Pentax is trying all sorts of ways to differentiate its cameras from the 800-pound gorillas in the camera market, and apparently thinks customization is the best way to go. After allowing customizer the colors on traditionally boring-looking DSLRs with their K-x, they’ve just announced two new compact cameras that allow users to choose their own style. Read more…
Pentax has just launched a new color-happy DSLR to replace the K-x: the Pentax K-r. If you remember, the K-x was offered in a bajillion different body colors — up to 100 in Japan. The company looks like it’s aiming for the same eye-candy loving market with this new camera, unveiling it in red and white in addition to the standard black DSLR body.
The camera packs the same 12.4 megapixel sensor as the K-x, and still records the same 720p video. So what’s improved? For one, maximum ISO has been kicked up to 25600 from 12800. Burst mode has also grown to 6fps from 4.7fps. Finally, the LCD has been upped to 3 inches from 2.7.
The camera ships in October for a price of $800 if you just purchase the body, or $1000 if you’d like a kit lens too.
P.S. The company also announced a new 35mm f/2.4 prime lens today for APS-C DSLRs. It’ll arrive the same time as the K-r for about $220. Read more…
Japanese website sankeibiz.jp is listing September 9th as the date Hoya will be announcing new DSLRs, presumably under its Pentax brand name. Here’s what the line looks like when translated by Google:
Word is that the DSLRs will be the Pentax K-r and Pentax K5. We’re also expecting Pentax to announce a new EVIL camera that is unlike anything currently on the market. If they don’t announce this camera on September 9th, it seems likely that it’ll come shortly before or during Photokina at the end of this month.
Yesterday Citigroup released a research report on Hoya for investors. What was interesting about the report (from a photographer’s standpoint) was a section on page 2 regarding the company’s digital camera business.
From the screenshot above (with the important part highlighted), we find the quote:
Hoya plans to release a mirrorless camera under Pentax brand that is distinct from models already on the market.
Basically it sounds like the company is planning to create a Pentax EVIL camera, and somehow differentiate it from other EVIL offerings currently available.
According to Hoya founder Shigeru Yamanaka’s grandson, Yutaka Yamanaka, Hoya’s acquisition of Pentax may not have been the best business move. The younger Yamanaka said the $1 billion acquisition in 2007 was made mostly to expand Hoya’s involvement in medical optics, but turned out to be “overpriced.” Yamanaka, a Hoya shareholder, went so far as to say it was one of Hoya’s business “failures” which led to financial turbulence over the last three years until Pentax turned profitable.
In spite of Yamanaka’s disapproval of the Pentax purchase, it’s rumored that other companies might be interested in buying up Hoya’s unwanted acquisition. Canon Rumors reports that Canon attempted to buy Pentax, perhaps in order to control more of the DSLR marketshare, in direct competition with Sony. Sony may also be interested in Pentax’s user base. But so far, no word on whether Hoya’s ready to hand off Pentax anytime soon.
Pentax has just released five full resolution photographs taken with their new medium format DSLR, the Pentax 645D. These 40 megapixel photos are 7264×5440, and weigh in at around 17 megabytes each. The sample shot website also has EXIF data, though most of the page is in Japanese. There’s still no word on when (if ever) the 645D will be released outside Japan.
Pentax has unveiled a new “Rainbow” version of the K-x DSLR camera. The limited edition camera will only be available in Japan through Tower Records starting on July 23, 2010.
Only 1,000 of these units will be made, and each one will set you back ¥74,800 (~$800). Aside from the funky colors, the technical specifications of this camera are exactly the same as other K-x DSLRs:
The camera is part of a 2010 campaign with a “Rainbow” theme by Tower Records that also includes footwear, t-shirts, and backpacks.
Here’s the latest innovation from Pentax: a puppet body for your lens cap! The “Cameraman” is a handmade puppet body that comes with a 52mm lens cap showing a smiley face. It costs ¥2,914, or about $32, and is only available for a limited amount of time.
There’s also about 100 different designs you can choose from, though we think it’d be cool if they offered a blank doll for you to draw your own design. It’d be like the Munny for cameras.
Pentax has unveiled the 645D, a medium format DSLR with impressive specs and a (relatively) low price of ~$9,400. The 40 megapixel camera has a 33mm x 44mm sensor, 3 inch LCD screen, and is designed to be compatible with the existing 645 lens system. Features include 11 autofocus points, a dust removal mechanism, 77-segment multi-pattern metering, 1.1 fps, ISO 200-1000 (expandable to 100-1600), a built in HDR mode, and dynamic-range expansion.
Last month, many of you balked at the $19,995 price tag of Hasselblad’s newly announced H4D-40 camera, which also contains a 40MP sensor. However, a vast majority would also consider switching to medium format digital photography if it became more affordable. Looks like things are heading in that direction.
The 645D will be available in May 2010.
Update: Photo Rumors is reporting that there are currently no plans for the 645D to be sold in the US. Here’s what Adorama tweeted:
Pentax’s US rep just told me there are no plans to sell the 645D or 55mm lens in the US. Bummer.
Pentax recently asked a couple production companies to shoot short films demonstrating the HD filming capabilities of the Pentax’s flagship K-7. After the recent flurry of short films shot with Canon and Nikon DSLRs, it seems Pentax would like to remind us all that they’re still in the game. The two films were recently released, and are titled “Uncle Jack” (embedded above) and “The Rider“.
I actually liked “Uncle Jack” enough to want to share it with all of you. Some of the low-light scenes seem to demonstrate some color and noise issues, but the story is pretty creative and does a good job of showing off this camera’s potential.