April 14th, 2014

New 51MP Pentax 645Z Medium Format Camera with CMOS Sensor Shoots HD Video and Will Sell for $8,500

645Z_wo_Food_Pentax became the latest company to introduce a medium format camera with a CMOS sensor tonight but the new model comes with several major twists. For one, the new 51.4-megapixel Pentax 645Z camera can shoot full HD video, which is a first for a medium format camera.

The Pentax 645Z is also one of the fastest medium format cameras on the market, capable of shooting up to three full RAW images per second. In contrast, the Phase One IQ250 digital back and Hasselblad H5Dc camera system, which both use CMOS sensors, can shoot at up to 1.5fps.

The Pentax 645Z is also weather sealed with 76 seals, making it cold-resistant, weather-resistant and dustproof; and it sports a 3.2-inch, tilting LCD screen on back with 1,037,000 dots of resolution, which are both firsts for a medium format camera.

Competitively Priced
But the biggest thing that differentiates the 645Z from its competitors might be its low price for a medium format camera. When it goes on sale in June 2014, the Pentax 645Z will sell for $8,499.95. In comparison, the Phase IQ250 retails for $34,990, and the Hasselblad H5Dc is selling for $27,500.

Read the rest of this story here.

March 5th, 2014

New Pro Cameras and Lighting Gear Debut at WPPI Show in Las Vegas

Nikon-D4S-1I’ve been pounding the WPPI show floor in Las Vegas this week for our sister publication, Rangefinder magazine, covering what’s new in the world of photography gear. Here’s a rundown of some of the highlights from WPPI, which saw quite a few new pro cameras debut in the U.S. at the show.

Follow the links for the full posts on Rangefinder’s blog, Photoforward.

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October 7th, 2013

Ricoh Imaging Intros fast, 24mp Pentax K-3 with Selectable AA Filter

K3_18135_front1The new 24 megapixel Pentax K-3 has just been announced, with continuous shooting at 8.3 frames-per-second and a twist on the current trend of DSLRs without an anti-aliasing filter. With the K-3, users can toggle the AA filter on or off via the camera’s shake reduction system. It’s a great concept but, of course, we’ll have to wait until we get a K-3 in hand to see how well it works. Nevertheless, it’s an interesting option to have.

Other highlights of this weather resistant, APS-C DSLR include a newly designed AF module with 24 AF sensors along with a new real time scene analysis system for more accurate exposure, white balance and AF.

Rather than integrating WiFi, Pentax has opted to use a FLU card. A 16GB SDHC FLU card will be available via the Ricoh Imaging website and retailers nationwide. By connecting wireless to a compatible PC or device via a web browser, users can view images, trigger the shutter and shift the AF point. It’s a step in the right direction but is a little disappointing (we’re getting spoiled by built-in WiFi in other cameras). The K-3 is equipped with dual SD/SDHC/SDXC slots, though, which is always a good thing.

On the video side, the K-3 is equipped with headphone and stereo microphone jacks as well as the ability to manually adjust audio recording levels. Pentax has tweaked the camera’s interval movie mode to capture a series of 4K (3840 x 2160) video clips at a fixed interval.

Optional accessories for the K-3 include focusing screens, a magnifying eyepiece, remotes and battery grip, among others.

 

 

HD_55-300WR

 

 

 

Today, Ricoh-imaging has also introduced a new, weather resistant lens. This 55-300mm, f/4-5.8 ED WR lens is optimized for use with ASP-C DSLRs.

Both the camera and the lens will be available for purchase in November at retailers and at www.us.ricoh-imaging.com.

 

 

 

Price:

K-3 (body only): $1300 ($1600 for limited premium silver edition)

K-3 with DA 18-135mm WR lens: $1700
55-30mm WR lens: $450

Battery grip: $230

FLU 16GB SDHC card: $99

August 27th, 2013

Ricoh Introduces Prime Lenses and Weather-Sealed Flashes for Pentax Cameras

Ricoh Imaging Americas Corporation (the company formerly known as Pentax Ricoh) just announced five new prime lenses and two new weather-sealed flash units for Pentax DSLR Cameras.

Five New Prime Lenses

HD Pentax DA 70mm lens

HD Pentax DA 70mm lens

The K-mount, HD Pentax DA Limited series lenses include a 15mm f/4 ED AL, 21mm f/3.2 AL, 35mm f/2.8 macro, 50mm f/2.8 and a 70mm f/2.4. Lens barrels, hoods and caps are constructed of high-grade aluminum and the glass is treated with an HD coating to help reduce flare and ghosting. (That little red anodized marking on the front of the focus ring indicates the lens is treated with the HD coating.) Additionally, each lens is designed with a rounded diaphragm to optimize bokeh. All lenses will be available in silver or black in September.

 

 

Prices:

  • 40mm f/2.8: $550
  • 15mm f/4: $700
  • 21mm f/3.2: $700
  • 35mm f/2.8 macro: $750
  • 70mm f/2.4: $750

Two New Weather-Sealed Flashes

RESIZED Flash_backside_image

Ricoh imaging also introduced two flash units for Pentax interchangeable lens cameras: the AF540F GZ II and the AF360F GZ II. Like the Pentax medium format 645D and some Pentax DSLRs, the flash units are weather-sealed. With the addition of an LED, the flash units can produce a constant source of light for video and stills. The LED can also be used to produce catchlights and as an AF assist light (with updated firmware on the 645D as well as most K-series DSLRs). Nine custom flash functions, wireless flash and a host of other features are available on both flashes. Powered by four AA batteries, the flash units will ship in September.

Prices:

  • AF360F GZ II: $430
  • AF540F GZ II: $630

http://www.us.ricoh-imaging.com

June 13th, 2013

New Colorful DSLRs And Q Mirrorless Body From Pentax

Pentax Q7 Color CombosHave you been looking for a camera that offers 120 color combinations? Then Pentax has got some news for you with both DSLR and Mirrorless bodies that can be configured in all sorts of beautiful or garish color combos.

Pentax has announced two new 16MP DSLR bodies, the K50 and the K-500, that are both essentially updates to its existing K-30 DSLR. The K-50 replaces the K-30 “edgy” styling with a more traditional DSLR look along with adding improved image processing and upping maximum ISO to 51200. “The K-50 introduces features that raise the bar in the mid-level DSLR class,” said Jim Malcolm, executive vice president, PENTAX RICOH IMAGING AMERICA. “Not only do the hardware and software specs outclass competitors, the Color to Order system is an industry first making it a truly unique offering among a sea of similarity.” The K-500 is similar to the K-50, with lack of weather sealing being the main difference.

Pentax also announced a new body in its Q mirrorless lineup, the Q7. The Q7 sees a number of new features, an advanced shake reduction system, a new electronic level, an improved Quick dial, and so on. But the most promising feature of the Q7 is that its sensor has been increased from 1/2.3-inch to 1/1.7-inch chip. This isn’t a small thing, it’s a 52% increase in surface area, and is the same size sensor used in Canon’s widely loved s110. “Don’t be fooled by the Q7’s small size and 120 color combinations,” said Jim Malcolm, executive vice president, PENTAX RICOH IMAGING. “As the smallest and lightest compact system camera in the world, this tiny gem is packed with serious specs and capabilities including a number of digital filters and smart effects.”

The Pentax K-50 and Q7 are available now via pentaximaging.com (and nationwide retailers in July/Aug) in 120 color combos for list prices of $499 and $699 respectively. The K-500 will be available next month and has a list price of $599.

pentaximaging.com