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The Peak Design Travel Backpack 45L is the centerpiece of the brand's new Travel Line - it's pricey but awesome. Other components of the line are pricey and less-awesome.
|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.
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.
|Lake view night sky by purelightglow|
from Night Landscapes
|LOOKING UP IN THE CITY by tko|
from Your City - B&W Night Picture (rerun)
|Nature's Crowning Acheivment by Domenick Creaco|
The Olympus OM-D E-M1X is a more powerful dual-grip evolution of the E-M1 II. Aimed at sports shooters it promises improved AF, including advanced subject recognition, along with the highest-ever rated image stabilization system.
With a double grip and double batteries, the Olympus E-M1X is the company's largest mirrorless camera to date - and yet, the big story is all on the inside.
After several teasers, Olympus has revealed its sports-oriented OM-D E-M1X to the world. This rugged camera has a 20MP Four Thirds sensor, built-in 7-stop image stabilization, a 121-point hybrid AF system, burst shooting at up to 18 fps with continuous AF, motorsports / train / aircraft recognition and much, much more.
Olympus just announced its new flagship camera, the OM-D E-M1X, and Chris and Jordan are already here with their review. Tune in to see them put this new model to the test in the frozen north, and find out what they think of it.
Olympus has released the ultimate Micro Four Thirds sports camera in the E-M1X and we've been busy pointing it at as many fast-moving subjects as humanly possible. Peep our first samples.
Want to know more about the new Olympus E-M1X camera? DPReview will be hosting a YouTube Live event at 9:00 AM Pacific time with editors Richard Butler and Carey Rose to answer any questions you may have. They will also share their own first impressions of the camera.
Olympus announced the development of a pro-level super-telephoto zoom the M.Zuiko Digital ED 150-400mm F4.5 TC1.25x IS Pro. This hefty lens is equivalent to 300-800mm on Micro Four Thirds bodies without the teleconverter and 375-1000mm with it. The lens will be available in 2020.
Olympus today also announced a 2X teleconverter, which is compatible with its 300mm F4 and 40-150mm F2.8 lenses, as well as the 150-400mm which is under development. The company has also released an updated lens roadmap showing what's to come.
Arriving in late February, the FL-700WR is freezeproof, dustproof and splashproof and offers wireless radio communication to act as commander or receiver.
In addition to a new flashgun, Olympus has introduced new weather-resistant, wireless flash commander and receiver units.
Vitec Imaging Solutions, the company behind Manfrotto, JOBY, Gitzo and others, has announced it's acquiring Syrp, a camera accessory manufacturer that specializes in video motion control products.
Despite viral photographs suggesting otherwise, Instagram claims it's not limiting how many accounts particular posts reach.
Winning images will be seen on and offline across the globe but read the small print to understand what's happening to your images when participating in the contest.
Sony is reportedly forming a subsidiary in Amsterdam in an effort to avoid issues as a result of Brexit, but 'business functions, facilities, departments, sites and location of [Sony employees in the UK] will remain unchanged.'
Announced at CP+ in 2018, the Sigma 28mm F1.4 Art has proven itself to be one heck of a sharp lens in our use so far.
EIZO has released an updated version of its display calibration program ColorNavigator 7 that brings along new features and support.
An incredibly rare contact sheet from the last known photo shoot of Marilyn Monroe has appeared on eBay for $195,000.
After teasing it last autumn, DJI has announced the pricing and availability of the optional Multilink accessory for its Inspire 2 and Cendence controllers
The Live Planet VR System is an all-in-one package designed to simplify the process of creating, storing and sharing immersive video content on-demand with a high-powered 16-camera array at the center of the platform.
Samsung's latest image sensor offers a high pixel count in a tiny package.
Meike has released a budget 50mm lens for Canon and Nikon's full-frame mirrorless camera systems.
One of three lenses launched alongside the Nikon Z6 and Z7, on the face of it the Z 50mm F1.8 S might appear the most pedestrian of the group, but it might just be the niftiest fifty we've ever seen.
Panoram is a simple app that makes it easy to split up panoramas so it's easier to post on Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat 'Stories.'
News results from Google might be missing a few images if a new EU Copyright Directive passes.
Professional commercial photographer Moe Lauchert shares an incredible gallery of film photographs he captured on Ilford HP5 with a Nikonos 5 while serving as a diver at NASA's Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory in Houston, Texas.
This week, Sony introduced its newest APS-C camera, the a6400. Of course, Chris and Jordan were on hand to take it for a spin and test out all the new features.
The Sony a6400 is, in many ways, just a refreshed a6300, but its overhauled AF system makes a big difference. We look at how it compares with its rivals in and beyond the E-mount system.
Glove and Boots take a humorous look into the history of photographs and how far technology has come since the days of caveman hand selfies.
We've been shooting with a beta version of the Sony a9's upcoming firmware 5.0. While there's much more analysis to come, we can say it makes for a dead simple AF tracking user experience. Take a look at some of our samples.
A statement following internal investigation by DJI alleges a number of employee were part of an internal corruption scandal that overcharged DJI for parts and materials.