Looking back at Pentax and PF in 2013
The year 2013 in review
Before we get too far into 2014, we wanted to take a look at the highlights of last year in the Pentax world and on Pentax Forums. There is no question that 2013 was a very exciting year for Pentax users, as lots of exciting cameras and lenses were announced. The new Ricoh Imaging leadership seems to have brought many positive changes and we can't wait to see what the new year might have in store for us. But in the mean time, here are the highlights of 2013!
Noteworthy Products from 2013
A total of 11 lenses (2 Q-mount and 9 K-mount) and 11 cameras (7 compacts and 4 ILC's) were launched by Ricoh Imaging in 2013. 7 of the 9 new K-mount lenses featured the new Pentax HD coating, even though all but one of these lenses were simply new versions of existing lenses like the SMC Limited primes. For a full list of new products, visit our camera and lens databases.
The Pentax K-3 was the much-awaited successor to the K-5 family of cameras, which dates all the way back to 2010. Since its launch in October, the K-3 has received positive reviews all accross the net, and it has been praised as one of the best APS-C cameras of 2013. To learn more, check out our Pentax K-3 review.
Pentax K-50 & K-500
The K-500 represents the return of Pentax to the entry-level DSLR market. This camera is nearly identical to the Pentax K-50, which was also released this year as a successor to the weather-sealed K-30. The K-50 and K-500 have a more traditional external appearance than the K-30, even though all three cameras share the same control layout. Learn more about the K-50 and K-500 in our in-depth reviews.
Pentax took us by surprise when it announced the Q7 back in June. This extremely compact camera was fitted with a 1/1.7" sensor, a noteworthy upgrade over the 1/2.3" sensor found in the earlier Q10 and Q bodies. Check our our in-depth review to see why we liked this camera so much more than its predecessors.
Last but not least, we have the Ricoh GR, a truly-pocketable "pro" compact camera fitted with the same filterless APS-C sensor as the K-5 IIs. Like the K-3, the GR sparked a lot of buzz when it was released, and it continues to impress enthusiasts photographers who use it. The performance that this small and light camera delivers was never before seen in a compact camera, and we're sure you'll agree after reading our review.
Events & Giveaways
In 2013, we gave away a host of prizes through various contests and giveaways on our site. We'll be sure to keep the ball rolling in 2014!
- $1800 in B&H gift cards: Monthy photo contests
- 12 packs of Red River photo paper: Monthly photo contests
- ArcSoft software: Post-Processing competition
- Pentax K-50 (2): Raffle
- DA 70mm Limited lens: T-shirt design contest
- Pentax K-30: 2-million post giveaway
- DA* 16-50mm lens: Heie's FEARLESS competiton
The 2013 CP+ tradeshow in Japan was nowhere near as exciting as the 2012 for Pentax (or for any camera manufacturer, for that matter), but we still managed to interview Pentax representatives and discuss various products and business decisions.
Even though lots of exciting Pentax products were announced in the early fall, Pentax had no official booth at the NYC-based PhotoPlus tradeshow this year. We were still greeted by a small Pentax stand while at the show, however- a pleasant surprise! Check out our report from the show to see what else was on display.
At Pentax Forums, we're always hard at work behind-the-scenes to improve your everyday browsing experience and to enhance site functionality.
We made a number of minor enhancements to the forum throughout the course of the year, including:
- Attachment support in Quick Replies
- New simplified forum categorization
- Improved forum search engine
- Better stability & faster server response time
In late October we rolled out a modern mobile site for both our homepage and forum. The new mobile skin simplified browsing and greatly improved readability of our news, reviews, and forum threads.
This year, we plan on making our photo gallery, albums, and review databases mobile-friendly as well.
In early 2013 we started a Youtube channel featuring Pentax and photographic tutorials, reviews, and technical videos. Since its launch, our channel has gotten more than a quarter million views. We're looking forward to adding lots of other exciting videos this year! Below is one of our most popular tutorials:
Several other Pentax-specific tutorials can be found via the channel homepage on Youtube.
Yes, we know many of our members dread the phenomenon known as Social Media. But there are thousands of others who discover our site and content through SM alone. We're proud to say that at the end of 2013, our Facebook page had almost 75,000 Likes: almost four times as many as at the end of 2012, and now more than the official Pentax Facebook page.
To conclude, 2013 has undoubtedly been a great year here at Pentax Forums. We'd like to thank everyone who joined us and everyone who supported us, and we're looking forward to another great year in 2014 for us and for Ricoh Imaging. Now that Pentax has all important the bases covered in the APS-C market, perhaps 2014 will finally be the much-awaited "full frame year". But we'll just have to wait and see!