Digging the Pentax Q

Amin Sabet

Administrator Emeritus
Jul 3, 2010
124


As expected, the Pentax Q was announced today, and in contrast to most of the reactions I'm seeing in various forums, I find myself warming to the concept. Perhaps more than most Americans, I can identify with the target demographic in Japan. I do have a weakness for small (cute) gadgets.



As is the case with Micro 4/3, but even more so with the Q, people are missing the big picture when they compare the body size of the Q to that of the NEX and Micro 4/3 cameras. The Q is noticeably smaller than those cameras, but there's only so far that you can shrink the body before it becomes unusable for photographers who like manual controls on an object that looks like a camera. Where the sensor size makes a huge difference is in lens size. Everything from ultrawide to supertele is going to be very small with this system.

Yes, there are cameras like the Leica V-LUX 30 (and Panasonic equivalent) that will go from ultrawide to supertele in an even smaller package, but changing optics is fun and opens up possibilities for going even wider, even longer, and having specialty optics like toy lenses, fisheye, and macro. It also opens up the possibility of shooting with primes, and at the time of this writing, there isn't another small sensor compact out there with an integrated 50mm equivalent prime lens. Here are the lenses being introduced with the new camera:





One of the weaknesses of the system is that shallow depth of field possibilities will be limited, but it's only a matter of time before we see Lytro-type capability included. Once that happens, I'm sure we'll see Lightroom plugins which allow us to apply our favorite lens "signature" in post. Like many readers here, I have mixed feelings about that, but it is coming.



As for noise, dynamic range, etc, I'm not so worried about it. Yes, those things matter, and yes, this system will be at a disadvantage compared to larger sensor systems. However, we're at a point in time that 1/2.3" sensors can deliver great results in good light, and contrary to many predictions, the progress of sensor technology hasn't hit a hard ceiling yet.

Kudos to Pentax for taking a risk to bring out something interesting!


 

BBW

Administrator Emeritus
Jul 7, 2010
123
betwixt and between
BB
I'm sure this will be a fun camera. It's a good thing I don't live right next door to a great camera store because I'd be wanting to check out all sorts of new cameras all the time. Looking forward to hearing and seeing more!

P.S. I like small cute gadgets, too. I often have to avert my eyes so I won't be tempted. The Japanese influence is big for me and has been for a long time. First I had my own OM-1, and then thanks to the many Japanese friends that I've gotten to know through our daughter, well...who could resist Totoro?:biggrin:
 

jonoslack

Veteran
May 6, 2011
68
Hi Amin
I'm right with you here - there has been much wailing and gnashing of teeth over this camera - to me it seems like a fun and intelligent move. Let's face it, people talk of 1/2.3" (6.17mm) sensors as if they were much smaller than those in the serious compacts like the S95 (7.5mm) - but they aren't.

It's using a Sony sensor - and we know how good they have become, interestingly the Online Photographer suggested that this design has been around for a few years now, and was just waiting for a good enough sensor.

I don't think I want one - but I know lots of people who will, and I think there will be general surprise at how good the images are.

all the best
 

Amin Sabet

Administrator Emeritus
Jul 3, 2010
124
The other bit TOP made clear is that some of these lenses will cost under $100. So if my friends and I all pay the price of entry to get a high quality body, the incremental price to join the fun when a friend shows off a new lens may be quite small.

Sent from my ADR6400L using Tapatalk
 

Djarum

All-Pro
Jul 10, 2010
123
Huntsville, AL
Jason
I honestly think this is a good alternative to the canon G series or even the S95 series. Its way more flexible. The lenses should be cheaper, at least I'd think. It also should be much lighter. While DOF is an issue, many P&Sers probably won't notice it. The one thing we haven't really seen yet is the quality of the sensor, either. It might be just as good as the 1/1.7" sensors. It might also use a global shutter, but I haven't seen much on that yet.
 
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TEBnewyork

Rookie
Aug 6, 2010
3
Like others the sensor size does have me worried about IQ as we get to ISO 400 and above. As to depth of field in the press release Pentax seems to have come up with some sort of intelligent filtering to add bokeh to the shots and it did sound a bit different than you computer/camera generated tilt shift effect. On the downside for toy camera effects, the iphone has been brilliant.

From the press release:
"Effortless bokeh control with the Q’s Bokeh Control filter. (Traditionally controlled through a DSLR lens’s aperture, bokeh is the out of focus part of the background that helps to emphasize the subject, drawing the viewer’s eyes to the most important part of the photo.) The Q offers a fine degree of extra control over image bokeh via an in-camera filter operation."
 
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TEBnewyork

Rookie
Aug 6, 2010
3
So the race for 1st acquisition is on.
Who will win.... Terry or Amin?
Hmmm mm
100% positive it won't be me. I have Fuji, NEX, and had to rebuy a full m4/3 system for a safari in August.
Sony really surprised my by giving the NEX3/5 users the new firmware with focus peaking and I'm glad I didn't sell the camera.
My G3 arrived yesterday and I do think it marries the size of the GF1 with the conveniences of the EVF and tilt LCD.
Fuji firmware update seems to be taken seriously and the Fuji Guys tweets have a lot of promising fixes to that camera.
 
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Pelao

All-Pro
Jul 11, 2010
123
Ontario, Canada
Stephen
Neat in many ways. Not for me simply because I do not need it. Given the likely image quality (good, but no better than a good compact) and real world use, I am not sure what real advantages it would offer over some of those compacts, especially the Olympus.

I do see the gimmicky appeal: it's neat, cute, will likely take good images etc - but that only takes you so far.

What's most interesting to me is where this would sit in the Pentax strategy.
 

wt21

Hall of Famer
Aug 15, 2010
123
I just think it's a bit expense. It'll be what, more than $1000 for the whole kit? If the WHOLE kit was about $700. I might consider it... I'll be watching it from a distance, but I sure would play with it if a local camera store had it!
 

Amin Sabet

Administrator Emeritus
Jul 3, 2010
124
Also what is that odd dial on the front?
From the press release:

Customizable Quick Dial

Conveniently choose from a variety of creative modes, Smart Effect options, or camera settings to assign to the Q’s Quick Dial located on the front of the camera. Easily customize the setting or effect using the Quick Dial’s 4 positions, allowing you to concentrate on photography without having to explore the camera’s menu system.
 

Streetshooter

Administrator Emeritus
Jul 12, 2010
123
Philly, Pa
That seems almost like somebody was thinking with that design.
It will be a very interesting and popular camera.
Many will get it, they just don't know that yet. Pentax is very good at small cameras.
The 110 SLR was a very nice system. This should prove just as interesting.
 

Amin Sabet

Administrator Emeritus
Jul 3, 2010
124
100% positive it won't be me. I have Fuji, NEX, and had to rebuy a full m4/3 system for a safari in August.
Sony really surprised my by giving the NEX3/5 users the new firmware with focus peaking and I'm glad I didn't sell the camera.
My G3 arrived yesterday and I do think it marries the size of the GF1 with the conveniences of the EVF and tilt LCD.
Fuji firmware update seems to be taken seriously and the Fuji Guys tweets have a lot of promising fixes to that camera.
I'm not 100% positive it won't be me :rofl:. However, I definitely don't have the cash on hand to buy one now, so it won't be me any time soon.
 

wt21

Hall of Famer
Aug 15, 2010
123
The other thing I note is that the design bodes well for any larger sensor mirrorless camera Pentax may introduce.
+1! Makes you salivate over the rumored August ASP-C compact release. I just didn't like the NEX -- the style or the feel, though the features and high ISO was nice. I have m43 for the lenses, style and feel. Maybe Pentax will bring it all together!!! Plus they have that legacy glass. Like BillN, I still have my old MESuper. I'd love a digital one of those!
 

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