No built in flash is a bummer for triggering an off-camera flash without having to lug around a second one. Also, I use mine for fill in daylight backlit people shots infrequently, and it's really handy to be able to just pop it up. Plenty of power for that purpose. The GPS would be way cool to have, but what will turning it on do to battery power? In any case, this camera will likely bring down the price of the K3, which is probably where I'm headed now that the K5 IIs is no longer available for a reasonable price (missed my window of opportunity there).
whakapu: Very sexy camera. Keen to see the pixel-shift results (and minimum exposure time). Damn shame about the pop-up flash. Who wants to carry a thyristor everywhere? Does anyone actually want GPS? (other than of course the NSA)
I'm a bit torn RE GPS and built-in flash. I certainly do use the onboard flash for fill light in strongly backlit situations occassionally when I don't want blacked out subject details. And I would definitely use GPS if it didn't drain the battery in a matter of minutes. Also, if I do ever purchase a Pentax branded flash, it will be specifically with the intent of using it with off-camera HSS controlled by the onboard flash. Needing to have two flashes to accomplish that intstead of one is probably the deal breaker on the k3 II for me. But that's ok because the K3 will be much cheaper now and I can afford it. And I get my flash.
Class A: Can't help but think adding Wi-Fi would have been more useful than GPS (that hopefully can be turned off in order to save battery life).
Otherwise, it is a very nice improvement on an already great camera.
P.S. I'd never miss a built-in flash. I used the one on my K100D as a noob a couple of times and am not even sure my K-5 II has one. :)
The concept is to make the ultimate "field camera," not the ultimate "sitting in a cafe uploading to facebook" camera. If you need a weatherproof DSLR, I'm sure their reasoning went, you're not going to be using it where there are WiFi hotspots every 20 meters. That said, I think coming home from a long treck and simply throwing your camera in the direction of your laptop and having the images automagically upload to your pc is how these things should all work going forward.
Class A: "...we're disappointed by ... the disappearance of the built-in flash..."
Really? P-TTL is so bad at controlling more than one off-camera flash, why would you put up with such a bad optical triggering system (that does not even support HSS through the built-in flash and requires line-of-sight)?
Using a dedicated radio trigger on camera with direct control over manual flash levels right from the camera position is so much better and adequate for a camera in this price bracket.
It never worked right anyway so instead of finally fixing it we've just eliminated it alltogether, isn't that fantastic engineering?
Mark Banas: Ugh, incorrect links! Damien, I see your blatant anti-Ricoh/Pentax bias in these slight missteps... grrrr.
I think the whole Pentax "bias" thing is ridiculous and embarassing tinfoil hattery myself. I don't know if or how long you've been participating in the forums Mark, but this whole thing has nearly a decade of history going back to the days when DPR staff moderated the forums personally and the Pentax one with an iron fist. The animosity they created led directly to the founding of Pentax Forums, which has clearly taken a non-zero chunk of page views and ad impressions that could have been DPR's. I must say from the communication I'm seeing in these comments, I get the impression the editorial staff rather wishes all of us would have left! It's not "bias" (reviews are always biased to personal preference) that shocks me, it's the ham-handed and often openly combative style of interacting with the Pentax community that blows me away. What does DPR have to gain by that???
ChrisH37: Lots of comments about shallow DoF already, it's pretty much the standard argument on 'the internet', as if it's the be all and end all of photography.
It's actually quite rare to see such a fast wide lens for an APS-C sensor. Interestingly you will have all the benefits of f1.4 in terms of light gathering, whilst having more depth of field. At wide angles such as this it's likely to be more of a benefit than a hindrance as it's fairly unlikely it will be used in situations where the requirement is as little in focus as possible
It's a bit like why Micro 4/3 is great for Macro, a wider area of focus at wide apertures, win-win.
Says another one of the countless photographers who has never gotten down close to the minimum focus distance of a wide angle lens and is simply incapable of fathoming why anyone would want to. I'll give you a clue: it makes for very unique and appealing images. I get bokeh out of my 15mm f/4 lens all the time. Try focussing close with your favorite wide, you might like it! And if and when I do buy this lens, you better believe I'll be makin' bokeh with it!
They've made it abundantly clear on numerous occassions that Pentax shooters represent such an infintesimaly small percentage of their readership that they could care less if we all simply dropped off the face of the earth. Therefore they will poke fun at us and the brand as they please. The arrogance is pretty unfathomable to me. We may be only a very small portion of those who pay their sallaries with our ad views and affiliate purchases, but we certainly do contribute. I can't think of a better way to say "Pentax fans are not welcome here." I wonder if evrey last one of us left here what that would mean to their bottom line? 2-3% lower revenues is nothing to sneeze at. Looks like that's their goal, though.
I have never, ever, ever, heard of or seen an editorial staff making fun of its readership. I really hope you guys are having lots of fun spreading ill will.
sentro: The 15-400 looks sweet....I wonder how much that will be?
Unfortunately I have the feeling it's going to be one of those situations... "if you have to ask..."
I've deleted my last comment, didn't realize the article had been corrected. Bravo and sorry.
Damien Demolder: Ricoh issued a press release about the project and the company's part in it, but I think the Save The Memory project existed independently of Ricoh's involvement. I'm checking this right now with Ricoh Europe and will post the answer once I have confirmation. The company hasn't been written out of the story, I just wanted to balance its involvement with the story of the project itself. I certainly have nothing against Ricoh or Pentax - except the endless coloured DSLRs! :-)
That's true, you did not use the word and it was perhaps an exageration on my part. You did however imply you were suspicious that Ricoh in their press release misrepresented the degree of their involvement in the program and that you doubted that Ricoh initiated the program. If the press release claims they initiated it, then yes, you are indeed accusing them of lying. But I have no idea what press release you had access to so there is no way to determine what your accusation is here.
Hi Damien, I write corporate press releases etc. for a living. And although I (and surely you) see lots of horrendous examples of ad copy in the guise of a press release, I highly doubt Ricoh and or their PR agency are so crass as to publish lies about events related to the tsunami in a misleading attempt to make themselves look good. In this day and age, that kind of thing always, always backfires instantly. If they'd done so, you'd be reporting on that aspect of it, not the actual program itself and they know it.
Who, what, where, and when are pretty basic things a journalist should get right, I agree. It took me under 30 seconds to find this:"The Save the Memory Project was conceived by Ricoh in April 2011 immediately following the disaster, and was implemented for a period of four years through March 2015." http://www.ricoh.com/csr/savethememory/chapter1/ (edited to change the link)
Yes, colored cameras are a scourge. Good thing no other manufacturers are producing anything but black DSLRs.
JustDavid: Maybe just a little fanboy rant, but looks like it's written to mask the fact that it was a Ricoh project from the start.. Ricoh is mentioned as if by accident they gave premises and volunteers in the middle of the article. I know the purpose of the project is more important, but I think they deserve a little more credit than that.But nevertheless, thank you for covering it.
It could simply be that the story was shortened or edited for whatever reason and mention of the company in the first paragraph was accidently removed in the process. But yes it is truly strange to not give Ricoh credit for coming up with the idea for the program that they AFAIK singlehandedly devised, equipped, and funded. Would be interesting to hear if this story was provided by Ricoh's PR dept and edited or if DPR actually wrote it from scratch.
harcourtfenton: If this was written in the forums it would sound like fanboy worship. Reads like advertising copy from Canon.
If this is he new face of previews on DPR I'd as soon we had none.
We come to DPR for objectivity, comparisons and, to be frank, a more clinical examination of product that this was. Not gushing product evangelism.
Hi Barney. You wrote "that's ridiculous" full stop in reply to a reader. I'm not arguing you are incorrect in that statement. I'm saying that if in the future you find yourself typing something along those lines in response to a reader again, that's a good sign that the conversation is beneath you and you can safely ignore it completely. What do you have to gain by giving this type of attack legitimacy with your response? I would save my breath and instead reply to (only a select few) less hysterical reader comments in your shoes. It's not only ok to ignore the trolls, it's a basic survival skill on the web. Stay sane and keep up the good work. Remember these comment threads are heavily skewed towards strangely obsessed digital imaging sociopaths that are not representative of your readership as a whole. Lots and lots of people just read the article and enjoyed it and have no desire to read what a bunch of übernerds like me think about it in the comments.
This is what I'm saying. I wouldn't dignify that with a response at all in their shoes, unless of course it was a serious and respectful discussion of the issue at hand. Thought-terminating clichés don't do anyone any good.
Barney, I have a theory. By frequently defending yourself and your staff against criticism from your readers, you are merely creating a defensive public persona for yourself and your staff. That will result in far more and far sharper criticism over the medium term as your readership gets to know this persona — it takes two to tango, and as the editor you are the one who sets the tone here. Also, there is what sounds like valid criticism of the piece here which I do not feel you have publicly acknowledged. Instead, you have called a suggestion from the source of that criticism "ridiculous." It may feel good to lash out, but I don't think you're doing yourself any favors. If you can't acknowledge someone's point and disagree respectfully, it may be wiser to completely ignore them.
D1N0: There used to be soft portrait lenses in the eighties. still to be found on ebay.
Pentax even sold a 28mm soft focus AF lens. Bit of a rarity these days though.
KL Matt: Looks a lot like the "soft focus" portrait lenses they used to sell before the digital era. Is there a difference there, or is this the same basic idea, just not correcting spherical abberation? I would love to see someone take images from this lens and compare them to shots from a normal sharp 55 mm lens but with softening applied in post processing. Seems like an expensive toy for people who don't know how to use Photoshop.
I have in the past breathed moist air onto the front eleement of a lens to fog it up. Very interesting effect, but not precisely reproducible. As the fog clears, it does so from the middle outwards normally -- you get different effects as the moisture evaporates.