Pentax K100D Firmware v1.01

Darren wrote this at 12:45 am:

Pentax has just released firmware version 1.01 for the K100D digital SLR.

Fixes and features:

  • Support for SDHC memory cards (SD cards larger than 4 GB)
  • Focal length input into the Shake Reduction menu can now be displayed accurately in Pentax Photo Browser 3

See Pentax’s K100D Firmware v1.01 web page for download and installation instructions.

Pentax K100D and K110D

Darren wrote this at 9:03 am:

Pentax has announced two new 6.1 megapixel digital SLRs, the K100D and the K110D.

Features of both cameras include:

  • 2.5 inch 210,000 pixel LCD
  • 6.1 megapixel APS-C sized CCD
  • 16 segment multi-pattern metering
  • 11 point autofocus
  • ISO 200 to 3200
  • PENTAX KAF mount compatible with PENTAX KAF2, KAF and KA mount lenses
  • 1/4000 second top shutter speed
  • uses SD memory cards

The K100D also features a CCD-shift Shake Reduction system.

I’m just glad that Pentax seems to have finally ditched the stupid *-ist camera naming system!

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Phase One Capture One 3.7.4

Darren wrote this at 1:40 am:

Phase One has recently updated its Capture One RAW workflow software to version 3.7.4: see Capture One for Mac OS X and/or Capture One for Windows.

Features of this update include:

  • support for additional cameras, including the Phase One P45, P30 and P21, Canon EOS 30D, Pentax *ist series DSLRs, and Sony DSC-R1
  • Universal Binary on Mac OS X, running natively on both Intel and PowerPC processors
  • 15% faster RAW processing on OS X
  • 10% faster RAW processing on Windows
  • up to 200% faster capture rate

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PMA 2006 Announcements

Darren wrote this at 7:39 pm:

There have been a lot of interesting announcements coming out of this year’s Photo Marketing Association (PMA) trade show. Rather than clog up this blog with dozens of individual posts, I’ll do one of these catch-all posts every few days.

A good related article is Michael Reichmann’s state-of-the-industry summary A View of the Photographic Industry From 30,000 Feet.

Pentax

  • Pentaxhas confirmed that the company will unveil a yet to be named Pentax 10 megapixel digital SLR camera body, tentatively scheduled for a formal launch in Autumn 2006.
  • The smc Pentax-DA 21mm F3.2AL Limited is an interchangeable uni-focal wide-angle lens for exclusive use with Pentaxdigital SLR camera bodies. Offering wide-perspective coverage with a 68-degree angle of view (equivalent in focal length to 32mm in the 35mm format, when mounted on a Pentax *ist D series digital SLR camera body), the lens features a Pentax-original KAF lens mount. Pentax has tentatively scheduled the lens launch for June 2006.
  • Pentax also will preview the Pentax 645 medium format digital SLR camera for the first time in the United States. Offering professional-quality digital image reproduction with 18 effective megapixels, a Kodak-developed extra-large CCD image sensor with 18.6 total megapixels (tentative), a Pentax-original 645AF lens mount, the 645 Digital will maintain compatibility with existing smc Pentax 645 interchangeable lenses.
  • Press release at the Pentax site.
  • Photos at DP Review.

Panasonic/Leica

Samsung

Canon

Sigma

  • 30mm F1.4 EX DC HSM for Four Thirds Mount
  • 18-50mm F2.8 EX DC for Four Thirds Mount
  • MACRO 105mm F2.8 EX DG for Four Thirds Mount
  • APO MACRO 150mm F2.8 EX DG HSM for Four Thirds Mount
  • APO 50-500mm F4-6.3 EX DG HSM for Four Thirds Mount
  • details of above lenses at DP Review
  • 70-200 mm F2.8 EX DG Macro – details at DP Review
  • 17-70 mm F2.8 – F4.5 DC Macro – details at DP Review

Sandisk

Lexar

  • 8.0 GB Professional 90X Compact Flash card

More comprehensive coverage of and commentary on the PMA 2006 announcements can be found at The Luminous Landscape.

Samsung Unveils First Digital SLR

Darren wrote this at 1:13 pm:

Samsung has announced the release of their first digital SLR camera, the GX-1S. It’s a fairly compact 6 megapixel camera with a Pentax AF lens mount – reportedly little more than a rebadged Pentax *ist DS2.

You can read the press release, study the specifications, and see photos of the GX-1S at DPReview.

Pentax *istDS Firmware v2.00

Darren wrote this at 5:48 pm:

Pentax has just released firmware version 2.00 for their *istDS digital SLR camera.

Changes include:

  • AF mode has been added to the [Rec. Mode] in the Menu and the AF mode
  • Auto Sensitivity has been added in the sensitivity mode
  • AE-L button on M has been added in the Custom menu.
  • The effect of Digital soft filters can be selected from weak, middle or strong
  • Dutch and Swedish language modes have been added
  • The sample picture will be displayed in the LCD monitor when select picture modes
  • Menu items that are not selectable are now grayed out

If you have this camera, you can download Pentax *istDS firmware v2.00 right now.

Photoshop Camera Raw 3.3 Beta

Darren wrote this at 5:32 pm:

Adobe has just released a Camera Raw 3.3 public beta, which adds support for RAW files from:

  • Canon EOS 5D and 1D Mark II N
  • Olympus E-500, SP-310, SP-350, SP-500UZ
  • Pentax *ist DL, *ist DS2
  • Sony DSC-R1

Adobe warns:

This version of Camera Raw is in a Beta stage and has not been fully tested by Adobe Systems. Please use Camera Raw 3.2 for the latest certified plug-in.

At this stage it’s probably only worth upgrading if you need support for one of the cameras listed above.

Pentax *ist DS2 Announced

Darren wrote this at 7:52 am:

Pentax has released details of its newest digital SLR, the Pentax *ist DS2.

Features include:

  • Bright, high-precision Pentaprism viewfinder with 0.95X magnification and superimposed AF-point display
  • Fast, high-precision 11-point autofocus (9 cross-type sensors) with SAFOX VIII
  • Compact design with high-rigidity stainless-steel chassis. Body measures just 4.9 x 3.6 x 2.6 inches.
  • Large 2.5 inch LCD monitor remains easy to view, even on sunny days. Power saving mode extends battery life.
  • 6.1 megapixel CCD and sophisticated 16-segment multi-pattern metering delivers outstanding image reproduction
  • Convenient SD media Card storage and High Speed USB 2.0 data transfer
  • Versatile multi-source power supply operates on AA batteries, 2CR-V3 lithium batteries, or optional AC adapter
  • Get creative with 19 custom-programable functions

This is a relatively minor upgrade to the original *ist DS – the only real difference is the new 2.5″ rear LCD. The Pentax *ist DS2 will go on sale in September 2005, priced at around USD$800.

What other sites are saying:

The K-1000 Of Digital SLRs

Darren wrote this at 8:29 am:

While Mike Johnston’s article The K-1000 Of Digital SLRs discusses the Pentax *ist DS (quite possibly the dumbest-named camera ever), it’s not so much a technical review as an experiential review. He reminisces about many older Pentax products, and has some interesting points to make about Pentax’s unusual strategies through the years.

Well worth a read.

New Pentax DSLR Web Site

Darren wrote this at 3:57 pm:

Pentax has just launched a new web site, digiichi, which aims to educate customers on buying and using Pentax DSLRs. It’s a very similar concept to Canon’s recent opening of Enjoy! Digital SLR Cameras.

The first sections online explain what a digital SLR is and how it works, as well as giving a history of Pentax’s SLR lines. Future sections will include a virtual showroom, a photo technique workshop, and a photo gallery.

By the way, can you spot the spelling mistake on the front page? :-)

Update: Someone has fixed the spelling mistake – they had ‘Petnax’ on their main page!