Pentax Full Frame Camera

Pentax officially announced their first full frame camera.  Packed with technology and teased for the last year we now get an official look, price and release date.Pentax K-1 DSLR Camera - Available April 5 for $1,796.95 - Preorder from B&H PhotoPentax K-1

  • 36.4MP Full-Frame CMOS Sensor
  • PRIME IV Image Processor
  • 3.2" Cross-Tilt LCD Monitor (this looks cool- see photo below)
  • Full HD 1080p30 Video Recording (not 1080p60 is a bit disappointing but not a deal breaker)
  • SAFOX 12 33-Point AF Sensor
  • Native ISO 204800; 4.5 fps Shooting
  • 5-Axis In-Body Shake Reduction (excellent)
  • Super Resolution & AstroTracer Modes (Uses the Sensor Stabilization to do COOL stuff)
  • Built-In Wi-Fi & GPS; Dual SD Card Slots
  • Weather-Sealed Magnesium Alloy Body
This camera looks excellent - especially for landscape and astrophotography (star filled skies) Why?   The camera uses the GPS and the in-body camera stabilization system to move the camera’s sensor during lengthy exposures so as to mimic the earth’s rotation and capture celestial objects such as stars and planets as points of light rather than elongated trails.  Typically when photographing the stars you need to follow the 500 rule.  Simply- you need to keep your shutter speed below a certain number to avoid the dots of the stars turning into smears.  Being limited to shorter shutter means you need to raise your ISO and/or use a wide aperture.  And this is all with wide angle lenses. With a telephoto your shutter speed needs to be even shorter - making it difficult to capture detailed celestial objects like the Magellanic clouds.Spinning_Under_Galaxies___500pxDepending on your location in the world you can use the Astrotracer function to beat the 500 rule and shoot for as long as 5 minutes!!An additional trick for higher resolution landscapes - Super Resolution mode that composites multiple images together for maximum sharpness and reduced noise, again using the sensor shift technology to accomplish this!It will also use the in-body IS to help you level the horizon!Pentax has always provided excellent value cameras and while the lenses selection might not be as large as Canon or Nikon they have a decent collection and even this full frame camera has 9 lenses available including what looks to be a nice wide angle 15-30 f/2.8 lens that perfectly compliments the body features that make this camera awesome for shooting starry night skies.So why does Pentax(owned by Ricoh) have such a small market share? About 7% in 2015. I don't know - bad marketing, perceived lack of lenses? If you have better ideas leave the comments below. The end result is while these cameras are often excellent values - providing excellent image quality, feature packed in quality made bodies - the general ecosystem feels much smaller and I think this prevents consumer purchase/market growth.A few additional points- small white LED lighting makes operating this camera in the dark easier - lit buttons and lens mount make me feel like this camera has everything the astrophotographer could want - also happens to be weather sealed and offered with weather sealed lenses.
Are you interested? Let me know in the comments.   It certainly is priced competively and as mentioned above I expect the sensor to produce excellent images.  The first camera I would actually compare this too is the Sony A7II which also offers a full frame stabilized sensor - though none of the neat tricks the Pentax offers.Also announced Pentax HD PENTAX-D FA 28-105mm f/3.5-5.6 ED DC WR Lens - Just $499Pentax K-1 DSLR Camera - Available April 5 for $1,796.95 - Preorder from B&H Photo

Venus Optics Laowa 60mm f/2.8 2X Ultra-Macro Samples

It is not the best time of year for macro photography but I have been doing my best to showcase the Venus Optics 60mm f/2.8 2x macro. Most true macros are capable of achieving 1:1. The Venus Optics can go 2:1 "Ultra-macro" is the term they used, maybe made up? Either way I have been really impressed with this affordable lens. It is completely manual- AF and aperture and does not communicate with camera so you don't get aperture data but the lens is sharp and at 60m fairly easy to work with. I have been mostly using it on a Sony A7RII with E-mount to EF Adapter. Most of the samples below are straight out of camera.Would you like to see a full hands-on review? Leave a comment below.Venus Optics 60mm f/2.8 Ultra MacroBuy the Venus Optics 60mm from B&H or Direct From Venus Optics $379 available in Canon, Nikon and Pentax mounts.Click any image in the slideshow to see a larger version. Full resolution RAW images are available below.

Pentax K-3 II DSLR Camera Official Announcement

Pentax has announced the K-3 II DSLRScreenshot 2015-04-23 10.14.24 Screenshot 2015-04-23 10.15.04 Screenshot 2015-04-23 10.14.44 Pentax K-II K-3 II Specs:

  • 24.35 MP APS-C CMOS Sensor
  • PRIME III Image Processor
  • Anti-Aliasing Filter Simulator
  • 3.2" 1.03m-Dot LCD Monitor
  • Full HD 1080p Video Recording at 30 fps
  • SAFOX11 27-Point AF, 25 Cross Sensors
  • ISO 100-51200, 8.3 fps Shooting
  • 86k-Pixel RGB Exposure Metering
  • Built-In GPS, Compass, and AstroTracer
  • Shake Reduction & Pixel Shift Resolution

Shipping in Mid May 2015 - Preorder from B&H PHotoPentax has consistently produced excellent cameras and sensors and this followup up to the highly praised K-3 looks to continue the trend.    The only thing holding Pentax back is the market perception of lack of lenses and the small ecosystem of accessories made for Pentax gear.The Pentax k-3 is equivalent in build quality and size to the Canon 70D and Nikon D7200 cameras.I love to see companies innovating in interesting ways and the AstroTracer feature in the new K-3 II uses the GPS and sensor shift technology to avoid star trails at longer exposures.  What are star trails/Photographing stars how-to?AstroTracer FeatureThe image sensor will shift during the course of an exposure in order to compensate for the Earth's rotation and prevent star trails from occurring; resulting in sharper, clearer imagery and alleviating the need for an optional equatorial mount. Interested? I have a few Pentax readers and they are quite vocal :) What we are really waiting to hear more about - the full frame pentax that will be released later this year.

Pentax K-S2 and Updated 18-50 Announced

Ricoh has announced a new Pentax DSLR! The Pentax K-S2 is not the long rumored full frame but another in their line of excellent APS-C sized sensors and this one does NOT have the blinking lights in the grip we made fun of a few podcasts ago. Pentax K-S2Screenshot 2015-02-09 17.30.32Inside you have

  • 20MP APS-C sensor
  • Wi-Fi with NFC - a first in the Pentax K-series
  • 11-point SAFOX X AF module offering 9 cross-type points
  • In-body Shake Reduction
  • No AA Filter (offers AA simulation feature)


  • Fully articulated LCD
  • Weather sealed Construction
  • Dual dial control
  • Selfie button
  • No Blinking lights on the grip ;)

The Pentax K-S2 will be available in March for $799.95with smc Pentax-DA L 18-50mm F4-5.6 DC WR kit zoom.Pentax is also release an updated kit lens the PENTAX DA 18-50mm f/4.0-5.6 DC WR RE LensMouseover to see the 18-50 extended.[himage]Screenshot 2015-02-09 17.55.44Screenshot 2015-02-09 17.55.52[/himage]From the press release - The world’s smallest dustproof, weather-resistant digital SLR camera with a variable-angle LCD monitor, wireless LAN and NFC functions, available in multiple colours.My thoughts - Pentax continues to make excellent cameras that offer very good value, the downside is the tiny ecosystem of accessories and gear that may make your experience frustrating.Preorder K-S2 (body only) from B&H Photo VideoPreorder the new 18-50 f/4.0-5.6 DC WR RE Lens $296.95 from B&H Photo VideoPreorder K-S2 with 18-50 from B&H Photo VideoPreorder K-S2 with 18-50 and 50-200 from B&H Photo Video 

New Samsung, Olympus, Canon, Pentax and more


  • Canon Specs are updated for the 750D and the 760D (read more)
  • Canon Specs, early press release and additional images are up for the Canon 5DS and 5DS R (read more)
  • Rumors of a new Canon 50mm f/1.8 with STM and 49mm filter size, existing 50mm f/1.8 has a 52mm filter size
  • Rumors of a new Canon 70-300 - no further details.


Screenshot 2015-02-05 08.59.28Screenshot 2015-02-05 08.59.36Screenshot 2015-02-05 08.59.42

Samsung NX500 Mirrorless Digital Camera with 16-50mm Power Zoom Lens

  • 28.2MP BSI APS-C CMOS Sensor
  • DRIMe V Image Signal Processor
  • 4K HEVC Video Recording at 24 fps
  • 3.0" 1036k-Dot Tilt-Touchscreen Monitor

Preorder at B&H Photo- $799


Screenshot 2015-02-05 09.04.28Screenshot 2015-02-05 09.04.36

Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II Mirrorless

  • 16MP Live MOS Sensor
  • TruePic VII Image Processor
  • 2360k-Dot Electronic Viewfinder
  • 3.0" Tilting OLED Monitor
  • Full HD 1080i Video
  • 40MP High Res Shot
  • Built-In WiFi
  • 5-Axis VCM Image Stabilization
  • 10 Frames Per Second
  • Dustproof and Splash-Proof Construction

How do they manage a 40MP shot from a 16MP Sensor?The Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II takes high-resolution imaging to a whole new level. In addition to the exceptional 16-megapixel stills you’ve come to expect from OM-D, the E-M5 Mark II captures 40-megapixel images*2 using an innovative pixel-shift technique that is facilitated by the voice-coil motor IS unit. The 40-Megapixel High-Res Shot mode captures eight sequential images, moving the sensor by 0.5-pixel steps between each shot. Then, the E-M5 Mark II compiles those images to produce a super-high resolution shot that rivals those captured with a 40-megapixel full-frame camera.Preorder at B&H Photo- $1099 (body only)Other Olympus News - EM-1 Owners will soon be able to update to 3.0 firmware giving you 9 fps,better continuous tracking and ability to use smartphone to control video. Read MoreOlympus Announces Development of the M.Zuiko Digital ED 8MM f/1.8 Fisheye Pro Lens Read MoreScreenshot 2015-02-05 09.20.11Olympus Announces the 14-150mm f/4-5.6 II Lens. Read MoreThis is the 35mm Equiv of 28-300.Screenshot 2015-02-05 09.23.27Preorder at B&H Photo $599.99


Pentax Tease and Pro LensesPentax will have a k-Mount full frame camera on display at CP+. No specs are available and availability by the end of 2015.Two new lenses from Pentax. Look over the specs, what is missing on lenses at this price?

Pentax HD PENTAX D FA* 70-200mm f/2.8 ED DC AW Lens

Screenshot 2015-02-05 09.08.52 Screenshot 2015-02-05 09.08.46

  • K-Mount Lens/Full Frame Format
  • 105-300mm (35mm Equivalent on APS-C)
  • Aperture Range: f/2.8 to f/22
  • Extra-Low Dispersion Glass Elements
  • HD, SP, and Aero Bright Coatings
  • Direct Current AF and Quick-Shift Focus
  • Focus Range Limiter
  • Weather-Resistant with 13 Seals
  • Detachable, Rotatable Tripod Collar
  • Rounded 9-Blade Diaphragm

Coming Soon - Preorder now from B&H Photo $2296.95

Pentax HD PENTAX D FA 150-450mm f/4.5-5.6 DC AW Lens

Screenshot 2015-02-05 09.13.23 Screenshot 2015-02-05 09.13.29

  • K-Mount Lens/Full Frame Format
  • 225-675mm (35mm Equivalent on APS-C)
  • Aperture Range: f/4.5 to f/27
  • Extra-Low Dispersion Glass Elements
  • HD and Super Protect Coatings
  • Direct Current AF and Quick-Shift Focus
  • Focus Preset Modes and Range Limiter
  • Weather-Resistant with 21 Seals
  • Detachable, Rotatable Tripod Collar
  • Rounded 9-Blade Diaphragm

Coming Soon - Preorder now from B&H Photo $2496.95Missing- Any type of stabilization (IS, OS, VC). This is because Pentax bodies offer the stabilization and it is not needed in the lenses.  I would think that would allow them to keep the costs a little lower but looking at these prices I guess not.Nikon D7200 Rumors (we should have an official announcement in the next 24-48 hours)

  • New 24MP APS-C sensor
  • Nikon D750 styled body with a tilting screen
  • Expeed 4 processor
  • MultiCAM 3500DX2 autofocus system
  • 51 AF points
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
  • 6fps
  • Buffer: 16 RAW+JPG
  • Video: 1080p @60 and 720p @120 (not sure about 4k)
  • Video aperture will be adjustable during live view

Thoughts? Questions? Leave a comment here or on my Facebook page