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The Everyday Sling might just be the perfect pack for not carrying too much gear, combining comfort with Peak Design's signature modern style.
|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 with 3.2"...|
|Pentax K-1 Mark II 36MP Weather Resistant DSLR w/D-FA...|
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.
When the Fujifilm X-T2 arrived, it was more than just a modest upgrade to the already impressive X-T1. While the new X-T3 hasn't changed the overall design of the camera, this model is way more than an upgrade; rather, it's a quantum leap.
The Movie Maker is a compact, motorized slider designed for phones, action cams and small mirrorless cameras. We think it's a fun little kit and a good value proposition for the cost, provided you can work around a few of its weak points.
Nikon's Z7 is the first camera to use the all-new Z-mount, the company's first new full-frame mount since 1959. We've put together our first impressions based on quality shooting time with a pre-production camera - check out what we've found.
What's the best camera for a parent? The best cameras for shooting kids and family must have fast autofocus, good low-light image quality and great video. In this buying guide we've rounded-up several great cameras for parents, and recommended the best.
What's the best camera for shooting landscapes? High resolution, weather-sealed bodies and wide dynamic range are all important. In this buying guide we've rounded-up several great cameras for shooting landscapes, and recommended the best.
What’s the best camera costing over $2000? The best high-end camera costing more than $2000 should have plenty of resolution, exceptional build quality, good 4K video capture and top-notch autofocus for advanced and professional users. In this buying guide we’ve rounded up all the current interchangeable lens cameras costing over $2000 and recommended the best.
|The Lone Photographer by ed rader|
from My Best Photo of the Week
|Neighbourhood Watch by Stevie Boy Blue|
from Zoo trip ~ Cute...
Voigtlander-Cosina has announced its eighth lens designed specifically for Sony's E-mount system. The 21mm F3.5 lens is due out October 2018.
Sony has taken the wraps off of its new 24mm F1.4 GM full-frame lens, which the company claims is the lightest in its class. Despite its fast aperture, the 24mm F1.4 is remarkably light, weighing just 445 grams (15.7 ounces). The lens will set you back $1400 when it ships next month.
In this episode of DPReview TV we take a look at Sony's brand new 24mm F1.4 GM lens, a desirable focal length for many photographers. How does it perform? Chris and Jordan give us their first impressions.
We've had a little time to shoot with Sony's new wide/fast prime, both close to home and on the water in San Francisco. Check out our initial sample images.
Fujifilm released a firmware upgrade for its X-T3 mirrorless camera that addresses issues with distortion compensation and the mechanical lock on SD cards.
The app's algorithms have been trained using using 200 million cropping data points from real photographers.
Thanks to a software update, the Loupedeck+ editing console can now be used for video editing.
British photographic engineer MTF Services is claiming the world’s first third-party lens adapters for the new Nikon Z system with a collection of four units designed to allow cinema lenses to be mounted on the mirrorless full frame bodies.
Think Tank Photo has updated its line of heavy-duty rain covers and introduced a new, compact version for emergency situations.
The X-T3 is our first opportunity to analyze what's likely to be Fujifilm's next generation image sensor. Take a look at how it performs next to the competition in our studio test scene.
Canon's new normal is seriously sharp wide open. After shooting with it for a few days, we've prepared a gallery of real-world sample images.
Nikon will cease offering Brazil-based customer service and technical support, though the company stresses that it will still offer technical assistance and warranty repairs for valid warranties.
Two years ago, CatLABS of JP announced a plan to save Packfilm from the dead. Now, it's announced it's giving up its efforts to better focus its resources elsewhere.
The GoPro Fusion is designed to make it easy to capture 360-degree video and stills. We took it out recently on a typically hot Seattle summer day to see what it can do.
We've got our hands on a full-production Nikon Z7 camera and have updated our gallery with additional samples.
A new Kickstarter campaign seeks funding for Chroma Chrono, a programmable RGB camera flash that emits multiple colors during long exposures.
Think Tank Photo has launched a new lineup of six dual-access, water-resistant protective lens cases it calls Lens Case Duo.
Canon and Nikon finally entered the full-frame mirrorless market this summer with the brand-new RF and Z mounts. Now that we've had some time with the cameras, we wanted to revisit our earlier predictions and take stock.
The devices' camera specs look pretty much identical to last year's iPhone X but under the hood a number of important improvements have been made.
Blackmagic Design has announced the public beta of its new Blackmagic RAW video codec. The company says the new format combines the benefits of shooting Raw video with the ease of use and smaller file sizes usually associated with non-Raw video files.
Serif, the company behind the Affinity suite, has announced the latest update for its mobile Photoshop competitor Affinity Photo for iPad.
The Atomos Ninja V external video recorder and monitor will be ready to ship at the end of this month. The 5.2in Ninja V is designed to provide a smaller option, while still offering many of the features of the larger 7-inch models.
Having shot with the camera, spoken to Canon and read the tea leaves, here's what DPR Technical Editor Richard Butler thinks the EOS R tells us about Canon and the RF's mount's future.
After last week's teaser, lighting manufacturer Profoto has announced its 'small big' new product. The B10 is designed to be used as studio flash head but in a very small body, and has a powerful continuous light source for videographers as well.
Konseen has launched Photo Studio, a new light box tent large enough to photograph people, as well as objects.
Seagate has introduced new high-capacity hard drives for Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices: the 14TB IronWolf and 14TB IronWolf Pro HDDs.
The case was first announced earlier this year as a Kickstarter campaign and comes with a range of features aimed at iPhone photographers.
Manfrotto has introduced a new two-in-one tripod to its Befree lineup. Called the Befree 2N1, this new addition is both a tripod and monopod in one and is available with both of Manfrotto's locking mechanisms.
This new high dynamic range editing software comes with an AI-powered Quantum HDR Engine for improved photo merging.