Wednesday, June 25, 2008

DPReview Reviews (Properly) the K20D

Yup, they finally got it out, the full K20D review over at DPReview. Mostly as expected I think, for anyone whose been using one of these bad boys. Mostly good, couple of less than great points. I am a bit disappointed in the length of time it took to get this out, DPReview was instrumental for me in my last couple of camera purchases, and releasing a review 6 months after a camera is put out isn't helping.... especially when it seems the second a Canon or Nikon camera is released a full review is up.

However, as a Pentax user I'm sort of used to being the un-loved step-child :) Many thanks for the in depth and well done (IMHO) review (and the "Highly Recommended" rating of course :)

Thursday, June 19, 2008

K20D Extended Preview on DPReview

Finally! The K20D "extended preview" is up on DPReview. At first I thought it was a real review, but after looking into the forums people seem less than pleased with the polish and accuracy of the preview (and question the need for an extended preview at this point instead of a proper full review. There really isn't a huge amount of new information here, outside of specs and screenshots of menus, LCD, viewfinder, etc.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

New Shutterspeed Episode

Looks like the MS guys have finally posted episode 2 of Shutter Speed. Looking forward to catching this on the train home tonight.

Monday, June 16, 2008

K20D Firmware 1.01 Released

According to the DPReview notes, this is a fix for hot pixels on the 2 second self timer. I haven't noticed these myself, but good to hear. The download is here.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Ned Posts 17-70 Samples

Ned Bunnell has posted samples of the DA 17-70 on his blog. Look real good, not a lot of overly visible distortion or vignetting.... Dammit, I'm getting excited about this lens again! Would love to see some comparison to the Sigma 17-70 as well though.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Official DA17-70SDM Announcement

Just saw this morning on that the DA 17-70/F4 SDM has been officially announced. I'm glad this is finally "out" as this is the ultimate walkaround lens I've been waiting for. That is, if it's as sharp and good end-to-end as my DA 16-45/F4. Some of the preview comments that I've seen have been "ok" in my opinion, having distortion at the wide end, and having to stop down at the wide and long end to avoid vigneting and lots of CA :(

However, those notes are from a random french magazine using a (possibly) pre-production unit, so I'll wait for the official reviews to come out.

The actual notes don't show anything hugely revealing over the specs and Pentax press release. The lens is almost the same size as the 16-45 which is great (17-70 is 75 mm × 93.5 mm and 485g, the 16-45 is 72 mm × 92 mm and 356G) and just a bit heavier. Course, if this means I don't have to carry two lenses in my bag to get walk-around coverage, that's great. Sucks to lose that tiny bit on the wide end (especially if there's vignetting) but it's really only 1.5mm in reality.

One other interesting bit is that because of the SDM auto-focus mount (the * part of DA*) if the lens is used on a non-SDM enabled lens (ie: other than the k10/20 range) it will default back to manual focus. This is a bit sucky, but I suppose compromises have to be made (and as I have a K20, this doesn't bother me much at all :)

No word on availability yet :(

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The Microsoft "Shutter Speed" Podcast

So today on the train home I finally got a chance to watch the first (and only currently) episode of Shutter Speed, a new podcast from Microsoft and their imaging team. I was actually pleasantly surprised at it... expected a that everyone involved would be using Microsoft cameras, Vista as their OS and proclaiming that the new Vista Photo Gallery software (and the Live Photo Gallery online addon) as the next coming of imaging, all the while complaining that camera makers don't support the new Microsoft version of JPEG.

Luckily though, there was none of this. Other than a couple of references to Microsoft services, the 4 guys doing the show talked about everything from P&S choices to flickr to lens choice. The best part was (IMHO) the interview with Phil Borges, an absolutely amazing portrait photographer who took you through what's in his bag, what he does for lighting, some DIY bits he uses, how he frames, what makes a good portrait... lots of really good info in there.

Sadly the first part of the podcast dragged a bit and wasn't as easy going as my other favorite, TWiP. Of course, this was also the first podcast these guys were doing, so this is easily forgiven. Some of the content was a bit remidial in my eyes, but for newbies it was pretty good. The fact that they all agreed that the current state of megapixels was just fine for 90% of the folks out there, and the advice to immediately turn off digital zoom warmed the cochals of my heart!

It took me a long time to get to it and I'm glad I did. Now it's the wait for the next episode... I hope that this isn't like many other Microsoft endeavors that comes out really strong as the initial push is there, and falls flat immediately after (*cough* Ultimate Extras anyone?)

So to the Shutter Speed guys, keep up the good work and hurry up with posting episode 2!