Sunday, November 29, 2009

Pentax K-x book in progress. Will be available soon. Check this site often.

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Hi Pentaxian friends.

The Pentax K-x e-book should be completed in the next week or so. The K-x is the newest of the Pentax DSLRs and is really aimed at entry-level photographers, but the Image Quality of the new Sony CMOS sensor is so great that it makes the camera very desirable.

***If you email me at with "Pentax K-x book" as subject, I will email you the minute the book becomes available.***

The camera is ideal if you are upgrading from a point-and-shoot. You will find the transition very smooth and will be able to learn to control the Aperture, Shutter Speed, and the ISO like a Pro in a short time. Your photographic endeavors will only get better.

I suspect that many Pentax K-x will find their way under many Christmas Trees. The OEM Operating Manual are always a little difficult to read and understand. This e-book is written in easy-to-understand language and will make you a better photographer quickly.

You can print the book on your own printer or have a local Office Max, Office Depot or Staples print and bind the book for you.

Thank you,

Yvon Bourque

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Technology is great but is it necessarily a good thing?

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Hi Pentaxian friends.

Technology is great but is it necessarily a good thing?

During the past two to three years, I have acquired quite a collection of new Pentax lenses. From the DA 10-17mm to the DA* 300mm and almost every lenses in between. I also started collecting the Limited lenses. I have enough lenses for just about all possible situations . Yet, I found that my photography enthusiasm has fallen several notches. Could it be because I have too many choices? Honestly...I believe so.

Every time I go on a shooting trek, I take all the lenses I can humanly carry and still complain to myself about which lenses I should have brought instead. I believe that having so many lenses and choices does not help my photography...instead it complicates it.

So, for a while anyway, I decided to put all of my zoom and telephoto lenses away. I will limit myself to carry a maximum of three lenses with me. I will carry a wide angle, a normal lens and a small telephoto. Instead of taking a powerful telephoto for photographing distant subjects, I will walk or drive closer. Who knows what I might see while physically getting closer. I know, you can't do that for sport photography without being trampled by players, but I personally don't do sport photography.

Will I use Pentax best DA* prime lenses or the Pentax DA limiteds? Not necessarily. I own dozens of older Pentax "A" manual focus lenses that are still superb in quality. Since I'm sort of going back to the basics, I won't be using the autofocus. The "A" lenses are manual focus, but the K-7 and other Pentax DSLRs will acknowledge when AF is achieved with a beep and the green hexagon illuminated in the viewfinder. A small red square will also briefly appear to show where the AF point is located, on most Pentax DSLRs. My eyes also play an important role. What I see is what I want to get. Using AF is sometime misleading the DSLR into focusing on another spot in your scene. Manually focusing gives you a better chance to focus exactly on the desired part of the scene. I like to use the focus point in the center, and recompose if necessary. It's going to be a slower operation, but maybe that's what we all need to do...slow down and compose. Will IQ suffer? I don't think so.

Pro lenses do last longer, can take more of a beating and usually are f/2.8 and faster. However, low cost or older lenses take good pictures as well. They may not endure the handling demanded by Professional Photographers, but they render great images quality as well. The usable ISO of today's DSLRs is so much better than what was available with film cameras. The fast lenses are not as crucial as they were once.

All Pentax DSLRs use APS-C sized sensors. When Full Frame lenses are used, the image circle is much bigger than what's needed for the smaller APS-C sensor. Since glass effectiveness or accuracy tends to be less on the outer edges of any given lens, only the middle portion of Full Frame lenses hits the sensor, making every shots within the sweet spot of the lens used. Therefore, better IQ is achieved when using a Full Frame format lens on an APS-C sensor, although it is cropped. Who cares about the cropping, what you see in the viewfinder is what you get afterall. When post processed with Photoshop, 90% of image quality can be fixed, if needed. This is today's "darkroom" and I see nothing wrong in fixing image quality with Photoshop or other software.

Today's DSLRs are great technical achievements, but too much automation can hinder one's creativity. I you use a fully "Auto-Everything " DSLR, where does the hobby and craft of photography goes? What happens to the careful analysis of a scene and the meticulous composition?

I think this approach will get me back to the groove and my pictures will improve. It's easy to take the path of least resistance, but the outcome is usually proportional.

Thank you for reading,

Yvon Bourque

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Pentax K-7 used as a video Camera with the ikan V5600 monitor.

This post was published on my blog back in July. In the end, I realized that I was a still image photographer and don't really want to venture in videography. However, if you are, I am offering the ikan V5600, with the AC adapter, shoe mount, bracket, Sony battery, battery adapter plate, and all cables required for use with the Pentax K-7 or the Canon 5D or 7D. THE RODE MIC IS NOT PART OF THE PACKAGE. I used the Ikan a total of two time. The setup I have is worth more that $900.00 but I will let it go for $450.00 here first. If nobody gets it from here, I will post it on EBay. Email me if interested and I can sell it using PayPal. Email:

I will ship free in the USA and at cost everywhere else.
Check here for additional pictures and description of this setup:


I purchased a RODE Stereo Microphone and an ikan V-5600 5.6" LCD monitor. Those two intem make the K-7 a good Video recording camera, similar to many HD dedicated video camera which cost a whole lot more.

One could easily produce a very good commersial video or a short film with the K-7 . It's that good. Although some folks were disapointed that the K-7 didn't have AF capability while filming, I don't see that as a problem at all. AF Digicams are on the "amateurish" side. Imagine any TV Commercial or Big Screen Movie where the focus keeps changing as different subjects enter the camera field of vue. A Professional Video Photographer usually adjust the Auto focus manually for each scene. Each scene or clip is then stitched together to create a complete video, taken from many angles and short clips. The sound is usually a blend of actual sound, as recorded during the filming, and post production voices and music to complete the recording as a whole.

I will post applications for the video capabilities of the K-7, on this blog, in the days and weeks ahead. It will probably change the way my articles are posted on this blogsite.

Don't get me wrong, I am a still photographer first and a user of video recording capabilities, second. The Rode stereo microphone makes the video come to live. (I will have an article about it soon.)

The ikan V-5600, 5.6" LCD monitor makes recording videos a pleasure.

Although the K-7 has a 3" LCD monitor, it cannot be compared to a 5.6" monitor. Recording a video is not like shooting pictures. The bigger the screen, the better you will compose your scene. The video on the bigger monitor allows a clearer view and the rendition is very bright. The aspect ratio is adjustable to the format you are filming. It also has a jack for earphones so that you can isolate yourself from the surroundings and concentrate on your video.

The Ikan monitor is light enough to mount on the camera flash bracket or an off camera flash bracket. I mounted my microphone on the camera and the Ikan monitor on an off camera flash bracket. If you are serious about recording videos, you will mount the complete outfit on a tripod, shoot many scenes and stitch them together at home or studio, with a good software application.

I like the ikan V5600 and recommend it to anyone who wants to venture in serious video recording. B&H Photo has the V5600 in stock. If you really want to immerse yourself in videography, visit this site, Zacuto. They have many accessories for the hybrid DSLR/Video cameras. Here 's an overview of the ikan V5600:

Ikan introduces the brand-new V5600, 5.6 inch, LCD monitor featuring a panel resolution of 1024 x 600, switchable aspect ratios (16:9 or 4:3) and multiple inputs, including YUV, AV and HDMI. With a robust image that weighs less than a pound (450 gram), the V5600 is the perfect solution for those looking for a small LCD monitor for field use on either full-size HD video cameras or the new HD-capable DSLR cameras such as the Pentax K-7.


HDMI, Component, & Composite Inputs

Color System NTSC

Supports 480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i

Safe area guides for 16:9 and 4:3 aspect ratios

General Specifications:

Diagonal: 5.6" TFT LCD screen

Resolution: 1024 x 600

LCD Brightness: 165cd/m2

Contrast Ratio: 200:1

Viewing angles: 80/80(R/L), 55/55(U/L)

Operating Volts: DC 12-24V

Dimension: 5.75" x 4.625" x 0.82"

Weight: 0.7 lb

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Pentax K-x Digital SLR Review: Field Test Report

November 16, 2009 by Jack Neubart

Jack Neubart gets a taste of a sweet compact 12.4 MP CMOS APS-C DSLR with a suite of features.

I approach each new camera with a degree of skepticism. Unlike many out there, I’m not as easily swayed by all the media hype and promotional gobbledygook. I’m from Brooklyn and we need to see that something actually works. So when the Pentax K-x arrived, I looked at it, pleased that they sent me the “white” version, only because it reminded me of the Imperial Storm Troopers from Star Wars (would have been a great fit). I unpacked everything, mated the lens to the K-x body, installed the lithium batteries that came in the box, then added my own SDHC card—none included (also takes standard SD—but why hamper the machine out of the gate!). And I started to play with it.

Hmm, not bad, I thought. But let’s see how it performs in the real world. So, intrepid explorer that I am, I ventured outside. It may not be a tropical rain forest, but it is an urban jungle out there rife with photographic opportunities. I was ready for bear (good luck finding one of those in Brooklyn, but you get my drift) and I headed straight for my favorite city park.

Continued...Pentax K-x Digital SLR Review: Field Test Report

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Sunday, November 15, 2009

Good news - bad news. Pentax K-7 came out as the winner.

The day started good.
Zipping along...
One pause to air-down the tires.
On the trail we go.
My wife had to come get us with the good old Chevy.
Still camped out for the weekend.
Some guys were climbing the big boulders.
Joshua tree is peaceful this time of year.
This is some kind of Indian burial place from the early 1900's and my wife and step-son peeping through
Another angle of the Indian burial.
Who is going to get food from inside the pumpkin?
I will fight you for it.
Okay, you win...I'll come back later as I know you can't eat it all.

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Hi Pentaxian friends.

Last weekend, we decided to go camping in Joshua Tree national Park, and go four-wheeling on the nearby trails. I brought my K-7 along with us, hoping to get good pictures of Joshua Tree and of the Jeep performing. It was incredibly dusty and the K-7 really took a beating. At times, the camera looked more like is was brown on account of all the dust on it. I had to clean it with a wet rag several times. I dropped it once on the Jeep's floor when we drove over a boulder. Not once did I need to clean the sensor. Not one piece of dust got it the camera and the camera is still working perfectly. That's pretty impressive. I did take some great shots in Joshua Tree and of the Jeep, as posted above.

The sad part, is that the K-7 outlasted the Jeep :(

We broke the rear differential in trying to crawl over a big rock, obviously too big for the Jeep. I had to tow the Jeep behind my Chevy Silverado all weekend... in shame. I didn't want to ruin an otherwise good weekend of camping so we stayed at the campground anyway.

So as it is right now, it's 1 to 0 for the K-7. The good news is that the K-7 is one tough camera. The bad news is that my Jeep is broken and it will cost about the same price as a K-7 with a good lens to fix the Jeep. Goodbye LBA for a while.

Thank you for reading,

Yvon Bourque

Saturday, November 14, 2009



GOLDEN, CO (November 15, 2009)…PENTAX Imaging Company has announced a FOCUS ON SAVINGS rebate that offers a $100 prepaid card on an exciting choice of PENTAX lenses. From now until January 15, 2010, K-7 buyers may select from more than 20 lenses (listed below) and receive a $100 VISA prepaid card rebate for each and every qualifying lens* purchased at the same time.

*Lenses must be purchased at the same time on the same receipt as the K-7. Limit five rebates per product per household. Each VISA prepaid card may be used to pay for goods and services anywhere VISA cards are accepted. For US customers only.
Following is a complete list of the qualifying PENTAX lenses:

Qualifying PENTAX Lens VISA Prepaid Card Amount

DAê 50-135mm F2.8 ED (IF) $100.00

DAê 55mm F1.4 $100.00

DAê 200mm F2.8 ED (IF) SDM $100.00

DA 15mm F4.0 ED Limited $100.00

DA 21mm F3.2 AL Limited $100.00

DA 35mm F2.8 Macro Limited $100.00

DA 40mm F2.8 Limited $100.00

DA 70mm F2.4 Limited $100.00

DA 10-17mm Fisheye F3.5-4.5 ED (IF) $100.00

DA 12-24mm F4.0 ED AL (IF) $100.00

DA 14mm F2.8 ED (IF) $100.00

DA 16-45mm F4.0 ED, AL $100.00

DA 17-70mm F4.0 ED (IF) SDM $100.00

DA 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 AL WR $100.00

DA 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 AL II $100.00

DA 50-200mm F4.0-5.6 ED WR $100.00

DA 50-200mm F4.0-5.6 ED $100.00

DA 55-300mm F4.0-5.8 ED $100.00

D FA 50mm F2.8 Macro $100.00

D FA 100mm F2.8 Macro $100.00

FA 50mm F1.4 $100.00

The PENTAX K-7 features 14.6 megapixels, widescreen HD Movie Capture, and a weather, dust, and cold resistant magnesium alloy body. More information about the K-7 and PENTAX lenses is available here:

A FOCUS ON SAVINGS rebate form may be downloaded here: K-7 body and qualifying lens purchases made on are eligible for the rebate. Rebate excludes products purchased at BEST BUY.

PENTAX Imaging Company is an innovative leader in the production of a variety of digital cameras including weather resistant digital SLRs and compact, waterproof cameras, as well as lenses, flash units, binoculars, scopes, and eyepieces. For almost 90 years, PENTAX 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.