Photokina 2012: Interview - John Carlson of Pentax
Pentax hasn't been idle in 2012, and just before the opening of Photokina, it refreshed its popular K-5 DSLR, releasing two new models, the K-5 II and the K-5 IIS, which lacks an anti-aliasing filter, for greater detail resolution. Barnaby Britton caught up with John Carlson, Sr. Manager of Sales & Marketing at Pentax Imaging USA, and asked him about the new DSLRs, the K-01, and the evolution of the Q.
John, Pentax has just released new new models, why should someone choose Pentax over other brands?
What are your biggest challenges in the enthusiast DSLR space, at the moment?
It's really that Pentax has a smaller market share, so we have a smaller voice and while we do have great products it's not as well-known. We've got to depend more on the fact that we have great products rather than just having a well-known name. So that's a big challenge, but overall, you look at the feature set [of the K5 II/S] and it's a very good offering.
What are your DSLR customers asking for?
They are asking for more lenses, I think also one thing that we've addressed in the K5 II/S compared to the K5 is we've added an improved autofocus system, which people have been asking for for years, saying that it's not good enough in certain situations. We made an effort with the K-5 II to make it perform in those conditions, especially focus in low light.
|The K-5 IIs and the K-5 II are the two major new models at the stand this year.||Both offer an upgraded AF-system (SAFOX X) that works in very low light levels. The 's' version comes without an anti-aliasing filter.|
How will you be addressing the demands of your customers in the future?
I think Ricoh will probably invest a lot in the imaging side of Pentax and Ricoh as we work together, and I think they have a lot of important knowledge that they can bring to Pentax, whether that's in lenses, the cameras themselves, or the output, or connectivity. Ricoh brings a lot to Pentax.
How is the relationship with Ricoh working at the moment?
Pretty great. I think we're still in the phase of integrating the two companies, and we haven't yet seen the impact of what they have to offer yet, so I think we'll start to see that in the coming months.
Did Ricoh have much influence in the new cameras?
No, those cameras were already on the drawing board, and underway [when Ricoh and Pentax merged]
Is there room for a higher-end Pentax K-mount DSLR?
We have the 645D, and Pentax is dedicated to that system, but whether there's room between the K-5 cameras and the 645, I can't say.
Will there be a full-frame K-mount model in the future?
All I can say is that we're studying the market.
What's the reaction been like to the K-01?
It's been very good in certain communities. In the design community, it is very well-accepted. You look at the name Mark Newsom, and in that community, among designers, people realize it's probably the least expensive Mark Newsom-designed product that you can buy! And it's got a lot of the technology of the K-5 in it, it's a great video tool, it's just not traditional in its layout, size and shape. The traditional photo community maybe doesn't quite understand it, but for the right customer it's a great offer, because it does shoot great stills, it does shoot great video, and it's got the style and the design…
|The Pentax K-01 is one of two mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras in the company's lineup (the other being the tiny Q10) and features a lot of the same technology as the K-5 DSLR.|
How are you planning on developing mirrorless in the future? Or is the K-01 a one-off?
I haven't seen any future roadmaps for that type of product.
Samsung told us that in the future the a non-'connected' camera will be meaningless. What do you think?
I think there's room for non-connected cameras but I won't deny the fact that connectivity is very important, whether it's via Eye-Fi cards, or natively in-camera, there are more and more solutions coming out every day. I think it's very important but I think also there are opportunities for non-connected cameras as well.
What is Pentax doing to meet the demand for connectivity in its cameras?
Right now we don't have anything other than Eye-Fi compatibility. But we're researching the technology.
Let's talk about the Pentax Q. What has the reaction to the Q been like in the market as a whole?
It's been interesting because a lot of Pentax's sales are online. And it's difficult in that kind of environment to really show the camera and the size of the camera, and the size of the system. Because that's the reaction we get when we show the Q at trade shows and retailers. When we show the Q people are really blown away by the size. So the way I like to see it, it's less a replacement for an SLR as a complement to an SLR. It's better than a compact, better than a cellphone, and you get DSLR-like features and functions.
|The Q10 is Pentax Ricoh's newest addition to the Q-line of interchangeable lens compact cameras.||It features an upgraded 12MP CMOS sensor and there's even an adapter to attach K-mount lenses (if you can live with the 5.5X crop factor)|
A lot of the feedback that we got about the Pentax Q was about its price.
Yes, I think we recognized that rather too late. Once the camera started going on sale for $350-400, that's when we started to see sales, the new Q, the Q10 is $599 with a zoom lens, and that's probably what the original model should have been.
Will Pentax users start seeing more of your cameras in store shelves in future?
Yes. We're very actively going after the traditional photo specialty dealers. We had great success [in the US] with Target this year, with our waterproof compact camera, and that really helped, people seeing our name and our brand out there, but we're actively pursuing the photo specialty market.
Sep 16, 2015
Jul 4, 2013
Sep 18, 2015
Sep 3, 2015
|2014_1211_140657AA by old shutter bugger|
from The Bride
|Overloaded by NZ Scott|
from Your City - Delivery Boy
|Petals by Flor Tempra|
from Petal Portraits
|Barley by Will B Milner|
|APPLE & ROACH by TX Photo Doc|
from Delicious - Unpalatable
Nikon appears to have pulled out all the stops for its D850. It combines high resolution and speed: a full-frame 45.7MP BSI CMOS sensor capable of 7 fps bursts. The D5's 153-point AF system, a tilting touchscreen and 4K/24p video are also on board. It arrives in September for $3300.
The Nikon D850 is a 45.7MP full-frame DSLR that can shoot at seven frames per second. Supporting this is an autofocus system lifted wholesale from the company's pro-sports D5 model. Add in a bigger viewfinder and full-width 4K capture and you've got a lot more than a warmed-up D810.
Cinema equipment powerhouse Arri has introduced a new line of full spectrum neutral density filters that drawn on its years of experience creating internal filtration systems for its ALEXA Mini and the AMIRA movie cameras.
The 'pocket powerhouse' Godox Wistro AD200 flash just got a new accessory. Now, you can swap out the speedlight or bare bulb heads for a 3.6-watt LED lamp.
Photographers Andrew Studer and Ted Hesser captured some of the most iconic images of this week's eclipse, showing a climber standing in the middle of the glowing corona. This is the story behind those images.
Intrigued by those ultra-cheap, fast lenses coming out of China? This video review of the $550 Sainsonic Kamlan 55mm F1.2 lens points out some of the performance you sacrifice to save an almighty dollar (or $800).
Canon has expanded its PIXMA TS-series Wireless Inkjet printer lineup with five new models, two of which contain an improved ink system that adds a sixth color ('Photo Blue') to help reduce graininess and improving overall quality.
Oprema Jena is on a roll. After a wildly successful Kickstarter to bring back the legendary Zeiss Biotar 75mm F1.5 lens, the company is sweetening the pot by resurrecting the Biotar 58mm F2 as well.
Nikon has issued a delay and apology regarding their 100th Anniversary D5, D500, and Triple Lens sets. Due to a logo issue, the company is being forced to delay shipments until October.
Yet another reason to always shoot Raw. These two shots are actually the same photo, photographer Dan Plucinski simply pulled up the shadows in post.
The Galaxy Note 8 is the first Samsung smartphone to feature a dual-cam setup. The 2x tele lens allows for a background-blurring portrait mode and comes with optical image stabilization.
Cloud backup service CrashPlan has announced that it will permanently shutter it's "for home" service by the end of October. If you use CrashPlan to back up your photos, you'll want to find an alternative ASAP.
Equivalence is much-discussed, but still often misunderstood. Here's a simplified explanation of the concept of equivalent apertures, which is just another way of talking about light received by your camera.
Try your hand at this blind portrait shootout between the Canon 1DX Mark II, Nikon D5 and Sony a9. With all bias removed, you might just rank your favorite camera brand worst.
Photo sharing site 500px has just added support for wide-gamut color profiles such as AdobeRGB and ProPhotoRGB, even allowing users to filter their searches by color profile.
DJI just released a mandatory firmware update for the DJI Spark. If you own a Spark and don't update your firmware by September 1st, DJI will remotely ground your drone.
Affordable flash manufacturer Godox has updated its smartphone app so that it can be used to control all of its wireless X flash units, not just the A1 smartphone flash.
Western Digital's new My Book Duo external desktop storage system offers up to 20TB of storage capacity, and comes with RAID-optimized WD Red hard drives.
Version 1.04 of the Sony a6500 firmware can be downloaded from the Sony Support website now.
Not sure how to choose your first drone? In this article, the second of a 3-part series, we discuss what factors you should consider when deciding what drone is right for you.
NASA photo editor Joel Kowsky didn't just capture the solar eclipse from his vantage point in Wyoming, he also managed to capture the ISS buzzing across what remained of the sun.
In these videos, talented photographer and filmmaker Daniel DeArco breaks down several tips that will help flash photography newbies start experimenting with artificial light.
Photographer and master potter Steve Irvine makes incredibly intricate, functional ceramic pinhole cameras that look like robots and monsters.
Chinese gimbal manufacturer Gudsen has released a firmware update for its Moza Air that lets you control the direction and angle of the head remotely just by moving a small handlebar-mounted control unit.
Curious how the Sony a9 performs underwater? Our friends at Backscatter took the camera diving off the Baja California coast, to find out how it handled shooting great white sharks.
While most of the DPReview crew put away our cameras and just watched the celestial event, Rishi decided last-minute to hack together a rig and capture a few shots.
Defunct Russian camera maker Zenit is making a comeback, and they're planning to release a full-frame mirrorless camera in 2018.
The days where you're more or less locked into premium or first-party flash units has gone. They're less than $50 now, so there's one less excuse not to get one. Here's our case for adding one to your kit, and a few pointers to get you going.
If you're shooting the solar eclipse here's a hint: don't fry your camera's sensor. Use a proper solar filter that offers at least 16 stops of light filtration, along with UV and IR filtering. More important? Don't look at it unless you've got solar filters. Sensors can be replaced, your retinas can't.
Photographer Rick Wenner recently captured an odd event called the Race of the Gentlemen with a rather odd camera: The Phase One XF IQ3 Achromatic, the world's only 101MP black-and-white digital back.