Friday, March 26, 2010

Going green in Palm Springs, California. See it through the Pentax K-7.

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Hi Pentaxian friends.

We spent five days in Palm Springs this past week. We used to live there and I never realized how much there was in that desert city until we moved out. For this post, I  concentrate on how the area was going green long before we were talking about it.

The Palm Springs area is at the forefront of wind generated electricity. The San Gorgonio Pass Wind Farm is a wind farm located on the eastern slope of the San Gorgonio Pass, just east of White Water, California, United States. It is one of three major wind farms in California, along with the Altamont Pass Wind Farm and the Tehachapi Pass Wind Farm. I posted about the Tehachapi wind farm  last year, read it here. The pass is one of the windiest places in Southern California and marks the gateway into the Coachella Valley. The farm consists of 3,218 units delivering 615 megawatts.

In my view, there is a certain beauty to these giant wind mills. You don't realize how big they are until you get close.  When at a short distance from them, you can clearly hear the sound of the propellers cutting into the wind.

I thought of sharing these photos with you. These are an example of how we could reduce the dependency on foreign oil.

Thanks for reading,

Yvon Bourque

Friday, March 19, 2010

Samy's Camera in California not all that bad after all!

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Above is Samy's main store in Los Angeles.
Above is the Samy's store in Pasadena, California
Now...this sales rep and camera expert is Timothy Stallard and he came to California after working in England and was soon going to move to Florida. His accent seemed more like Australian as he said" Good day Mate".

Hi Pentaxian friends.

I didn't want to talk about it, but I had my camera bag, with equipment, disappear the weekend of PMA 2010. In fact, I never made it to the PMA as I was so bummed out. Litle by little, I am replacing what was in it. It might take me a year or more.

A few weeks ago I needed to get a new camera bag to replace the stolen one. I drove to Pasadena to see what Samy's had to offer and to check prices. I went to the store knowing that my first and last experience with Samy's had not been a good one. The last time, the sales person was rude and would only entertain conversations about Canon and Nikon. Needless to say, I didn't purchase anything and swore never to come back.

My experience was completely different this time around. Timothy was very friendly, and gave me all the attention I needed. We looked at several camera bags and he even walked next door to the warehouse to get a model that was not in the store. I wanted a bag that could carry a laptop plus one body, four lenses, flash and other equipment. I purchased the Tamrac 3385. He gave me the same price as B&H Photo mail order price, actually $10.00 less.


We then talked about Pentax. His experience has been mostly with Pentax U.K. He said that the store  he used to worked at had Pentax Reps coming to the store all the time. They would bring them out to lunch, and had all kind of perks for store sales people. Pentax would demonstrate all the new equipment and made sure all sales people were knowledgeable. He said that once Pentax stopped all of that and got rid of most of their sales reps, he and the other sales people gradually stopped pushing Pentax.

I suppose that other brands are still having sales reps. I also understand that Nikon and Canon have an enormous line of credit which allows stores to have bigger inventories on their shelves. On the flip side, when Ritz Camera went bankrupt, Nikon and Canon lost a lot of money because of that.In the world we live in, if your business is not part of the internet, you're not in business. We have seen so many brick & mortar stores going out of business these past few years. Unless they have a strong presence on the internet, camera stores are doomed. Most people go to camera stores to try the equipment but turn around and purchase the equipment on the internet. I think Pentax is doing the right thing and eventually all vendors, and buyers will deal through the internet only.

As for Samy's, they have a  presence on the internet, but they need more sales people like Timothy if they are going to stick to brick and mortar stores and succeed. Timothy took the time to show me the camera bags, and in turn I purchased it that day instead of ordering it on the internet. Keep up the good work Timothy and good luck.

Email Samy's and let them know about Timothy. pasadena@samys.com
Thanks for reading,

Yvon Bourque

 __/__\___\
[n___n_[*llllll*]
(o) )-(o) )-*-) )

My other hobby

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Just how good is the Pentax K-x?

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Hi Pentaxian friends.

Pentax K-x gets DXO Mark-tested - how did the RAW sensor do? Read this post as it appeared on 1001 Noisy Cameras a little while back. Pentax...you make me proud.

Thank you for visiting,

Yvon Bourque

Friday, March 12, 2010

A few more pictures of the Pentax 645D won't hurt!

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Email: brqyvn@aol.com

Sample images taken with the Pentax 645D by two Asian Photographers.

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Thursday, March 11, 2010

More photos of the new Pentax 645D.

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From Russia with love!

Pentax 645D at the CP+ Camera Show in Japan.

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Hi Pentaxian friends.

I found these actual pictures of the 645D as shown at the CP+ show in Japan through 1001 Noisy Cameras.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

It didn't take long for the Pentax 645D to be announced. Available in May in Japan...$9,500.00 to $10,000.00 USD.


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Hi Pentaxian friends.

Well...it didn't take long for Pentax to introduce the 645D. It's everywhere on the Internet. It is absolutely beautiful. I wish I had the money to get one. Once again, the little company that could...has done it again. All current 645 AF lenses will work and can easily be put back in production.

Here are some of the specifications:

Camera Type TTL autofocus, auto-exposure medium format digital SLR camera


Sensor
       • 40 million effective pixels
       • 40.1 million total pixels
       • 44 x 33 mm CCD sensor
       • 6.0 μm x 6.0 μm pixel size

Dynamic Range 11.5f - stops

Dust removal Image sensor cleaning function by supersonic vibration (DR II) with dust alert function

Image processor PRIME II

Image sizes
      • 7264 x 5440 pixels
      • 6528 x 4896 pixels
      • 5376 x 4032 pixels
      • 4224 x 3168 pixels
      • 3072 x 2304 pixels

Image formats (Still)
      • JPEG (EXIF 2.21) - Best / Better / Good
      • RAW (PEF or DNG)

Lens mount • Pentax 645AF2 bayonet mount

      • Usable lenses: Pentax 645AF2, 645AF, and 645A mount lenses

Focusing TTL phase difference detection, 11-point autofocus system (SAFOX IX+)

Focus modes
      • AF Single
      • AF Continuous
      • Manual focus

AF point selection
      • Select
      • Center
      • Auto

Metering modes
      • Multi-segment
      • Center-weighted average
      • Spot

Metering
       • TTL Open Aperture
       • 77- segment sensor
       • Metering range: EV 2 - 21 EV (ISO 200, 55 mm F2.8)

AE lock Yes

Sensitivity
      • Auto (ISO 200-1000)
      • Boost (100,1600)
      • 1EV, 1/2EV, 1/3EV steps

Exposure compensation +/- 5.0 EV

Shutter
      • Electronically controlled vertical-run focal plane shutter
      • 30 sec-1/4000
      • 1/3 or 1/2 EV steps
      • Flash X-Sync: 1/125 sec
      • Bulb

Preview function
      • Optical preview
      • Digital preview

White balance
      • Auto
      • Daylight
      • Shade
      • Cloudy
      • Fluorescent (D, N,W,L)
      • Tungsten
      • Flash
      • CTE
      • Manual (3 settings)
      • Color temperature (3 memories) with fine tuning

Custom image settings
      • Bright
      • Natural
      • Portrait
      • Landscape
      • Vibrant
      • Muted
      • Reversal Film
      • Monochrome

Viewfinder
      • Trapezoid prism finder
      • 98% field of view
      • Magnification: approx 0.62x (with D FA645 55mmF2.8 at infinity), approx. 0.85x (with FA645     75mmF2.8 at infinity)
      • Diopter adjustment: -3.5 to +2.0m diopter
      • Natural Bright Matte focusing screen

External flash
      • Hot shoe
      • X-Sync socket
      • P-TTL
      • High-speed-sync, wireless-sync with PENTAX dedicated external flash

Shooting modes
      • Program AE
      • Sensitivity priority
      • Shutter priority
      • Aperture priority
      • Shutter & Aperture priority
      • Metered Manual
      • Bulb
      • X-Speed

Drive modes
      • Single
      • Continuous Hi
      • Continuous Lo
      • Self-timer: 2 or 12 sec
      • Remote control: immediate, 3 sec delay
      • Remote Continuous Shooting
      • Exposure Bracketing
      • Extended Bracketing
      • Interval
      • Multiple Exposure

Continuous shooting Approx. 1.1 fps

LCD monitor
      • 3.0 " TFT LCD
      • 921,000 dots
      • Brightness level adjustment
      • Color adjustable

Playback features
      • Single image
      • 2, 4, 9, 16, 36, 81 thumbnail display
      • Enlargement (up to 32x, scroll available)
      • Image Rotation
      • Folder view
      • Slideshow
      • Histogram
      • Resize
      • Cropping
      • Bright/Dark area
      • Calendar view
      • Index view

Digital Filters (Playback Mode) Monochrome, Extract Color, Color, Base Tweaking, Soft

Connectivity
      • USB 2.0 Hi-Speed
      • HDMI Type C mini
      • Video out NTSC/PAL
      • DC-IN

Storage SD / SDHC

Power
      • Lithium-Ion D-LI90 rechargeable battery (supplied & charger)
      • Optional AC adapter

Dimensions 156 x 117 x 119 mm (6.1 x 4.6 x 4.7 in)

Weight
      • No battery: 1400g (49.4 oz)
      • With battery and 2 SD cards: 1480g (52.2 oz)

__________________________________________________


I will post more as I get more information.

Here's more...

1.Unprecedented image qualityi.Super-high-resolution images made possible by approximately 40 effective megapixels

The PENTAX 645D incorporates a high-performance CCD image sensor produced by Kodak. It measures 44mm by 33mm, and is approximately 1.7 times larger than its 35mm-format counterparts. Thanks to approximately 40 effective megapixels, it assures a wide dynamic range to faithfully reproduce the prevailing ambience and the sense of depth in super-high-resolution images that are rich in gradation and truthful in texture description. In order to bring out the full potential of the lens and the image sensor and assure the highest level of image-resolving power, the CCD unit is designed with no low-pass filters.

ii.High-performance, high-speed PRIME II imaging engine

The PENTAX 645D features the acclaimed, PENTAX-original PRIME (PENTAX Real Image Engine) II as its imaging engine. Thanks to its high-speed data-processing capacity and new algorithm exclusively programmed for medium-format digital SLR cameras, this high-performance imaging engine produces super-high-quality images rich in gradation and faithful in color reproduction, while allowing speedy data transmission of large-volume image data — even RAW-format images as large as some 50MB per file.

iii.14-bit A/D converter for faithful conversion of image data to digital signals

The PENTAX 645D features a high-performance A/D converter, which faithfully converts the large volume of analog image data output by the large CCD image sensor to digital signals carrying an extensive amount of image data, including resolution and gradation.

2.Solid, maneuverable bodyThe PENTAX 645D’s main frame is made of lightweight but strong magnesium-steel alloy, while the chassis is made of diecast aluminum to minimize the expansion and extension caused by heat and also to optimize kinematic accuracy and thermal stability. The LCD panels — one on the camera’s top panel, another on the back panel — are covered with tempered glass plates for extra protection. The PENTAX 645D’s body is also designed to be a compact and highly maneuverable medium-format camera, despite the incorporation of such dependable features as a dust-proof, weather-resistant construction with 70 special seals, outstanding cold-resistant performance to assure solid operation at a temperature as low as –10°C, and a newly designed shutter unit with a top shutter speed of 1/4000 second that can withstand as many as 50,000 shutter releases.

3.Dual SD/SDHC memory card slotsThe PENTAX 645D has a pair of memory card slots for the recording of images on both SD and SDHC memory cards. This dual-slot design gives the photographer extra data-storage options: for instance, recorded images can be assigned to different cards according to recording format (such as RAW or JPEG), or one of the cards can be used as the backup of the other. The settings for each memory card slot can be easily made by dedicated button.

4.Dependable DR II mechanism to minimize dust spotsThe PENTAX 645D comes equipped with the highly dependable DR (Dust Removal) II mechanism, which effectively minimizes annoying dust spots on recorded images, even when the lenses are changed in dust-prone outdoor settings. By shifting UV/IR-cut filters placed in front of the CCD image sensor at supersonic speed using a piezoelectric element, this mechanism effectively and efficiently shakes dust off the image sensor. Thanks to the user-friendly dust-alert system, the photographer can check at a quick glance for dust adhering to the image sensor prior to the actual shooting.

5.Newly designed, high-precision 11-point wide-frame AF sensorThe PENTAX 645D’s new SAFOX IX + wide-frame autofocus system features 11 sensor points (with nine cross-type sensors positioned in the middle) to assure the extra-high-precision focusing demanded of medium-format digital SLR cameras. To develop this sophisticated AF system, the entire optical system was redesigned, at the same time with the addition of the new functionality to analyze and make use of the light sources data in the field of view.

6.Advanced 77-segment multi-pattern meteringThe PENTAX 645D employs a state-of-the-art, 77-segment multi-pattern metering system to assure super-high-accuracy light metering. The exposure accuracy is further enhanced by collecting such additional data as image orientation (horizontal or vertical) and the distance to and magnification of the subject using the sensors installed inside the camera body, with the obtained data incorporated into exposure calculations.

7.Large, easy-to-see optical viewfinderIncorporated in the PENTAX 645D’s finder unit, a trapezoid-shaped glass prism not only assures an approximately 98% field of view, but also greatly contributes to the downsizing of the camera body. Coupled with a bright, easy-to-focus Natural-Bright-Matte focusing screen, the PENTAX 645D’s viewfinder offers a large, clear view of the subject.

8.Custom Image function to create desired visual effects with easeThe PENTAX 645D’s Custom Image function lets the user easily control an image’s finishing touches to more precisely reflect the user’s creative intentions, or to more faithfully reproduce the ambience of the scene. The user can select one of eight modes, including the new Reversal Film mode designed to create images with the colors that are typical of reversal film. In addition, all parameters — such as saturation, hue, contrast, sharpness, key, and highlight/shadow contrast — can be easily adjusted to desired levels, so that the photographer can shoot images with great ease.

9.Versatile, multi-mode exposure system for faithful reproduction of creative intentionsi.Hyper Program function

The PENTAX 645D's Hyper Program function allows the user to instantly switch from Programmed AE mode to Shutter- or Aperture-Priority AE mode with a simple turn of the electric dials positioned around the grip. A single push of the green button shifts the exposure mode back to the original Programmed AE mode.

ii.Hyper Manual function

When shooting in the Metered Manual mode, the PENTAX 645D's Hyper Manual mode lets the user to instantly set the proper exposure for the subject with a single push of the green button.

iii.Sensitivity-Priority mode

The unique Sensitivity-Priority (Sv) mode automatically selects the optimum combination of aperture and shutter speed for the user-selected sensitivity. The sensitivity can be shifted swiftly by electronic dial on the back panel. The variable amount of the ISO could be configured to either 1/2 or 1/3 steps per click.

iv.Shutter/Aperture-Priority mode

Taking full advantage of the unique capability of digital cameras for the automatic shifting of sensitivity at any time, the Shutter/Aperture-Priority (TAv) mode automatically selects the most appropriate sensitivity for the user-selected aperture/shutter-speed combination. It allows the user to effortlessly experiment with a greater range of photographic expressions.

10.Large, easy-to-view 3.0-inch LCD monitor with approximately 921,000 dotsPositioned on the camera’s back panel, a large 3.0-inch color LCD monitor with approximately 921,000 dots provides a clear, bright view of onscreen images and menus. Since its wide-view design allows quick, effortless confirmation of the monitor image from approximately 170 degrees both horizontally and vertically, the photographer has little difficulty shooting images from low and high angles. The LCD monitor is also treated with exclusive AR (Anti-Reflection) coating to minimize reflections on the screen, even in the outdoor locations under bright sunshine.

11.Long battery lifeThe PENTAX 645D is powered by a large-capacity, rechargeable lithium-ion battery, which can capture approximately 800 images* when fully charged.

* Under testing conditions prescribed by PENTAX, when using a rechargeable D-LI90 lithium-ion battery with no flash.


12.Other featuresi.HDR (high dynamic range) function to create one composite image with an extra-wide gradation range from three images with different exposures

ii.Dynamic-Range Expansion function to compensate for both whitewashed (excessively overexposed) and blacked-out (excessively underexposed) areas

iii.Digital Level function for easy checking of the image’s levels

iv.Automatic compensation of distortion and lateral chromatic aberration (available in combination with the D FA 645- and FA 645- series lenses)

v.Versatile white-balance control system, including the CTE mode designed to emphasize the dominant color components of the captured images, which works especially well with such scene like sunset.

vi.Mirror shock/operation-noise reduction function to assure smooth, quiet operation of the mirror during shooting

vii.Attachment of copyright credits on recorded images

viii.Compatible with the SDM (Supersonic Direct-drive Motor) autofocus mechanism, designed to assure smooth, quiet operation using the supersonic motor installed inside SDM lenses

ix.HDMI terminal (for type C mini connectors) for high-resolution image data output

x.User-friendly, color-classified control buttons/switches, based on the color universal design concept

xi.PENTAX Digital Camera Utility 4 software package, including a RAW-data processing application (based on the popular SILKYPIX RAW-data processing engine developed by Ichikawa Soft Laboratory) and browser application

645D Specifications

Type TTL autofocus, auto-exposure medium format digital SLR camera

Effective Pixels approx. 40 megapixels

Image Sensor Total pixels approx. 40.01 megapixels

Type CCD with a primary color filter

Size 44mm x 33mm

Pixel size 6.0 μm x 6.0 μm

Dynamic Range 11.5f - stops

Recorded Pixels Still JPEG: L[40M]7264x5440 pixels, M[32M]6528x4896 pixels [21M]5376x4032 pixels,

S[13M]4224x3168 pixels [7M]3072x2304 pixels

RAW: [40M]7264x5440 pixels

Formats Still RAW(14 bit): (PEF/DNG), JPEG: (Best), (Better), (Good), RAW+JPEG: available

Recording file Format Still RAW (PEF/DNG), JPEG (Conforms to Exif 2.21),

Conforms to DCF (Design rule of Camera File system) 2.0

Sensitivity

( Standard output sensitivity ) Auto:200-1000, Extension:100, 1600 (1EV steps or 1/2EV steps or 1/3EV steps)

Storage Media SD, SDHC memory card (Dual slot)

White Balance Auto, Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Fluorescent Light ( D, N, W, L), Tungsten Light, Flash, CTE, Manual setting 1, Manual setting 2, Manual setting 3, Color temperature setting (3 types) with WB fine adjustment

Custom Image Bright, Natural, Portrait, Landscape, Vibrant, Muted, Reversal Film, Monochrome

Viewfinder Type Trapezoid prism finder

Focusing screen Natural-Bright-Matte focusing screen

Field of view approx. 98%

Diopter adjustment approx. -3.5 - +2.0m-1

Magnification approx. 0.62 x (with D FA645 55mmF2.8 at infinity),

approx. 0.85 x (with FA645 75mmF2.8 at infinity)

Monitor Type TFT color LCD monitor, Wide angle view, Brightness adjustable, Color adjustable, AR Coating, Reinforced glass

Size 3.0 inch

Dots approx. 921,000 dots

Preview Method Optical preview, Digital preview

Playback 1 Image, 2 Image, 4 Image, 9 Image, 16 Image, 36 Image, 81 Image, Enlargement (up to 32X, scroll available), Image Rotation, Folder view, Slideshow, Histogram, Resize, Cropping, Bright/Dark area, Calendar view, Index view

Digital Filter Playback Mode Monochrome, Extract Color, Color, Base Tweaking, Soft

Focusing System Type TTL phase difference detection, 11-point autofocus system (SAFOX IX+)

Focus Mode AF-single, AF-continuous

Focus Point Auto, Select, Center

Superimpose available

Exposure Control Metering System TTL open-aperture 77-segment metering

Metering Mode (1) Multi-segment metering, (2) Center-weighted metering, (3) Spot metering

Exposure Range EV 2-21 (at Standard Output Sensitivity 200 with 55mmF2.8)

Modes (1) Program AE, (2) Sensitivity-Priority AE, (3) Shutter-Priority AE, (4) Aperture-Priority AE, (5) Shutter and Aperture Priority AE, (6) Metered Manual, (7) Bulb, (8) X speed

Exposure

Compensation ±5EV

AE Lock availiable

Shutter Shutter Type Electronically controlled vertical-run focal plane shutter

Shutter Speed Auto:1/4000 - 30 sec, Manual:1/4000 - 30 sec (1/3 EV steps or 1/2 EV steps), bulb

Drive Modes Single-frame, Continuous (Hi, Lo), Self-timer (12s, 2s), Remote control (0s, 3s ), Remote Continuous Shooting, Interval, Multiple Exposure, Exposure Bracketing, Extended Bracketing

Continuous

shooting

approx. 1.1 fps, RAW(PEF)+JPEG(40M at ): until approx. 13 fps, RAW(PEF): until approx. 13 fps, RAW(DNG): until approx. 13 fps, JPEG(40M at ): until approx. 15 fps

Mirror Lock-up

shooting available by dedicated dial

Flash Synchronization Hot shoe, X-sync socket, sync-speed: 1/125 sec., P-TTL, high-speed-sync, wireless-sync with PENTAX dedicated external flash

Dust Removal Image sensor cleaning function by supersonic vibration (DR II) with dust alert function

Time World Time 75 cities (28 time zones)

Data Folder Folder Name Date (100_MMDD···), PENTX (100PENTX, 101PENTX···) ,

File Name Standard, User customize

Power Sources Rechargeable D-LI90 lithium-ion battery

Optional AC adapter also available.

Battery Life Number of

recordable images approx. 800 (23°C) *, approx. 700 (0°C), approx. 650 (-10°C)

Playback time approx. 440 minutes (23°C) *, approx. 400 minutes (0°C), approx. 380 minutes (-10°C)

Interfaces USB2.0 (Hi-Speed:mini B type), Video output (mini phone type), HDMI output (type C mini), DC input , Cable switch, X-sync socketc

Video Output Compatible with NTSC and PAL formats

Lens Mount PENTAX 645AF2 bayonet mount

Usable Lens PENTAX 645AF2, 645AF, and 645A mount lenses

Dimensions approx. 156(W) x 117(H) x 119(D)mm (6.1 x 4.6 x 4.7 inches)

Weight approx. 1480 g (52.2 oz.) loaded and ready with battery and two SD memory cards

approx. 1400 g (49.4 oz.) without battery and SD memory card.

Bundle software PENTAX Digital Camera Utility 4 (Ver.4.20)



* Recording capacity shows approximate number of shots recorded during CIPA-compliant testing. Actual performance may vary depending on operating conditions.



•PENTAX, 645D, and smc PENTAX are trademarks of HOYA CORPORATION.

•PENTAX Digital Camera Utility and SDM are trademarks of HOYA CORPORATION.

•This product supports PRINT Image Matching III. PRINT Image Matching enabled digital still cameras, printers and software help photographers to produce images more faithful to their intentions. Some functions are not available on printers that are not PRINT Image Matching III compliant.

Copyright 2001 Seiko Epson Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

Print Image Matching is a trademark of Seiko Epson Corporation.

The PRINT Image Matching logo is a trademark of Seiko Epson Corporation.

•HDMI, the HDMI Logo and High-Definition Multimedia Interface are trademarks or registered trademarks of HDMI Licensing LLC.

•All other brands or product names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies.

•Designs and specifications are subjects to change without notice.


Thanks for reading,

Yvon Bourque

The PENTAX Digital 645 SLR is coming Thursday. We will see if my views were correct shortly.


Visitors to this page also liked: See "Recommended Reading" on the right column. We honor reciprocal links. Email: brqyvn@aol.com

Hi Pentaxian friends.

I wrote about the upcoming Pentax Digital 645 for a few years now. We are about to see the final results and specs. It will be unveiled Thursday in Japan. I will post about it and let everyone know all the details I can find. However, I am sure that every blog and forum sites will be featuring it Thursday / Friday.

I wrote several articles previously and the link for some of them are following. Read them if you want and let's see if I was at least half-way right about my predictions.

 http://pentaxdslrs.blogspot.com/2008/10/editorial-where-will-pentax-go-from.html

http://pentaxdslrs.blogspot.com/2009/07/lets-revisit-medium-format-dslrs-now.html

http://pentaxdslrs.blogspot.com/2009/10/here-are-some-random-thoughts-about.html

Thank you for reading,

Yvon Bourque

Saturday, March 6, 2010

My Samsung / Verizon Cell Phone camera IQ is getting closer to my Pentax DSLR. I want a Pentax in my Cell Phone.

Visitors to this page also liked: See "Recommended Reading" on the right column. We honor reciprocal links. Email: brqyvn@aol.com

Hi Pentaxian friends.

About a month ago, I purchase and posted about my new iPod Touch . I liked it except that it was only useful around my own home network or at places like Starbuck where Wi-Fi is available. I already have the second generation of iPod and the songs and images capabilities are about the same. Neither has a camera. I purchased it at Costco and was able to return it for a full refund. I cannot afford an Apple iPhone and don't really like AT&T for cellular phone services.

My cell phone contract is with Verizon. I explored what Verizon had available these days to see if I could upgrade my current cell phone for one with a better built-in digital camera . Well...I found it. I renewed my subscription for another two years and got a new phone for free. I also signed for unlimited internet for just $39.95. The cell phone I chose is a Samsung Omnia II. It is similar to the iPhone technology but uses Windows Mobile 6.5. It's like a mini laptop and I can get all my emails wherever I go. I can surf the internet, post on Facebook and even on my blog, which I eventually will.

The 5.0 megapixels camera (The iPhone has a 3 megapixels camera) combined with a 3.7" WVGA AMOLED display screen, is what impressed me the most.  Here are some of the camera features: 5.0 megapixels, Autofocus, Scene mode, single and continuous shooting, auto-panorama, auto and adjustable white balance, Face recognition, Special Effects,  Sensitivity of ISO 50 to 800, Contrast-Saturation-Sharpness adjustment, Flash on - Auto or off, Brightness adjustment, Anti-shake, Matrix - Center Weighted and Spot metering, and more. It even has WDR (Wide Dynamic Range)  which is a form of HDR (High Dynamic Range on DSLRs) Oh yes...it also has the capability of storing images in the phone's 8 gig internal memory, or use a mini SDHC card up to 16gig, or upload your pictures to places like Flickr, Facebook, Photobucket, YouTube, etc, on the internet, right from the phone. Grant you...the sensor is smaller than a DSLR, but look at how much progress that has been made in the last five years with cell phone technology. Will the cell phone cameras of tomorrow be as good as Today's DSLRs? Will Cell phones replace the cameras and computers as a media tool? Perhaps they will.

A few more attributes, my cell runs microsoft Word, Excel, Power point and all of the standard Microsoft Office applications. It can be used as a voice recorder and even has GPS. I plays video movies, TV programs, stores and play thousands of songs, podcasts, e-books, etc. My Pentax e-books can be uploaded in Word format including all of the images or in PDF without the images. Oh yeah! Did I mention that it also has video capabilities?

Ain't technology grand? Maybe Pentax will someday team-up with a cell phone manufacturer and offer Pentax Technology for the camera part. Pentax has always been know for the small footprint of their cameras.
Joshua Tree National Park
180 Degree Panorama
Victoria Gardens

Thanks for reading,

Yvon Bourque

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

How do Professional Photographers make money, considering that Digital Photography has enabled everyone to produce fairly good images?

Moose Peterson on Kelby's seminars.



Here's some free advertizing for John Shaw and Moose Peterson :)

Please purchase one of our Pentax e-book directly from this site. 

Hi Pentaxian friends.

There is no doubt that digital photography has turned the photographic world upside-down. The quality of our digital images are now surpassing that of the film era images. It's absolutely great that we now can  take thousands of pictures, without any costs other than the memory cards. We can view our images instantly, allowing retakes until we are satisfied with the results. We have  reached a level of sophistication that pretty much makes all current DSLRs, regardless of the make, excellent photographic instruments.

This is great for everyone, from entry-level photographers to professional photographers. However, there is one slight problem. Anyone can produce good images for the simple fact that hundreds or thousands of pictures of the same subject can be taken until a few are acceptable or even great. That alone narrows the gap between Pros and amateurs. Add software like Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom to the mix, and average exposure defficiency can be corrected by most computer users.  The stock image market is ruined forever, despite what they claim. Come on...images used to bring hundreds of dollars and now they merely pay for a coffee at McDonald. With such availability of digital images, less pros are hired for producing specific images. Of course weddings and event photography, National Geographic assignments and a few other markets will always need the services of a Pro.  So what do professional photographers do to earn as much as during the pre-digital market?

I don't know for sure, but here's what I think. Many entry-level and amateur photographers have dreams of becoming world famous, a rock-star of the imaging world, a new Ansel Adams. There is money to be made by fueling their desires. Looking in the various photography magazines and websites, there is an ever growing number of Professional Photographers holding Photography Seminars and Workshops.

The most prominant site is Scott Kelby, but big names such as John Shaw, Don Gale, Moose Peterson, Joe McNally and others, are conducting Seminars and Workshops. I yet have to attend a seminar. There is surely a lot to learn from these guys. There is also a lot of money to be made by those Photographers in teaching their trade and in fueling the desires of amateur photographers, who hope to make it big one day.

Will future photographers have fruitfull careers like these Professional Photographers had? I'm not so sure, as the world is getting smaller and flatter. The worst that can happen is that Seminars attendees will become better photographers, even if their photos are used for vacation memories, family portraits and just for the pleasure of capturing moments in their lives.

In the years ahead, there will still be some significant income to be made with photography, but not as abundant as it was once.

I don't want to burst anyone's bubble, but the market for photographers is saturated and the images available on the internet has grown ten folds. Check Google Images and type any subjet. There is an unlimited number of images, isn't there?

Thanks for reading and let's agree to disagree on this subject =)

Yvon Bourque

P.S. Look up for my next post, in a few days, about how good cell phones cameras are getting. I recently updated my Verizon cell to a Samsung Omnia II and tested the 5 megapixel camera this past weekend. It is pretty amazing. The screen is actually 3.7 inch, you can shoot panoramic automatically with up to 8 stiched images,  the metering can be set to Matrix, Center Weighted or Spot. ISO from 50 to 800. It has Movie @ 740p, all in the palm of your hand.