6 NEW PENTAX K3 MARK III CAMERAS ANNOUNCED. WHAT DOES THAT MEAN ABOUT THE FUTURE OF CAMERAS?

NEW Pentax K-3 Mark III Jet Black (Image credit: Ricoh Imaging)

PENTAX AND LEICA ANNOUNCE NEW VARIATIONS TO THEIR CAMERAS!

Manufacturing of cameras has taken an interesting turn in production. Who would have thought that you could get a camera in a variety of versions of your favorite model.

UPDATE: New reports suggest that no fewer than six different versions of the Pentax K-3 Mark III are in development, including dedicated monochrome and astrophotography models. 

Additional coverage of the company’s online presentation, held in Japan in December 2021, indicates that the Pentax K-3 Mark III will come in six variants: one with a gunmetal finish, a version with a modified shutter release button, a manual focus version, a monochrome model, and an astro model (as reported by Pentax Rumors). And as shown above, a model that is Jet black.

The translated event report reveals that the jet black model will be completely black, including the logo and all engravings. The “shutter stroke change model” is designed for faster shooting with a shallower shutter stroke. The K-3 Mark III MF will be entirely dedicated to manual focus, while the gunmetal model will resemble the base color of the original K-3 Prestige Edition. 

New Pentax K3 in Gunmetal finish

ORIGINAL STORY (02 Dec 2021):Rumor has it that Ricoh is considering an expansion of the Pentax K-3 Mark III product line by adding a monochrome camera as well as an ‘Astro’ variant. 

It might seem strange to release a black-and-white version of the Pentax K-3 Mark III, which would on paper appear to challenge cameras like the Leica M-10 Monochrom, but an astrophotography version makes more sense.

The news comes from a report by Digital Camera Info, keeping track of several different online events that were held recently by Ricoh Imaging in Japan. The report shows that the Japanese outlet Ten Riff had been tweeting updates mentioned in Ricoh’s Pentax Meeting Online 2021. 

It was supposedly announced in the online meeting that Ricoh is “considering a derivative model of the K-3 Mark III equipped with a monochrome sensor… K-3 Mark III Monochrome: uses a monochrome sensor without a color bayer filter… Achieves natural resolution and noise-like image quality without bayer complementation”.

blue pink and white andromeda galaxy way
Photo by Miriam Espacio on Pexels.com

The translated tweets may not convey a perfect description, but it is evident that a lot of thought has gone into the design of these potential models. Further tweets tell us that “Pentax [Ricoh] is considering a model for astronomical objects ‘K3 Mark III Astro’… to prevent infrared voyeurism? It is a premise to make a pledge that ‘it will be used only for astronomical photography… general shooting is not possible’.” 

The meeting also revealed that a calibration-free update to the K-3 Mark III’s Astrotracer feature – which uses the camera’s sensor shift stabilization in tandem with an optional GPS module to shoot trail-free astrophotography – will be provided in a firmware upgrade expected in spring 2022. 

The Astro model supposedly has a Hα (hydrogen-alpha) sensitivity of x10, so it’s likely that nebula will photograph well using this proposed camera. A hydrogen-alpha filter is commonly used among other filters in astrophotography kits to assist in photographing deep sky objects in what’s called true-color or broadband. 

Here’s hoping that Ricoh will officially announce these new progressive models in the coming months, but we should probably practice our backyard astrophotography in the meantime. 

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN TO FUTURE SERIOUS PHOTOGRAPHERS?

With the introduction of these variations of cameras, it looks like the DSLR market is going to be something that a lot of other serious scientists, and specialized photographers may come out of the woodwork and consider. Meant to do things that other camera manufactures only think about.

And one that I find particularly interesting is their model that only shoots black and white. I have done a special every year showcasing some amazing black and white artists. https://wordpress.com/view/123photogo.com And every year I find this collection of black and white photos, they get better and better all the time. For those who really love black and white, their dream camera may have just appeared from Pentax.

With this announcement, photography becomes even more exciting!

This is a rugged, metal-bodied DSLR with a magnesium alloy body, 300,000-shot shutter life and 12fps continuous shooting. (Image credit: Rod Lawton/Digital Camera World)

This original Pentax model was the first to come out with an ISO range of up to 1,600,000! And shooting at that ISO setting has people realizing they can now shoot anywhere.

Today’s article is compliments of Digital Camera World, and Lanny Cottrell

THE BEST CAMERA OF 2021 IS:

backlit camera dawn dusk
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

The best camera of 2021 is voted on annually by DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHER MAGAZINE. There were a lot of new exciting cameras introduced to the world in 2021. And it seems like the new cameras took great new strides in developing cameras that are out of this world. The features keep getting better, and the competition is getting tougher all the time, and that only benefits the consumer who uses the cameras.

Almost every brand was represented with a new camera. Fuji, Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Olympus, Panasonic, Leica, Sony, and others all introduced new ideas in cameras, and the world watched as the battle of the camera companies went in to full swing.

FROM DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY MAGAZINE:

Autofocus systems continued to be a key development area during 2021, with greater use made of artificial intelligence and machine learning to improve subject detection systems. Consequently, we’re seeing manufacturers widen the range of subjects that can be detected and tracked. Such features enable photographers to concentrate on capturing the perfect composition at the decisive moment.

So, what was the best camera of the year? According to our friends at Digital Photographer magazine, the choice was obvious…

Camera of the year 2021

SONY A7 IV

While it doesn’t have the 50MP resolution of the Sony A1, the A7 IV’s 33MP sensor puts it ahead of 24MP rivals at an attractive price. With a CFexpress type-A card and the file format set to anything other than uncompressed RAW files, it can also shoot at 10fps until the card is full or battery expires, however, you are then ‘limited’ to 828 uncompressed RAW files. 

There’s also a brilliant AF system with 759 phase-detection points, real-time tracking and Eye AF for humans, animals or birds. Also, thanks to 7K oversampling, the A7 IV can shoot super-quality 4K video, making it a solid all-rounder. It’s great value,
and the camera likely to sell in the biggest number.

Runners up:

CANON EOS R3

Canon introduced the R3 as its flagship mirrorless camera to sit below the EOS-1D X Mark III. It has a 24.1MP full-frame BSI stacked CMOS sensor combined with a Digic X processor for 30fps shooting for up to 540 JPEGs or 150 RAW files, or 6K 60p video. The tracking system can detect vehicles, humans or animals. 

What’s especially exciting is that the subject can be set by the photographer’s eye at the viewfinder. It’s a feature that we first saw back in 1992, but this is the first time it has appeared in a digital camera and it has benefitted from a huge amount of development to make subject selection quick and intuitive.

NIKON Z-9

Nikon created a new 45.7MP stacked full-frame CMOS sensor for the Z 9 and paired it with the brand new Expeed 7 processor to enable blazing-fast responses and 8K video recording at up to 60p, or at 30p for up to around 125 minutes. And if you switch to stills, you can shoot at 20fps for more than 1000 uncompressed RAW files or 30fps if you swap to shooting high-quality JPEGs.

There’s also a high-specification AF system that allows simultaneous detection of up to nine different types of subject. When we got our hands on the Z 9, we were blown away by the responsiveness and stickiness of the human eye detection.

FUJIFILM GFX 50S II

Measuring 43.8 x 32.9mm, the 51.4MP sensor inside the Fujifilm is 1.7x the size of those in full-frame cameras. It means that each of its pixels has huge light-gathering potential, which helps it to deliver superb-quality images. It relies on contrast detection, so the focusing system isn’t the fastest, meaning that it’s not particularly suited to shooting sport, but it’s perfect for still life, street, landscape, macro and general photography.

For a medium format camera, the GFX 50S II is compact and blends in with full-frame DSLRs. It’s weatherproof and the body weighs 900g, so is easily carried on a shoulder strap, especially when paired with the Fujifilm GF35-70mm F4.5-5.6 WR lens.

SONY A1

In terms of its features and specifications, Sony has thrown the kitchen sink at the A1 camera, giving it a 50.1MP full-frame stacked Exmor RS CMOS sensor and the ability to shoot at up to 30fps for a total of 155 full-resolution compressed RAW images or 165 JPEGs. Meanwhile, in video mode, it can shoot 8K 30p 10-bit 4:2:0 footage or 4K at up to 120p.

The A1 also has 759 phase-detection AF points, covering around 92 percent of the sensor, plus Sony’s advanced Real-time Eye AF that can track human, animal or birds eyes in stills mode and human eyes in video mode. All of these features add up to make the A1 a great tool for professional content creators.

Thanks to “DIGITAL CAMERA WORLD” For use of this article. And most photos were taken by: Rod Lawton/Digital Camera World

FUJIFILM CAMERAS! ARE WE MISSING SOMETHING?

NEW IMAGE OF FUJI FILM X-H2 CAMERA

When we think of Mirrorless cameras or DSLR cameras, we usually think about Canon, Nikon, Sony, and a few others. But, there is a movement going towards the FujiFilm product. Why? Read on!

FujiFilm cameras have been known for years to be really high quality cameras. But, what most people don’t know is the things FujiFilm cameras can do. Let’s look at some of this company’s achievements:

ProductsDigital imaging, Medical imaging, Photographic materials, Biologics, manufacturing, equipment and servicesCosmetics
Revenue JP¥2.32 trillion (FY 2019)[1]
Operating income JP¥186.57 billion (2019)[1]
Net income JP¥124.99 billion (2019)[1]
Total assets JP¥3.32 trillion (2019)[1]
Number of employees73,906 (2019)[1]

Obviously, FujiFilm is involved in a lot of different things. But, that just gives them money to invest in the photo industry. They have the top engineers, and scientists working on their products all the time.

FujiFilm’s X-t1

When you look at the pro-type cameras in any brand, you will recognize if they are serious contenders in the market, and for professional photographers.

FujiFilm is also a lens manufacture. They have been ranked as one of the best lens manufactures in the world, mostly because they QC their lenses all through the manufacturing process. The Multi-coatings on their lenses are superb. And it would be hard to find a lens that is better than the Fujifilm’s Fujinon lenses.

NEW FUJIFILM S-H2 PRO CAMERA COMING IN 2022.

FUJIFILM WILL INTRODUCE 2 VERSIONS OF THE SAME MODEL. NEVER BEEN DONE BEFORE. CHECK THIS OUT:

Back in September a rumor surfaced that the X-H2 would have a brand-new 40MP APS-C sensor, making it Fujifilm’s highest-resolution X-series camera. Now it’s looking like the new Fujifilm X-H2 could come as two versions just with different sensors. 

A trusted source told Fuji Rumours that there will definitely be two Fujifilm X-H2 cameras coming, but gave no more details. What sensors they might possess, we’re not too sure – but we can assume that one of them will be a 40-megapixel X-Trans sensor and the other could be a 40-megapixel Bayer Sensor.

Fujifilm has become famous for its X-Trans sensors and the way they create high-quality images that accurately reproduce color. Bayer sensors, on the other hand, are much more common and the layout of RGB pixels is more uniform. Fujifilm claims that X-Trans sensors are better a color reproduction due to the fact all horizontal and vertical lines contain at least one red, green and blue pixel. It also says that X-Trans sensors are better at reducing moiré, and therefore its cameras have no need for a low-pass filter.

It could be another six months at least before Fujifilm X-H2s start to appear, if registration of the X-H1 was anything to go by. Nokishita has spotted that Fujifilm has just registered a new camera with the code FF210002 but, with worldwide part shortages as well as the expected wait-time, we could be well into 2022 before the X-H2 is readily available. 


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MINOLTA, CHINON, PRAKTICA, what ever happened to them?

For those who have been in the photo industry for years, and including the days of 35mm cameras, these 3 brands of cameras played a part in the photo industry that everyone knew. Seemed to be well built, had good lenses! But where are they today?

FIRST: CHECK THIS VIDEO OUT:

CHINON:

35mm Chinon Bellami; 1981 red suede edition
commemorates 50 years of Chinon USA

Chinon Industries Inc. was established by Chino Hiroshi in September 1948 and was originally known as Sanshin Seisakusho. Its name changed in 1962 to Sanshin Optics Industrial Co. Ltd, finally becoming Chinon Industries Inc in 1973. It is now owned by Kodak Japan Limited, the Japanese daughter company of Eastman Kodak Co. It sells digital cameras to Kodak and provides assistance to Kodak Electronic Products (Shanghai), the manufacturer of its cameras. The takeover by Kodak took place in January and February 2004. Before that time Chinon had been an independent manufacturer of optics and cameras since 1948.

PRAKTICA:

Praktica started as the name of a model of 35mm SLR from KW, introduced in 1949 and successor to the Praktiflex , these cameras were one of the first to use the M42x1 mount.

It became a long-lasting series of SLRs produced by KW and then by Pentacon. The last Praktica produced was the BX20s, discontinued in 2001.

2355086188_a6ac4dfe37.jpg
THE ORIGINAL PRAKTICA HEADQUARTERS
ONE MORE GREAT VIDEO TO WATCH:

MINOLTA:

Minolta Co., Ltd. (ミノルタ, Minoruta) was a Japanese manufacturer of cameras, camera accessories, photocopiers, fax machines, and laser printers. Minolta Co., Ltd., which is also known simply as Minolta, was founded in Osaka, Japan, in 1928 as Nichi-Doku Shashinki Shōten (日独写真機商店, meaning Japanese-German camera shop). It made the first integrated autofocus 35 mm SLR camera system. In 1931, the company adopted its final name, an acronym for “Mechanism, Instruments, Optics, and Lenses by Tashima”. In 1933, the brand name first appeared on a camera, a copy of the Plaubel Makina simply called “Minolta”.[1][third-party source needed]

In 2003, Minolta merged with Konica to form Konica Minolta. On 19 January 2006, Konica Minolta announced that it was leaving the camera and photo business,[2] and that it would sell a portion of its SLR camera business to Sony as part of its move to pull completely out of the business of selling cameras and photographic film.[3]

THE MINOLTA DYNAX 7

Minolta made one last attempt to enter the amateur and professional market with the Maxxum (Dynax) 9 in 1998, followed by the Maxxum 7 in 2000, which used a full LCD readout on the rear of the camera. Though well received by the photographic press, the 7 and 9 did not sell to expectations or achieve any significant breakthrough with their intended customer base, who had largely gravitated to the Canon or Nikon brands. All of these cameras were eventually discontinued in favor of the less-expensive Maxxum 50 and 70, which were sold under the Minolta name until 2006, when Konica Minolta ceased production of all film cameras.

Digital SLR’S from Minolta/ Konica:

Although Minolta had launched their first digital SLR system as early as 1995, the RD-175 — a 3 sensor (3 x 0.38 megapixel) camera based on the Maxxum 500si — was never successful, and in 1998, it was superseded by the Minolta Dimâge RD 3000, a 3-megapixel DSLR based on the Minolta V-mount of Minolta’s APS format SLR camera line, which was equally unsuccessful and short-lived.[citation needed]

While Minolta was the inventor of the modern integrated AF SLR, it took Konica Minolta a long time to enter the digital SLR market, a delay that may have proved fatal. Konica Minolta was the last of the large camera manufacturers to launch a digital SLR camera (Maxxum/Dynax 5D and 7D) using the 35 mm AF mount. During July 2005, KM and Sony negotiated on a joint development of a new line of DSLR cameras,[8] where it was believed that Konica Minolta and Sony would market their DSLR line to the masses (much like the joint marketing and development of Pentax and Samsung K10/GX10 DSLRs).[citation needed]

On 19 January 2006, KM announced that all DSLR production would continue under Sony’s management;[2] DSLR camera assets were transferred to Sony during the Konica Minolta withdrawal phase until March 31, 2006, where technical support for these cameras (primarily Konica Minolta’s other digital cameras) was assumed by Sony, who announced the first Konica Minolta-based Sony SLR — the Alpha A100 — on June 5, 2006. Sony continued the manufacture of DSLRs using Minolta technology until 2010 when the company phased out DSLRs for its SLT system but retained the Minolta A-mount.

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WHAT DO THE NEW CAMERAS MEAN TO PHOTOGRAPHY?

AN EDITORIAL ON THE NEW CAMERAS FROM THE BIG CAMERA MANUFACTURES, AND WHAT IT MEANS TO PHOTOGRAPHY:

BIG ADVANCES IN PHOTOGRAPHY! DOES IT JUSTIFY THE BIG PRICES?
man standing on rock formation
Photo by Zukiman Mohamad on Pexels.com

I have been in the camera industry, either selling, taking pictures, and even doing this amazing blog, watching all the manufactures battle it out for supremacy in technology. It has been fun to watch the new developments in the last couple of years especially to see the rapid advances in technology.

IS THERE A BIG WINNER IN THE TECH WAR?

IS THERE A CLEAR WINNER IN THESE BRANDS?

Good questions and my opinion and my answers are:

  1. The big winner in the tech war in the camera industry is the Photographer
  2. Is one brand better than the other in creating the “SUPER” CAMERA? And my answer is NO.
man holding black dslr camera
Photo by Suliman Sallehi on Pexels.com

Because I sold cameras for a long time I have a hard time coming out and saying that one brand is better than another. So, how does that help you, the photographer, pick which camera is better for you?

If you know photography good enough to understand all the new advancements of the above 5 cameras (and there are other camera manufactures you could look at too), then as you read all the features they have, there are definitely some features that should excite you.

I do not have a favorite camera so I can be totally unbiased, but as I looked at some of the features of these cameras, there was something in each one that blew my mind, and got me way excited to buy that brand. So, I think I would like to own each one of the above 5 cameras. That won’t cost much, right?

Let’s look at the features of some of these cameras, and I will tell you what got me excited about each one:


OLYMPUS OM – D

  • Olympus has always had a well built camera.
  • Price on camera body:: $999.95
  • 121 Cross phase focus points.
  • Incredible, highly rated image stabilizer built in to camera body
  • Weather sealed for maximum wear
  • 3.0″ Vari-Angle Touch LCD
  • 10fps [H] mode 6fps [L] mode mechanical shutter
  • 30fps [H] mode 10fps [L] mode silent electronic shutter
  • 4K video recording
WINNING AND EXCITING POINTS FOR ME:

Have you ever felt an Olympus camera in your hands. Find one, feel the construction. And you will know you have a winner. Motor drive capable of 30 frames per second, or 10 frames a second in silent mode. WHAT! Thank goodness it does not have film in it. And the price alone has to be one of the big advantages to this camera.


Nikon Z-9

  • 45Mpixel sensor
  • 120Fps in burst mode with reduced sharpness
  • Built-in GPS
  • To avoid the chip shortage, Nikon has developed their own chip.
  • Built extremely well.
  • 8Kvideo recording
  • Priced at between $6,000 to $7,000 dollars (not really available yet, so price is uncertain)
  • New style locking flap for the two CFExpress memory cards.
WINNING AND EXCITING POINTS FOR ME:

The price of this camera has not been set in stone yet. There will be a few cameras that come to the US before the end of the year, but, mostly will not be available until 2022. In true Nikon Fashion, it seems they wanted to outperform most of the other brands out there, although, some things are just getting out of hand. Like the video shooting 8K. I hope somewhere somebody says, that you can’t tell the difference between 4K and 8K. And some optometrists are reporting that your eyes can’t see anything sharper than 4K. The other thing I like is with the chip shortage that is going on, some manufactures are starting to make the chips themselves. That way, production should be better. The new screen on the back of the camera is a new “articulated” screen. Yet to see it, but, I think that will be amazing.


Pentax K3 – III

  • Uses Pentax KA mount, the same mount it has been using for over 30 years, and all those lenses will fit this
  • Full frame DSLR, slightly bigger than the others. Feel is good.
  • Built-in sensor cleaner.
  • ISO up to 1,600,000
  • In-body image stabilizer – originally developed by Pentax
  • 5 different auto exposure points
  • 5 different user exposure modes
  • Flash sync speed at 1/200
  • Priced at body only at $1995.00
WINNING AND EXCITING POINTS OF INTEREST FOR ME:

Pentax is one of the oldest camera manufactures in the world. They have a reputation for extremely well built camera and lens quality is more than amazing. If you would like to do more photography with natural light, then this one is the winner, with an ISO setting from 100 to 1,600,000! This camera is not a mirrorless camera, and maintains the bigger size sensor. There are people who don’t like holding a mirrorless camera because they are too small and hard to hold. This camera seems more traditional in size and design. Pentax was one of the first to put their image stabilization system in the body, and not on the lens. Every manufacture does that now. Just that Pentax keeps improving on their original design so it seems ahead, in technology of the image stabilizer.


SONY A7 -III

  • 24MP sensor
  • Fast Hybrid AF with 693 phase-detection and 425 contrast-detection AF points
  • High-speed continuous shooting of up to 10fps with AF/AE tracking
  • 4K video
  • ISO reading from 50 – 204,800
  • 2 SD memory card slots
  • Uses standard E-mount lenses. Lenses from Europe will also fit this camera
  • Longest battery life on all cameras
  • Articulated rear screen with tilt
  • Priced at $1899.00 for the body only
EXCITING POINTS OF INTEREST WITH THE SONY CAMERA:

Sony has not been in the camera business that long, but, has done some really smart things with their cameras. First of all, they didn’t come up with some strange lens mount, they used one that other camera manufactures use. So, there are several lens companies in Europe that their lenses will work on Sony. To think that I can get a Carl Zeiss lens to work on a Sony is really exciting. The other thing I like about Sony’s thinking is the Auto focus sensor has 3 different types of auto focus, with a crazy amount of sensor points. That means the AI in the auto-focus system is real good. And finally, the way their screen works on the back of the camera is articulated and tilts in several directions. Seems that would be a very convenient feature that a lot of the others miss.


CANON R3

  • High Image Quality with a Back-illuminated Stacked 24.1 Megapixel Full-frame CMOS Sensor
  • Improved Dual Pixel CMOS AF with 1,053 AF Points featuring Vehicle Detection as well as Eye, Face, Head, and Animal Detection
  • The First EOS Digital camera to feature Eye Control AF
  • Uniques new Auto exposure modes: Includes: “Fine Detail”, “Monochrome”, “Faithful”, “Neutral”, and 3 user defined modes.
  • LCD screen with “vari-angle” viewing.
  • Built-in WI-FI and Bluetooth
  • Priced at $5999.00 body only
INTERESTING POINTS OF THIS CAMERA I LIKE:

Canon has been working on the “Ultiimate” camera for some time. I think when Sony came out with their new “flagship” camera, they wanted to UP them a lot. And they did come out with truly unique features. However, their price on this camera should include: To take away the loneliness anytime mode. Priced at $5999.00, it truly should be set for a few years as the ultimate in features. This camera has some unique settings. First of all, special autofocus mode that works best with faces, animals and eyes, and more. What a system. Then the little dial at the top that has the different exposure modes. What is “Faithful” mode? And what kind of exposure does that do? Does it show people from the other side? Can’t wait to see what these new settings are. I like that it has a Monochrome mode. How easy is that to do black and white just by putting it on a setting in your camera. This camera is just really impressive. See: https://123photogo.com/2021/09/18/new-canon-eos-r3-now-available/

My goal in this blog today was to show you that every camera manufacture has some special points to their camera systems. And you should just see which spec or feature you like. They are all really good cameras. But, don’t be biased towards any brand, be biased about the features you want.

Photographic inspirational thought for the day:

There is nothing worse than a sharp image of a fuzzy concept.

Ansel Adams

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