Ricoh Releases SDKs for Pentax DSLRs

Custom apps for Pentax cameras are around the corner

By PF Staff in Pentax Announcements on May 16, 2018

If you've been longing to write (or use) custom apps to interact with Pentax cameras, the wait may soon be over!  Today, Ricoh Imaging released Software Development Kits (SDKs) allowing programmers to write apps to control Pentax cameras, both on computers as well as iOS and Android mobile devices.  User-developed apps will thus soon be joining the ranks of existing official software from Ricoh, such as Image Sync, Image Transmitter, and the Lightroom plugin

The days of unstable reverse-engineering will soon be over for the camera models supported by the SDK, which currently includes all models released in the past 2 years, in addition to the 645Z.

Plan to create an app or have a great idea for one?  Let us know in the comments!

If you're a developer, head over to https://api.ricoh/ to grab the SDK.

This announcement follows in the footsteps of the Theta, which has had an SDK for some time now.

Four software development kits to be released, for the remote operation of PENTAX digital SLR cameras via smartphones or personal computers

TOKYO, May 16, 2018 –

Ricoh today announced the release of four software development kits (SDK), designed for the remote operation of PENTAX-brand digital SLR cameras using smartphones and personal computers. Based on these kits,users can develop software or applications that enable them to operate their cameras from a distance,and then output captured Live View images to external monitors. They also allow for the simultaneous control of multiple cameras, making it easier to develop systems using digital cameras for various industrial fields.

SDKs to be released:
・RICOH Camera USB SDK for Microsoft® .NET Framework
・RICOH Camera USB SDK for C++
・RICOH Camera Wireless SDK for iOS
・RICOH Camera Wireless SDK for Android

Compatible camera models:
PENTAX 645Z*
PENTAX K-1 Mark II
PENTAX K-1
PENTAX KP
PENTAX K-70**

Main features:
・Choice of USB or Wireless connection, in combination with compatible PENTAX-brand digital SLR cameras.
・First SDKs designed for use with PENTAX-brand digital SLR cameras.

How to download:
Access the dedicated Web site (https://api.ricoh/; available in English only) to download the SDKs. SKDs can be downloaded free of charge; however, RICOH CO., LTD. will not provide any additional technical support.

* This model is compatible with the RICOH Camera USB SDK for Microsoft® .NET Framework and RICOH Camera USB SDK for C++ only.
** This model is compatible with the RICOH Camera Wireless SDK for iOS and RICOH Camera Wireless SDK for Android only.

Pentax DA★ 11-18mm and D FA★ 50mm Specifications

Reference exhibits at CP+ 2018

By PF Staff in Pentax Announcements on Feb 27, 2018

In preparation for the upcoming CP+ 2018 trade show, which kicks off on March 1st in Tokyo, Ricoh Imaging has revealed further details about the two K-mount lenses due for release later this year, including partial specifications.

We'll see the HD Pentax-D FA50mm F1.4 SDM AW premium normal lens for the full frame system this spring.  It will feature the latest KAF4 lens mount*, which incorporates electromagnetic aperture control.  In addition, this will be the first Pentax lens to use a newly-designed ring-type autofocus motor.  We expect this lens to deliver "corner to corner" sharpness, as has been the trend with recent modern primes.  It is possible that Ricoh will officially announce this lens in the coming days (as implied by the "one reference product" in the press release text).

The HD Pentax-DA11-18mm F2.8 ED DC AW is expected in the summer.  This will be a wide-angle premium zoom for crop cameras.  We've learned that it will use the KAF3 lens mount, which means it will remain compatible with older cameras like the Pentax K-5.  The lens will also feature a focus clamp to allow for very precise manual focus adjustments.

Other news includes the announcement of new lens roadmaps, which newly lists a D FA 70-200mm F4, and of course the announcement of the Pentax K-1 II.

*Cameras older than the Pentax K-3 will always shoot wide-open with this lens.

K-1 Hardware Upgrade: Pentax Loves You, Too

Ricoh will upgrade K-1 main board to add K-1 II features

By JonPB in Pentax Announcements on Feb 23, 2018

Ricoh has announced an offer that will essentially upgrade your current Pentax K-1 to a Pentax K-1 II. Pentax K-1 owners will be able to have their main circuit board replaced, upgrading the camera with the new features of the K-1 II, which we understand will include the accelerator unit that enables ISO 819200 and lower noise as well as the new Dynamic Pixel Shift Resolution mode that allows hand-held capture of pixel-shifted images. The upgrade service will also swap out the SR logo with one that reflects the K-1 II's new capabilities.

Pentax K-1 II Officially Announced

New full frame flagship with enhanced image quality

By PF Staff in Pentax Announcements on Feb 22, 2018

Ricoh Imaging has officially announced the Pentax K-1 II, the company's new full-frame flagship DSLR that builds on the original Pentax K-1 through enhancements to image quality.  Highlights of the K-1 II include:

  • Maximum ISO increased to 819,200 (+2 stops)
  • Image Accelerator Unit reduces high-ISO noise and increases color accuracy in RAW and JPEG files
  • Pixel Shift Resolution System II, increases handheld image resolution thanks to SR integration

While we previously saw the image accelerator unit (work wonders) in the Pentax K-70 and KP, the Pixel Shift Resolution System II is an all-new development in the K-1 II.

The K-1 II sports the same external body as the K-1, and its remaining specifications are essentially unchanged.  Thus, current K-1 owners will soon be able to opt for an upgrade service (cost: $550 USD) that will incorporate all of the K-1 II's functionality into a K-1 body (full details here).  This is the first time such a service is being made available for Pentax DSLR.

Pre-Order the Pentax K-1 II & get a free battery grip at B&H | Adorama

In the US, you can currently get a free D-DB6 battery grip if you pre-order the K-1 II, which effectively makes the K-1 II cheaper than its predecessor.  The K-1 II body only is otherwise priced at $1999, which is just $50 higher than the MSRP of the K-1.

New to the US market is a K-1 II 28-105mm lens kit, which carries a $100 discount on the price of the lens, effectively negating the price increase of the body.

The K-1 II is expected to start shipping in early to mid April, 2018.

The full specifications of the Pentax K-1 II will soon be posted in our camera database.  You can also learn more in our K-1 review.

Theta V Update Roadmap Unveiled

New firmware and software features in the coming months

By PF Staff in Pentax Announcements on Dec 25, 2017

Ricoh has announced a new firmware update for the Theta V (version 1.20.1) which adds a host of new features and performance improvements to the camera, and enables future updates via a smartphone (versus just the PC Theta app).  Visit the Theta web site for details on other additions as well as installation instructions. Download the update and learn more here.

Moreover, the firmware update is accompanied by a system roadmap announcement through which Ricoh wants to transform the Theta into a "multi-purpose spherical platform".  This will entail a series of camera firmware, developer plug-in, and Theta app updates over the course of the next 9 months which will collectively enhance the user-friendliness and versatility of the Theta system, transforming it into an extremely powerful imaging tool spanning a wide range of applications.  This will set the Theta apart from the growing number of competing 360-degree cameras that challenge its leading position in this rapidly expanding market segment. 

The planned Theta features are outlined in the table below.  The ones currently under development will be showcased at the upcoming CES show between January 9 and 12, 2018. 

The Theta V is the latest in Ricoh's family of unique 360-degree spherical cameras.  It debuts 4K video recording and streaming, and thus delivers greatly improved video and live view performance compared to previous models.

It is currently on sale for around $375.  Stay tuned for our in-depth review, or learn more about the Theta system as a whole in our review of the Theta SC, the V's predecessor!

Discuss anything Theta-related in our new dedicated Theta forum.

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