Archives for February 7, 2011

Pentax rolls out silver-edition K-5 DSLR, WG cameras and 645 lens

Pentax Imaging Co., Golden, Colo., announced the K-5 digital SLR will be available soon in Limited Edition Silver. Available

K-5 Limited Silver edition, body only view

K-5 Limited Silver edition, body only view

in the U.S. in limited quantities this special-edition model of the PENTAX K-5 digital SLR camera will feature an exclusive design with an original exterior color scheme and a uniquely shaped grip. Priced at $1699.95 (body kit), the K-5 Limited Edition Silver will be available in April 2011.

Along with the silver K-5, PENTAX announced three popular PENTAX DA Limited Edition Silver lens models designed for use with PENTAX digital SLR cameras also which will ship in the near future. Each limited edition lens will feature a high-quality, silver finish applied to the high precision machine shaped lens barrel, hood and cap.

The three prime lenses that will be available in silver include smc PENTAX-DA 21mm F3.2 AL Limited Silver, smc PENTAX-DA 40mm F2.8 Limited Silver, and smc PENTAX-DA 70mm F2.4 Limited Silver

The special edition, silver finish K-5 will match existing PENTAX FA-Limited series lenses and the new DA Limited Silver series lenses. The camera’s mode dial, control buttons and levers all feature the silver color. To improve handling, this special-edition model comes with a new, thicker grip than standard K-5 model. Shock-resistant, scratchproof reinforced glass has been used to protect the LCD monitor on the camera’s back panel and the status panel on the top panel.

The K-5 DSLR features 16.3 megapixel CMOS sensor, 7 FPS to capture fast action shots, a high-sensitivity 80-12800 ISO range, expandable to 51200, with improved noise performance overall, and widescreen 1080p HD video at 25 FPS with sound via built-in microphone or external 3.5mm stereo microphone jack.

Pentax also announced two new WG-series adventure cameras.  The Pentax Optio WG-1 includes 14 megapixel sensor, waterproof to 33 feet, shockproof, ruggedized design to withstand falls up to 5 feet, new crushproof construction to withstand weight force up to 220 pounds (100kgf kilogram-force), enhanced Digital Microscope mode offering five macro LEDs for excellent macro lighting plus a detachable macro stand for steadier capture. They  also feature fast face detection technology, smile capture, and blink detection for portraits including a handy new self-portrait assist mode. The WG-1 is available with or without GPS, which tracks and records positional data recording with images for geo-tagging applications. The camera is compatible with the waterproof Remote Control WP, as well as other Pentax infrared remotes.

Designed with the look of mountaineering equipment, the new Optios includes a woven web fabric strap in complementary color accents complete with a carabiner to attach the camera to a backpack and other outdoor gear.

Priced at $349.95, Optio WG-1 will be available in a choice of Black or Purple, while the Optio WG-1 GPS will be priced at $399.95 and available in Black or Yellow Green. Both cameras will ship in April 2011.

Pentax also announced the addition of a second lens for the 645D Medium Format digital camera. As the second model of the 645D lens series, the $4,999.95 smc Pentax D FA 645 25mm F4 AL [IF] SDM AW is designed as an ultra-wide-angle lens featuring PENTAX-original optics optimized for high-quality digital photography to assure exceptional image- performance as well as dependable dustproof, weather-resistant construction for active outdoor photographers.

Offering a focal length of approximately 19.5mm in the 35mm format (or approximately 15.5mm when mounted on a PENTAX 645-format film SLR camera body), this lens provides the widest perspective of all PENTAX 645 lenses. Creating visual effects unique to ultra-wide-angle lenses — such as exaggerated perspective and enhanced depth of field — this lens may be used for a wide range of subjects including spectacular landscapes and indoor shooting in confined spaces, the company said.

In memoriam: Lis Kleider

Lis Kleider

Elisabeth R. (Lis) Kleider, founder of Kleider Inc., a Dallas, Texas-based photo distributor, died unexpectedly Jan. 31, 2011.

Kleider was born in Aussig, Germany on Sept. 22, 1932 to Franz Roubal and Annemarie Prokop. After moving to America, she wound up on the doorstep of Bob Dorinson, western division manager of Lenco products, whom she had met while employed as an interpreter at Photokina. Kleider married Hans Joachim (Joe) Kleider in 1957 and together they purchased a Dallas distributor, Dickens Sales Co., a subsidiary of Coast Manufacturing. After selling her interest to parent company Coast, she subsequently founded photo distributor, Kleider Inc., in March of 1988. She retired from the photo industry in 2006.

Kleider is preceded in death by her husband Joe, sister Maria Kleist and brother Johannes Franz Roubal.

She is survived by her sisters-in-law, nephew and niece, five grand-nieces & nephews and a host of loving friends.

Visitation will be held Feb. 11 from 2:00 to 3:00 at Restland Wildwood Chapel, 13005 Greenville Avenue, Dallas, Texas 75243, with funeral service following at 3:00 PM.

Carl Zeiss joins Micro Four Thirds group

Hot on the heels of the announcement by Schneider Kreuznach that it was joining the Micro Four Thirds System standard group, Germany’s Carl Zeiss AG is now also a member, and will be releasing lenses compliant with the standard.

According to an announcement by Olympus Imaging Corp., one of the founders of the standard, Zeiss HD Video lenses will be available to users of Micro Four Thirds cameras.

Chris’ Camera Center wins photo book promotion contest

The Aiken Standard reports Chris’ Camera Center, Aiken, S.C., won the grand prize of $2,500 in Fujifilm‘s “Best Photo Book Promotion Ideas Ever” contest. The contest was open to owners of independent photo stores across the United States. Store owner Chris Lydle said his idea to promote coffee table photo books was simple: As customers came in to work on pictures at one of the center’s kiosks, the employees would put together a 12-by-12-page book with that individual’s photographs, just to show the customers what a book of their images would look like.

Samsung launches PL20 and ES80 compact value cameras

Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., Seoul, Korea, announced two compact cameras, the PL20 and ES80, for value-conscious photographers. The $199.99 PL20 packs a 14-megapixel sensor, a 27mm wide angle and a 5x optical zoom, plus HD movie recording, into a simple to use and stylish device, and is powered by a Li-ion rechargeable battery. The $99 ES80 is a 12-megapixel camera with 5X optical zoom and internal charging system.

Both the PL20 and the ES80 come in four vibrant colors — Silver, Tomato Red, Pink and Black — and include Samsung’s Smart Auto feature, with multiple modes for automatically selecting the best setting for the photographer’s chosen theme, and automatically adjusting that mode to match with the surroundings.

“The PL20 and ES80 are fantastic point-and-shoot cameras, designed to create a fun and easy photography experience which can be enjoyed by everyone,” says Hyunho Chung, executive vice president and head of the Digital Imaging Business, Samsung Electronics. “Together they make taking great pictures simple and fun for any photographer, and are driven by our desire to add value for users while retaining an affordable price. The PL20 and ES80 are further evidence of Samsung’s commitment to meeting the needs of each and every photographer out there, regardless of their level of expertise or their budget.”