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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.'
Jan 30, 2019
Jul 23, 2018
Feb 22, 2019
Feb 22, 2019
One of the most keenly-awaited lenses for a while, the new Pentax D FA* 50mm F1.4 is finally here, and we've been using it for a few days. In this article, we're updating our initial impressions on the basis of our recent shooting with the K-1 II.
After noting errors in our K-1 Mark II studio scene, we've re-shot both that camera and its predecessor. DPReview's Reviews Editor, Carey Rose, has the background on what happened.
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 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.
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.
|Precious Past Dreams by Domenick Creaco|
from Your City - Industrial Landmark (rerun)
|Aurora by ALAziz|
from Best Photo of the Week...
|Cold rock by jr|
We've had a little more time to shoot around with Panasonic's high-resolution full-framer and thus, top off our sample gallery. We've also had the chance to add a whole lot of Raw conversions.
Lens manufacturer Tokina has officially released details, price and on-sale dates for the Opera 16-28mm F2.8 lens it first showcased at Photokina in back in September. Expected to ship mid-March in Canon EF and Nikon F mounts, this wide-angle zoom will cost $699.
InukTech is planning to...well...kickstart its Kickstarter campaign for a unique take on a transformable tripod it calls Inuk.
The Ricoh GR series has long been a favorite of street photographers, and the latest iteration - the GR III - brings a new sensor, redesigned lens, in-body stabilization and on-sensor phase detection. We spent some time with a pre-production model in London and have some initial impressions to share.
The Ricoh GR III made its official debut today, and DPR contributor Damien Demolder got his hands on the camera for a quick photo walk through London. Take a look at the results.
Ross Lowell was a man of many talents who had more than 25 patents to his name, created a lighting company and created gaffer tape, a staple in the camera bags of photographers and cinematographers the world over.
Light has announced it's teaming up with Sony to combined experience and technology in their respective fields to create the next-generation of multi-camera smartphones.
The Ricoh GR III will be going on sale this March for $899. It has a 24MP APS-C sensor, newly designed 28mm equiv. F2.8 lens, in-body image stabilization and on-sensor phase detection.
Ricoh's new WG-6 is the company's latest waterproof camera, with a 20MP sensor, 28-140mm equiv. lens and the ability to go 20m/65ft underwater. If you need something that's both crushproof and chemical-resistant, there's the G900, which is designed for industrial use.
Version 6.0.0 of the open source image editing application digiKam is a major update and has been two years in the making.
Lomography has launched the Lomogon 32mm F2.5, a compact lens with full frame sensor coverage and a unique wheel of aperture stops that protrudes from the barrel.
At its Galaxy Unpacked event, Samsung has officially unveiled the Galaxy S10 and S10+ with a triple rear-camera array, as well as a more basic S10e model with a dual main camera unit. As expected, the S10 series' display is the center of attention with a hole-punch style front-facing camera embedded in the screen.
Picktorial for macOS gets a major 4.0 update with new DAM, improved search functionality and overall stability improvements.
Samsung wasted no time unveiling the Galaxy Fold at its Unpacked event today – a foldable device with a 4.6" display when folded, and 7.3" display when unfolded. The device contains a total of six cameras – three on the back, two inside and one front-facing camera.
The Mi 9 combines a 1/2" sensor in its primary camera with ultra-wide and tele options to cover a wide range of focal lengths.
Photographers Ben Horne is asking for help to find the owners of a battered Fujifilm camera that fell from the top of Angels Landing in Zion National Park.
Taiwanese lens manufacturer William Optics is proposing to make a flatfield Petzval lens aimed at star gazers and photographers that it claims is the world’s sharpest 250mm.
After a rare Seattle snowstorm finally subsided, DPReview editor Jeff Keller was able to escape the snow and spend some time with the impressive Fujifilm X-T30, a camera that offers a lot of bang for the buck.
Given that it uses the same sensor and processor as the X-T3, it's no surprise that the Fujifilm X-T30 is capable of producing some excellent photos. We took a pre-production X-T30 all over the Seattle area and have plenty of photos for your viewing pleasure.
Tamron has announced three new full-frame lenses slated to launch in the middle of 2019: an SP 35mm F1.4 Di USD and 35-150mm F2.8-4 Di VC OSD for DSLRs, as well as an ultra-wide 17-28mm F2.8 Di III RXD for Sony E-mount cameras.
Roger and his team at Lensrentals have switched things up and decided to build a lens rather than tearing it apart.
George Mendonsa, the gentleman kissing a woman believed to be Greta Zimmer Friedman in Alfred Eisenstaedt's iconic image titled 'V-J Day in Times Square,' has passed away at the age of 95.
Want to know more about the Canon EOS RP? We conducted a live Q&A that you can watch here. We'll be trying to address those comments we didn't get to in the comments.
Version 3.0.2 of Skylum's Luminar software has been improved for both Windows and macOS systems.
Until now, the word 'bokeh' has been a noun. But that may very well change with the help of Apple's recent video advertisement.
The EF-M 32mm F1.4 is a welcome addition to Canon's APS-C mirrorless lens lineup. It's a good performer all-around and enjoyable to use on the EOS M50, and we hope to see more like it introduced to the EF-M range.
The data breach we reported on last week did not only affect 500px but a total of 16 websites, including mobile image sharing platform EyeEm, Animoto, Artsy and Fotolog.
Camera Rescue, a Finnish organization determined to rescue more than 100K analog, has already saved 46,000 cameras and plans to more than double that number by 2020.
Independent lens manufacturer Sigma has announced that its new 28mm T1.5 cine lens for full frame sensor cameras will be available from the middle of March.
Panasonic has announced the impending release of two new cameras, the ZS80/TZ95 compact camera and the FZ1000 II superzoom camera.