Ricoh responding to misleading rumors
By PF Staff in Pentax Announcements on Apr 12, 2017
Ricoh has today (April 12) released a press release that confirms the company's commitment to the camera industry through the Pentax and GR camera brands and also to the innovative Theta product. The press release is a response to the rumor mill that would allege that the opposite could be true. Said rumor naturally created a lot of discussion on PentaxForums in this thread. We're happy to see Ricoh reacting this quickly to put matters right.
The full press release reads as follows:
A high-performance standard prime lens
By PF Staff in Pentax Announcements on Feb 22, 2017
Ricoh Imaging has unveiled a prototype D FA★ 50mm F1.4 lens, previously roadmapped as the "wide-aperture standard" prime. This lens will be on display at CP+ 2017, which kicks off on Thursday at the usual location near Tokyo. We will be interviewing Ricoh Imaging representatives at the show.
The new D FA★ 50mm is slated to replace the 25-year-old FA 50mm F1.4. Unlike its predecessor, it prioritizes image quality over compactness, and thus reminds us of the acclaimed Sigma 50mm F1.4 "Art" which was not produced in the Pentax mount.
Only a few concrete details have been revealed about this lens:
- Tentative name: D FA★ 50mm F1.4,
- Image circle: full frame
- Star series: high resolution, high contrast, smooth bokeh
Based on the mock-up photo, though, we can see that the lens will feature silent autofocus— most likely DC, as SDM has seemingly been retired in new Pentax designs. As a premium star-series lens, we can also expect it to have weather sealing (All Weather), the HD coating, and full time manual focus override (Quick Shift) just like the existing lenses.
Views of the lens mock-up at CP+ 2017:
Four other full-frame lenses are currently roadmapped. For reference, we provide last year's road map below:
A high-performance APS-C body with ISO 819,200
By PF Staff in Pentax Announcements on Jan 25, 2017
Ricoh Imaging has officially announced the Pentax KP, the latest high-performance APS-C DSLR camera with a focus on compactness. The KP boasts an all-new body design with interchangeable hand grips in three different sizes, new e-dial positions, and an updated user interface.
Moreover, the KP is designed to deliver the best available image quality within the APS-C format: it packs a new 24.32 megapixel APS-C sensor with ISOs up to 819,200 thanks in part to an "image accelerator unit" coupled with the PRIME IV image processor. In addition, the KP inherits 5-axis Shake Reduction II from the Pentax K-1 flagship. While the mechanical shutter is limited to 1/6000s, the shutter speed can be increased to 1/24000s in live view. Finally, the camera has received some intriguing new functions, such as depth of field (aperture) and motion (shutter speed) bracketing.
To recap, some of the KP's new features include:
- Depth of field bracketing, something that macro shooters in particular will appreciate
- Motion bracketing
- Electronic shutter topping out at 1/24,000s
- Very high ISO
Pre-Order - Black:
Pre-Order - Silver
A tilting LCD screen (similar to that of the 645Z), on-board flash, and built-in Wi-Fi add to the KP's everyday usability. The KP has a user friendly interface with five USER mode settings on the exposure dial and three control wheels like on the K-1. It also has a pre-programmed HDR mode. Many users will probably appreciate that a built-in flash is back, albeit at the expense of built-in GPS. The GPS functionality and iconic Pentax astrotracer can easily be obtained through the O-GPS1 accessory, though.
Like the Pentax K-3 II, the KP features Pixel Shift Resolution, ultrasonic Dust Removal II, 27-point SAFOX 11 autofocus, and a 86K-pixel metering sensor. Similar to all other current Pentax DSLRs, the KP is of course weather-sealed and packs a large optical viewfinder with 100% field coverage.
To reduce weight, the KP uses the D-Li109 battery. This combined with its body design means that the overall weight is about 100g less than the K-3 II (643g empty / 703g loaded and ready). Users who need more endurance can pair the KP with the optional D-BG7 battery grip that can use both the D-Li109 and larger D-Li90.
The Pentax KP is expected to start shipping on February 23rd, 2017. It will retail for $1099 in the US, €1299 in the EU, $1499 CAD in Canada, £1099 in the UK, and ¥137,700 in Japan. Color options include Black and Silver.
For users who have been waiting for the next Pentax APS-C flagship, small hints suggest that the KP is in fact not a direct replacement for the K-3 II. While the KP is more sophisticated than the K-3 II in core imaging areas, it has a smaller burst buffer, slower mechanical shutter, slower burst rate, single card slot, and smaller battery. It also doesn't use the latest SAFOX 12 autofocus system that debuted in the K-1 last year, nor does it incorporate any advancements in video. We do not currently know if the KP has a full magnesium alloy body. All this suggests that it's possible that Pentax will release a high-speed, fully-featured APS-C body for users who focus on moving subjects and sports. Pentax is thus back to a 4-body DSLR lineup, which we believe is important for the company to remain competitive within a shrinking market.
Visit our Pentax DSLR comparison tool to compare the KP to other Pentax models, or discuss the camera in our new Pentax KP forum.
Pentax KP at a Glance
Below are the KP's highlights as we see them:
- 24 megapixels, ISO 819,200
- 7 FPS burst
- Built-in 5 axis Shake Reduction
- Several bracketing modes: DOF, motion, AA filter, exposure
- Tilting LCD screen
- Pixel Shift Resolution with motion correction
- External mic input
- Weather-sealed, outdoor-friendly monitor
- Three control wheels
- Compact body with grips in three sized to choose from
- Optional battery grip
- Built-in flash
- 27-point AF system inherited from the K-3 II
- Pentaprism viewfinder, 100% coverage
Overall, the KP promises to deliver exceptional still image quality thanks to the latest Pentax technologies. In a statement posted on January 26th, Ricoh describes the KP as a "mid class" camera, so it is being positioned between the Pentax K-70 and the flagship line.
Pentax KP Key Specifications
|Sensor Resolution||24.32 MP
|AA Filter||No, AA Filter Simulator available|
|Super Resolution||Yes, Pixel Shift Resolution|
|Shutter Speeds||30s-1/6000s (up to 1/24,000s with electronic shutter)
(up to 300s in Astrotracer mode)
(up to 20 minutes selectable in Bulb mode)
|Stabilization||5 axis sensor-shift Shake Reduction|
|Light Meter||86K RGB sensor|
|Max Frame Rate (buffer)||7 fps (28 JPG, 8 RAW)
|AF System and Modes||* SAFOX 11: 27-point phase detect (25 cross-type)
w/ AF.S, AF.C
* Live View: contrast AF
* AF assist LED
|AF Sensitivity||-3 to 18 EV|
|Video Mode||1080i: 60/50 fps
1080p: 30/25/24 fps
720p: 60/50 fps
Interval movie: 4K
MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 (.MOV)
Clips up to 4GB / 25 minutes
|AF During Video||AF.S or AF.C
AF.C supported w/DC and PLM lenses
|Video Sound||External stereo mic input
Stereo mic built-in
|Flash Sync.||1/180 s|
|Viewfinder||Pentaprism, 100% coverage, 0.95x magnification
Interchangeable focusing screen
|LCD||3.0-inch, 921,000 dot
3:2 aspect ratio
Outdoor view setting
Red light illumination function
|Processing Engine||PRIME IV w/ accelerator unit
|Battery Grip||Optional, D-BG7 w/ D-LI109 and D-LI90 trays|
|Media Slot(s)||1 SDXC / SDHC / SD (UHS-I)
|Connectivity||USB 2.0, HDMI out (SlimPort adapter required)
|Tethering Support||Wireless tethering
w/ Image Sync
|Dimensions (WxHxD)||131.5 x 101.0 x 76.0 mm|
||703g with battery and SD card
|US Launch Price (Body)
Full specifications for the KP are available in our camera database.
Specialized camera and software for spherical video streaming
By PF Staff in Pentax Announcements on Jan 4, 2017
Ricoh has unveiled the latest development in its Theta line of 360-degree cameras at this year's CES show in Las Vegas. The new Ricoh R is the industry's first camera capable of long-term continuous streaming of spherical video. Recording can be carried out for up to 24 hours thanks to an AC adapter, stand, and dedicated PC connection via USB and HDMI.
More importantly, the Ricoh R will come with a software development kit (SDK) giving programmers full access to process and display the camera's video in custom computer applications. This will make 360 video far more accessible than it has ever been, and it secures Ricoh's spot at the forefont of innovation within 360-degree photography and videography.
While the Ricoh R has a form factor very similar to the popular Theta S and Theta SC spherical cameras that we recently reviewed (designed for hand-hend photography and shorter video clips), its mission is entirely different: it focuses primarily on continous video streaming. The underlying lenses are the same, and the output video resolution is 2K at 30FPS.
Interestingly, the Ricoh R does not appear to be marketed by Ricoh Imaging, but rather the parent company, Ricoh Inc. The model on display at CES was a prototype; market availability is expected in the Spring of 2017.
We will post an update once the full specifications of the camera are released. Until then, you can learn more about on the R's official web site, http://ricohr.ricoh/en/.
New compact 360-degree camera
By PF Staff in Pentax Announcements on Oct 12, 2016
Ricoh Imaging has just announced the fourth model in the rapidly evolving Theta spherical camera lineup: the new Theta SC is a 360-degree camera with similar hardware to what we saw in the Theta S, albeit in a smaller form factor.
The Theta S, which started shipping earlier this year, represented the next step forward for the Theta lineup. It delivered a 14-megapixel resolution— a considerable improvement over the 6 megapixels of previous models— alongside wireless live view and streaming video.
According to the press release, the Theta SC is a mid-range model positioned between the current Theta S and the outgoing Theta m15. More specifically, it appears that the Theta SC simply makes all the Theta S features available at a lower price point of just $299, with only one change compared to the S: no HDMI out. If we were to guess, this means that a new "flagship" model will be rearing its head in the coming months. In the meantime, the Theta SC will carry on as a highly-capable offering for those who want to take the Theta system for a spin (no pun intended).
Alongside this new camera model, Ricoh will soon be launching an updated model app to further streamline the spherical shooting and sharing process.
The Theta produces standard .JPG files which can be viewed conventionally or interactively via a 3D viewer (such as theta360.com, the Theta app, or third-party solutions). Our forum supports spherical image sharing: any link to a photo on theta360.com will automatically be converted into a widget similar to the one below.
We recently used the Theta S to cover this year's Photokina trade show. We feel that the interactivity of these images takes event photography to a new level:
360-degree view of the Pentax booth taken with the Theta S (click to pan and zoom)
While the Theta S seems to continue being underrepresented amount our Pentax community, this innovative camera managed to make it to Amazon's best-seller spot within the compact camera category, and continues flying high within that market segment amidst declining interest in conventional compact cameras. The Theta is popular not only in the US, but also Europe and Japan.
The Theta SC will be available in four colors: white, red, blue, and beige.
Plan to get a Theta SC? Leave a user review and tell us how you like it!
Read on for the full press release as well as product photos.