Monday, February 27, 2012

Ah! Technology, the more it changes the more it’s the same. New iBook for the Pentax K-01

Hi Photographer friends,

As I mentioned in my previous post, I am currently writing a new e-book. This time, it’s about the new Pentax K-01 that was announced in February with a start of delivery at the end of March.

We already heard all kind of negative comments about this new camera, "it's too Boxy", "It looks like a brick", who would want a bright yellow camera?", "Who is Marc Newson anyway?", "It has no EVF (Electronic ViewFinder) or OVF (Optical ViewFinder)  so it's useless", and many other comments.

As for myself, I cannot judge anything by looks only. Pentax has always been on the forefront of technology, daring in their designs, and here they go again. The K-01 is certainly daring or pushing aesthetic to a new level…but why can't aesthetic and functionality live together?

As I am writing my book, I am finding out a lot about the camera, and the specifications are pretty impressive.  We, as human, tend to want the newest technology while we don’t want things to change. It’s an oxymoron, a paradox, or call it what you want, but that’s really the way we are.

The K-01 is a blend of new technology, new aesthetic, bold design, and that’s what the upcoming generation will gravitate to.  I often let other people use my DSLR to take a picture of me or my family or friends as a group, and the first thing they do is to hold the camera like a point-and-shoot, trying to compose the picture by looking at the LCD screen.  They are at lost when I tell them to look in the viewfinder.

Apparently, the most used camera is the world is the iPhone or Smart phones.  That leads me to believe that the new generation won’t care about an EVF or OVF.

So…my new book or e-book will actually be published first as an iBook, for the Apple iPad.

Why would I do that?

Because Apple introduced “iBooks Author” in January and the concept is an absolute game changer.  You get to read a book while experiencing multi-media. Yes, you can view videos, image galleries, interact with images and diagrams, follow Internet links, search the Internet, highlight passages, write and save your own notes, and more. Check it out here and here. I can’t think of a better way to learn.

My new iBook will be available on the Apple App Store for the iPad. I will make a version also available as a PDF file, just like my other e-books.  The iPad 2 has been selling at the rate of a little over one million per week. Not everybody that has an iPad 2  will  buy a Pentax K-01, but many will, I hope.

I am setting up my iBook as a template that will be used for many future “Everything you need to know…and then some” series of camera “How to books”, and this time, for all major brands of cameras.

Ah! Technology, the more it changes the more it’s the same.

Thanks for reading,

Yvon Bourque

Sunday, February 19, 2012

New iBook coming soon for the Pentax K-01


Hi Photographer friends,

Apple came up with a new App recently called iBooks Author. It brings e-book writing to a new level. It only works on iPad but allows multi-touch books. You can incorporate videos, animation, photo galleries, interactive diagrams, 3D objects and more.

Pentax just announced the new Pentax K-01, with availability in March. I am going to publish another e-book "Everything you need to know...and then some" for the Pentax K-01. It will be available in PDF format, like my preceeding e-books, but it will also be available for iPad  owners in this new iBooks Author format. Take a look at Apple's

Click above to see how Apple iBooks Author works. See the video within Apple's page. You will need to have Apple Quick time player to see this video.

Click above for a short introduction to my upcoming iBook on how to use the new Pentax K-01. This will bring you to the You Tube site.

Click on the above to see the video on this page.

Until march, you can purchase the Pentax K-5 at a reduced price. If you need a little help, you can get my e-book for the K-5, as well as other Pentax fine cameras, such as the K-7, K-x, K-r, K20D, K10D and the K100D. Check it out here

As always, thank you for visiting,

Yvon Bourque

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Yes, the "Still Crazy after all these years" weekend was great.


Hi Photographer friends,

My reunion with my friend Pierre went as planned and even better. Firstly, you know, it’s been thirty four years since we have seen each other, and that’s a long time by any standard. That's more than half my life and his as well.

I imagined what he would look like after all these years, and I'm sure he did the same. Well, our physiques have changed, but our craziness hasn't. Of course, our brains now make promises that our body can't fulfill...but we try anyway.

I was hoping that all would go well between Pierre's wife "Marie" and my wife "Anne" added to the mix, and it did. Both wives got along really well and that made the weekend an even more enjoyable and wonderful experience. All four of us felt like we were all old friends. Their dog, "Jinny", a full size female Poodle was also part of our weekend. What a great dog.

A lone palm tree along the Colorado River.

The view on the River is spectacular.

Tthe Jet Boat Pierre brought with them for the winter.

A baby Burros in Oatman, Arizona.

They come in the Town everyday to get their share of food.

It rained on the way back home, but even the rain was beautiful.

The first day, aside of reminiscing, we went for a long boat trip along the Colorado River, between Needles and Lake Havasu. I didn't know that the Colorado River was that nice along that stretch. We closed the first day with a good steak at the "Outback".

We were going to go boating the next day, but as it turned out, it was a little cold and windy. We went for a long drive in the area, on the old Route 66. We ended up in the small town of Oatman, Arizona. This used to be a gold mining town. When the gold rush was over, the burros that were used to carry materials in and out of the mines were abandoned. They survived in the wild, and still today, they come to town to get fed by the local people and tourists.

We spent a day in Lake Havasu City, and were surprised at how much it has grown over the years. That's where the old London Bridge was moved to and reassembled one stone at a time, like a gigantic puzzle. Lake Havasu is known for its boat racing and Pierre has been there often during his career as a power boat owner and racer. He owned many racing boats and won major races through the years. He broke some bones at one time or another, but racing was in his blood, and still is. His eyes light up when the conversation includes boats and racing.

I believe Mr. Cognac was his first sponsored race boat, about thirty some years ago.

This is the last boat he raced with...scary!

That was the reunion on the surface. The other part of our reunion was one that few people get to experience. Pierre and I were best friends from the day we could walk through our primary school years. We were both dreamers from the "get-go" and dreamed of building all kinds of revolutionary stuff, and God knows...we tried. My wife Anne, realized quickly why we were such good friends...we're both alike, yakking away about technical stuff, things we did as young boys, and wondering how we made it thus far, etc. For me, it was sort of a bitter sweet reunion. Sweet because we started right where we had left off,  just like we had never gone on a different path in life.  Bitter, or more like a little sad, because looking at our older selves, it made me think of how fast life goes by and that we should never take anything for granted. We likely have more years behind us than ahead of us, and I intend to live each day like it was my last. It won't be another thirty four years before we get together again. We're already planning to get together in the near future. This time around, I plan to stay in touch. Like I said in the previous blog, you have a lot of acquaintances in life, but very few true friends. I feel blessed that Pierre and I are true friends.

Thanks for reading,

Yvon Bourque

Pierre and Marie

Me and Anne

P.S. This article, being on a photography blog, I would like to mention that all the pictures were taken with my trusty Pentax K-5, the K-r and the new Q.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Still friend (crazy) after all these years!


Hi Photographer friends,

This is a little off-topic, but it will wind up as a photographic post next week.

Thanks to the Internet, my best friend, of my early years "Pierre", found my blogsite and emailed me. He lives in Montreal and I live in Southern California. My friend Pierre has spent his life boat racing. One of the key location for these boat races is Lake Havasu on the borders of California, Arizona and Nevada. Come to find out that Pierre spends his winters in Lake Havasu, which is about a three hour drive from me. Yes...he is a Snow Bird, and me I'm an Expat

This weekend, my wife Anne and I are driving to Lake Havasu to meet with Pierre and his wife Marie. It's been 34 years since we saw each other. I can guaranty that we will pick-up  right where we left off. There are not too many friends in one's life. There are a lot of acquaintances, but not many true friends. I would help Pierre in a heart beat if he needed my help and I'm sure he feels the same way about me. We were friends from when we were about four years old and pretty much were almost inseparable through primary school. Pierre went off  to college and I stayed and completed school in our little old town, near Montreal.

Although we weren't seeing each other often, we kept that friendship going and then...I moved to the United States for my engineering career. I went to see him racing a few times but life went on and we kind of lost track of each other. He moved a few times, and I moved just about every few years for new engineering and construction management of projects all over the U.S., Canada and other places. Life has sort of passed us up for a while. I can't believe it's been 34 years.

This is going to be a great weekend. Of course he still has a boat and he told me he would bring me to some canyon along the Colorado River to take some pictures.I will post that next week with some interesting captions, I'm sure.

Thanks for reading,

Yvon Bourque

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


Hi Photographer friends,


DENVER, CO. (February 7, 2012)…PENTAX RICOH IMAGING AMERICAS CORPORATION announced the PENTAX IMAGE Transmitter exclusive software for the transfer and saving of images taken with the PENTAX 645D medium-format digital SLR

camera to a personal computer.  The transmitter software is equipped to automatically transfer 645D images from camera to PC via USB cable.

Overview of the software:

          Available in CD-ROM format

          Transfer recorded images to a designated file on a personal computer

          Records the images simultaneously on an SD memory card installed in the camera

          The camera’s shutter may  be remotely released using the personal computer

          Available in Japanese and English

          Operating manual included on the CD-ROM

The transmitter software will be available in March 2012 for $199.95 USD on

NOTE: The camera’s firmware must be updated to the latest version in order to use this software. The latest firmware is contained in the CD-ROM. With the Windows version, Microsoft’s .NET Framework 4 software must be installed on a personal computer in advance.

System requirements

Windows version

Microsoft Windows 7 (32 or 64 bit)

With a 64-bit system, the software operates as a 32-bit application.
Intel Core 2 Duo processor or later (Intel Core i5 processor or later recommended)
2GB or greater (3GB or greater recommended)
More than 1GB of available disk space (additional space required for image storage)
USB 2.0 port

.NET Framework 4 software

Macintosh version

Mac OS X 10.6 / 10.7
Intel Core 2 Duo processor or later (Intel Core i5 processor or later recommended)

Not compatible with PowerPC processors
2GB or greater
More than 1GB of available disk space (additional space required for image storage)
USB 2.0 port

Hi Photographer friends,


PENTAX UNVEILS Optio WG-2 and Optio WG-2 GPS

13th Generation PENTAX Adventure Cameras Now Waterproof to 40 Feet, New Backlit 16 MP Sensor, Shoots 1080p Video and Feature Six LED Lights, and

Optional SportMount Chest Harness

DENVER, CO. (February 7, 2012)…PENTAX RICOH IMAGING AMERICAS CORPORATION just  pushed the PENTAX WG adventure camera series to the edge for the 13th time with the introduction of the PENTAX Optio WG-2 and PENTAX Optio WG-2 GPS digital compact cameras.   These rugged, waterproof, dustproof and shock-resistant models feature more durability than ever before as well as improved image quality in high-sensitivity shooting and Full 1080p HD movie recording capability.

            The Optio WG camera family is ready for adventure in any outdoor setting. Foremost in the latest models’ feature set is a new back-illuminated 16 megapixel CMOS image sensor and powerful imaging engine that perform superbly in high-sensitivity settings such as night shooting or in poorly illuminated indoor settings.  The WG-2 models deliver clear, sharp images with less noise than previous models.

            Other major improvements in the latest models include: 

                   High-resolution Full HD 1080p movie recording (1920 x 1080 pixels) at 30 FPS with high quality h.264 compression.
                   Waterproof to depths of 40 feet.
                   Digital Microscope mode with one additional macro LED (total of six lights) for excellent macro lighting of subjects as close as 1 cm.
                   A newly designed GPS module that delivers a shorter time lag before GPS start-up and longer battery life during GPS activation.  
                   A new optional SportMount Chest Harness that straps-on the WG-2 for hands-free HD movie capture of every exciting moment of adventure on land, sea or in the air.  
                   Shockproof design protects camera drop up to 5 feet.
                   Crushproof construction withstands weights up to 220 LBF (pound-force).
                   Coldproof to sub-freezing temps of minus 10 degrees C (14 degrees F).
                   Dustproof design protects the camera from dry, dusty environments.
                   Wide angle 5X internal optical zoom lens (28-140mm equivalent).
                   Large 3 inch LCD features HVGA resolution (460,000 dots) and anti-reflective coating on its protective cover.
                   Hardened cover with SP coating protects internal lens elements.
                   An HDMI port (Micro, Type-D) plays back beautiful, high definition images and video on HDTVs.
                   Pixel Track, Digital, and Movie Shake Reduction ensure sharp, blur-free images and video.
                   Fast Face Detection technology including Smile Capture and Blink Detection to capture perfect portraits.
                   A Handheld Night Snap mode produces a single blur-free, composite image from four images of the same scene.
                   An autofocus assist lamp helps to quickly and accurately focus.
                   Extended dynamic range helps bring out extra highlight and shadow detail.
                   PENTAX infrared remote control compatibility for remote shooting.
                   GPS and non-GPS versions are available in several new stylish color options.

Priced at $349.95 USD, Optio WG-2 will be available in a choice of Black or Vermillion Red, while the Optio WG-2 GPS will be priced at $399.95 USD in a choice of Shiny Orange or Gloss White. The new SportMount Chest Harness will be priced at $49.95 USD and should be available late spring or early summer 2012. 

Monday, February 6, 2012


Hi Photographer friends,

Nikon's newest:

Old school camera a digital form.


 Hi Photographer friends,

Digital cameras are getting more sophisticated every year. It's great and the quality of the images that we capture is so much better than the film based photography of yesteryear's. Nowadays, it's almost too easy. We can shoot an unlimited amount of pictures, (depending of the memory card), we can view the images immediately, we have machine-gun fast shooting capability, we have auto-everything, heck...the cameras can almost take the pictures by itself.

I'm enjoying this just like everyone else. In this century, everything is face paced. We take pictures with our smart phones and we send them to friends and family in minutes or post them on Facebook for the world to see. We can't wait for anything. Manufacturers keep making the camera easier to use and soon there won't be much difference between still  and video cameras. Each frame will be of the highest quality and we will be able to choose the best images amongst dozens, if not hundreds of images differentiated by just a fraction of a second of recording.

It's so great, that I don't feel like I'm a photographer anymore. The camera tells me if I'm in focus, it can  choose the aperture, the sensitivity (ISO) and the shutter speed for me. Most cameras even have little icons of various shooting situations, like a face at close up view for portraits, mountains for infinity landscape shooting, a little man  running for fast action , etc,.  HRD allows capturing images with a wider latitude than what the human eyes can see, and you can make panoramic images directly in-camera by stitching several images together.

If you're picky, there are the Photoshop and Aperture software of the world to correct the images after the take. It's all so wonderful.

I, for one, would like to go back to the some basics anyway. You see, yesteryear's cameras  were so slow and the film so costly, that you were forced to really make sure that the scene you were about to take a photo of, was as perfect as possible. There was no instant viewing, no auto-everything, you had to figure out all of that by yourself and you had to really think about your composition. Shooting two rolls of "36's" Kodachrome was a big thing for a weekend of shooting and costly, might I say.

So, camera manufacturers, take notes. I know I'm not the only one feeling that way and the success of the Fuji X10 and X100 is a good example that "Old School" cameras could be a good niche for any camera manufacturer. I'm not talking about the mirror-less "flavor of the day" type of cameras. I'm talking about a great "all manual" cameras. Okay, maybe all manual with confirmation. It could be a Single Lens Reflex or a Range Finder camera, it doesn't matter.

I don't really need a 24 megapixels sensor, I just need image quality. Here's the description of this new "Old School" camera:

I need 10 to 14 megapixels at most. I don't need the so-called "full frame", hell... they're all full frames in their own format. An APS-C sensor would be just fine. I don't need autofocus, I just need focus confirmation (maybe, 'cause my eyes won't be getting any better with time). You don't have to make the camera think for me, I want to choose the aperture, the ISO and the shutter speed myself, after all I'm a photographer and I know what's required.

I don't want an LCD screen, it makes me hurry up and I don't take the time to study the scene. I'll have plenty of time later at home to review my images on my computer. computer. It's not that I want to go back in time, I'm a photographer and I know how to take pictures. I can certainly do without the chemicals involved in developing films and I do like the modern way to print and view my images.

I need a manual preview button that closes down the lens to the chosen aperture, so that I can see the depth of field, although it's not an essential feature. I can calculate the depth of field myself, but your lenses no longer show the distances that are in focus. (front and back). I'm a photographer and I know when I press the shutter what the results will be.

I'm okay with the built-in exposure metering systems, otherwise I would have to carry a hand-held light meter. I would appreciate a small LCD screen, on the top side of the camera, to let me know the battery's condition and to set some of the important functions such as white balance, etc,. I know that a digital camera has to have power.  (Solar or light power someday would be a great advancement that would not interfere with my photographic experience.)

Do I need in-camera or in-lens shake reduction? No. If I need to, I can use a tripod or other simple form of stabilization. It's pretty simple...make sure the camera doesn't move during exposure. I can do that.

We can recognise the inspiration of this photoshopped camera, but just imagine an all manual one.
Now, are you still listening camera manufacturers? Such camera would cut your costs tremendously and would create a new segment in the photographic world. I'm a photographer and I know how to take pictures,...and so are thousands and thousands of other photographers.

Thanks for reading, and maybe listening,

Yvon Bourque

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Pentax K-01 introduction video, from "The Camera Store" in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.


Hi Photographer friends,

Great video, maybe the first video, about the new Pentax K-01. It's a must see.  Thank you to "The Camera Store" for producing this. You guys rock.

Yvon Bourque


 Hi Photographer friends,

The Pentax lens roadmap is back on display.  Click on the link below to get a large PDF rendition of it.
Lens Roadmap

Small reproduction of the Lens Roadmap. Click above for full size PDF.

It looks like we will be getting a standard zoom lens (50mm range) another zoom lens between 30 to 150mm and 500 - 600mm range telephoto this current year.

For 2013, we can expect a wide zoom lens in the range of 10 to 24mm, another in the 24 to 38mm, a 24 to 70mm range zoom, a 150 - 250mm zoom and a  long awaited  AF 1.4x tele-converter.

If it comes to past, that would be great. I'm sure I won't be able to afford most of these lenses, but it will increase the Pro-usability of the Pentax system.

No more rumors, here's the Pentax K-01


Hi Photographer friends,

No more rumors, here's the Pentax K-01

PENTAX RICOH IMAGING AMERICAS CORPORATION introduces the Marc Newson designed PENTAX K-01* interchangeable lens camera (ILC). The new PENTAX K-01 is another bold effort from the manufacturer that is known for pushing camera size, color, durability, and now, design, to the limit. Widely known for designing a wide range of objects from furniture and household products to bicycles, cars, aircraft and yachts, Marc Newson has had collected works displayed in The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City and many other major museums.
*prounouced kay zero one.

The contemporary, timeless K-01 houses a full array of advanced functions and user-friendly features in a camera body with remarkable form and function. The elimination of an optical viewfinder and quick-return mirror gave Newson more freedom in designing the camera body, and the K-01 showcases Newson originality in every detail. Available in black, white and Newson’s signature yellow colors, the K-01 features the designer’s autograph logo stamp on the bottom of each camera.

The famed designer’s touch also is evident in a new smc PENTAX-DA 40mm F2.8 XS interchangeable lens. As the world’s thinnest interchangeable lens,* the new 40mm combines with the PENTAX K-01 camera body to deliver a unique ILC system that is perfect for photographers who are as keen on design as they are on performance. Together, the K-01 and 40mm lens system mark the intersection where high technology and high design meet.

Key features of the PENTAX K-01 include:
• Durable machined aluminum frame under a stylish black, white, or yellow exterior.
• PENTAX mirrorless body design is compatible with 25+ million PENTAX K-mount lenses spanning decades.
• Large 16 megapixel APS-C sized CMOS image sensor with low noise image capture and multiple aspect ratios.
• Bright, high resolution 3 inch LCD with 920,000 dots.
• Full HD 1080p video capture at 30 FPS with h.264 compression (60 FPS at 720p) features outstanding video capture flexibility.
• Sensor-shift PENTAX Shake and Dust Reduction system is compatible with every mounted PENTAX lens.
• Fast 6 FPS burst mode is ideal for fast-action photography.
• Flexible ISO range of 100-25600 ensures gorgeous noise-free imaging in any lighting condition.
• Focus peaking mode provides fast and accurate manual focusing for critical focus applications.
* The world’s thinnest interchangeable lens for lens-interchangeable digital SLR cameras, as of February 1, 2012 (based on PENTAX’s research).
The K-01 will be available in yellow, black and white in March 2012 for $749.95USD (body only) and $899.95USD (lens kit including new DA 40mm XS) in Marc Newson designed packaging and with the Marc Newson designed strap. The smc PENTAX-DA 40mm F2.8 XS unifocal interchangeable standard lens will ship at the same time for $249.95 USD.
Additional information is available here: and a video interview with Mark Newson regarding the K-01design may be viewed here: Images of other Marc Newson creations are available here.