Once again, great job DPR - way to be on top of it with previews of the most interesting equipment! Even during a busy week like this, you manage to bring us the good stuff!
Superka: This is for studio, only. Nobody will take it to the mountains.Hasselblad X5 cost 20K $. And you can buy lots of cameras for saved money: from Xpan to 617 panoramic.My 617camera is 160Mpx equivalent and I can take it everywhere.
Actually, landscape photographers (hobbiest to semi-pro) are a significant slice of the MF market. Generally, these are people who DON'T have to justify it by getting a good ROI - they just want the best camera. So weather proofing can be an important selling point - after all, who wants such expensive equipment to get ruined by the weather!
makofoto: For a treat, you can rent one. But, beware. Once I used the H4D with a 60 meg back ... 180 meg tiffs ... everything else looked very coarse! Some of the things on these 'Blads are very primitive. LiveView is B&W with 1 second updates ... hardly Live!?
The 1 second B&W LiveView is a technical limitation - I believe it comes from using a CCD sensor. But that same CCD sensor is what gives it the high image quality it has. The superior auto focus system largely negates the need for a faster LiveView.
It's good to see that the Multi-Shot versions are continuing - the ultimate camera for applications that need it, such as art reproduction. The 200 megapixel Multi-Shot is the absolute best camera you can buy for static subjects in normal lighting.
It's also interesting to see that the free Phocus software is continuing on to v2.7.
I don't see any mention of the model that takes third-party backs - that will probably come later, just as it did with the H4D. Hassy is known to have the best bodies, especially with the True Focus (a feature DSLRs really should have) and many people prefer their lenses. But Phase One is widely understood to have the best digital backs, so unless you need Multi-Shot, combining them is the optimal solution.
RStyga: If this is the flagship model and offers no focus peaking, unlike the 'lowly' K-01 and K-30, then I might just redefine 'flagship' in my dictionary and, in order to use more effectively a legion of wonderful MF lenses, get a $400 K-01. Anyway, let's wait for a full review...
@pentaxination - Actually, some of my best images DO come off of old Pentax glass. In fact, the biggest problem I have when using them on the K-5, compared to a slightly older CCD model, is getting the focus right.
halai: I like the idea that Pentax is keeping at 16mp. For most people, this is more than enough. If AF-C anywhere near the Nikon D700, I will upgrade my K-5 in a heart beat, and Pentax will hit a home run out of the park. A lot of Pentax users including myself are waiting for this. If it's slightly better than the K-5, I will past and continue to use my K-5 until it dies. In the meantime, I will get the D600 when it comes out to replace my D700.
@HowaboutRAW - yes, a D600 with the D3S' sensor and ISO performance would be amazing - however, the info seems pretty solid that it'll have a 24MP sensor.
Some have theorized that 10 or 12MP is more optimal for APS-C - from my own experience I'd say it usually doesn't seem any worse than 16MP - sometimes perhaps better.
DStudio: I doubt many of the critics of the Q have ever held one in their hand, let alone used one or seen the results. With the current Q, just the small size and the appearance makes you want one, as well as the build quality.
Those who own one give it very high ratings and produce nice images.
Wow ... apparently conjecture carries more weight than experience! Talk about confirmation bias - "I'm certain Q buyers waste their money, even though I've never tried one. I'm sure glad I'm smarter!"
mgm2: This is a great system. The availability of the adapter puts it head and shoulders above the RX100.
I don't know about head and shoulders above, although it should be interesting.
tbcass - I want to be sure we're talking about the same camera. You mean the RX100 with a 3-stop variance in the minimum aperture? The f/4.9 lens at 100mm equiv.? Compared to 80-250mm equiv., all at f/2.8?
But honestly, you need to use a prime to get better quality on the Q, which shows that the sensor's not the limiting factor. You can see for yourself here: http://www.pentaxphotogallery.com/photos/gallery/query?camera=&lens=4072
Like I said, tkbslc ...
I doubt many of the critics of the Q have ever held one in their hand, let alone used one or seen the results. With the current Q, just the small size and the appearance makes you want one, as well as the build quality.
Charles2: The K-5 has been wonderful and will remain so for me. Evolutionary changes will serve new buyers well.
Let's face it - sometimes the biggest changes look small at first. If the AF really is improved significantly - such as they claim for low-light shooting - it will make it much better for some shooters.
As we know, 24MP would grab attention, but these changes - if implemented well - will make a bigger difference. In fact, 16MP with no AA filter may turn out to be near-optimal - time will tell.
So while it's entirely possible it wouldn't help you, those who sometimes shoot sports, moving kids, and in low light could benefit greatly.
Since Pentax is class-leading in many other areas, if they can just get close to par in their weaker spots it will be huge for them in the long run.
steveh0607: Sounds like a place holder to give Ricoh/Pentax some time to think about what direction they want to go.
Not time to think about it - time to complete it. We just don't know how far they have to go. They have to complete 2-3 more cameras - A 645D replacement, and one or two K-mount bodies - either one above the K-5II (probably FF), one below the K-30, or both.
Prognathous: No articulated screen... bad move Pentax.
I don't want an articulated screen. It's something that can pop out, flop around, and maybe break.
And this may not be fair, because they can be useful, but I associate them with cheaper cameras.
gl2k: The first example image with the couple is a joke. Hopefully. No serious photog would ever place the main subject so close to the edge of the frame. Especially on a wide angle lens.
The second example can be done easily with PS which every serious photog has.
So the question remains : What is the reason to buy this extra piece of software which then has to be incorporated into the workflow.
Hey SeeRoy, what makes you think you know anything about this? All you have is the best wide angle zoom in existence and a lot of experience!
peevee1: DPR stuff need some reality check, go out and actually talk to real people and see what they want from their cameras, and not to the tiny slice of "enthusiasts" and permanent camera reviewers. If they do, they will find that something like 80% of buyers of APS-C DSLRs and mirrorless buy it with a kit zoom and never take it off, because just 2 months ago it was the only way you can get good low-light IQ and performance (BTW, they don't care about RAW and shoot at Auto too). And now all that huge segment, MOST OF THE MARKET, was single-handedly invalidated because RX100 at f/1.8 suddenly matches (or beats in case of Canons) all those slow kits at f/3.5. If DPR cannot see the revolution here, they must be blind. If they were not blind, they should have introduced Platinum Award just for RX100.
I have to agree with Richard Butler - it's hard to give a Gold award today to a < 4x zoom camera with almost 3 full stops variance in the minimum aperture. On top of that, even the wide-angle fast aperture is limited in usefulness because of the lack of an ND filter or faster shutter speed.
The larger sensor is impressive. But Olympus and Fuji have had only a 1 stop variance with full 4x zoom for almost 1-2 years now. Panasonic is now following their lead, but Sony is not.
It really does seem Sony has put a little too much emphasis on marketing (appearance, including on paper) over substance (full functionality).
sandy b: For the price, This camera can't be beat. Pentax is on a roll lately, delivering some fine cameras. Whether it beats the D7000, its hard to tell with the NR in raw, I would prefer to apply my own NR. I'm assuming it can be shut off. While the D7000 is sealed, it is not up to the standard of the Pentax line. When you consider the in body VR, the build and the price, a great camera.
D7000 competes with K-5 - both are now discontinued and due for some kind of replacement.
alexeyga: Hey Pentax boys, why don't you enlighten the public what's the point in WR if all the best Pentax lenses (like 31LTD, 43LTD, 77LTD) are not WR-ed?
And why would anybody want to invest into Pentax DA* lenses that are actually WR-ed, but come with the SDM AF mechanism that is prone to failure?
@alexeyga - Why don't you take your equipment (whatever brand it is) to Afghanistan for six months, and then get back to us?
No brand is perfect, but you buy into a system and take its pros and cons. Nikon and Canon tend to have a few "loss leader" lenses like the new 85/1.8, while Pentax tends to have more reasonable pricing throughout their system. Whether or not Nikon or Canon takes a loss on these lenses is immaterial - the point is that there are only a few high-value lenses, and then where do you go from there? Into the land of $2000 lenses. At least with Sony you get some really exceptional glass (e.g. 135/1.8 or wide angle lenses) for your $2000 - good enough to make you consider a Sony body just to get it!
When Nikon releases the 85/1.8 you tend to say to yourself "Oh thank you, Nikon, for this great gift!" because you know it's not normal for them to offer reasonable prices like this.
Jonathan Lee: thank you dpReview for the samples.
from my monitor, the iq of k-30 is seriously closed to the FF from the big two, at fraction of the price.
this might changing my mind on waiting on the 800d.
@Alizarine - I don't think DPR ever looked like they'd given up on reviewing Pentax, but rather Hoya looked like they'd given up on making cameras!
Now that Ricoh's in charge and new cameras are coming out, DPR seems quite happy to review them!
DStudio: It's good to see the results right away, before the review is complete. It will be interesting to see how it goes if the other pieces roll out bit by bit - it sounds like DPR will roll this one out in more than two phases!
Sounds like a good plan - I think it will be an advantage to your readers. Certainly these studio samples have helped already - it looks like a strong showing, especially for such a reasonably priced camera.
The RAW High ISO results look quite good, outdoing the K-5. It's interesting that you have to pull up the very top cameras (Nikon D3S, Nikon D4) in order to get lower noise. The K-30 looks roughly equivalent to the 5D Mk III here - I'm having trouble determining which is better!
It looks like Pentax may be once again leading in value, given the very moderate price of this camera. I hope they continue this with the other model(s) they release this year - now I'm especially looking forward to it! But it seems doubtful that Pentax or anyone else will be able to match the value of the K-30 this year. Match it with 2 DA* zooms and I don't think you can get that kind of image quality from anyone else for under ~$2500!