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OM System OM-1 Mark II wildlife and street scene sample gallery

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OM System OM-1 Mark II wildlife and street scene sample gallery


OM System’s OM-1 Mark II updates its flagship high-speed Micro Four Thirds camera with incremental improvements to hardware and some performance and handling tweaks. Micro Four Thirds is marketed as a lightweight system ideal for travel and wildlife where reduced size and weight can make or break plans for what gear to take on a trip. So we hit Seattle in search of nature and sightseeing.


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Winters in the Pacific Northwest mean rain and gray skies, with a rare day of sunshine every so often to remind us that color and contrast still exist. We encountered some eagles and hungry ducks in a downpour and caught up with some people and zoo animals on a dry day.

View our OM-1 Mark II sample gallery


Please do not reproduce any of these images on a website or any newsletter/magazine without prior permission (see our copyright page). We make the originals available for private users to download to their own machines for personal examination or printing (in conjunction with this review); we do so in good faith, so please don’t abuse it.



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Alice Camera, the AI-enhanced Micro Four Thirds camera, ready to ship

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Alice Camera, the AI-enhanced Micro Four Thirds camera, ready to ship


Photo: Photogram

The Alice Camera, a phone-driven Micro Four Thirds camera that creates AI-enhanced images, is about to ship to customers who placed pre-orders.

The camera, which is operated using an app on a smartphone that connects to the main camera unit, is designed to deliver social media-ready imagery without the need for manual editing.

Image: Photogram

It’s underpinned by powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon and Google Edge TPU processors. Edge refers to AI algorithms running on the end device, rather than in the cloud. These are tasked with optimizing color, white balance and image brightness to automatically give the polished end image, more like the computational output of a modern smartphone, rather than the relatively neutral photographic representation of most dedicated cameras.

However, unlike a smartphone, the Alice Camera is built around the Micro Four Thirds lens mount, allowing the use of a wide range of lenses, which significantly boost the creativity and flexibility that the camera can offer.

Photo: Photogram

Development of the Alice Camera has been delayed by Covid lockdowns and the chip shortages that followed but Photogram says cameras will ship to customers starting with UK customers next month.

Alice Camera, a novel AI-powered Micro Four Thirds camera, Prepares for Delivery

London, UK – June, 2024 – After three years of dedicated development, Photogram is thrilled to announce that the Alice Camera, a novel AI-powered Micro Four Thirds camera that attaches to iOS and Android smartphones, will begin shipping to pre-order customers from 15th July 2024 (see proposed delivery dates below). Designed to streamline high-quality social media content creation for creators, businesses and everyday users, Alice Camera aims to bridge the gap between mirrorless cameras and smartphones. Users will be able to capture content with interchangeable lenses, a smartphone-like user experience and on-camera AI-driven computational photography.

As an official Micro Four Thirds system partner, Photogram has built the Alice Camera to meet the standard’s specifications and requirements. Alice Camera utilises the Micro Four Thirds lens mount and a Sony 4/3″ HDR, dual-native ISO CMOS sensor. However, what sets Alice Camera apart from other mirrorless cameras is its use of a Qualcomm Snapdragon and Google Edge TPU chips as its primary processing units. These processors accelerate the calculations necessary for running Photogram’s proprietary AI-driven computational photography algorithms and software-based image signal processing (ISP) pipeline directly on the camera. Unlike hardware-based ISPs in traditional mirrorless cameras, Photogram’s AI-driven software-based ISP is an innovative approach as it enables additional AI features and improvements to be brought to their existing cameras over time. In 2023, Photogram joined Google Cloud’s program for AI startups in London, where they received credits and mentorship to further train and develop their pipeline, which automates essential functions like white balance, exposure and colour grading.

Alice Camera’s smartphone app offers an intuitive design for camera control, file management, and content sharing. Alice Camera OS, a Linux-based camera-specific operating system, allows for over-the-air software updates and open-access development, opening up new creative possibilities. Developers and businesses interested in building their own AI algorithms and custom apps on the Alice Camera platform are encouraged to contact the team.

“We’re incredibly excited to finally bring the Alice Camera to the world,” said Vishal Kumar, CEO at Photogram. “We set out to build the Alice Camera because we wanted to offer our customers a new type of mirrorless camera built specifically for a new era of content. We’ve developed a fundamentally new engineering paradigm for mirrorless cameras, with significantly novel implementations on hardware, software and with AI algorithms. Alice Camera represents an innovative step forward in how mirrorless cameras are designed and how our users will process, capture and share their experiences. We can’t wait to see the amazing content created with the Alice Camera.”

The journey to launch was not without its challenges. The COVID-19 pandemic and global lockdowns in 2021 and 2022 caused severe chip shortages impacting Alice Camera’s manufacturing. Further delays arose in 2023 as the product underwent rigorous consumer electronics regulatory testing. Despite these hurdles, Photogram persevered, thanks to the support of its backers and investors. “We are deeply grateful for the belief and patience our community has shown throughout this journey,” added Vishal Kumar. “As a new entrant in the camera industry, we hope to bring fresh perspectives. All the difficult development work over the last three years is now done. Now, we’re ready to deliver and start to scale manufacturing. Our journey begins from today… We’re just getting started.”

PROPOSED DELIVERY DATES

  • Cameras for the UK will begin shipping from 15th July 2024.
  • Cameras for US, Japan, EU, Australia are scheduled to start shipping from 15th August 2024.
  • Cameras for Canada, France and Rest of the World are scheduled to start shipping from Sept 2024.



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Nikon Z6III first-look video and sample gallery

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Nikon Z6III first-look video and sample gallery


During our time with the Nikon Z6III we were able to get out and shoot with the camera in a couple of different situations and with a selection of lenses (though it was a fairly typical Seattle spring day).

We also shot a first-look video, running down the basic specs of the camera and discussing what the camera is.

If you really want to get into the fine detail of what the new camera offers (and there’s a LOT), then we’d recommend you read our in-depth initial review. But if you just want a quick introduction, this video should get you up to speed in no time.

Well, two minutes thirteen seconds.



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Released on Jun 25, 2024



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Ricoh launches Pentax 17 half-frame fixed lens film camera

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Ricoh launches Pentax 17 half-frame fixed lens film camera



Ricoh has revealed the Pentax 17, the half-frame film compact with a manual focus fixed prime lens.

The Pentax 17 has a 25mm F3.5 lens which works out at 37mm equivalent, and derives its name from the horizontal width of the 17 x 25mm frames it captures. The company says the vertical format makes it similar to images shot by smartphones.

It has a manual focus lens that can be set to one of six preset distances, from 0.25m to infinity, indicated with icons on the top of the lens. The company says the lens is based on the design of 1994’s Pentax Espio Mini and features three elements in three groups. It features a leaf shutter that gives a circular aperture shape all the way from F3.5 to F16, and gives a shutter speed range from 1/350 sec to 4 seconds, and offers a Bulb mode for longer exposures.

The company says its targeting a younger audience who enjoy the experience of shooting film and will appreciate the cost-savings of shooting two exposures on each 36 x 24mm frame. The 17 will also provide the certainty of a full warranty with good availability of spare parts, which second-hand cameras lack. It will come with a one year warranty and, in the US at least, the option of a second year of coverage.

The camera features magnesium alloy construction and uses a standard CR2 lithium battery to power its flash, light meter and viewfinder indicators.

The 17 will be available from late June 2024 at a cost of $499.95.

Press Release:

Ricoh announces the PENTAX 17 compact film camera

PARSIPPANY, New Jersey, June 17, 2024 — Ricoh Imaging Americas Corporation today announced the highly anticipated PENTAX 17 compact film camera. The PENTAX 17 is a half- frame camera, capturing two 17mm x 24mm pictures within a single 35mm-format (36mm x 24mm) film frame. It produces vertical-format pictures, with similar ratios to those captured by smartphones, for seamless sharing on social media after the film is developed and scans are produced by a film lab.

The popularity of film cameras has grown rapidly in recent years — especially among young photographers — because of the distinctive, somewhat nostalgic experience provided that is so different from using digital cameras. The compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for the global film camera market is projected to be 5.2% through 2030 and a quick search of the hashtag #filmphotography on Instagram pulls up more than 42.6 million posts.

Borne out of the PENTAX Film Camera Project, a concept first announced in December of 2022, the new camera resulted from a close collaboration between Ricoh Imaging and PENTAX experts and younger engineers. The experts shared their vast knowledge and decades of experience in film and imaging technology with the current team members to design a film camera that would allow photographers to express their originality and creativity by leaving some room for manual operation, rather than making it a fully automatic camera.

| Design merges manual operation and ease of use for maximum creative expression |

The design of the PENTAX 17 was inspired by the PENTAX brand’s heritage, incorporating manual operations unique to film photography that are gaining a loyal following in today’s digital world. This includes a selectable zone-focus system, manual film winding, manual film advance lever, and exposure compensation and ISO sensitivity adjustments, each with their own dials. The classic design of the camera body was developed with high-quality materials; the top and bottom covers are made of solid, lightweight magnesium alloy and the 40.5mm filter mounting thread enables the use of a range of filters.

The PENTAX 17 features a newly-developed 25mm F3.5 lens (equivalent to a 37mm lens in the 35mm format). Further building on the PENTAX brand heritage, the lens is based on optics incorporated in the acclaimed PENTAX Espio Mini — which was marketed in 1994 —redesigned to support the half-frame format. The lens is treated with HD (High Definition) coating to optimize the clarity and sharpness of the half-frame photos. In a nod to Ricoh’s rich history in optics and photography, the designers based the lens design on the lens in the RICOH Auto Half – a best- selling half-frame model first marketed in 1962 – incorporating the angle of view and focal length to make casual, everyday picture-taking simple and flawless.

The camera’s zone-focus system is divided into six focus zones that can be selected on the zone focusing ring to capture subjects at a long distance or as close-up as 25 centimeters away in the macro zone. Its bright optical viewfinder features a bright, Albada-type frame finder to facilitate framing a scene as well as a close-up visual field compensation frame to help users more easily compose close-up images. The zone focus marks can be seen directly through the viewfinder to further support composition.

The PENTAX 17 has seven shooting modes to accommodate different applications and scenarios. It automatically adjusts exposure settings based on lighting data collected by its metering sensor. In addition to the Full Auto mode in which all exposure settings are selected by the camera, it provides six other shooting modes including: Slow-speed sync, which is useful in twilight photography; and Bulb, a long-exposure mode useful for photographing nightscapes and fireworks.

The camera supports a wide selection of ISO film speeds and features a note holder on the back cover where the end of the film package can be inserted for at-a-glance confirmation of the film in use, three strap lugs to accommodate both horizontal and vertical suspensions, and compatibility with the optional CS-205 Cable Switch for use in extended-exposure photography in Bulb mode.

| Industry support for PENTAX 17 |

“Film photography has been growing in popularity over the past decade and especially recently! The new PENTAX 17 film camera is going to kickstart an entirely new generation of film shooters,” said Philip Steblay, Cofounder of The Darkroom, an online film developing service. “This terrific new camera will add to the great pleasure and enjoyment of shooting film. The PENTAX analog functionality, film selection process and thinking more carefully about your shots will enhance the fun of photography. This, coupled with the anticipation that comes with waiting for your images to process, adds to the joy of photography. With new cameras and film coming to market the future of film photography looks bright.”

“The PENTAX 17 is a stunning camera, both in form and function,” said Kyle Depew, founder, Brooklyn Film Camera. “Its design is handsome and classic, yet it features elements that are delightfully unique and innovative. It’s amazing to see modern PENTAX engineering applied towards a new film camera. We couldn’t be more delighted.”

“The film photography community is vibrant and growing, and we are thrilled to see Ricoh Imaging recognizing this and creating new products for this market,” said Meredith Reinker, managing partner, Roberts Distributors LP. “Film photography has been growing in popularity over the last several years and supporting this community is supporting a growing industry as well as supporting the arts. We are honored to be partnering with Ricoh to make this camera available through our distribution channel of independent, local and analog-focused businesses. We look forward to watching the analog community embrace this exciting announcement as we all have a shared goal of keeping film photography alive and accessible.”

“This camera has been a reminder to have fun and not take things too seriously,” said Matt Day, photographer. “It’s fun to shoot with, it’s compact enough to carry anywhere, and double the amount of exposures makes it easier to shoot more.”

“Many photographers were first introduced to the joys of photography using a PENTAX film camera. We’re hoping to introduce a new generation to the world of film photography with the PENTAX 17,” said Ken Curry, president, Ricoh Imaging Americas. “It is an ideal model not only for film camera enthusiasts who have enjoyed film photography for years, but also for photographers who are excited about trying film photography for the first time.”

| Pricing and Availability |

The PENTAX 17 will be available late June at www.us.ricoh-imaging.com as well as at Ricoh Imaging-authorized retail outlets nationwide for a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $499.95.

| Main features |

1. Half-size format

The PENTAX 17 features the half-size format, in which two 17mm x 24mm pictures are captured within a single 35mm frame (36mm x 24mm). It also employs a manual film advance lever. When holding the camera in traditional orientation, the PENTAX 17 captures vertical-format pictures, similar to the familiar images captured by smartphones, which are commonly used today for picture-taking.

2. Manual camera operation unique to film cameras

The PENTAX 17 features a manual film-winding mechanism based on those incorporated in PENTAX-brand single-lens reflex (SLR) film cameras. The film advance lever lets the user enjoy the film winding action and a wind-up sound after every shutter release. An easy-loading system is designed to prevent film-loading errors, especially for first-time film camera users. It also features other mechanisms unique to film cameras, such as manual film rewinding operation using the rewind crank; exposure compensation via the exposure compensation dial; and ISO sensitivity setting via the ISO sensitivity dial.

3. Newly developed lens combining time-proven optics and the latest lens coating technology

The PENTAX 17 features a newly developed 25mm F3.5 lens (equivalent to a 37mm lens in the 35mm format). Based on the optics incorporated in the acclaimed PENTAX Espio Mini (marketed in 1994), it has been redesigned to fit perfectly in the half-size format. It is also treated with HD (High Definition) coating — a highly acclaimed multi-layer coating — to optimize the clarity and sharpness of half-size pictures. Using the lens used in the RICOH Auto Half (a best-selling half- size model first marketed in 1962) as a reference, the angle of view and focal length were selected to make casual, everyday picture-taking simple and flawless.

4. Zone-focus system to switch the in-focus area via simple selection of zone marks

From close-ups to long distances, the PENTAX 17’s zone-focus system can handle it all. The system is divided into six focus zones, indicated by marks that signify each zone. All the user has to do to set the camera’s focus is select the mark best suited for the subject distance on the zone focusing ring. In the Macro focus zone, the user can capture a close-up photo from approximately 25 centimeters away. The hand strap (included as a standard accessory) lets the user measure subject distance more accurately.

5. Bright optical viewfinder for real-time confirmation of a subject image

The PENTAX 17’s optical viewfinder features a bright, Albada-type frame finder that helps to facilitate framing a scene. It also comes with a close-up visual field compensation frame to help the photographer more easily compose close-up images. It is possible to check the zone marks directly through the viewfinder.

6. Seven shooting modes to accommodate different applications

The PENTAX 17 automatically adjusts exposure settings based on the lighting data collected by its metering sensor. In addition to the Full Auto mode in which all exposure settings are selected by the camera, it provides six other shooting modes, including Slow-speed sync, which is highly useful in twilight photography; and Bulb, a slow-shutter speed mode that comes in handy for photographing nightscapes and fireworks. The PENTAX 17 also features an independent exposure compensation dial, which allows the user to swiftly shift the exposure level to accommodate different types of subjects or express the user’s creative intentions.

7. High-quality body with meticulous attention to every detail

The PENTAX 17’s body has a classic design, reminiscent of traditional film cameras. The top and bottom covers are made of a solid but lightweight magnesium alloy to optimize the camera body’s rigidity. The 40.5mm filter mounting thread allows the user to mount a range of filters, which are available for purchase on the market. With meticulous attention paid to every single detail, the PENTAX 17 is designed to be a joy to own.

8. Other features

  • A wide selection of ISO film speeds (50, 100, 125, 160, 200, 400, 800, 1600 and 3200)
  • Note holder on the back cover, into which the end of the film package can be inserted for an at-a-glance confirmation of the film in use
  • Three strap lugs to accommodate horizontal and vertical camera suspensions, to best suit
    the user’s shooting style
  • Compatibility with the optional CS-205 Cable Switch, which comes in handy for extended-exposure photography in the Bulb shooting mode



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