Dec 182012


All you want for Christmas! Nikon Steals, RX1 Shipping, Pentax, Grado, Parrot Zik and more!

Ho Ho Ho! It’s almost that time again and I am sitting here writing yet another Christmas gift post. We only have just over a week until Christmas day and I am sure most of you have completed your shopping but I am sure there are a few stragglers holding out…waiting for that deal. Maybe some of you are looking for an X-mas gift for yourself after a year of hard work :)

This week I brought home a new gift for the family from a local dog rescue. A one year old Chihuahua named “Baby” who is super sweet (but now I know why she was named BABY). My old Scrubby is still kicking and looks like he will see yet another Christmas day, so for that I am thankful.

The Rescue Dog – Shot with the Sony RX1 at ISO 6400, no flash, f/2, indoor low light. Converted to B&W with Alien Skin Exposure 4


So to all who are regular readers here and to those who may have just stopped by this one time, I wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays/New Year. 2012 Was amazing for me yet again and I am expecting 2013 to ROCK. I already have one workshop in the planning stages in an AMAZING location with Ashwin Rao and another in an even more Amazing location with Craig Litten. Craig is actually putting on this workshop and when I saw where it was and what it would consist of I knew I had to be in on it. I emailed him and mentioned that we should do a team effort and I will at least be there to join Craig and all the others who attend. These two workshops will be quite special and will be announced soon and they may be the only two I am involved in for all of 2013.

Deals and Steals on the Nikon 1 System are still here, through December 31st

With that out of the way, let’s check out some last minute gift ideas! I will start with that amazing Nikon V1 deal, which keeps getting better. I swear that B&H Photo must have had about 1,000 of these in stock as they seem to have an endless supply. STILL in stock and at these prices they are outright STEALS:



Nikon V1 and 10-30 for $299 – WOW!


Nikon V1 with 10-30 and 30-110 for $399 – WOWZERS!


Nikon V1 with 10-30, 10-100, Nikon Lens Adpater, Flash and bag for $799 – Triple WOW!



This V1 deal is damn good and while the V1 sensor is not the best in class (that prize is taken by the Sony RX100) the camera as a whole is highly capable of superb results with fast and accurate AF and super RAW files. 10Mp means small file sizes which means manageable files and the HD video is VERY good as well. Also has a Mic input if you want super QUALITY Audio to go with that video. Take a look at my V1 setup that I am just now starting to use for videos:

The Nikon V1 and Rode VideoMic Pro – $299 for the camera and lens, $299 for the mic :)


That is a Rode VideoMic pro attached and let me tell you, this mic is a HUGE upgrade to ANY on camera mic. The sound quality is up there with more expensive mics and it even has three settings. One that is a normal audio level, one with a reduce level and one with a higher sensitivity and if you want to record sounds from afar, this will pick it up with crystal clarity. It’s $299 at Amazon or B&H Photo.

The Nikon V1 at ISO 800 with the 10-30 Kit Zoom. Indoor no external light source besides the floor lamp behind me.


So overall, I’d get in on the Nikon V1 deal, even if it is for a gift. The person getting it will be like “WOW, this is a $900 camera” and believe me, this is so much better than any $250 point and shoot.

How about a steal of deal on a Pentax K-01? 


I reviewed the Pentax K-01 a while ago and could not fault its image quality one bit. My main niggle was no EVF nor a way  to even add one because the LCD in full sunlight was awful. The IQ with the included 40mm lens was stellar though. You can read my review HERE and FYI, Amazon has the K-01 on clearance with the 40mm 2.8 lens for $449 and they have most colors available as well. Click HERE for all of the K-01 Deals at Amazon. Great camera, odd design. If you happen to like the design it is a GREAT buy right now. I was even tempted at this price but I have to stop myself as I already own the next camera on the list and it is doing just about everything I need.

The Sony RX1 – In stock on December 22nd with free next day air shipping! 


Amazon has the Sony RX1 coming in stock on December 22nd (ships and sold from Amazon) and they are giving FREE Next Day Air shipping with it so you can get it BEFORE Christmas. Amazon is up there with the best of any online retailer and I shop from them just about every single week. Never an issue and the best return policy in the camera business (though B&H is a close 2nd). While not a steal or a deal, I know a few of you are waiting for this one to be in stock and Amazon is taking orders NOW for a ship date of December 22nd, just a few days from today. My fave camera and yes, I own one with the EVF.

You can order the RX1 here and if you do, it will ship on December 22nd. The cool thing is Amazon won’t even charge you until it ships, not even for an authorization.

BTW, dont forget to check out the amazing RX1 shots posted at this TUMBLR page as well as the brand new Facebook Group devoted to the RX1! The group is not mine but I will participate from time to time and I expect lots of good photos and info there.

BTW, if anyone in your life is searching for the best pocket compact camera, my vote goes for the Sony RX100. You can read my review here.

DEAL ALERT! Cool point and shoot! Great for teens or anyone who wants a small P&S! $96 deal.


The Nikon S-01 is a very cool little P&S and in chrome/silver it looks damn amazing as well. These are marked down from $179 to $96 and are decent performers and super pocketable. Amazon has them for $96 HERE. Probably the coolest P&S this season.

Other gift ideas that get my stamp of approval…

Being a tech guy I am in to all sorts of things besides cameras. I love guitars, headphones, audio equipment and anything “techie”. Technology is amazing and I try out so much gear it is insane. What I have kept out of all of that gear can be seen below so if you are also a tech person maybe you will enjoy reading what I have to say about these items.

The Bella Lumiere Swan LED Lamp Black/Red – Great for video blogging, conferencing, and more.


I have been using this lamp on my office desk for a few days and have to say that I really like it. The cool thing about this lamp is that it has three color temperatures from super cool to super warm. The lighting is soft and perfect for video blogging which is what they market it as… For example..if you use skype for video calls or conferencing or blogging this thing is great. It brightens up your face with a nice soft and flattering light, instead of harsh ugly light. I have even used this for a couple of product shot photos. It is a touch lamp and you can even adjust the intensity of the light in 3 levels per temperature just by a touch. Here are the specs and  I have the red and black on my desk and love it.

  • Excellent light for video blogging, video conferencing, makeup application, reading, and task lighting.
  • Uses 13W DiCon Dense Matrix LEDTM technology
  • 3 color temperature settings: tungsten to daylight
  • Dome-shaped diffuser accessory provides smooth softening of light
  • Touch control intelligence for convenient dimming. Modern design with a flexible neck allows ease of use

When I 1st saw this lamp I was like “yea, why would I want or need a $149 lamp when I can go get one for $15 from Ikea”? But this lamp has found a place on my desk due to the softness of light and color temperature and intensity settings. It also looks great with its bendable head that is easy to position. Amazon has them in BLACK or RED for those who appreciate good tech and light. Bottom line? If you do lots of video conferencing or Skype this lamp can come in handy.

Headphones that I own and use and LOVE! (I’m an Audio Geek)


Love good sound and good design? I do  and when I sit and work for hours every day I sometimes enjoy music running through my Grado PS-500 Headphones and Grado RA-1 amp. I also enjoy the Grado SR-80 and at $99 it has some of the best sound for the money easily beating ANY of the popular “Beats” headphones that are so popular due to style (but their sound lacks big time).

One set of headphones that I settled on for travel and wireless use after testing about 15 sets is the Parrot Zik bluetooth headphones. These have been causing quite the stir and some love them and some hate them. Me, I love them! I have spent quality time with them and learned how to get them to sound their best and the coolest thing is that they are WIRELESS and have rock solid bluetooth connectivity with my Apple Devices.

They are build like $1200 headphones, sound like $350 headphones and have the comfort of the Bose QC15 (but beat then for build and sound) and just about the same level of noise canceling. You can use them wired or without wire but if you try to use them with the wire and no battery the sound will be awful. Wired with battery is awesome and wireless just as good. They lean on the more Bassy side but also have some detail. They do not resolve the details anywhere near what the Grado’s do but they have a nice pleasing sound that is not fatiguing at all. The video below is of my Grado PS500’s. Love them for my serious listening…

With the Parrot Zik You can even use the special App on your phone, iPad or device and control an EQ, Noise Canceling and the Hall effects (which are awful for the sound). Overall I use these wirelessly with only the NC turned on. I love them and they have been on my head every day while I work. I love that when I am needed in the house for something all I have to do is remove them from my head and they pause my music automatically. The touch controls on the side means you can change songs or volume with swipe of a finger. These are pretty technologically advanced headphones and I have used them for music, phone calls, and meetings and movies without fail. The only thing I can say is get an extra battery as the included battery will last about 6 hours when using only NC. With the EQ and other effects you are looking at 4 hours.

The Parrot Zik headohones are NOT audiophile in quality but they are perfect for travel and causal use. Their convenience can not be ignored, neither can their beauty. If you buy a set keep in mind that you must have a charged battery in them for good sound and I highly recommend to keep the hall and echo effects OFF. This only adds sibilance and a hollow sound.

They do great with rock, jazz or acoustic and while not a master of any of these Genres, they will please almost anyone except the super demanding audiophiles. If you want a travel headphone with KILLER sound but wired and without noise canceling then check out the Sennheiser Amperiors. Light, comfy, great build and style with amazing sound. $349 at Amazon. These beat the new Momentums for Sound quality and look amazing in the blue Aluminum finish.

You can buy the Parrot Zik at Amazon HERE. Extra batteries are HERE

HOLD FAST GEAR! Amazing quality accessories…


Hold Fast Gear sent me out a couple of products about a month ago as a gift..they did not even ask me to review the items. I was told they loved my site and they wanted to send me a gift to show their appreciation. Of course I know this was probably a way for them to get a review but I never did review the stuff they sent, mainly because I have yet to use the main product which is a cool as hell photo belt designed to hold your lenses and accessories on a shoot, and it is BEAUTIFUL and well made with amazing Leather. They also sent me a little leather wallet that I have been using daily and it is pretty sweet. Even has slots for SD cards.


I suggest everyone check out HOLD FAST because not only are their leather products jaw droppingly beautiful, the packaging is something to behold as well. They have a mix of straps and accessories that some will enjoy. They are on the higher end of the price spectrum  but the product is HIGH END and gorgeous. If you check them out, tell them I sent you!

The Scarabeaus – A new way to carry your camera with German engineering and build. 


I have had one of these for a couple of weeks, and I am the 1st to be using one. The inventor of the product wanted me to try it out and see how I like it. Well, I have been using it and have to say it is a pretty unique invention that does what it claims to do, and it does it well. The Scarabaeus is a solid German made device that attaches to your belt and allows you to carry your camera holster style. It fastens in securely so no one can snag it from your belt and it is easy for you to remove when you need the camera. This is a quality piece of engineering and while I enjoy it, I can not say I would use it with my Leica M because of the size and the possibility to ding your lens on a wall or something near you. BUT for cameras like the RX1, RX100 and Micro 4.3 this thing is super cool. No straps, no weight on your back or shoulder, just your camera at your side locked in and loaded ready to shoot.

I used this device to carry the RX1 on a full day shoot and it was pretty amazing. Most of the time I forgot I was carrying the camera as you do not even notice it there on your side (unless you have something larger like an M).

This device is perfect for the smaller mirrorless cameras and is constructed of quality materials. Made in Germany with precision. You can see their website HERE though I have to say that the site is extremely basic. Just the image above with an order link. If you would like a camera carry solution and are sick of straps this could be just what you have been looking for.

There is one con though. If you need to change your memory card or battery you will need the tool to remove the device from the base of the camera (allen wrench). Other than that it is a cool device and invention that I will enjoy using.

Ready Cap! Put an end to losing your lens caps!


Ready Cap is a very cool device that straps on to your STRAP and it stores and holds your lens cap when you shoot! If you are like me then you have gone through your share of lost lens caps and this is a pain especially when you have to re-order a few Leica caps :) From $14.99 you can put an end to lost caps, period.

I tried out the system and it worked for me and was simple and easy. The holder stays on your strap and just by reaching over and snapping your cap in place you are in business. You can buy any size adapter ring for any size lens cap you may have. The system comes with one size at $14.99 and each additional size is $3.99.



So basically for $20-$25 you can be all set and never lose a cap again. Very cool idea and works as advertised. You can check out more of this at the ReadyCap website HERE!

THE MICRO LENS POUCH! A must have to store your lenses on the cheap.


These are cheap and amazing for storing your lenses. I have several and they are soft, protective and come in sizes to fit any lens. They are also CHEAP. Here is the popular 3 pack for under $30.

and finally, some credit where credit is due! Great new music…


It may sound cheesy but I highly suggest anyone that loves music..hard driving rhythms, catchy hooks and rythyms and superb songwriting that makes you want to sing along loudly check out the new CD from none other than 80’s sensation RICK SPRINGFIELD. His “Songs for the End of the World” CD is so good there is not one stinker on the CD. These sound modern, not like 80’s rehashes. I like a few Springfield songs in the 80’s, hell, all of us from that generation did but I have to say this is his best music ever. It’s not just me either, read the reviews at Itunes, Amazon or on the web. At 63 Rick can still rock and create some kick ass music. If you buy the CD all of the tracks are awesome but stand outs are #2, #3, #4, #7, #8, #9, #10, #1 and #11.

I am a huge Music fan but I enjoy everything from Jazz to Bluegrass to Soul to Rock to the Classics. This is a GREAT CD. My fave of 2012. Don’t believe it? Take a listen for yourself.

Also, do not miss the 99 Years of Leica book! It is well worth it for any Leica fan!


Mar 162012

The Pentax K-01 Camera Review – Design Masterpiece or Design Disaster?

Before I start writing my thoughts down on this camera I want to remind all of you who are reading this about how I review cameras. Most of you already know because I have been writing the same style of reviews for 3 years now, but at the same time there are always new readers with every review and they do not know my style of writing or how I review. Basically, when I get a new camera in for review or testing I look it over, read the manual (if I need to) and mess with the settings, controls, features, etc. I then take it out and shoot it in real world scenarios because I feel the TRUE test of a camera is going out and using it! Sure, i could whip out review after review by sitting in my house and setting up a small studio to take shots of flower vases and color charts but I feel those days of camera reviews are starting to get old, fade out, and get way too technical. Well, at least that is how I feel about it. That is also exactly why I started this site 3 years ago!

When I take out a camera like the K-01 and shoot it for a couple of weeks I make mental notes of issues I had as well as positives. I start writing and add to it daily and when I am all done, I post it for all of you to enjoy.  If I really love a camera then it inspires me to go out and shoot. Cameras like the Leica M9 inspire me because when you slap a great lens on that camera you KNOW what you are going to get..I see it in my head and it is all natural. The Fuji X100, even with its limitations and quirks is, IMO, a beautiful design and size with amazing IQ. Cameras like the Nikon V1 – I love that one because it JUST WORKS and provides superb color and metering along with AF speed and a build, size and quality that is plenty good enough for the masses. The Sony NEX-7 for it’s breakthrough design and being the 1st to put everything us enthusiasts have asked for in one body. EVF, the try-navi controls, the high res sensor, the swivel LCD…the list goes on.

Click image for larger size to see the beautiful quality of the K-01 and 40 2.8 lens

With new cameras like the Fuji X-Pro 1 and Olympus OM-D arriving any day now I am excited that the camera companies are FINALLY getting it when it comes to digital. With film, we had it easy. All we needed was a light box, a viewfinder and a lens to create our images. That’s it! With digital it gets complicated and these days when everyone and their brother is a photographer, it has become a whole new industry. These days, new cameras arrive every few months. Better models are always right around the corner. Depreciation sets in and we buy cameras and sell them for a loss 5-6 months down the road to get the latest and greatest. It is what it is folks, and it seems to be getting more and more crazy as time goes on. But it is OUR passion and OUR hobby and I know of many MUCH more expensive hobbies than photography.

So for me all of this is good as I can write about all of these cool cameras and have never ending content for the site :) I guess what I am trying to say here is that we have many GREAT options coming out today in regards to digital cameras and photography. This site always focuses on the enthusiast models and cameras that I think are good buys or of great quality but today I am writing about the new Pentax K-01 and after shooting it for a little while my feelings are somewhat mixed. I will say right now that ME…I am not a fan of the design at all. In use it is very boxy, not ergonomic, and feels like I am shooting with one of those toy cameras you see in the little kid isle at a toy store. Not sure how much Marc Newson was paid for this design but I feel Pentax could have done much better in this area. Not knocking Marc here because he obviously is not a camera designer. Now, some of you may LOVE this design. It IS INDEED different, and I am usually a huge fan of different but not this time. It just was not pleasant to shoot, and I hate to say that about a Pentax, a company whose products I normally adore.

The K-01 Meets the stilt girl :)

The good news is that while shooting this camera I realized that the image quality was fantastic, the new 40mm f/2.8 pancake lens is superb and TINY! I believe that this K-01 may have the best IQ of any digital Pentax to date. If this is all that matters to you and you have a load of Pentax glass, go buy one now and skip the rest of this review. :) If usability, design and IQ matter, then keep reading to see why I was not inspired to want to own this camera. ALL images shown here were shot with the Pentax K-01 and 40mm 2.8 lens.

Here is what I will go over in a simple, easy to read,  and fairly quick review (as it is basically a K5 in a different shell minus a VF)

  1. The Design
  2. The problem of no viewfinder
  3. The Specs
  4. High ISO
  5. Picture Quality
  6. The GOOD things about the K-01
  7. Autofocus Speed and Manual focus features
  8. Movie Mode
  9. Bottom Line Conclusion


The Design of the K-01 – what I like and do not like about it

It seems the biggest feature of this camera is the design, and that is a shame really. The camera innards are fantastic but when you see this box in photos and in person the very first thing that strikes you is the design, and this can take away from the camera itself I think. To some it looks cool and modern, and to others it looks like a toy. I feel it resembles the Leica Digilux 1 in many ways and if you go hold that camera now you will feel how boxy and dated it really is. I guess that is what I feel when I hold the K-01. It feels dated. The classic Leica Digilux 1 is seen in the image below.

The Leica Digilux 1 – an oldie and not even a goodie :) If you see this for sale, avoid it, unless you want it for a display case.

When I showed the K-01 to my Son Brandon the 1st words from his mouth were “wow, you bought an old school camera”? I said “no, it is the new Pentax” and his reply was “it looks 80’s”.

To a 16 year old, I guess this is what a 1980’s camera looks like.

The camera is very boxy, very square, and has a rubber coating/grip on the body. There is an LCD on the back with a few nice big buttons, which I DO like. There is NO EVF or VF at all and the top houses a pop up flash which comes in handy when you want fill flash. The rubber door you pull out to gain access to your memory cards is flimsy and I can see it breaking over time. When shooting this rubber flap never really fits back in correctly so its always kind of hanging out a bit. I would have preferred a solid door. The big buttons are cool and bright but they look toy like as if they were designed for a baby or small tike who is learning colors.

The dials move with a nice solid click feel and I do like the way they feel and where they were placed, so I do like the dials.

Like I said, some will enjoy this unique design but I feel it was not a great choice. It’s gimmicky and certainly not classic. It is also not really comfortable to hold nor that functional mainly due to one reason I will get into below.

The Problem of NOT having a viewfinder

When I took the camera out to a fair to shoot on a sunny Saturday I was so disappointed. The camera was almost useless as with the bright sun I could not compose my shots AT ALL because the LCD was washed out about 90%. The images I did get were all shot blind really, like the one below of the kid climbing the “Jacob’s ladder”. I saw a slight faded image but could not even make out what was on the screen.

This kid made it to the top but cheated. Still, he won his $2 back :) I had to shoot blind here by aiming and pressing the shutter. I could not see anything on the LCD due to the sunlight washing it out. 

So if you live in a sunny environment and want to shoot the K-01, forget it. The LCD will be washed out horribly. If Pentax would have put in an EVF it would have made this camera MUCH more fun and useful. To be without one, for me, is a deal breaker and I would take a K-5 over the K-01 if at all possible. It is only a little bigger but has a better feel, an optical VF and takes the same exact lenses (same lens mount). It costs a bit more but would be worth it IMO. Again, the K-01 has superb IQ but for me, it loses some ground in design and usability and I am a big fan of usability.

Without even an optical ViewFinder, it makes it hard to see what you are composing in bright sunlight and to me, this is a bummer. 

The K-01 and 40 next to the Sony NEX-7 and Zeiss 24. Look how slim and trim the NEX is, and it has a GREAT EVF.

The Specs of the K-01

The specs of the K-01 are fantastic and have the best specs of any Pentax to date. Take a look at what you get packed into this little brick of a camera…

Large 16 megapixel APS-C sized CMOS image sensor with low noise image capture and multiple aspect ratios.

Yes, this camera has a great CMOS sensor and even with the 40 2.8 pancake the IQ is superb.

Bright, high resolution 3 inch LCD with 920,000 dots.

It is a nice LCD but forget about bright sunlight use!

Full HD 1080p video capture at 30 FPS with h.264 compression (60 FPS at 720p) features outstanding video capture flexibility.

Video seems fantastic from what I have seen so far.

Flexible ISO range of 100-25600 ensures gorgeous noise-free imaging in any lighting condition.

Low light and high ISO are in line with what we see today from other cameras.

Mirrorless body design is compatible with 25+ million PENTAX K-mount lenses spanning decades.

THIS IS THE GOOD THING about the K-01. Use Pentax LIMITEDs without an adapter and for many, this makes it worth it. Period.

Sensor-shift PENTAX Shake and Dust Reduction system is compatible with every mounted PENTAX lens.

Seems to work great.

Fast 6 FPS burst mode is ideal for fast-action photography.

Well, I wouldn’t shoot fast action with this camera and the 40 2.8 as the AF is not the speediest.

Shooting modes include P, Av, Tv, and M, as well as powerful automatic modes, creative filters, and finishing options.

Focus peaking mode provides fast and accurate manual focusing for critical focus applications.

YES! I am glad to say that Focus peaking has been implemented. It is more like the way that Ricoh uses it with the GXR.

Captures JPG still images as well as open standard DNG RAW.

In-camera HDR mode combines bracketed user-specified exposures into a single, perfectly blended still image.

Built-in popup flash and external hotshoe compatible with modern PENTAX digital flash units.

Durable machined aluminum frame.

Contemporary styling by world renowned designer Marc Newson.

As for the features and menu system, it is almost exactly like the Pentax K-5 so be sure to read that review to see more. 

The Palm Reader spotted me :)

High ISO shooting with the K-01

I was impressed with the low light/high ISO shooting of the Pentax K-01. Noise was minimal as I cranked it up and color stayed good. I turned OFF the in camera NR for JPEGS because  I am not a fan of smearing, and most cameras will smear the images to reduce the noise. Still, no complaints at all in the high ISO department. Below are a few examples of high ISO. One 12,800 shot taken at night with a 100% crop and 3 full size samples taken in my living room at 11PM at night with no flash or light source besides my living room ceiling light.

Click image for larger size with 100% crop – ISO 12,800 at night just to test high ISO.

The following images are full size from RAW without any added NR. I used ACR defaults here. Click images for full size. They were snapped in my living room at 11pm

Overall Picture Quality of the Pentax K-01

I really can not judge on total and overall IQ from this camera because I have only shot it with the 40 2.8 lens, which is excellent but still no match for the limited primes. So every image you see on this page was taken blindly with the 40 2.8. I say blindly because as I already mentioned, the LCD was not even usable in bright sunlight so all images were basically an aim and fire kind of shot. Not necessarily the best basis to judge the detailed picture quality :) I can say that the IQ seems VERY similar to what I saw come out of the K-5. I did as much testing as I could with the limited time I had the camera.

Click image below for a large version with 100% crop shot at 2.8 with the 40 2.8 lens. This was straight from camera and just to show detail wide open. 

From what I have seen, I have ZERO complaints on the image quality of the K-01 as this is its BEST feature. I can only imagine that with the Limited primes one can get some beautiful images from the K-01 and I wish I had some on hand to test with it because I do know I would be thrilled with the results.

Shot out of my car window, through my tint an all. Shot using the 40 2.8 at 2.8. 

The K-01 and 40 2.8 are a great little combo due to the fact that the lens is so tiny and thin!

The bokeh from this lens is a little busy though…

The GOOD things about the Pentax K-01

The Lenses: I know I have said quite a few negative things about the K-01’s design and usability BUT there are a few really great things going for it. For one, Pentax DID NOT create an all new mount for this camera which means those who buy a K-01 will not have to play the waiting game while Pentax designs new lenses. The K-01 uses K mount glass and there is some delicious K mount glass out there! You can attach those gorgeous limited primes and you will be in business without an adapter or issues.

The Features: Let’s face it, the K-01 is packed with features and really leaves nothing to be desired (except the design and lack of EVF/VF). If shooting JPEG you can customize the look and color using the settings or the presents. I love the cross processing filter of this camera AND the K-5. Pentax gives you crazy customization of color, contrast, white balance and all of the other settings for those who are detailed oriented. Me, I just shot in RAW and converted and then resized for this review. But the features are here. Image stabilization, dust shaker, filters, etc.

Focus Peaking – Using old manual glass is a breeze with the Pentax K-01 due to the Focus peaking feature that has been added. I was sad to see that the Fuji X-Pro 1 does NOT have peaking but this Pentax DOES, which is great. I feel ALL mirror less cameras should have this feature which makes manually focusing without magnification a breeze. If you are unaware how focus peaking works, you can see an example of it in the video below even though I used an NEX-7 to demonstrate. The Pentax works just about the same way. 

High ISO – High ISO with this camera is superb. ISO 12,800 is about on par with the Leica M9 at ISO 2500.

If you like the body style and can live without a VF or EVF AND you have Pentax glass, then it is a no brainer. You will love the K-01. If you do NOT own Pentax glass and prefer a VF/EVF, then you may not be a big fan of this camera. Either way, it has a huge lens selection to choose from and has fantastic IQ. 

Autofocus Speed 

The Pentax has decent AF speed but uses contrast detect (slower) instead of Phase Detect (faster). The only mirror less camera to date that uses BOTH is the little Nikon V1 which allows it to be screaming fast in daylight and very fast at night. The Pentax with the 40 2.8 is fast but it is no speed demon. For example, when shooting video with this combo the lens makes the grinding noise when you focus/re-focus and it is not the fastest focusing lens. BUT when focusing in lower light this camera locks on quickly and accurately but if it gets too low it hunts and hunts like most other cameras do. I have had NO mis focused shots with this combo though so that is a plus.

Movie Mode Samples

The Pentax K-01 has various movie modes but instead of writing them all down I figured I would show them to you in a video along with some quick video samples shot with the K-01 (nothing exciting but hey, it’s something) Enjoy!

The Bottom Line Conclusion

I can see it now, Pentax fans are going to be giving me heat for talking bad about the camera design. I will hear about how just because it doesn’t look like a rangefinder that I do not like it. Well, that is not true at all. I like many cameras that are not designed like a rangefinder but in my opinion, and again, this is only MY opinion, the design is a fail. It’s too bulky, too fat, looks like a toy and is not comfortable to shoot. It doesn’t feel like a camera I can “connect” with. Design IS indeed important to ME and I feel a camera has to have all of the elements that bring it together to form one mean, lean, shooting machine.

A camera like the Sony NEX-7 comes to mind for it’s design. Sleek, full controls and customizations, try-navi controls, great tillable LCD that even works in daylight, superb OLED EVF built in, a nice grip that protrudes. It looks like a camera even though it operates more like a computer :) The K-01 is very “Tonka” toy like. Big, fat, clunky and odd. But, both will deliver superb IQ. The Sony costs more but it has more going for it as a body but the K-01 has more going for it when it comes to lenses.

The K-01 costs $899 with the 40 f/2.8 lens. The NEX-7 comes in at $1,349 with the 18-55 Kit Zoom in black so $449 more but you get an EVF, better overall camera for HD video, slimmer build and more of a camera feel, swivel LCD, 24 megapixels and even more customization that the already super customizable K-01. But with the Sony you only have access to the Sony lenses and others via adapters. Me? Id take the NEX-7 in a heartbeat over a K-01 but I do not own a stash of Pentax glass. If I did I would buy the K-5 :)

To some it will be ugly. To others it will be cute. One thing is for sure though, it does do what it was built to do and IT DOES IT WELL. I have no complaints with its output, just its design and lack of VF. Pentax should be applauded for trying something different. Wether or not it succeeds I do not know but with so much competition out there it will be tough. In the price range of the K-01 (or less) we have the following:

The Nikon V1 – I love the V1, that is no secret but it has become one of the most controversial camera releases in years. Many HATE it due to its small sensor but many love it due to it’s fantastic color palette, amazing speed, metering and accuracy. It has its weaknesses of course but it is a solid little system that is in need of new fast glass. The K-01 beats the V1 in IQ and High ISO easily but in usability the V1 wins hands down. My V1 review is HERE. 

The Sony NEX-5n – The 5n is $699 so still $200 less than the Pentax even with a kit zoom. I really liked the 5n and found it really did nothing wrong. Again, for someone without a collection of Pentax glass I feel the NEX-5n is a better buy. The 5n also shoots video effortlessly with the kit zoom with silent AF. My 5n review can be seen HERE.

The Fuji X10 – The Fuji X10 has that classic RF design but is includes a decent zoom lens and a really good tiny sensor. I really liked the X10 BUT if it were between the K-01 and X10 I would go for the K-01 due to sensor size and video capabilities. The X10 has  great color and output for the size of its sensor but it lacks in the video department and in giving shallow depth of field. Still, great little camera at a not so bad price. See my X10 review HERE.

The Olympus E-P3 – This is now old news with the OM-D coming out with the much improved body, sensor, and features but the E-P3 is $899 WITH A KIT LENS so it is in the same exact range as the K-01. Now, the K-01 will slaughter the E-P3 in Image Quality due to the larger APS-C sensor compared to the Micro 4/3 sensor BUT again, USABILITY! The E-P3 is one hell of a camera to shoot. It’s fun, has a great style and shape and the LCD can be seen in bright light. Still, NO built in EVF though. Also, the E-P3 can use some amazing Micro 4/3 glass like the 12mm, 45mm, and 25mm. This would be tough for me because the K-01 beats it in IQ and Video Quality but loses to it in body style and usability. I LOVE the E-P3 and being such a fan of it would probably go for that over the K-01. But your opinion may vary. You can see my E-P3 review HERE. 

Would I buy a Pentax K-01?

For me, NO. For you, ? The IQ is great, the high ISO is fantastic but for me, the body design and lack of a VF stops it from becoming a camera I would own. Besides, I can’t buy them all!

Where to buy the K-01

You can buy the K-01 in all of the fabulous colors below at B&H Photo which is my recommended place to shop for mirror less cameras and just about anything photographic. I also like Amazon

Buy the Pentax K-01 in BLACK with the 40mm 2.8 lens at B&H Photoor Body Only

Buy the Pentax K-01 in Yellow with the 40 2.8 lens at B&H Photoor Body Only

Buy the Pentax K-01 in WHITE with the 40 2.8 lens at B&H Photoor Body Only


Remember, anytime you follow my links here and buy from B&H or AMAZON, this helps to keep my site going. If it was not for these links, there would be no way to fund this site, so I thank you in advance if you visit these links. I thank you more if you make a purchase! I have nifty search bars at the upper right of each page so you easily search for something at either store! I currently spend 10-14 hours a day working on this site and the only way that I can pay for it is with your help, so thank you! Currently my traffic has been increasing but my funds to pay for the site has been decreasing, so any help would be GREATLY appreciated!

Even if  you buy baby food, napkins or toothpicks at amazon it helps this site, and you do not pay anything extra by using the links here. Again, you pay nothing extra by using my links, it is just a way to help support this site, so again, I thank you in advance :)

If you enjoyed this article/review, feel free to leave a comment at the bottom of this page and also be sure to join me on twitter or my new facebook fan page and Google +  page! Also, you can subscribe to my feed at my subscribe page HERE and read these posts in your browser or news reader!

Mar 072012

The Pentax K-01 1st Look Video

OK guys, my review will be up in about a week but here is a 1st look video to show you just how the Pentax K-01 looks in my hands. Enjoy! The K-01 is in stock at B&H Photo in Black with the new 40mm pancake. The yellow and white are now out of stock. Oh, I mention in the video it is their 1st mirrorless camera but as you may know, the Q was really their 1st mirrorless.

Mar 062012

Pentax K-01 in stock now, review in about a week

You know, I was not going to really review this one..this little funky looking Marc Newson designed Pentax …and why? Well, I wanted to concentrate on the new Fuji, the new Olympus and other things that I thought would be more relevant to the readers here. Then I remembered my Nikon V1 experience, where I was not going to even touch the V1 or J1, then ended up reviewing it and buying one for myself. Then I realized…THIS IS WHAT I DO! So yes, I will be reviewing the K-01.

This Pentax may look funky, but maybe in use it is a great, fun, sweet little camera? I was not expecting to be blown away but you never know right? In any case, my review of the Pentax K-01 will be up after the weekend. I guessing about one week from today. The review will be with the camera and the new super slim 40mm 2.8, the new tiny pancake that is shipping with the K-01 body.

Oh, and also, check this out. Pentax is re-releasing the limited edition Silver K-5. How do you re-release a “limited edition”? Easy! By simply changing the lens that ships with it! Seriously though, The K-5 is awesome and I missed out on the silver edition last time around but maybe I will grab one this time if I can.

But for now it is all about the new mirrrorless from those crazy people over at Pentax…yea, the same ones that brought us the lovely little Q.  The new K-01 doesn’t seem to be everyone’s cup of tea but for some it could be! You can visit the Pentax K-01 Website HERE.

You can buy it now in BLACK, YELLOW or WHITE – ALL are IN STOCK now for immediate shipping through B&H Photo.

Feb 262012

Did you pre-order one of the new cameras? If so, which one?

Feb 242012

What is it about new cameras that make us crazy? It’s called G.A.S.

by Steve Huff

2012 – It’s madness, it’s mayhem, it’s one of the most exciting years in digital camera releases EVER and I can see it…we are all going crazy and are filled with excitement for all of these new camera releases..yes my friends, G.A.S. is alive and well and damn, we don’t even know what Leica is announcing this year yet! All I know is that when I get a hold of all of these new cameras (and yes, I am buying them all to test) I will be like a junkie getting his fix. But why is that? Why do we get excited about new cameras, new lenses, new equipment? One thing to know is that this “disease” is NOT just in our hobby. I see it in EVERY hobby.

G.A.S. or otherwise known as “Gear Acquisition Syndrome” is real and it is alive and well, more so than ever. From the mirrorless craze to the Leica love, we all want a camera that we can depend on, grow with and love but when we find it something new arrives and the cycle starts all over again. I guess websites such as this one do not help the situation but what can I say? I ‘m just as much a gear head as many of you.

The manufacturers of these cameras know all about G.A.S. and they are not helping to cure us with the latest round of new cameras coming out in the next 30-60 days. Cameras appear  to be popping out of the woodwork and it is driving many of us MAD, including ME! The new Sony NEX-7 is JUST NOW starting to ship to the masses after a several month delay due to the flooding and just today I received my Zeiss 24 1.8 but still no body, but I expect that to arrive SOON. The Fuji X-Pro 1 is now moved up to a March 7th expected ship date by B&H Photo, which is coming QUICK. I had mine pre-ordered on day 1 so I hope to get it soon.

The Olympus OM-D is set for April but may come out a little sooner and with their new lenses including the new 75 1.8 with all metal construction, it appears the Olympus may be the hottest ticket yet for someone wanting a complete and mature system.

The new Olympus 75 1.8 all metal construction lens – WOW. Imagine this with the 12 and 45. Perfect trio! A fast 24mm,  90mm, and 150mm! 

I am already starting to see the Olympus 45 1.8 selling out again from those who have pre-ordered the new E-M5. With a camera such as this and these new lenses, there will be little left to be desired in the M4/3 world. Add in lenses like the all metal “Leica-Like” Voigtlander 17 0.95 and 25 0.95 and wow. I have a feeling that this OM-D will be amazing as an overall system. As for those few who are comparing it to the Panasonic G3, don’t. The only thing they have in common is the megapixel count and swivel screen. The Olympus adds weather seal, better design, more solid build, better controls, 5 Axis IS, faster almost double FPS, the fantastic Olympus JPEG colors, art filters, and the ability to add the optional grip. I’d take the Olympus in a nano second but this is where the G.A.S. is setting in. See, the G3 is a perfectly good, perfectly capable camera but the OM-D has that something…that one thing that is tugging at my heart that says “NO, YOU WANT ME!!!”, and YES I DO.

Let us not forget then we have the black sheep of the new camera releases…the Pentax K01. In my opinion, I feel the Fuji will sell EXTREMELY well but may be buggy (just a guess), the Olympus will be their best M4/3 seller yet and the NEX-7 will of course do great as it has been doing (if Sony can get them out the door). The Pentax will most likely sell the least but maybe it will be the best of all in regards to image quality! We can never know until we get a hold of them, and get a hold of them ALL I will! My excuse is that I HAVE TO so I can let YOU GUYS know all about it! Besides, I write my reviews and sell what I do not need or can not keep at a minimal loss, all in the name of keeping all of you guys informed of my findings.

Oh, I almost DID forget – we also have the upcoming Nikon D800E, which I know will be a spectacular DSLR, if a DSLR is what you desire. B&H Photo is still taking pre-orders for the D800E and they say it should ship April 12th.

So hang in there everyone! New cameras, lenses, and reviews are coming soon! Lot’s of exciting things heading our way and just think, we have not even heard Leica’s announcement yet :)

As for whats coming up immediately for me and the site, I plan on re-visiting the NEX-7 as soon as mine arrives, soon. My review for the camera was ALL JPEGS because when I reviewed it months ago there was no real RAW support, and the Sony software was awful taking forever just to process one image. I am hoping to compare the RAW of the NEX-7 against all current comparable cameras, even the M9.

I also am adding to my SLR Magic T0.95 review by doing a head to head against the $1100 Voigtlander Nokton 1.1. This should be interesting! Also have a new bag review on the way and much more so keep checking back here every day!

So see how I started this article out talking about G.A.S. and it has now ended up probably giving all of you guys even MORE OF IT. Sorry!

Feb 192012

Estimated ship dates for the OM-D, Fuji X-Pro 1 and Pentax K-01!

Was browsing B&H photo and noticed the estimated ship dates for the Olympus OM-D, Pentax K-01 and Fuji X-Pro 1 have been listed! Here you go!


Olympus OM-D – ESTIMATED SHIP DATE – APRIL 10TH 2012 – Pre-Order Here

Fuji X-Pro 1 – ESTIMATED SHIP DATE – March 20th 2012 – Pre-Order Here

PENTAX K-01 – ESTIMATED SHIP DATE – MARCH 29TH 2012 – Pre-Order Here

Feb 072012


Pre-Order the new cameras! Nikon D800E, Fuji X-Pro 1, Canon G1x, Pentax K-01

The new Nikon D800E

WOW, Nikon has created something special in the newly announced D800E. The new D800E is a full frame 36 megapixel monster without an AA filter! What does this mean? This means the file quality will be insanely sharp and detailed. The Leica M9 does not have an AA filter but most cameras and DSLR’s DO. This Nikon D800E is smaller than a D700 but seemingly packs a crazy punch of IQ, speed, and video capability. My money is on the D800E to be the best DSLR release of 2012. B&H is already taking pre-orders so if you have been waiting for this one, a pre-order now will get you your camera sooner :) I would take this over a Nikon D4 and you can already pre-order the Nikon D800E HERE at B&H Photo.


The Fuji X-Pro-1

The new Fuji is one of the hottest cameras of this year. The buzz has been intense, much like last years X100. I am excited about this one but am trying to not get too excited because if it is as quirky as the X100, then I will probably tire of it fast. The X-Pro 1 needs fast AF, amazing IQ and colors and good lenses to succeed. I think it will have all of that but we have to wait and see. I have my body and lenses pre-ordered already but if you didn’t get yours yet, you can still get in HERE. The lenses are also available – The 18mm f/2The 35 f/1.4 – The 60 F/2.4 MACRO. Fuji is pushing this as a Pro system, so I have high hopes! If it falls flat, it will be going back. :)


This one has been a mixed bag. Lots of the readers here have said they have no interest in this one while others say it is their perfect take along solution. With it’s larger sensor the G1-x has matured over the G12 with some great updates. But is the lens too slow? I think the camera will be good but there is so much competition it is hard to say. At $799 it is priced along the same lines as the Nikon V1 or Olympus E-P3, which I would take over the Canon. But thats  just me :) The Canon IMO needs a faster lens and better VF solution for me to choose it over some of the competition. Still, it is also available for pre-order!


The Pentax K-01

This 16MP APS-C sized sensor camera is one ugly piece of gear but beauty is in the eye of the beholder :) This camera may look funky, but my guess is that it will provide quality output. I just hope it has the speed and accuracy to go along with that IQ otherwise this may be dead in the water. Video specs look great, colors are available and for those who want a Tonka Toy like look and feel, this could be YOUR camera :) You can pre-order the camera at B&H Photo in any color! BlackYellowSilver


The Olympus OM-D

This is one that I have already fallen in love with and I will tell you why. The OM-D has evolved from the PEN line and the latest PEN E-P3 is a winner in (almost) every way. The speed is superb, the AF is awesome, the colors are beautiful, the lens selection even better…it’s sleek, powerful and has few weaknesses (those would be sucky low light/high ISO and wobbly video). The new OM-D is the “Pro Pen” and is weather sealed with a solid construction and an old school OM style. The new 16mp sensor is being used with the Olympus tweaks so expect rich color, much better high ISO, better video, and of course a built in EVF. This will be the best micro 4/3 body to date, believe me. I am really looking forward to it. The image above is the new OM-D with the accessory grip, which I will not be purchasing. Without the grip attached it looks like a sweet little solid camera! Like an OM!

You can now pre-order at Amazon! They just put it up so ordering now will get you your camera sooner. The cool thing? Amazon does not charge your card when you place a pre order, and you can cancel at any time if you change your mind. My order for the black with 12-50 is in :)

Olympus OM-D E-M5 with 12-50 Lens – Black

Olympus OM-D E-M5 Silver with 12-50 Lens – 1299

ALL OM-D E-M5 Pre Order Options!

The specs of the OM-D are impressive and Olympus are boasting a 40% decrease in NOISE compared to the E-P3. WOW. Also, a .92 magnification EVF. 

Saw these on a few websites this morning already along with the detailed info over at

Memory card: SD Memory Card (SDHC, SDXC, UHS-I compatible, Eye-Fi Card compatible)

Sensor: 4/3 Live MOS Sensor 16.1 million pixels (total pixel 16.9 million pixels)

Dust reduction: Supersonic Wave Filter

Recording format: DCF, DPOF compatible / Exif, PRINT Image Matching III, MPO compatible

File format: RAW (12-bit lossless compression), JPEG, RAW+JPEG, MPO(3D still)

IS system: Built-in (Image sensor shift type for movie & still, 5-axis image stabilization) -> yaw/pitch/vertical shift/horizontal shift/rolling. Effective compensation range maximum 5 EV steps

Shutter speed range: 60 – 1/4000 sec. (Not available when Bulb is selected)

Electronic viewfinder: Eye-level electronic viewfinder, approx. 1.44M

Eye point / Diopter adjustment range Approx. 100% / Approx. 0.92x*1 – 1.15x*2 (-1m-1, 50mm lens, Infinity) *1 : at Finder Style 1, 2 (aspect 4:3) *2 : at Finder Style 3 (aspect 4:3)

Approx. 18mm (-1m-1, Distance from rear lens surface) / -4 ~ +2m-1

Available with Live Preview function button [custom function]

Level Gauge 2-axis level gauge; horizontal /vertical

Finder Style Selectable from 3 types

Brightness / Colour temperature control ±7 levels / ±7 levels

EyeCup Removable, Optional eyecup EP-11 is available.

LCD screen: Live view 100% field of view, Exposure compensation preview, WB adjustment preview, Gradation auto preview, Face detection preview (up to 8 faces), Grid line, Histogram, Magnification display (x5/x7/x10/x14) OFF Grid/ Monitor Display Types, Normal Mode, Grid Line Mode(4 types), Histogram Mode, Magnified View Mode, Magnification Ratio x5, x7, x10 (Default) x14.

LCD information: Aperture value, Shutter speed, Auto Bracket, AE Lock, AF mode, IS, Shooting Mode, Battery Check, Myset, Internal Temperature Warning, Face / Eye Detection, Histogram, Number of storable still pictures, Record mode, ISO, Sequential shooting, Self-timer, White Balance, Metering Mode, AF confirmation mark, Exposure Compensation Value, Spot metering Area

Flash Mode, Flash Status, Flash intensity Control, Super FP Focusing length, Tone control, Eye-Fi condition Display of Face Detection Max 8 frames of face detection can be displayed.

LCD Specs: 3.0-inch tilting OLED monitor, Approx. 610k dots, Touch control in electrostatic capacitance Type, Touch control Touch shutter release, Touch enlargement, Touch Live Guide, AF area selection, AF area enlargement, Frame advance/backward, Enlargement playback, Touch Super Control Panel, Tilting angle Upward tilting angle : up to 80 degrees / Downward tilting angle : up to 50 degrees, Brightness / Color temperature control ±2 levels / ±3 levels Color tone select Vivid / Natural

AF system: High-speed imager AF

Focus modes Single AF (S-AF) / Continuous AF (C-AF)* / Manual Focus (MF) / S-AF + MF / AF tracking (C-AF + TR) *

Full-time AF Available

Maginified frame AF Selectable from over 800 AF points

Enlarged view check by magnify button

Magnification x5, x7, x10(Default), x14 selectable

Face detection AF / Eye detection AF Available / Available

Eye Detection AF mode : OFF / Nearer-eye priority / Right-eye priority / Left-eye priority

Focusing point / Focusing point selection 35-area multiple AF / All target, Group target area (9-area), Single target

AF illuminator Yes

Manual focus assist Live view image is magnified when the focus ring is rotated. (at S-AF+MF or MF mode)

AF tracking

Metering system: TTL Image sensor metering. Digital ESP metering (324-area multi pattern metering), Center weighted average metering, Spot metering, Spot metering with highlight control, Spot metering with shadow control

Metering range EV 0 – 20 (at normal temperature, 17mm f2.8, ISO 100)

Exposure modes: i Auto, P: Program AE (Program shift can be performed), A: Aperture priority AE, S: Shutter priority AE, M: Manual, Bulb, Time, Scene select AE, Art Filter, Underwater wide / macro* * Selectable from menu as a function on Fn-1/Rec button

Scene Select AE Modes: Portrait, e-Portrait, Landscape, Landscape + Portrait, Sport, Night, Night + Portrait, Children, High Key, Low Key, DIS mode, Macro, Nature Macro, Candle, Sunset, Documents, Panorama, Fireworks, Beach & Snow, Fisheye Conv., Wide Conv., Macro Conv., 3D * * Still image only

ISO sensitivity: AUTO: ISO 200 – 25600 (customizable, Default 200-1600) / Manual ISO 200 – 25600, 1/3 or 1 EV steps selectable. Exposure compensation ±3 EV in 1/3, 1/2, 1 EV steps selectable

AE lock Locked at 1st release of shutter button (can be set to Fn1/Rec button). Metering standard value adjustment 1/6 EV step, +/- 1EV range

Shutter: Computerized focal-plane shutter. Shutter speed 1/4000 – 60 sec. (1/3, 1/2, or 1EV steps selectable.). Bulb: default setting 8min. (1/2/4/8/15/20/25/30 min. selectable.)

Flash: TTL Auto, Auto, Manual, FP-TTL AUTO, FP-MANUAL

Built-in flash: No

Bundled flash (FL-LM2): TTL flash, GN=10 (ISO200・m) / GN=7(ISO100・m). Flash mode Flash Auto, Redeye, Fill-in, Flash Off, Red-eye Slow sync.(1st curtain), Slow sync.(1st curtain), Slow sync.(2nd curtain), Manual(1/1(FULL)~1/64). Synchronization speed 1/250sec. or less* (using the bundled flash) * It depends on flash models or flash mode

FL-50R: 1/180 sec., Exept FL-50R: 1/200 sec., Super FP: 1/125-1/4000 sec.

Flash intensity control Up to ±3 EV in 0.3, 0.5, 1 EV steps selectable

Compatible external flash FL-50/FL-50R, FL-36/FL-36R, FL-30, FL-20, FL-14, FL-300R, FL-600R

Colour Temperature 5500±400°K

Compatible external flash FL-50R, FL-36R, FL-300R, FL600R

Control method: Triggered and controlled by bundled flash (FL-LM2) ** Available on FL-LM1/ FL-600R. (Olympus Wireless RC Flash system compatible). 4 channels. Group Number 4 groups (External flash 3 groups + a bundled flash)

Drive mode: Single-frame shooting, Sequential shooting, Self-timer. Sequential shooting  maximum speed [Sequential shooting H mode] 9.0 fps. [Sequential shooting L mode] 3.5 fps / 4.2fps  in case of “I.S. OFF”.

Max. recordable pictures: on sequential shooting [RAW] Max. 17 frames (in seq. shooting L), Max. 11 frames (in seq. shooting H)

[JPEG] Up to full extent of data strage capacity (in seq. shooting L),

Max. 17 frames ( in seq. shooting H)

(with TOSHIBA SDHC UHS-I card R95-W80 8GB model, under Olympus test standard)

Self-timer Operation time: 12 sec., 2 sec. (cancel available)

Wireless remote control Not Available

Bracketing: Exposure bracketing 2, 3 or 5 frames in 0.3/0.7/1.0EV steps selectable, 7 frames in 0.3/0.7EV steps selectable. White balance bracketing 3 frames in 2, 4, 6 steps selectable in each A-B/G-M axis. Flash bracketing 3 frames in 0.3/0.7/1.0EV step selectable Art Filter bracketing i-Enhance, Vivid, Natural, Muted, Portrait, Monotone, Custom, Art Filters selectable

Art Filter: Mode (Variation / Effect) Pop Art (I, II / a.b.c.d.e.). Soft Focus ( – / c.e.) Pale & Light Color (I, II / a.b.c.d.) Light Tone ( – / d.) Grainy Film (I, II / b.c.d.) Pin Hole (I, II, III / d.) Diorama ( – / d.) Cross Proscess (I, II / b.c.d.) Gentle Sepia ( – / a.b.c.d.) Dramatic Tone (I, II / b.c.d.e.) Key Line (I, II / a.b.c.d.e.) Art Effect a. Soft Focus Effect b. Pin-Hole Effect c. White Edge Effect d. Frame Effect e. Star Light Effect

Movie: Recording format MOV(MPEG-4AVC/H.264) , AVI(Motion JPEG) Movie Mode MOV(MPEG-4AVC/H.264 ),AVI(Motion JPEG)

[MOV] Full HD: 1920(H)x1080(V), 59.94i Recording *3 20Mbps(Fine) *4 / 17Mbps(Normal) *4 : Aspect 16:9 HD: 1280(H)x720(V), 59.94i Recording *3, 13Mbps(Fine) *4 / 10Mbps(Normal) *4 : Aspect 16:9 *3 : Sensor output 30fps *4 : bitrate [AVI Motion JPEG] HD: 1280(H)x720(V), 30fps *4, Aspect 16:9 SD: 640(H)x480(V), 30fps *4, Aspect 4:3 *4 : Except for some of the Art Filters

Maximum Recording Times Full HD : Approx. 29min(Fine) / Approx. 22min(Normal)

HD : Approx. 29min(Fine) / Approx. 29min(Normal)

Movie Effect : One shot echo / Multi echo

Art Filter Movie, Aperture priority Movie, Shutter Priority Movie, Manual Shooting Movie

IS for Movie Built in (Image sensor shift type image stabilization)

IS1. mode only

AE Lock Avarable

Exposure control (Movie)

P: Program AE, A: Aperture priority AE, S: Shutter speed priority AE, M: Manual, Art Filter

* S mode and M mode : Shutter speed is limited in less than 1/30 sec.

Compression ratio Motion-JPEG Format : 1/12(HD), 1/8(SD)

File size:

MOV Format : Max 4GB

Motion-JPEG Format : Max 2GB

Recording format Wave Format (Stereo linear PCM/16-bit, Sampling frequency 48kHz)



Microphone function Wind Noise Reduction, Recording Volume

Audio dubbing possible for still pictures (up to 30 sec.)

Picture with Sound: 30sec.

Noise reduction:

At High ISO setting Off, Low, Standard, High

At Slow shutter speed Off, On, Auto

On : effective when shutter speed is slower than 1 sec.

Auto : effective when shutter speed is slower than 4 sec. (at ISO 200 or higher) or 8 sec. (at lower than ISO200)

Multiple exposures:

Number of picture / Function 2 frames / Auto gain, Exposing on Recorded picture(RAW)


USB/AV/Remote controller connector Dedicated multi-connector [USB: USB2.0 High Speed, Video: NTSC/PAL selectable, Optional Remote cable RM-UC1 can be used.]

HDMI connector Micro HDMI (Type-D)

Flash attachment Hot shoe

Accessory Port 2 Dedicated multi-connector [Available for VF-2/VF-3, SEMA-1, MAL-1 and PP-1.]

PC interface USB 2.0 High Speed

TV interface HDMI (HD/Stereo Sound), VIDEO-OUT(SD/Mono Sound)

DC-in – [Optional Power Battery Holder HLD-6 has DC-IN jack for AC-3.]

Power requirements:

Battery BLN-1 Li-ion battery (included)

Power battery holder (Option) Power Battery Holder HLD-6

AC adaptor (Option) AC adapter AC-3 *Optional HLD-6 has DC-IN jack for AC-3.

Sleep mode Available (1/3/5 min. off selectable)

Number of recordable pictures Approx. TBD shots [IS ON, CIPA test standard]

(with BLN-1 and TOSHIBA super high-speed Class 6 SDHC 4GB card)


Dimensions 4.8 inch (W) x 3.5 inch (H) x 1.7 inch (D)

[CIPA guideline compliant, excluding protrusions]

Weight Approx. 15 ounces [CIPA guideline compliant, with BLN-1 battery and Memory card]

Approx. 13 ounces [body only]

Temperature 32 ~ +104 (operation) / -4 ~ +140 (storage) Farhenheit

Humidity 30 – 90% (operation) / 10 – 90% (storage)

Box contents Body, Flash FL-LM2, Li-ion battery BLN-1, Li-ion battery charger BCN-1, USB cable, AV cable, Shoulder strap, OLYMPUS Viewer 2 (CD-ROM), Instruction manual, Warranty card


The Sony NEX-7

What happened to the Sony NEX-7? This one had the most promise for 2012 but the devastating floods delayed the camera by months. The camera is just now starting to ship to customers and we are seeing some great results. I should have my own NEX-7 in the next couple of weeks so I will be testing it again alongside all of the newer cameras above (eventually). B&H PHOTO AND AMAZON HAVE TAKEN HUNDREDS, if not THOUSANDS of pre-orders for this camera so for now they are holding off. But you can keep an eye on the product page HERE as they may open back up again in the next week or two. Look for more shots with the NEX-7 on this site soon.



Feb 022012

The new Pentax K-01 Mirrorless Camera – Bringing Sexy Back…NOT

SO this morning was the official announcement of the camera we already knew was coming thanks to the “rumor sites” where manufacturers leak their products. But now it is official, and Pentax has entered the mirrorless camera market with one funky looking camera. Coming in with a super quality APS-C sensor the Pentax K-01 promises superb image quality and the cool part is that you will be able to use your K mount lenses on this little beast.

B&H Photo is already taking pre-orders for the Black, Tonka Toy Yellow and White.

The sensor is the same sensor being used in the lovely K-5, Nikon D7000 and Sony NEX-5n. Basically, the best APS-C sensor made to date. 16 Megapixels and superb low light performance. This is awesome.

The mount is the new KAF2 mount and will launch with a line of new “SX” lenses. BUT you will be able to mount your fave K mount lenses WITHOUT an adapter. This is nice as we will not have to go around buying adapters for the camera to use those rocking lenses like the Pentax 77 limited or even better 31 limited. The camera also sports a pop up flash.

Some people on the web are going gaggagoogoo over the design. Me, I find it a little on the ugly side. It’s fat and tonka toy like, especially the yellow one. Some are calling it vintage but I do not recall seeing a camera looking like this back in the day. The fatness of it from the top reminds me of the old Leica Digilux 1, but also more like something Fisher Price would design. Different strokes for different folks I guess. My only issue with the camera, besides its design, is the fact that there is no EVF. Pentax could have put one in quite easily but I guess they will do that in the K-02. The K-01, what we have right now, is selling for $749 for a body only and $899 with a 40mm f/2.8 kit lens. 

Ugly jokes aside, this appears to be a camera that will deliver beautiful files, especially for those who have some of those great Pentax lenses. Think of K-5 performance but without the viewfinder or weather sealing…then again…FOR $1199 you can buy a K-5, which is and will be the better camera, but it is a DSLR.

The sensor is fantastic, the lenses are fantastic, the video recording capabilities appear to be fantastic and the price is right so I am sure this will be a hit for Pentax. I also bet it will look better in person, and knowing Pentax this little bugger may hook me once I get a hold of one to try it. On one hand, the more I look at it the more I am interested in giving it a whirl. Still, wish it had an EVF! On the other hand, is Pentax giving this little guy an oddball design to make us think it’s super cool? If it had a more normal design would there be less buzz about it? Probably. Only time will tell if it will be a hit or suffer the same fate as the Q.

As soon as I get a hold of one I will do a complete review, hopefully with some limited lenses as well. Stay tuned!

The details….

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.

Flexible ISO range of 100-25600 ensures gorgeous noise-free imaging in any lighting condition.

Mirrorless body design is compatible with 25+ million PENTAX K-mount lenses spanning decades.

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.

Shutter speeds from 1/4000 to 30 seconds and bulb with a silent shutter action.

Shooting modes include P, Av, Tv, and M, as well as powerful automatic modes, creative filters, and finishing options.

Focus peaking mode provides fast and accurate manual focusing for critical focus applications.

Captures JPG still images as well as open standard DNG RAW.

In-camera HDR mode combines bracketed user-specified exposures into a single, perfectly blended still image.

Built-in popup flash and external hotshoe compatible with modern PENTAX digital flash units.

Durable machined aluminum frame.

Contemporary styling by world renowned designer Marc Newson.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers:

Skip to toolbar