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We reviewed three of the more popular 'pocket printers,' the Canon Ivy, Fujifilm Instax Share and Polaroid ZIP. Here's the one we recommend...
|Pictured is Mr. Takashi Arai, one of several Ricoh executives we sat down with. Mr. Arai represents the Product Planning Department, within the Product Development Center of Ricoh's Smart Vision Business Group.|
Recently we visited the 2018 CP+ show in Yokohama, Japan and booked an in-depth interview with several executives from Ricoh. Among the topics covered were the company's new K-1 Mark II, as well as the future of both the GR series and 360 imaging with the Theta line.
The following interview has been edited slightly for clarity and flow.
We have lots of requests for lenses, especially from K-1 users. They want more lenses that match the higher resolution of the K-1, so that’s one objective which we would like to implement.
|The K-1 Mark II, pictured here with the not-yet-released D FA* 50mm F1.4.|
As you may know, we will be releasing the 50mm F1.4 SDM AW this Spring, although we cannot specify the exact date. We also have the new 11-18mm F2.8 lens for APS-C, so we’re not only focusing on full-frame. We want to enlarge [the lens selection for] both formats.
Especially for the K-1, customers who are looking for higher resolution in the field of landscape photography and [appreciate] our tough body construction and weather and dust resistance. Lots of customers who really use this camera in the field are very fond of the new K-1 series.
|The Pentax K-01 was a mirrorless camera that used the full-depth Pentax K-mount, allowing full compatibility with existing Pentax lenses. While image quality was great, the camera was bulky, and there were some performance and autofocus shortcomings.|
Our resources for research and development are limited and we are more focused on the development of K-series bodies and lenses. That is our first priority, and why we are currently not too involved in the development of other smaller cameras.
Good question. Although we don’t know whether it will be called ‘GR III’ or not, the study for the development of the next GR is already ongoing. We cannot say when, and how exactly it will be, but the next GR will come someday.
Our strategy has not really changed. The 645Z is a DSLR, a reflex camera, and the advantage of a reflex camera is that what you see is what you get [through the optical viewfinder]. On top of that, the 645Z can use Live View, so it has the advantage of having both options. We think that it’s a strong point that our competitors don’t have, and we’ll continue to develop the possibilities of what we can do with reflex cameras.
We welcome competitors like Fujifilm and Hasselblad. Together with competitors, we can expand the total medium-format market
We actually welcome competitors like Fujifilm and Hasselblad. Together with competitors, we can expand the total medium-format market. People can be made more aware of medium-format’s advantages, and we believe in the superiority of medium-format compared to full-frame.
In terms of resolution, we think that it’s not yet enough and should be better. The market is expanding, but still, the current user of the Theta 360 camera is more of a ‘gadget lover.’ We want to expand the customer profile from that specific type of user to more generic users.
|Ricoh's Theta V uses the same sensors and lenses as the older Theta S, but offers improved image quality thanks to an updated processor.|
This form factor is iconic for the Theta. We think it’s important. On the other hand, if there is demand, we would like flexibly to think about any other possibilities, even for other form factors.
They’re asking for better quality of stitching, and since the camera has internal memory, there have been requests to have expandable memory. In order to respond to that kind of request, we have just released a firmware that allows the Theta V to connect to external memory using the USB port.
Photographers are interested in creating pictures [using techniques] such as composition, and [with the total 360-degree image], there is no creativity from this perspective.
From a marketing point of view, I don’t think many photo enthusiasts who are reading your articles have much interest in 360 cameras like the Theta, unfortunately. That’s because with this camera, we can take an image of all 360 degrees. But photographers are interested in creating pictures [using techniques] such as composition, and [with the total 360-degree image], there is no creativity from this perspective.
But if we capture whole [360-degree] images, we can edit those images with photo applications such as Theta+. And with that application software, photo enthusiasts can [selectively] create their own images and reflect their own sensibility. So we have to do more promotion to photo enthusiasts that use various types of editing applications.
For the flagship APS-C model, we have just started to develop that. It’ll be the successor of the K-3 II and will be an evolution of the K-3 series.
|The Pentax K-3 II was released in 2015, and now that Pentax has brought the full-frame K-1 II to market, they are beginning development on the next APS-C flagship.|
Feedback, especially from K-1 owners, is more focused on the upgrade services.
Once a user upgrades the K-1 to K-1 II, there will be no difference. Perhaps some K-1 users think it’s more prestigious to have the ‘II’ on the front.
Pentax has a reputation for building affordable, capable and rugged DSLRs, and judging from our conversation with Mr. Arai and his colleagues, it appears as though parent company Ricoh is planning on staying the course in this regard. And while the renewed focus on updating their K-Mount lens lineup is encouraging, it must be said that the continued evolution of competitors' mirrorless camera offerings has Pentax's DSLR-only lineup looking a little staid.
But perhaps that's just to be expected. After all, Ricoh is a smaller camera company, and must be highly strategic in where it invests its R&D money. This prioritization is clear in the discussion of the 645Z compared to newer mirrorless options. Since the 645Z has an optical viewfinder while still offering competitive image quality, it remains appreciably distinct from Fujifilm's and Hasselblad's offerings. Therefore the company is choosing to narrow its development focus to a new flagship APS-C DSLR, which is likely what more users are asking for anyway.
The confirmation that a new Ricoh GR is coming is downright exciting
Thankfully though, lenses and DSLRs aren't all that's in the works at Ricoh-Pentax. The confirmation that a new Ricoh GR is coming – even if all we know is that it's coming someday – is exciting. In the age of ever-more-capable smartphones whose lenses are of a similar focal length, Ricoh's continued development of the photographer-focused GR series shows an admirable commitment to their users and fans.
Last but not least is the Theta series. Ricoh's newest Theta V is an impressive evolution of the previous 'S' model, improving image quality and features through better processing and software. The company still feels it has room to grow, not only in terms of image quality, but also mass-market appeal. It's interesting hearing the executives' take on the creativity (or lack thereof) of using 360 cameras, and it'll be even more interesting to see how they continue to evolve the platform and editing software to get more Thetas into the hands of more photographers, and not just 'gadget lovers.'
|Pentax K-1 Mark II 36MP Weather Resistant DSLR w/ D-FA...|
The Pentax K-1 II features a hand-held Pixel Shift mode that creates a 'super resolution' image. Here's how to create a better-looking one in Photoshop using four files.
The Pentax K-1 II has a new Pixel Shift mode that can be used hand-held. We compared it to traditional tripod-mounted Pixel Shift and standard non-Pixel Shift shots to see how it stacks up.
We stopped by the Ricoh-Pentax booth at this year's CP+ show in Japan and got a chance to handle the new K-1 Mark II as well as a near-final version of the upcoming Pentax-D FA* 50mm F1.4. We even got a chance to informally test the K-1 II's crazy high ISO and hand-held Pixel Shift feature - click through to read our impressions.
We reviewed three of the more popular 'pocket printers,' the Canon Ivy, Fujifilm Instax Share and Polaroid ZIP. Here's the one we recommend...
Following testing of the Panasonic Lumix DC-LX100 II, we've added it to our Pocketable Enthusiast Compact Cameras buying guide as joint-winner, alongside Sony's Cyber-shot RX100 VA.
If you're looking for a high-quality camera, you don't need to spend a ton of cash, nor do you need to buy the latest and greatest new product on the market. In our latest buying guide we've selected some cameras that while they're a bit older, still offer a lot of bang for the buck.
What's the best camera for under $500? These entry level cameras should be easy to use, offer good image quality and easily connect with a smartphone for sharing. In this buying guide we've rounded up all the current interchangeable lens cameras costing less than $500 and recommended the best.
Whether you've grown tired of what came with your DSLR, or want to start photographing different subjects, a new lens is probably in order. We've selected our favorite lenses for Sony mirrorlses cameras in several categories to make your decisions easier.
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The 12th International Garden Photographer of the Year winners have been announced. We've gathered the top photos from each category and rounded them up into a slideshow.
Kosmo Foto has announced the release and opened pre-orders for its new Mono 120 black-and-white film.
Uber software engineer Phillip Wang has created a website that shows a portrait of a person that doesn't actually exist by using AI to merge multiple faces together.
The Atomos Shinobi is a compact, lightweight monitor that features the same display found inside the much more expensive Ninja 5 monitor/recorder.
Want to know more about the Canon EOS RP? Dying to ask a question that hasn't been addressed anywhere else online? Join the editors of DPReview for a live Q&A about this new camera next Tuesday, Feb. 19 on our YouTube channel. Click through for details.
Got a couple of minutes? Then you have all the time you need to learn about Canon's second full-frame mirrorless camera body – and why it's a compelling option for someone stepping into full-frame for the first time.
NASA's Curiosity rover captures a 360 panorama from its Vera Rubin Ridge 'Rock Hall' drill site before moving on to greener...er...redder pastures.
Xiaomi's new flagship Android smartphone is expected to be launched on February 24 at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
A quick glance at the spec sheet doesn't make the Canon EOS RP look that exciting. But having shot with it, we've become oddly fond of this little full framer.
Pixelmator Pro has received an update with new and improved features, including support for Portrait Masks with images captured by the iPhone's Portrait Mode.
Alongside the EOS RP, Canon showed us mockups of the six lenses it says are in development for 2019. There's a distinct high-end flavor to the options in the works.
The new X-T30 may not be Fujifilm's flagship model, but it arrives with some very impressive features and specifications. Chris and Jordan have been shooting it for a few days and share their first impressions, along with a look at an iconic new building in their hometown of Calgary.
We don't often get excited about $900 cameras, but the Fujifilm X-T30 has really impressed us thus far. Find out what's new, what it's like to use and how it compares to its peers in our review in progress.
The Fujifilm X-T30 is equipped with the same 26.1MP X-Trans sensor and X-Processor 4 Quad Core CPU as the X-T3, along with some autofocus improvements. The new camera arrives in March for $900 body-only.
Fujifilm's new XF 16mm F2.8 R WR is a compact, weather-resistant lens that weighs just 155g/5.5oz. It'll be available starting in March for $399.
Fujifilm's XF 16mm F2.8 is one of the widest lenses in the company's lineup of compact primes for its X-series interchangeable lens cameras. We've been up and down the streets of snowy Seattle - a rare sight - to see just what our pre-production copy of this petite prime is capable of.
Firmware version 2.00 brings two new shooting modes and one new setting to its X-T100 and X-A5 camera systems.
Fujifilm has announced its upcoming rugged point-and-shoot, the FinePix XP140.
Get a closer look at Canon's second full-frame mirrorless body and its unique combination of features, capability and price point.
Canon has unveiled its second full-frame mirrorless camera: the entry-level EOS RP. Touting its compact size and approachability for beginners, the RP uses a 26.2MP sensor and will sell for $1300 body-only this March.
A pre-launch event gave us a chance to shoot a sample gallery to show what sort of image quality you can expect from the least-expensive digital full frame camera ever launched.
Nikon has taken the wraps off a new standard zoom lens for mirrorless, the Z 24-70mm F2.8 Z. The new 24-70mm has been on Nikon's Z-series roadmap since the mount was announced last August, and it will ship in spring for $2299.
Canon has announced the development of six RF lenses, including the incredibly compact RF 70-200mm F2.8L IS USM, two variations of an RF 85mm F1.2L USM, plus a 15-35mm F2.8L IS USM, 15-35mm F2.8L IS USM and 24-240mm F4-6.3 IS USM.
Nikon has announced more details of firmware in development for the Z6 and Z7. As previously reported, firmware is being planned that will add Eye-detection AF, CFexpress support and Raw video over HDMI.
Tripod manufacturer Three Legged Thing has developed a new L-bracket designed to fit a wider range of cameras and allow users to mount their camera in a variety of ways.
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The new Galaxy S10 front camera will adopt several technologies that are already commonplace on many smartphone main cameras.
The Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-200mm F3.5-6.3 is a weather-sealed 24-400mm equiv. zoom for Micro Four Thirds and will go on sale in March for $900.
We put a pre-production version of Olympus' versatile new zoom through its paces.