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.

April "Boats" Contest Finalists Announced

Vote for the overall winner!

By PF Staff in Photo Contests on May 15, 2018

After the end of the nomination phase of last month's official "Boats" photo contest, we're now ready to announce our top 15 finalists!  Click on the link below to view the photos in full size and cast your vote in the poll:

Vote for your favorite photo in the poll

As usual for our monthly photo contests, voting closes in a week, and then we'll announce the winners.

Don't miss our May "People - Candid or Street Photography" photo contest, which closes to submissions at the end of the month.

Rupert Memorial Photo Contest Winners

Top "backyard wild animals" photos

By PF Staff in Giveaways and Events on May 2, 2018

Late last year, we lost Rupert, a passionate Pentaxian who became a dear friend to much of the Pentax Forums community over the course of more than 11 years as a member.  Rupert had been a big part of PF since the start; he originally joined just one day after we launched the site.

To honor his memory, we launched a special memorial photo contest back in February with Rupert's favorite subject matter as the theme: "Backyard Wild Animals".  Since then we saw some 200 submissions by 155 users.  All of these wonderful photos reminded us of Rupert's fun and positive spirit. If you'd like to see them all, feel free to browse the submissions in the special gallery or directly on the forum.

Today, we're excited to announce the contest winners!  While our judges were of course looking at photographic merit, more importantly these photos embody Rupert's style of capturing pictures of wildlife frequenting his back yard.

Winner

All our judges agree that this photo was undeniably something that Rupert would love.  Thus, Pearsaab is our winner and the recipient of the Otis Memorial Pentaxian forum account upgrade, featuring unlimited attachment space to share photos.  Pearsaab adds:

"Every time I see a squirrel I think of Rupert. He brought so much fun and laughter to the forum and will be immensely missed. I have no doubt he is chasing squirrels and making heaven a better place. Rupert will always be in our thoughts!!!"

"No other picture would do justice" by pearsaab

2nd Place

"Shooting through" flowers gives this photo a very special look that could be common in a backyard setting.  Robg, our runner-up, will also be receiving the same forum account upgrade.

Crimson Rosella by RobG

Announcing "People" - Our May 2018 Photo Contest

Win prizes in our contest for May 2018

By PF Staff in Photo Contests on May 1, 2018

We're herewith announcing our monthly photo contest for May. The theme for this month is "People - Candid or Street Photography".

The topic this month is "People", narrowed down to people shot in candid or on the street. Good luck!

First prize is a $50 gift card to B&H Photo, second prize is a one year forum account upgrade, and third prize is a box of photo paper form Red River.

The official contest rules are found here.

Click here to submit a photo for the contest.

If you haven't done so already we invite you to browse our special gallery of last month's photo contest submissions and nominate your favorites.

Pentax K-1 II vs K-1 Noise Performance

A hands-on comparison in RAW and JPEG mode

By PF Staff in Hands-On Tests on Apr 28, 2018

In this article, we continue our hands-on comparison of the image quality of the Pentax K-1 with the new Pentax K-1 II, with a closer look at noise performance (earlier this week, we tested the new hand-held Dynamic Pixel Shift Resolution mode).

While both cameras share the same 36-megapixel sensor and PRIME IV engine, the K-1 II also incorporates Pentax's Image Accelerator Unit, which improves signal-to-noise ratio at the time of capture, and thus promises less noisy files in both JPEG and RAW mode.  Let's take a look at some photos!


First test scene

Our first test scene was shot at ISO 6400, 2s, and F4.5 with the D FA* 70-200mm F2.8 lens.  Both cameras were set to RAW+, with auto white balance, "bright" custom image with default settings, no in-camera noise reduction, and no lens corrections.

We then developed both cameras' RAW files with the same lighting settings, no luminance noise reduction, and only baseline (25%) color noise reduction in Adobe Camera Raw.  100% crops follow.

K-1 Raw (ISO 6400)
K-1 II Raw

Here we observe that the K-1 II indeed produces files with less noise straight out of camera.  The Image Accelerator clearly has an effect on RAW files.  At the same time, though, fine edge details are slightly clearer in the K-1's more noisy file, and perhaps the shadows have a hint more detail.

Image A
Image B

In JPEG mode the K-1 II is a clearer winner, with hardly any pixel-level noise despite the rather high ISO that we used (and no in-camera noise reduction).  However, as we saw in the previous comparison, the K-1 does render fine details more clearly.

To verify these findings, we returned to the studio and shot the same test setup that we used for our earlier DPSR comparison.  Note that we repeated all of the tests shown a second time in order to ensure that the experimental setup itself was sound.


Studio Test Scene

As in the outdoor test, both cameras were configured with the same settings: no noise reduction, no lens corrections, and RAW+.  We used the D FA 50mm F2.8 macro at an aperture setting of F11, focused manually using live view with magnification.

Let's start with the raw files as before.  The comparisons below span the ISO range common to the two cameras (i.e. 100 to 204800).

K-1 (ISO 100)
K-1 II
K-1 (ISO 200)
K-1 II
K-1 (ISO 400)
K-1 II
K-1 (ISO 800)
K-1 II
K-1 (ISO 1600)
K-1 II
K-1 (ISO 3200)
K-1 II
K-1 (ISO 6400)
K-1 II
K-1 (ISO 12800)
K-1 II
K-1 (ISO 25600)
K-1 II
K-1 (ISO 51200)
K-1 II
K-1 (ISO 102400)
K-1 II
K-1 (ISO 204800)
K-1 II

As a supplement to these unedited comparisons, we also ran the ISO 3200 raw files through the latest version of Photoshop CC in an effort to get the best possible result from each camera (within a reasonably short amount of time, of course).

K-1 Edited RAW (ISO 3200)
K-1 II

The two cameras are very close even here, but subjectively we would say that the K-1 II has the advantage after all is said and done.  The K-1 II also appears to produce more natural colors, and shows better clarity, but this may be due to a slight variation in white balance at the time of capture (and subsequently during development).

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