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Topaz Labs' flagship app uses AI algorithms to make some complex image corrections really, really easy. But is there enough here to justify its rather steep price?
4 Conclusion & samples
The Pentax DA 16-45mm F4 ED AL represents an interesting upgrade path from the 18-55mm kit lens, offering a wider angle of view at the expense of shorter telephoto range, coupled with a constant F4 maximum aperture; marginally slower at wideangle, but faster at telephoto. This is in contrast to most other manufacturers’ offerings, which tend towards the general purpose, all-in-one ‘walkaround’ lens with expanded telephoto range. Historically this is because Pentax never designed the 16-45mm as a kit lens upgrade, but as a complement to existing 35mm format lenses in the 28-70mm range; it was therefore intended mainly to cover that otherwise unattainable wideangle view, with no real consideration to the telephoto end.
This means that the decision as to whether this lens is a worthy upgrade to the 18-55mm is slightly complicated, and I must admit to being somewhat sceptical of its usefulness at the start of this test. Sure it has that useful wide angle, but at 45mm it’s a little short for even a head and shoulders portrait; most users would likely still want to pair it with a telephoto zoom for the long end. Also the F4 maximum aperture isn’t exactly going to set the world on fire, although that extra stop at the long end compared to the 18-55mm can be useful. The problems with shadowing of the camera’s built-in flash at wideangle can’t be ignored either. The 16-45mm therefore doesn’t really seem to offer all that much more than the kit lens, and newer lenses with greater zoom ranges or faster maximum apertures also appear to be more compelling options.
But the proof of the pudding is in the eating, and the 16-45mm reveals itself as a fine all-round performer with few faults, both in studio testing and real-life use. It shows pretty consistent image quality across the range, and while the MTF results may not look impressive, its real strengths are elsewhere. In particular it has excellent distortion and falloff characteristics for a wide angle zoom, coupled with reasonable control of chromatic aberration, and impressive macro performance. The only real disappointment is the performance at 16mm, where you'll need to stop down to F11 for best results. And this is all wrapped up in a reasonably small and lightweight package which won’t put much strain on your shoulders. So if your priority is image quality, and the wideangle range floats your boat, this lens is difficult to fault.
|Detail||Rating (out of 10)|
|Ergonomics & handling||8|
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Jan 26, 2011
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Pentax has today announced a new companion lens for the *ist D digital SLR camera. The compact, high-performance, interchangeable smc PENTAX-DA 16 mm - 45 mm F4 ED AL lens features a 3X zoom ratio with focal lengths covering ultra-wide to moderate-telephoto ranges for the angle of view equivalent to 24.5mm-69mm in the 35mm format. Pentax U.S.A. will preview the lens at the PEPCOM Digital Focus media event on January 7 in Las Vegas during the 2004 Consumer Electronics Show. UPDATE: Samples from an *ist D with this new lens posted on the Pentax Japan website.
Above $2500 cameras tend to become increasingly specialized, making it difficult to select a 'best' option. We case our eye over the options costing more than $2500 but less than $4000, to find the best all-rounder.
There are a lot of photo/video cameras that have found a role as B-cameras on professional film productions or even A-cameras for amateur and independent productions. We've combed through the options and selected our two favorite cameras in this class.
What’s the best camera for around $2000? These capable cameras should be solid and well-built, have both the speed and focus to capture fast action and offer professional-level image quality. In this buying guide we’ve rounded up all the current interchangeable lens cameras costing around $2000 and recommended the best.
Family moments are precious and sometimes you want to capture that time spent with loved ones or friends in better quality than your phone can manage. We've selected a group of cameras that are easy to keep with you, and that can adapt to take photos wherever and whenever something memorable happens.
What's the best camera for shooting sports and action? Fast continuous shooting, reliable autofocus and great battery life are just three of the most important factors. In this buying guide we've rounded-up several great cameras for shooting sports and action, and recommended the best.
|All the way up there ..beautiful view by Vishnu photoplorer|
from Tout Là Haut
|Bald Eagle and Handler-0432 by vbuhay|
from People Who Look Like Their Pets
|w756 by River Photography|
|About to leave for Mexico City by Sv1|
from Civil Airliner Parked at an Airport, Surrounded by Baggage Trolleys and Other Equipment
|Wild American Flamingos by Fotorequest|
from Flamingos Unlimited
Take a trip inside the mind (and mouth) of a creative, quirky pinhole photographer.
While peak Milky Way season is on hiatus, there are other night sky wonders to focus on. We look at the Orion constellation and Northern Lights, which are prevalent during the winter months.
We've gone hands-on with Nikon's new 17-28mm F2.8 lens for its line of Z-mount cameras. Check out the sample gallery to see what kind of image quality it has to offer on a Nikon Z7 II.
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The rumor mill suggests the announcement will be a 50mm F1.4 DG DN lens for full-frame mirrorless camera systems.
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Got a new camera? Get started with your Canon EOS R7 by changing these critical settings.
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AI is here to stay, so we must prepare ourselves for its many consequences. We can use AI to make our lives easier, but it's also possible to use AI technology for more nefarious purposes, such as making stealing photos a simple one-click endeavor.
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Scientists at the Green Bank Observatory in West Virginia have used a transmitter with 'less power than a microwave' to produce the highest resolution images of the moon ever captured from Earth.
The tiny cameras, which weigh just 1.4g, fit inside the padding of a driver's helmet, offering viewers at home an eye-level perspective as F1 cars race through the corners of the world's most exciting race tracks. In 2023, all drivers will be required to wear the cameras.
The announcement is believed to be the M.Zuiko Digital ED 90mm F3.5 Macro IS Pro lens, which was confirmed on the OM System roadmap last year.
The new ultrafast prime for Nikon Z-mount cameras is a re-worked version of Cosina's existing Voigtländer 50mm F1 Aspherical lens for Leica M-mount cameras.
There are plenty of hybrid cameras on the market, but often a user needs to choose between photo- or video-centric models in terms of features. Jason Hendardy explains why he would want to see shutter angle and 32-bit float audio as added features in cameras that highlight both photo and video functionalities.
SkyFi's new Earth Observation service is now fully operational, allowing users to order custom high-resolution satellite imagery of any location on Earth using a network of more than 80 satellites.
The firmware update adds eye-detection AF to video capture and improves autofocus performance in other modes.
In some parts of the world, winter brings picturesque icy and snowy scenes. However, your drone's performance will be compromised in cold weather. Here are some tips for performing safe flights during the chilliest time of the year.
The winners of the Ocean Art Photo Competition 2022 have been announced, showcasing incredible sea-neries (see what we did there?) from around the globe.
Venus Optics has announced a quartet of new anamorphic cine lenses for Super35 cameras, the Proteus 2x series. The 2x anamorphic lenses promise ease of use, accessibility and high-end performance for enthusiast and professional video applications.
We've shot the new Fujinon XF 56mm F1.2R WR lens against the original 56mm F1.2R, to check whether we should switch the lens we use for our studio test scene or maintain consistency.
Nature photographer Erez Marom continues his series about landscape composition by discussing the multifaceted role played by the sky in a landscape image.
Check out some of our full resolution Canon EOS R6 Mark II photos, captured over the holidays and in the mountains.
After weeks with a production Canon EOS R6 Mark II, Chris and Jordan get into more detail than they could in their initial review.
The NONS SL660 is an Instax Square instant camera with an interchangeable lens design. It's made of CNC-milled aluminum alloy, has an SLR-style viewfinder, and retails for a $600. We've gone hands-on to see what it's like to shoot with.
Recently, DJI made Waypoints available for their Mavic 3 series of drones, bringing a formerly high-end feature to the masses. We'll look at what this flight mode is and why you should use it.
Astrophotographer Bray Falls was asked to help verify the discovery of the Andromeda Oxygen arc. He describes his process for verification, the equipment he used and where astronomers should point their telescopes next.