as well as photo retailers and Ricoh Imaging itself.

Although the Theta is selling very well, it does not appear to have a significant following among Pentax users.  You can help change that: if you own a Theta or ar considering one, visit the Ricoh Theta Spherical Society in the Round on the forum!  This neat little camera is not to be overlooked.

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