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


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. 


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 new Olympus OM System Company introduces a new 20mm 1.4 lens

It’s officially time to stop calling it “Olympus” kit – the first ever product to be launched under the new OM System brand is the M.Zuiko 20mm f/1.4 Pro lens. 

First announced in September, the Olympus OM System M.Zuiko 20mm f/1.4 Pro is the manufacturer’s first ever f/1.4 lens, bridging the gap between its ultra-compact line of f/1.8 Premium primes and the ultra-fast line of f/1.2 Pro glass. 

And just a perfect lens to introduce. A 20mm 1.4 lens is the perfect lens for those who want to shoot in low light. And a wide angle to boot, this is going to be a good one.


At 63.4 x 61.7mm and 247g, the OM System M.Zuiko 20mm f/1.4 Pro is considerably smaller and lighter than the 17mm f/1.2 and 25mm f/1.2 Pro lenses – and it’s even smaller than the Olympus M.Zuiko 12-45mm f/4 Pro (which the manufacturer infamously pointed out weighs about as much as a large apple), and shares the same 58mm filter thread.  

A 40mm equivalent lens in full-frame / 35mm terms, the 20mm f/1.4 sits comfortably between existing the 17mm (35mm equivalent) and 25mm (50mm) options in the M.Zuiko lineup. 

With a closest focusing distance of 0.25m, it’s a great all-purpose optic for travel, street photography, landscapes and everyday shooting – especially with its IPX1 weather sealing.


Its optical formula features 11 high-quality elements in 10 groups including 1 Super ED (extra-low dispersion) lens, 3 ED lenses, 2 Super HR (high refractive) lenses and 2 Aspherical lenses). 

And to make it even more exciting to see it in action, they have provided us with a video. CHECK IT OUT:

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Olympus will now be known as OM System- How about a new OM System camera?

Olympus cameras, lenses, audio products and binoculars will now be released under the OM System brand name, as the manufacturer resets and refocuses on its core strengths under a new moniker. As such, going forward, all products will bear the OM System name. 

At the same time, it teased a new OM System camera “that brings photography to the next level”, powered by computational photography. 

From his ART OF SEEING by Ken Lee, a motivational message to get you thinking about real life photography.
Wave goodbye to the Olympus logo, and say hello to the new OM System logo (Image credit: OM Digital Solutions)

OM Digital Solutions GmbH is pleased to introduce the OM System brand for our range of interchangeable lens cameras and lenses, compact digital cameras, audio products, binoculars, and other services. We are proud to share that going forward, Olympus imaging- and audio-related products will be released under the OM System brand. We are also announcing that we are currently developing a new interchangeable lens camera compliant with the Micro Four Thirds System standard that will embody the OM System concept and bring photography to the next level. 

The new OM SYSTEM brand
For more than 80 years, since the release of the Semi-Olympus I in 1936, our business (formerly the imaging business of Olympus Corporation) has received tremendous on-going support from our loyal customers for Olympus imaging products. During the film camera era, we achieved an unprecedented compact, lightweight design with the OM series of 35mm SLR cameras, and the development philosophy emphasizes that design lives on in our new company and brand. Looking to the future, we pledge to establish brand value and growth through building the new OM System brand.

What we want to accomplish with OM System
OM System expresses our determination to continue to deliver unparalleled experiences to our customers through our mission to always challenging convention and a philosophy of continuous product development, which we have adhered to since the establishment of the OM Digital Solutions. Through our products and services, we hope to create exciting experiences that bring joy and inspiration. Going forward, we will strive to be the brand that customers will treasure for a long time to come, devoting ourselves to craftsmanship that demonstrates a commitment and fulfills people’s lives.

The development of interchangeable lens camera that brings photography to the next level
Compliant with the Micro Four Thirds System standard, the interchangeable lens camera that we are now developing combines our industry leading manufacturing capabilities and cutting-edge technologies to significantly improve performance and provide an unrivaled photographic experience. We are leveraging the Micro Four Thirds System standard to make more compact and lightweight systems, strengthening the photographic support functions that broaden the field of photography, and accelerating the improvement of image quality and photographic expression through the use of computational photographic technology. We want OM System camera systems to be a partner for the adventures of each and every person. We hope that you will look to our Micro Four Thirds system to bring photography to the next level.

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It is easy to be skeptical of change, but we’re optimistic about this fresh start under the OM System name. Already this year we’ve had the brilliant Olympus PEN E-P7 and Olympus M.Zuiko 8-25mm f/4 Pro, along with the the announcement of a pair of f/1.4 Pro lenses – so the new ownership has done all the right things so far.

With that in mind, we will be looking forward to the new OM System camera. Watch for details here.


Hands-on with the Sony a7 IV

In a world where the Reflex camera seems to be just too much for the photographer, the manufactures keep introducing new model cameras that make it irresistible. Cameras that start thinking for you, now with sharper sensors, and it seems that everyone can get excited about new products.

Back when we reviewed the Sony a7 III in 2018, it changed our perception of what a ‘basic’ full-frame mirrorless camera model was capable of. With solid image quality, auto-focus, video features and battery life, it was truly a jack-of-all trades that we thought would be a great fit for all kinds of photographers. But at the time, its only real competitors from other brands were DSLRs: whereas today, the all-new a7 IV finds itself in a very different landscape.

Sony obviously knows this, and compared to its predecessor, the a7 IV has been redesigned, refined, and updated in just about every way. So let’s take a tour of this new ‘basic’ model from Sony, and see if the updates are enough to tempt you to upgrade (or, perhaps, even switch systems).

Where do we start? How about the sensor? The A7 IV’s new 33MP sensor is hardly headline news by today’s mirrorless camera standards, but it’s a big step up from the 24.2MP of the A7 III and A7C, and it puts a bit of distance between the A7 IV and powerhouse APS-C cameras like the Fujifilm X-T4.

Unlike the A7 III before it, which had a tilting screen, the Sony A7 IV has a flip-out vari-angle display. (Image credit: Rod Lawton/Digital Camera World)

Perhaps the most spectacular advance, however, is the least obvious. The A7 III brought 10fps continuous shooting and an above-average buffer capacity for a general-purpose camera – but the A7 IV’s buffer capacity is just extraordinary. The combination of the new sensor, BIONZ XR processor and CFexpress Type A storage, give the A7 IV an essentially unlimited buffer capacity. It does have a limit – 828 consecutive uncompressed raw+JPEGs – but effectively this camera can keep going until the card fills up, the battery runs out or everyone else has gone home…

The autofocus has benefited from Sony’s continued technical development, with faster re-focusing (no more ‘hunting’ when the subject hasn’t moved) and two new features for video: AF Assist for quick manual focus interventions to make the camera’s AF swap subjects, and a Focus Map mode which shows a blue overlay for subjects ‘behind’ the depth of field limits and a red overlay for subjects in front. It’s also the first Sony to offer human, animal and bird eye AF for video.

The Sony A7 IV has twin UHS-II SD card slots, but the top slot can also take the latest CFexpress Type A cards (not shown here) which are needed to exploit the full range of this camera’s video and burst shooting capabilities. (Image credit: Rod Lawton/Digital Camera World)

The Sony A7 IV is clearly part of the Sony A7 family, but with the chunky handling and bigger grip of the A7S III. The top plate looks relatively uncluttered for such a sophisticated camera, with no controls at all to the left of the viewfinder housing. 

The Sony A7 IV is an “entry level” camera, and notice how well they keep the dials and controls easy to understand and not a lot of extra stuff to confuse the basic photographer, who just wants to take great pictures.

The vari-angle LCD screen is another big step forward from the A7 IV, which only has a tilting screen – but what’s made Sony so mean with its LCD screens? Even the A7 IV has to make do with a 3-inch screen with just 1.04m dots, where rival cameras have bigger 3.2-inch screens and/or twice the resolution.

This 3inch screen is so easy to use, in any direction. If you were doing your own video with this camera, see how nice this would be to see the image of the video on the screen of the camera. Great idea!

From our brief testing session, the still image quality looks superb. Quite apart from the outright resolution, the A7 IV produced excellent color rendition in its JPEGs. Sony says its color rendition is improved over that of the A7 III, and while these things are hard to measure scientifically, the A7 IV’s JPEGs do look very good indeed.

Thanks to Sony for setting up a rather lovely ‘wedding’ at Fulham Palace in London, just so that we could test the A7 IV. (Image credit: Rod Lawton)

From our brief testing session, the still image quality looks superb. Quite apart from the outright resolution, the A7 IV produced excellent color rendition in its JPEGs. Sony says its color rendition is improved over that of the A7 III, and while these things are hard to measure scientifically, the A7 IV’s JPEGs do look very good indeed.

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Much of the above article is compliments of ”Digital camera world”



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.



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 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

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.

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

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.


  • 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

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.


  • 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

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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