New 360 degree spherical camera with a larger sensor
By PF Staff in Pentax Announcements on Feb 26, 2019
Ricoh has just announced a new 360 degree spherical camera, the Theta Z1. It represents a significant upgrade over earlier models: the two image sensors are now of the much larger 1 inch type, back illuminated, and each sensor features 20 MP. Still images are 6720 x 3360 pixels in size. The optics are of a new development which Ricoh claims reduces ghosting and flare, a claim that we will take a close look at when we get a Z1 in for review. The new lens can be set at F2.1, F3.5, and F5.6. F5.6 should provide improved depth of field over earlier models.
As a first for the Theta line, the Z1 has a display which can show the exposure settings as well as number of remaining shots. With previous models one had to use a smart phone to access those data.
Also new is that the Z1 is able to shoot in RAW (DNG) and RAW+ in addition to JPG. The Z1 features spherical 4K video recording and live streaming as does the Theta V from 2017. In video mode the image size is 3840 x 1920 pixels. Sound is recorded by a four channel microphone.
These improvements come at a price, though. The launch price in the US is a steep $999.95!
The full specifications can be found in our database entry for the Theta Z1.
New rugged weather-proof compact camera
By PF Staff in Pentax Announcements on Feb 26, 2019
Ricoh Imaging has officially announced the Ricoh WG-6, a continuation of Ricoh's top models in their line of rugged weather-proof compact cameras. The camera still has a 1/2.3" sensor, but now with 20 MP where the predecessor, the WG-5, sported 16 MP. The WG-6 is water-proof down to 20 meters (65.6 feet), where the predecessor was rated to 16 meters (52.5 feet). The WG-6 also introduces 4K movie recording into th WG series of cameras.
The WG-6 has a mode dial on the top plate which includes two user modes and Ricoh claims that the controls are easier to operate also with gloves than was the case with the earlier models. There is also an outdoor view setting. The camera of course has a built-in compass and GPS, but apparently has lost the altitude/depth sensor of the WG-5. Also gone is sensor-based shake reduction, instead the WG-6 is furnished with pixed track (digital) shake reduction.
The camera supports transfer of images to a smart phone through Toshiba's "FlashAir" WiFi enabled SD cards. New is also that the WG-6 optionally can imprint copyright (and other) data onto the image.
The built-in macro ring-light is powerful enough to double as lighting when recording movies.
The optics is a 5x zoom lens from 5 to 25 mm (28 mm to 140 mm in full-frame equivalent terms). The lens opens up to F3.5 at the wide end and F5.5 at the long end.
A 0.8x wide angle attachment has also been announced. With this attachment the focal length becomes approximately 20 mm in full frame equivalent.
The launch price in the US is $399.95.
The WG-6 will be available in two color schemes, orange and black and should be shipping from mid March 2019.
The full specifications of the WG-6 are available in our camera database.
Ricoh also announced two sister cameras to the WG-6 called Ricoh G900 and Ricoh G900SE (see the press releases for the G900 and the G600SE). These cameras are intended for work site use and have some additional features such as a password protected lock, bar code scanning, and the ability to attach a text or audio note to a captured image.
New compact enthusiast camera with APS-C DSLR image quality
By PF Staff in Pentax Announcements on Feb 22, 2019
Ricoh Imaging has officially announced the Ricoh GR III, the much anticipated enthusiast compact camera with an APS-C sized sensor and high-end features as otherwise found on Pentax DSLRs such as sensor based shake reduction, anti-alias filter simulation, low noise, and high ISO capability.
The GR III features a 24 MP sensor and a 18.3mm F2.8 lens (this lens has a field of view corresponding to 28 mm on a full frame camera).
In addition to built-in WiFi the camera also sports Bluetooth for more flexibility when connecting the camera to a smart phone. The GR III is also the first camera in the Ricoh/Pentax family to be provided with a touch screen.
The GR III has no built-in viewfinder, but two external optical viewfinders which attach to the hot shoe will be available, one of them being very compact. The GR III supports the Pentax P-TTL flash protocol and has no built-in flash. The ISO range tops out at 102400 making indoor photography possible without flash in many cases.
A 0.75x wide angle attachment has also been announced. With this attachment the focal length becomes approximately 14 mm (21 mm in full frame equivalent).
The launch price in the US is $899.95.
The GR III is expected to be presented at the upcoming CP+ exhibition in Tokyo and should be shipping from March 18, 2019.
The full specifications of the GR III have been posted in our camera database. You can also learn more from the press release cited below.
One new full-frame, one new APS-C lens
By PF Staff in Pentax Announcements on Jan 31, 2019
Pentax has officially added two new lenses to its lineup today: the long-anticipated HD Pentax-DA★ 11-18mm F2.8 ED DC AW, and the HD Pentax-FA 35mm F2, which was more of a surprise. The 11-18mm, which is a premium ultra-wide zoom for APS-C cameras, has been in development for well over a year, and was delayed after originally being slated for a mid-2018 launch. The 35mm, a compact wide-angle full-frame lens based on the currently-available SMC FA 35mm F2 from the film era, was not previously hinted at.
The high-end 11-18mm lens will retail at 1399 USD/GPB/EUR, while the budget-friendly 35mm will cost 399 USD/GBP/EUR. Information about both lenses has been added to our lens finder, compatibility checker, and deal finder. Full specifications can be found in the lens finder or in the lens database (see links above).
For those wondering about the compatibility of the 11-18mm: it uses the KAF3 mount, so it will work fine on DSLRs older than the K-3.