Friday, February 29, 2008

Got that great Pentax K10D or K20D! Take the plunge to RAW files.

This post is a brief reasoning (my own, mind you) of why you should shoot RAW. A full twenty pages could have been written, but I tried to keep it short and simple. There are also many reasons why you should shoot in RAW mode, and so few reasons why you should shoot in JPEG mode. See the reasons at the end of this post.

What is Raw Mode anyway?

When a DSLR takes an exposure, the sensor records the amount of light that has hit each photo site or pixel. This is recorded as a voltage level. The camera's A/D converter (Analog to Digital converter) transforms this analog signal into a digital interpretation. Depending on the camera's circuitry either 12 bit or 14 bit (Pentax K20D) or even 22 bit in the case of the Pentax K10D) of data are recorded. If your DSLR records 12 bit of data then each pixel can deal with with 4,096 brightness levels, if it records14 bit then it can record 16,384 different brightness levels and if it records 22 bit like the K10D, it can record 4.2 million different brightness levels or gradations. What happens after you've taken the photograph depends on whether you have the camera set to save your image to the memory card as RAW files or JPEG. If you've saved the file in RAW mode, you can later convert it to a TIFF file or PSD file in a 16 bit workspace or even JEPG in an 8 bit workspace (With only 256 brightness level or gradation), using a RAW converter software package. Of course, your DSLR can convert to JEPG in-camera, rendering a compressed lossy file.

Shooting and saving in RAW

If you are shooting a RAW image, the camera creates a header file which contains all of the camera settings, including sharpening level, contrast and saturation settings, white balance, and more. The image is not altered by these settings; they are simply attached onto the RAW image data. The RAW data is then saved to your memory card along with the meta-data.

Shooting and saving in JPEG

First, did you know that sensors cannot record colors? A Bayer Matrix/color Filter Array is used in order to record colors. Red, blue, and green filters are placed over each pixel. Half of the pixels are filtered by the green filter and the remaining colors are either red or blue. A proprietary algorithm is used to convert the values recorded by each pixel by comparing each pixel with its neighboring colors. Full color information is consequently derived from this complex process. It’s a wonder that such small “in-camera computer chips” can do this job at all. The in-camera conversion of the RAW file to a JPEG file also applies some Unsharp Masking, contrast, color saturation and save the results to an 8 bit mode file. The brightness level or gradation is now reduced to 256 levels. The resulting JPEG file is compressed to reduce the file size as a lossy file format. To attain this, the in-camera processing has to throw away information, which cannot ever be recuperated.


RAW file is basically the data that the DSLR sensor recorded along with some additional information added on and non-destructive. A JPEG is a file that has had the camera apply matrix conversion, white balance, contrast, and saturation, and then has had some level of destructive compression added. Also note that each manufacturer decides for you what conversion should be applied to the JPEG file.

Why shoot JPG?

Because you are scared to make the plunge to RAW, like I did. (Once you do, you will forever wonder why you didn’t switch sooner.)

Files are smaller and more can fit on a memory card. (Memory is getting cheaper all the time and this reason is somewhat not valid anymore.)

For many applications, JPEG image quality is more than sufficient (Snapshots, emails, computer screen rendition only) (That may be true, but why not keep your image in a non-destructive RAW file and convert to JPEG as needed, while keeping the original data intact?)

Smaller files are easily transmitted wirelessly and online. (Again, that may be true, but why not keep your image in a non-destructive RAW file and convert to JPEG as needed, while keeping the original data intact?)

Many photographers don't have the time or desire to post-process their files. (This is like saying that you like your food well cooked, but don’t have the time to do so.)

Why shoot RAW?

It holds exactly what the sensor recorded. You are able to extrapolate the best possible image quality, now or in the future. Better image processing software will come along and you will be able to re-process old images in their RAW form with better software.

You can set any color temperature or white balance you want after the fact, with no image degradation.

File color filter array conversion is done on a computer with a fast and powerful microprocessor when compared to the small in-camera processor.

The RAW file is tagged with information as set in the camera by the user, but the actual image data has not been changed. You are free to set parameters based on each image evaluation. You can change your mind now or in the future as the RAW file is non-destructive.


Every DSLR is actually always shooting in RAW mode. If you choose to save the file as a JPEG, you are committing to the RAW conversion that is built into the DSLR. If you save your image in RAW, you can do the conversion on a more sophisticated platform, and do so time after time. Do you want to do the RAW file conversion now in your DSLR with the manufacturer’s preferences, or later on your powerful computer, the way you like it? Certainly anyone looking for the best possible image quality will want to shoot in RAW mode. Why would you purchase a sophisticated DSLR, such as the Pentax Line of DSLRs, if you don’t intend to use it to its full potential?

Thank you for reading, and have a great Pentax Day.

Yvon Bourque

P.S. You don't have top agree with me, let me know your point-of-view.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Owning a Pentax DSLR is more like being part of a family.

Kazmir "Kaz" Zysk is Territory Manager in Canada. He was part of the Pentax group at the PMA08
This "Bobcar" was at the PMA08 and it was seen all over the street of New York. Now that's good advertisement.

It was just a little over a year ago that we started to hear about a new K10D DSLR that Pentax was about to introduce. I owned Pentax cameras all of my adult life, and after reading about the camera on every website I could find, I knew the camera would be a hit. Pentax used to be known by everyone that had anything to do with photography. They were at the forefront of the 35mm revolution. As a young boy, I remember walking to the camera stores in Montreal (That’s my birth place but I now reside is Sunny California.) and looking through the display windows, just imagining how it would be great if I could afford a new Pentax Spotmatic. I would spend countless hours reading every small Pentax ads in every magazine. Yes, I was obsessed.

Many of the improvements and innovations, of Pentax in particular, were envisioned by Herbert Keppler who first worked for Modern Photography and later for Popular Photography. He was one of the first American to realized that “Made in Japan” for cameras meant good quality at a reasonable price. Of course, German cameras were the elite camera makers at the time, but the prices were exorbitant.

In the past two or three decades or so, Pentax kind of took a back seat to Nikon and Canon. I don’t exactly know why, but ask most people younger than thirty years old, and you’ll find out that most had never heard of Pentax until recently.

Here in the United States, Pentax was at a standstill until after the Pentax K10D was introduced. Now with the K20D announced, there is a big buzz in the photographic world about the newest DSLR from Pentax. It boasts a new CMOS sensor with 14.6 megapixels and great images even at high ISO up to 1600 and beyond. Like its predecessor, the K10D, it has advanced features only found in camera costing two to three times more. It will be another success, and even bigger than the K10D.

It took about six months or more for magazines to test and write about the K10D after its introduction. It took the photographic world by surprise, in my opinion. As of this writing, the K20D is not in stores yet and Popular Photography and Shutterbug magazines have already published articles about the K20D with the camera featured on the cover. Could this be the same Pentax Company that everyone was ignoring a year ago? I’m afraid it is.

Maybe, we have to thank one person for that, at least here in the United States. It seems that as soon as Mr. Ned Bunnell was promoted to President of Pentax USA, things started to change. Full page ads started to appear in magazines, Pentax presence at trade shows increased, the Pentaxians site was created, a new Pentax Professional Services Program was instituted, etc. Changes are everywhere at Pentax USA. John Carlson has videos about Pentax DSLRs on “You Tube” and so on. I don’t know Mr. Bunnell personally, but I had a chance to shake hands with him at the recent PMA08 in Las Vegas. For a man in his position, he seems to remain very accessible. He even has a blog site and actually takes the time to post articles fairly often. Mrs. Michelle Martin, who is the Media Contact for Pentax USA, has her email and phone number posted with every Pentax announcements and press releases on the Pentax Website. She actually answers her phone and emails. Try to reach people with the same position at Canon or Nikon!

Congratulation Mr. Bunnell for leading Pentax in a new direction and thank you for having a staff that is available and helpful. Owning a Pentax camera is not a “cash and carry” proposition, it’s more like joining a family or being amongst friends. When you purchase a Pentax DSLR, you get all those benefits on top of owning some of the best DSLR cameras on the market for the price.

Ned Bunnell is President of Pentax USA.

I guess you could classify me as a die hard Pentaxian. I’m proud of it.

Thank you for reading,

Yvon Bourque

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Palm Springs, California, Mexican/Catholic Church


We were in Palm Springs a few weekends ago and I shot these pictures of a small Catholic Church, with sort of a Mexican architecture. We went inside as the door was opened. In the Catholic tradition, I lit up a candle for my mother who is in her mid-ninetys and not feeling all that well these days.

There was nobody in the church but my wife and I. I took the liberty of taking a few pictures. I wish I could send the feeling of peace and quiet we felt along with the pictures, but technology isn't there yet.

Thanks for reading.

Yvon Bourque

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Two new Pentax Books coming out soon.

Hi Pentaxians friends,

I have been working till 2:00 AM almost every day for the last month. I am writing two new "How to" books for the upcoming release of the new Pentax K20D and the new K200D.

I am hoping to get the books out about the same time the cameras are launched. Here is a preview of the covers.

I will post more as I am progressing.

Thanks for reading,

Yvon Bourque

Monday, February 18, 2008

Why it's important to have a weather sealed camera such as the K10D.

Hi Pentax friends,

Sunday late afternoon, we were driving back home from an outing to the country side of San Bernardino county. Along route 18, south the San Bernardino Mountains, a hay farmer (not that I knew, but I asked the farmer what he was growing) was watering the fields. The sun was low and it emphasized the water sprays.

With the farmer’s permission, I ventured into the field and started shooting. I liked the effects it was creating, but I was all wet by the time I was finish and so was the Pentax K10D. I’m happy to report that, as advertised, the K10D did not take any water in. It’s only after the shootout that the farmer told me that the water was recycled and that I should wash my face and hands thoroughly. So we stopped at the next service station and did just that. I hope I won’t get sick from the tainted water! His crop is not intended for human consumption, but for his animal feeding. You think there are any chances the bacteria’s could eventually get to us from the meat we eat?

None the less, I thought the effect was worthy of the time spent there.

Thank you for reading,

Yvon Bourque

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Maine is beautiful in Winter.

We lived in Maine a few years back and we were sad to leave. Unfortunately my job, as engineering manager of a small office in central Maine, came to an end. We were there for about four years. The summers are quite wonderful, as there are hundreds of lakes and coastal scenery.

Nobody seems to like winter, including myself, but when you are brave enough to venture outside after a good snow, there are beautiful scenes to be captured. The snow seems to clean the entire land. The trees take a new dimension.

I didn’t have my K10D back then, and in fact I had no digital camera. Most pictures were taken with my good old Pentax 35mm cameras. They were scanned on a regular Epson scanner, what ever the model was back then. The pictures are not as crisp as with my K10D but they are still good memories of Maine and of time-gone-by.

I hope you enjoy these winter scenes. If you live up North, you are probably sick of the winter and ready for spring, but go out there and take some nice winter pictures while you can.

Thank you for reading,

Yvon Bourque

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

I can't get enough of Joshua

Hi fellow pentaxians,

I have been really busy lately writing the new K20D and the K200D books. The books will be out at about the same time the K20D and K200D will hit the stores.

I seem that time flies when you're having fun, and writing books for me is a lot of fun. In all of that work, which makes me burn the midnight oil a lot, I have neglected posting on the blog everyday. My goal with the blog was to write something everyday.

We took a break this weekend and drove to Joshua Tree National Park. It’s a favorite place of mine. The scenery is very different than most other National Parks. I was hoping that the California wildflower season had started, but it won’t for another few weeks according to the Park Ranger. This season, because it rained more this year, we should have a nice array of wildflowers in the desert and high desert area.

I took a few pictures with my K10D while my wife was shooting away with her K100D. Here are some of the photos.

A few hours earlier, before the sky cleared (K100D with DA 18-55) Anne Bourque

One lone Joshua tree (K10D with DA 16-45) Yvon Bourque

The road to the park (K10D with DA 16-45) Yvon Bourque

Thank you for reading, and I still have a lot to write about Pentax at the PMA08 trade show and about the people working at Pentax; a truly great bunch of people. Check this blog often or simply join the RSS feed at the top right of the posts.

Yvon Bourque

Saturday, February 9, 2008

It's impossible to get better IQ with APS-C than FF sensor. Really?

There are still folks on the various forums that argue about what can and can't be done with digital photography. We are really just in the infancy of the digital photography. It's going to get much better in the years to come. One day, we may look back and laught at the arguments we had about full frame or APS-C. Someday, this will be our "old days"!
Whenever I hear that something is apparently technically impossible to be done, I read the following quotes.
I had these for many years and keep going back to them. Here goes:
  • “I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.” – Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943
  • “This ‘telephone’ has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us.” – Western Union, internal memo, 1876
  • “The concept is interesting and well-formed, but in order to earn better than a ‘C’, the idea must be feasible.” – A Yale University management professor in response to Fred Smith’s paper proposing reliable overnight delivery service. Smith went on to found FedEx.
  • “Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?” – Harry Warner, Warner Brothers, 1927
  • “I’m just glad it will be Clark Gable falling on his face and not Gary Cooper” – Gary Cooper on his decision not to take the leading role in “Gone With the Wind”
  • “We don’t like their sound, and guitar music is on its way out.” – Decca Recording Company, rejecting The Beatles, 1962
  • “Heavier than air flying machines are impossible.” – Lord Kelvin, President, Royal Society, 1895
  • “There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.” – Ken Olson, President, Chairman and Founder of Digital Equipment Corporation, 1977
  • “If I had thought about it, I wouldn’t have done the experiment. The literature was full of examples that said you can’t do this.” – Spencer Silver, on the work that led to the unique adhesives on 3–M Post–It notepads
  • “The wireless music box has no imaginable commercial value. Who would pay for a message sent to nobody in particular?” – David Sarnoff’s associates in response to his urgings for investment in the radio in the 1920’s
  • “Everything that can be invented has been invented.” – Charles H. Duell, Commissioner, U.S. Patent Office, 1899
  • “So we went to Atari and said, “Hey we’ve got this amazing thing, even built with some of your parts, what do you think about funding us? Or we’ll give it to you. We just want to do it. Pay our salary, we’ll come work for you.” And they said, “No”. So then we went to Hewlett Packard and they said, “Hey, we don’t need you; you haven’t even got through college yet.” – Apple Computer Co–Founder Steve Jobs on attempts to get Atari and HP interested in he and Steve Wozniak’s personal computer.
  • “Louis Pasteur’s theory of germs is ridiculous fiction.” – Pierre Pachet, Professor of Physiology at Toulouse, 1872
  • “You want to have consistent an uniform muscle development across all of your muscles? It can’t be done. It’s just a fact of life. You have to accept inconsistent muscle development as an unalterable condition of weight training.” – Response to Arthur Jones, who solved the “unsolvable” problem by inventing Nautilus.
  • “Airplanes are interesting toys, but are of no military value.” – Marechal Ferdinand Foch, Professor of strategy, Ecole Superieure de Guerre
  • “Drill for oil? You mean drill into the ground to try to find oil? You’re crazy.” – Drillers who Edwin L. Drake tried to enlist to his project to drill for oil in 1859
  • 640k ought to be enough for anybody.” – Bill Gates, Co–Founder and CEO of Microsoft, 1981
How would you like to go down history that way?
Thanks for reading,
Yvon Bourque

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Test the new K20D CMOS 14.6MP IQ (Image Quality) sensor yourself right here.

Hi again Pentaxian friends,

There is a website in Japan that has several photos taken with a Pentax K20D for comparison purpose. I found this on a thread listed on The Japanese site compares the same image for auto and manual White Balance, Exposure compensation and the same image shot at ISO 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600 and 3200.

The reason I am posting the images below is that you can enlarge the images to full size by clicking on each image. Then, you can save the images on your own computer and open them again with your image processing software. I used Photoshop but use the software you normally use. From the real images now on your computer, you can compare the IQ and you can also print the images on your own printer for a comprehensive evaluation, by none other than… yourself. If your software allows viewing the EXIF, you will see that all photos were taken in JPEG with the Aperture Priority mode and a lens set at 23.13mm.

ISO 100

ISO 200

ISO 400

ISO 800

ISO 1600

ISO 3200

I think it’s pretty impressive. What do you think?

Thank you for reading.

Yvon Bourque

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Pentax/Samsung new 14.6MP CMOS sensor.

I found these images today from a Japanese or Asian site that shows how Samsung is promoting the new 14.6MP CMOS sensor that are shipped with the Pentax K20D and the Samsung GX-20. The new sensor was developed jointly (Pentax and Samsung). From what I was told, Pentax engineers, who have more experience than Samsung with photographic equipment, designed the sensor. Samsung is manufacturing the sensor since they already had manufacturing plants and the technical experience to make this new CMOS sensor come to life.

Click on images above to enlarge.

The images are self explanatory, although technically, I don't quite fully understand the process. I have always been amazed to read, on various sites, that CMOS APS-C sized sensors were limited to 10MP. A decade ago, CCD sensors were apparently limited to 3 or 4MP while CMOS sensors were too expensive and had a lower IQ. We have surpassed these barriers many times over and I have no doubts that new technological advancements will make it possible in a not-so-distant future, to pack 20MP on an APS-C sensor with excellent IQ at all ISO.

The buzz word these days is Full Frame. The full frame sensors are a vestige from the 35mm cameras era. It was just a handy way to make 35mm lenses fit on a new digital SLR design. Yes, the 35mm lenses do fit on the APS-C sized camera but project an image circle bigger than what the sensor can capture, hence the cropped image circle that makes a 200mm lens act like a 300mm lens and a 20mm wide angle lens act like a 30mm lens. I think it's wonderful. Have you priced a 300mm f/2.8 versus a 200mm f/2.8 lately? Telephotos are much more expensive than wide angle lenses. APS-C ultra wide angle lenses are now available, at about the same reasonable price of full frame wide angle lenses, making the APS-C sized cameras getting the best of both worlds. See previously post "APS-C versus Full Frame".

Pentax may produce a full frame sensor in the future, but it will only to meet the false perception of the consumers that bigger is always better. With time, the APS-C sized sensors will have the same IQ and pixel count of the full frame sensors. Full Frame DSLR cameras and lenses will always cost more to manufacture and will forever be heavier. As example, the Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II series and the Nikon D3 are great cameras but costs between $5,000 and $7,000 US. If you have ever held one of these cameras, you know just how heavy and bulky they are.

So, from my point-of-view, I believe in technology, the same technology that brought us from silver halide film to this new digital age and to this 14.6MP CMOS sensor that the Pentax K20D and the Samsung GX-20 have introduced. It offers the greatest resolution in its class.

Isn’t technology great?

Thank you for reading. Tomorrow, I will post more about my PMA 2008 experience with the new Pentax cameras and lenses.

Thank you for reading.

Yvon Bourque

Monday, February 4, 2008

The PMA 2008 show for Pentaxians

Hi everyone,

Revision - 2/5/2008 @ 2:45 PM US Pacific Time: The images of the blue man eye below can now be seen full size by double clicking on the images.
Eye photos are © 2008 - Julie Quarry
I will be posting all this week about my favorable impression of the Pentax presence at the PMA 2008. My posts will include articles about the new Pentax DSLR cameras and lenses I had the privilege to handle, the two great and friendly Pentaxians photographers I met, (Kerrick James and Julie Quarry), the Pentax USA and Pentax CANADA employees that were very helpful, friendly and knowledgeable and finally about the Pentax presentation in general during the PMA 2008 tradeshow.

During the two days I spent at the show, I visited most of the major manufacturers of DSLR cameras and lenses. Companies represented, were doing their best to get the visitor’s attention to visit their booth. Some had beautiful models posing for the general public, some had bands playing music, some had dancers, and some even had acrobats doing their tricks. Everyone was trying to get your attention. Some were giving free drinks, free candy, free samples, but in the end…it’s all about the product they sell that counts and it has to stand on its own.

The two biggest names in the DSLR camera world, and we all know who they are, had the biggest spaces and it was almost impossible to talk to them and even harder to hold or ask questions about their products. People were crammed in their booths to where it became uncomfortable. It seemed like the consumers were all trying to impress each other with which DSLR model or lenses they owned. I stood out like a soar thumb with my Pentax K10D around my neck and frankly, I loved it. Entry-level and amateur photographers and the public in general tend to gravitate around the big names as this is what they hear about mostly through the Media.

It's strange how my K10D wouldn't focus on some part of the writing in this image!

Pentax is not a new company nor is it a small company, but when compared to the two giants of the industry, yes they are smaller. Is that to say their products are inferior? Well of course the answer to that is NO. They may have to work harder to earn our business. That’s exactly what Pentax has done and indeed is still doing. The K10D was a big success because it was chuck full with innovations and priced hundreds and even thousands below any camera with similar attributes. It was introduced with features found in DSLR cameras targeted to advanced amateurs and even professional photographers, at the price of entry level DSLR cameras. Reviewers all over the world were confused as to what the K10D should be reviewed against. The truth is that there wasn’t any other DSLR like it. It had professional features, like weather seals, in-camera shake reduction, dedicated RAW button, glass pentaprism, a new sensitivity priority mode, and an array of other features, some not found anywhere at any price.

Pentax just introduced the K20D and the K200D , along with an array of new lenses. All were displayed at the show and the public was able to touch, feel and try the new goodies. There was nothing under locked cabinets. Internet forums and blog sites all over the world, including this blog site, all have been speculating about what the K20D would bring to justify its purchase. Of course, purchasing a new DSLR camera has a lot to do with one’s particular needs and budget. As far as value for the money, the K20D will still be in a class by itself. It is the only camera in its price range (around $1,200 to $1300 U.S. when available around March and likely discounted even more by the B & H photo and the Cameta Camera of the world) that will boast a 14.6 effective megapixels CMOS sensor with an IQ (Image Quality) unparalleled in the price range, both on a pixel count point of view and on a noise level, or rather lack of noise at high ISO.

The Blue Man Group are featured at the Venetian Hotel and Casino

We have seen many pictures of the K20D on the internet lately, but none were that convincing as far as image quality versus the K10D. Pentaxian super photographer Julie Quarry went on the Vegas Strip one night during the PMA show, and took several pictures, simultaneously with a K10D and a K20D set side by side and at ISO 1600. She then cropped the images of the Blue Man upper body, as shown in the photos below, so that only the close up of one eye could be compared. The pictures are from the “Blue Man Group” show at the Venetian Hotel and Casino. I was impressed. I personally will get a K20D and keep my K10D as backup.

© 2008 - Julie Quarry ***Pentax K10D, 50mm - 1/15 sec - f/6.7 @ ISO 1600. Taken in RAW format, cropped from 10.2MP down to 2.31MP and saved as JPEG file. (Click for full size picture)

© 2008 - Julie Quarry ***Pentax K20D, 50mm - 1/30 sec - f/4 @ ISO 1600. Taken in RAW format, cropped from 14.6MP down to 2.46MP and saved as JPEG file. (Click for full size picture)

This post is already longer than I anticipated. I love to write about Pentax equipment, and once I start, I can’t stop. Return to this blog every day this week and you will get some good information about Pentax and the equipment I tried and handled at the PMA show. It’s all great and exciting news.

Thank you for reading.
Yvon Bourque

Saturday, February 2, 2008

PMA 2008 - How is Pentax doing?

Saturday February 2, 2008, 8:00 A.M.

Hi fellow Pentaxians,

I'm at the PMA 2008 convention and will have a complete report on everything Pentax this coming week. I have met with several Pentax employees, technicians, management members and I can honestly say that they are one of the friendliest group out there. I have handled the new K20D and the K200D and the new lenses. Good and impressive new stuff. They are actually far better than I had anticipated. Up to now, my writing about these two new cameras have been based on press releases, the Dubay experience, Reports from Benjamin Kanarek, etc.. Now that I have held them and taken pictures with them, I understand why all the hype.

I met briefly with Kerrick James and Julie Quarry, both extraordinary photographers .

Stay tuned this week.

Thanks for reading. I have to get going and head back to the convention hall for more handling. I feel so very forunate to be here and I feel like a kid in the world's biggest toy store! But, my favorite toys are still the Pentax line. Hey, it's a tough assignment, but someone has to do it!

Yvon Bourque

Friday, February 1, 2008

PENTAX Announces Pro Program

I was just about to call it a night when I saw this Pentax announcement. Good news for Professional Photographers. Pentax is stepping up to the plate.

PRESS RELEASE: PENTAX Announces Pro Program: Benefits Include Equipment Loans and Expedited Repairs

GOLDEN, Colo. --(Business Wire)-- Jan. 31, 2008 PENTAX Imaging Company has announced a PENTAX Professional Services program (PPS) to support professional photographers with several services and benefits. Designed exclusively to support PENTAX products for the working pro, membership is complimentary and limited to working professional photographers.

Known for superior photography products including the K series of digital SLR camera bodies that are compatible with every PENTAX lens ever made, PENTAX systems allow lens interchangeability for a multitude of photographic options. PENTAX will continue to release new and exciting lenses including super fast, special purpose, impressive zoom ranges, and telephoto lenses that will incorporate the new SDM (Supersonic Drive Motor) technology for ultra fast and quiet auto-focusing.

Benefits to members of the new PPS program include:

-- 72 hour rush turnaround on most PENTAX digital SLR repairs. (Repair charges may be incurred depending on existing or extended warranty programs.)

-- Short-term equipment loans that allow photographers to evaluate equipment prior to an actual purchase and/or borrow unique or limited availability lenses for one-time shoots.

-- Direct access to dedicated customer service representatives in PENTAX headquarters to answer technical questions, arrange product loans, or monitor equipment through the repair process to make sure the repair process is timely.

PPS membership is limited to PENTAX professional photographers who derive 51 percent or more of their annual income from photography. Membership may be obtained by completing a PENTAX Professional Service program application. Interested photographers are asked to complete the application, provide an original signature and mail it to the address listed on the form (fax or e-mail copies of this application will not be accepted). PENTAX will notify new members about acceptance within 2-3 weeks. At the time of acceptance, PENTAX will provide more information about rush repair servicing, short-term product loans, and a list of the contact information for PPS customer service representatives who will be able to assist with any aspect of the PPS program, products and services.

For more information about the PENTAX Professional Services program including an application, e-mail or call 1-800-877-0155 (press "0" and ask to speak to PENTAX Professional Services).

PENTAX Imaging Company is an innovative leader in the production of digital SLR and compact cameras, lenses, flash units, binoculars, scopes, eyepieces and mobile printers and scanners. For more than 80 years, PENTAX technology has developed durable, reliable products that meet the needs of consumers and businesses. With headquarters in Golden, Colorado, PENTAX Imaging Company is a division of PENTAX of America, Inc.

PENTAX Imaging CompanyMedia Contact:Michelle Martin, 303-728-0224michelle.martin@pentax.com

(First posted on Thursday, January 31, 2008 at 15:32 EST)