Posts Tagged ‘Pentax’

Pentax Announces X90 Megazoom Camera

Pentax_X90_3QLeftView_FlashUp_sm

Pentax has just announced the new X90—a compact camera with a D-SLR-like body and a 26X megazoom, super-telephoto lens (26-676mm equivalent). It also boasts a 12MP image sensor and triple shake reduction technology, as well as Eye-Fi wireless SD memory card connectivity. The X90 will be available in April for $399.95.

Pentax_X90_LeftSideView_ZoomOut_sm

From Pentax:

GOLDEN, CO. (February 24, 2010)…PENTAX Imaging Company announced the latest model in the manufacturer’s megazoom digital camera line: the PENTAX X90. Featuring an extra-wide zoom, longer battery life than its predecessor and an electronic viewfinder, the X90 delivers effortless picture-taking in a wide variety of situations to photographers of all levels. The key feature of the PENTAX X90 is the 26X megazoom, super-telephoto lens (26-676mm equivalent) also designed with a Macro mode that focuses to less than one inch away to capture images of subjects that are near or far.

Pentax_X90_BackView_sm
Other important features of the PENTAX X90 include:

12.1 megapixel sensor, ideal for large prints or cropping flexibility

2.7 inch LCD with anti-reflection coating or electronic viewfinder with new diopter adjustment for composing and playback of images and video

Eye-Fi wireless SD memory card connectivity for built-in Wi-Fi capability to transfer photos and videos from the camera to a computer or an online sharing site such as Picasaweb, Flickr, Facebook and YouTube. (Eye-fi cards sold separately.)

HDMI port plays back beautiful high resolution images and video on HDTVs

A perfect blend of digital compact and SLR technology including powerful automatic operation or creative manual and priority modes

Triple Shake Reduction technology includes a high quality mechanical sensor-shift SR mechanism, Digital Pixel Track and high ISO SR, and Movie SR

High speed continuous shooting up to 11 frames per second

Fast Face Detection technology quickly finds up to 32 faces

Powerful, lightweight Lithium Ion battery and improved power efficiency.

Share

PMA ’10 Sneak Peek

DP_PMA_IMG_0305

A day before the PMA show officially opens here in Anaheim, the press gets a “sneak peek” at an eponymously named event. Today, at that event, I got to see a lot of the cameras that have been recently announced by Pentax, Nikon, Samsung and Olympus, and several new PMA announcements from the likes of HP and GE. This is also the venue where I get the time to check out gear like bags and innovative new ideas from smaller companies, such as PhotoFramed.com.

DP_PMA_IMG_0324

I got to get my hands on newly announced Pentax cameras, including the teeny tiny, adorably retro-looking Optio I-10; the brand new Samsung TL350, which was just announced this morning; and the Nikon COOLPIX S8000, with its ultra bright 3-inch LCD screen that’s similar to that of the pro level D3s D-SLR—which I also got to check out.

DP_PMA_IMG_0332

New from GE (General Imaging) is a line of super automatic point-and-shoot digicams—meaning they leave almost nothing to the photographer other than to press the shutter release. The memory is all built-in, as well as the battery, but General Imaging says that’s what consumers asked for. Point. And. Shoot. The most important feature of these cameras, for the fashionistas they’re geared toward, anyway, is that they were co-designed by Jason Wu, an exciting young New York fashion designer, and feature an assortment of color choices and leather finishes.

DP_PMA_IMG_0327

New from HP is a lineup of affordable point-and-shoots, including the 12.2MP PW550 with 5x optical zoom and the 12MP CW450 with a 2.7-inch touch LDC.

slingshot_family_595w

DP_PMA_IMG_0312

The just announced Lowepro SlingShot AW series was the most exciting bag selection I saw today. Lowepro’s SlingShots have been wildly popular with photographers since they first came out five years ago because of the way they allow for rapid access to cameras and gear. For this new generation, they’ve made a few upgrades based on consumer feedback from the field to further enhance that experience, including the ability to carry a smaller tripod on the outside, and interior space for personal items besides camera gear.

Check back for more in-depth, hands-on looks at new cameras and gear over the next couple of days, as we traverse the crowded landscape of the PMA show floor.

Share

Pentax Announces Three New Cameras

Pentax_Optio I10_PearlWhite_3QView_sm

Pentax‘s new 12.1MP Optio I-10 seems to have taken its style cues from Leica, the way Sigma’s DP2 and Olympus’ E-P2 recently have—conjuring the classic film SLRs.  Also announced were the equally retro looking 12.1MP Optio H90 and the super affordable 10MP Optio E90.

From Pentax:

PENTAX Imaging Company announced three new digital cameras with designs so unique that not one can be labeled as “just another silver digital camera.”
Most unique is the slim and stylish PENTAX Optio I-10 with a design inspired by the classic look of film SLR cameras.  This head-turning first model in the new Optio I line features a flash unit and speaker in the upper mid-section of the SLR-shaped body while the camera’s front panel is embellished with high quality leatherette texture and the classic PENTAX logo placed front and center. The Optio I-10 features a wide angle, 5X optical zoom lens (28mm-140mm equivalent), a 12.1 megapixel  high resolution CCD sensor, a 2.7 inch widescreen LCD, and HD video capture at 720p and 30 FPS.  For optimal image capture, the camera features a mechanical sensor shift Shake Reduction system and improved Pixel Track Shake Reduction technology for blur-free images as well as Smile Capture, Blink Detection and improved Face Detection that spots up to 32 faces including dogs and cats.  The Optio I-10 is remote control compatible (sold separately) and will ship in February 2010 in a choice of Classic Black and Pearl White for $299.95 USD.

Pentax_Optio H90_Silver_Orange_3QView_sm

PENTAX also announced the Optio H90 digital camera with a clean, contemporary design that is as in style in a museum of modern art as at a concert or sporting event.  Developed with the concept of “functional beauty” in mind, the fashionable and affordable Optio H90 offers a full assortment of features to capture a variety of subjects and scenes.  This first model in the new Optio H line features a wide angle 5X optical zoom lens (28mm-140mm equivalent), a 12.1 megapixel high resolution CCD sensor,  and widescreen HD video capture at 720p and 30 FPS.  Improved Pixel Track Shake Reduction technology captures blur-free images and the Face Detection, Smile Capture, and Blink Detection functions help users create better portraits.  The Optio H90 will ship in February 2010 in a choice of Orange-Silver, Matte Black and Ceramic White for $179.95.
Both the PENTAX Optio I-10 and Optio H90 offer Eye-Fi connectivity capability for use with Eye-Fi wireless memory cards.

17911_17916_Optio Pentax_E90_BlackAndWineRed_3QLeftSideView_sm

The latest model in the easy-to-operate, affordable Optio E series is the PENTAX Optio E90.  Priced at just $99.95 USD, the Optio E90 features a 10 megapixel CCD, a 3X wide angle zoom (32mm-96mm equivalent) and a large 2.7 inch LCD housed in a luxurious rubber coated body for a sure grip.

Share

Pentax K-x Review

K-x_White_DA L 18-55mm_3QView_sm

Text and Photos by Allison Gibson

An Intuitive Entry-Level D-SLR with Surprising Features

Walk down the street with the white Pentax K-x D-SLR in hand, and you’ll likely attract the attention of enthusiastic strangers who will stop in their tracks to ogle the camera, or even shout compliments from across the street. But even beyond its eye-catching looks (it also comes in black and a limited edition red or navy blue color), the K-x is attractive to a large number of consumers because it offers the market an affordable entry-level D-SLR with High Definition video recording and a built-in HDR processing feature. Because the $650 MSRP includes the body and kit lens, the Pentax K-x is more affordable than many new entry-level D-SLRs, including the Nikon D5000 ($630, body only) and the Canon EOS Rebel XSi ($699, kit).

An Ideal Entry-Level D-SLR

IMGP0161_sm

Camera manufacturers have begun to hone in on a growing, and long ignored, demographic: the Pro-Amateur, or “Prosumer.” This photographer finds the typical point-and-shoot digicam lacking in features, but isn’t yet ready to move on to a pro-level D-SLR. The Pentax K-x might offer perfect entrée into the SLR world because it boasts a few of the advanced features of its big sister, Pentax’s flagship D-SLR, the K-7, yet it also offers features like Auto Picture and Scene Modes, which are typically found in many consumer-level compact cameras.

We tested the K-x with its kit lens, the limited edition white, weather resistant DA 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6. While shooting, we focused on how the camera could introduce D-SLR photography to those new to it by experimenting with features that might serve as good learning tools—shooting with capture modes like Shutter and Aperture Priority, and shooting in RAW+ mode for more control of exposure in processing.

The K-x’s 2.7-inch LCD features Live View, which people used to point-and-shoot cameras have come to expect, but the feature is only now becoming common in D-SLRs. The LCD also has adjustable brightness and Face Detection Auto Focus for up to 16 faces. The optical viewfinder is small, offering only 96% coverage, but is still preferable to the LCD for composition.

At 4.8-inches wide by 3.6-inches high, and weighing only 20.5 ounces fully loaded, the camera is easily light and compact enough for one-handed shooting, and won’t weigh you down when it’s around your neck for long periods of time. The grip is substantial enough that the camera feels secure in-hand and there is a nice, large space on the back of the camera for the thumb to rest, where it won’t accidentally bump buttons. It seems like a triviality, but that happens too often the way some other manufacturers’ models are set up. The K-x is compatible with every Pentax lens ever produced.

A Full Range Of Features

Replacing the 10.2-megapixel Pentax K2000, the K-x boasts a 12.4MP CMOS sensor with sensor-shift Shake Reduction. One of the major upgrades from the K2000 is the ability to capture widescreen HD videos in 720p resolution (1280×720) at 24 frames per second (fps), and sound with the built-in microphone. Other new, more advanced features are borrowed from the pro-level K-7, including: built-in HDR (High Dynamic Range) image capture, which blends three bracketed images into a single picture for low, mid-range and highlight detail, and also a faster, more responsive11-point wide angle SAFOX VIII auto focus system. The PENTAX PRIME II image processing engine has a fast, 4.7 fps capture speed and a top shutter speed of 1/6000 of a second.

Digital Art Filters

PentaxKx_Filters

The K-x also offers Creative Processing and Filter modes, which Pentax boasts as offering photographers “the ability to explore artistic freedom through unique special effects.” These digital filter modes appeal to the photographer who is new to shooting with a D-SLR because they offer in-camera effects that a more advanced professional photographer might seek to capture with alternative optics or manual adjustments—rather than through digital manipulation—like for instance, the “Fish-eye” effect.

We’ve seen creative art filters in D-SLRs before, most notably in Olympus’ E-series lineup. As we pointed out in our hands-on coverage of the Olympus E-620 mid-range D-SLR and even the more advanced E-30 D-SLR, built-in creative filters can offer surprisingly stunning results. DP Technical Editor, Tony Gomez, was particularly fond of the “Grainy Film” black-and-white filter offered in both Olympus cameras. However, I wasn’t instantly impressed with many of the digital art filters in the K-x. To begin with, the feature is buried deep within the digital menu options in the camera, which is not the place a major selling-point feature like this should be hidden. There is a “Green Button” on the top of the camera near the shutter, which can be customized to be a quick-jump to any feature in the menu, so I ended up setting it to jump to Digital Filters after growing tired of going through the menu each time I wanted to change the filter. The Digital Filters that the K-x offers are: Toy Camera, High Contrast, Soft, Starburst, Retro, Color Extract, Fisheye, and room for eight Custom options. The Fisheye filter was one that I was initially most excited to try out, however I would hope to see it tweaked for the next generation of this camera because it was less than impressive. There are three levels of intensity that can be set with the filter, though the effects of each did not really resemble the wide, hemispherical results of shooting with an actual fisheye lens—rather the images appeared flat with only an abrupt bulge in the center of the frame. The Color Extract filter was much more successful. The processed images appear completely desaturated save for the one color you set it to focus on (there are six colors to choose from).

Shining in Low-Light

IMGP0407_sm

Where the K-x shined was auto focus, which captured moving subjects very well, and in low-light, where it did well capturing low-noise images at higher ISOs. Overall, the Pentax K-x is a feature-rich entry-level D-SLR that has impressive image quality and bonus features such as HD video and HDR capture. The digital filters have the potential in the next generation to be outstanding, though they leave much to be desired for now. The compact design and Auto Picture shooting modes make it attractive to first-time D-SLR photographers, who will learn a lot about D-SLR photography from experimenting with this camera.

Pentax K-x

  • MSRP:
  • $649.95 (comes with a DA L 18-55mm lens)
  • Size/Weight:
  • 4.8”W x 3.6”H x 2.7”D; 18.2 oz., loaded
  • Image Sensor:
  • 12.4-megapixels
  • Maximum Resolution:
  • 4288 x 2848
  • Still Recording Format:
  • RAW (PEF, DNG), JPG, AVI
  • Memory:
  • SD/SDHC
  • Display:
  • 2.7-inch LCD (230,000 pixels); Optical Viewfinder
  • Manual Exposure Control:
  • Full manual, aperture-priority, shutter speed-priority, sensitivity-priority
  • Exposure Metering:
  • Multi-pattern, center-weight, spot
  • Special Features:
  • Live View, Face Detection, Scene Modes, Creative Filter Modes
  • Video Recording Mode:
  • 720p/24fps in .AVI format
  • Provided Accessories:
  • 4 AA Lithium Batteries, shoulder strap, USB cable, Hotshoe cover, Eyecup, Body mount cover, printed manual and a CD-ROM
  • Power Source:
  • AA batteries
  • Contact:
  • www.pentaximaging.com
Share

Continuing the Discussion: The Future of Point-and-Shoot Cameras

question_349497988_fb751a5e3a_b
photo © Stefan Baudy (Flickr creative commons)

UPDATE: In order to get several perspectives on our discussion about the future of point-and-shoot cameras (see original post about the topic below),  I approached Ed Lee, Director of Consumer Imaging Services Group for InfoTrends to get his “insider’s” take on the issue. He had a lot of great insight, and some very explicit views about the digicam VS camera phone questions we raised, which would be interesting to both people in the camera manufacturing business and camera consumers. Here’s what Ed had to say:

“Point and shoots will continue to hold a strong position in the digital camera market. Camera phones will co-exist. While some people will decide to forego a digital camera and just use the one on their phone, others will be inspired by their camera phone photography to go out and buy a digital still camera. As for sophistication, digital still cameras will continue to offer better features than camera phones because they are dedicated devices and do not have to make compromises because of other product constraints. They also continue to work hard at staying one step ahead of camera phones, for instance, digital still cameras offer 14 MP resolution today and camera phones are just getting into the 5 MP range. Digital cameras have a good flash, which when used drains the battery, something that phones cannot afford to happen, if people want to still use the phone function and have a long idle time between charges. Decent 10 MP digital cameras can be purchased for well under $100 now, so in many instances, the up charge to buy a more fully-featured camera phone will far exceed what an entry-level digital camera will cost. So besides the integration feature, some will not see the benefit of paying the extra money. 5 years from now, it may not matter what device you use to capture the image. The key will be what can you do with the image after capture. That is where the real value begins.”

Now we want to hear what you have to say about this topic. Do you think Ed Lee’s predictions are correct? Do you see yourself continuing to use digital point-and-shoot cameras down the road even as your cell phone’s camera advances it’s technology? Comment below or join the discussion at the DP Facebook Page.

Original Post:

FutureOfP&S_6

As fans of both the art of photography and the complex tools that help us to capture images–namely cameras–we at Digital Photographer would like to pose a question:

What do you think the future holds for point-and-shoot cameras, when it’s possible that in, say, five years time the cameras built into cell phones will meet the level of shooting sophistication of most consumer level digicams? Will point-and-shoot digital cameras as we know them today become irrelevant or, perhaps, extinct?

So called “instant cameras” have been around on the consumer level since 1948, when the Polaroid Model 95 went on sale (ref. The Impossible Project); and beginning in 1963, the Kodak Instamatic began to make photography accessible to the masses.

iphone3gs

As it stands today, there are over 130 new compact digital cameras on the market, offered by Nikon, Canon, Sony, Olympus, Pentax, Samsung, Fujifilm and Kodak, and each of these manufacturers seems to be in a never-ending race to crank out more. Meanwhile, most anyone who owns an Apple iPhone (like myself) would agree that the image quality of the camera feature in the phone is inferior to even the lowest level point-and-shoot digital camera on the market. Sure, the 3MP camera boasts a built-in auto focus (iPhone 3GS) and a tap-induced digital zoom, but most digital cameras being produced by the above named companies come standard with, at the very least, an 8MP image sensor and 3x optical zoom. Oh, and there’s also always a little helpful feature called flash, which the iPhone still lacks. But the iPhone does record video as well as stills–something that a large number of the current point-and-shoot cameras on the market cannot also claim.

Join the discussion by posting a comment with your thoughts here, or at the DP page on Facebook.

Share
Page 3 of 512345