Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
09-15-2011, 07:16 AM   #1
Junior Member




Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: NYC
Posts: 38
Q Mini Review - Hoping for a Q2

I'd like to share my experience with the Q, as I am fairly certain that many people have been frequenting this board looking for hands-on impressions. I was on the fence about the Q, and I decided to put my fears to rest and give it a shot. I'm not a professional photographer; I don't often make and do not sell prints, and certainly don't spend hours pixel peeping and obsessing over high ISO comparisons. I'm much more concerned with the ergonomics, handling, and overall feel of a device. That's not to say that I don't appreciate excellent image quality, it's just that I value other factors highly, especially the overall shooting experience. To give you an idea of my taste in cameras, I own the Ricoh GRD and GXR, as well as a Pentax K-7 and a Pentax W-80. I got interested in photography because I love making imagines, and have a great deal of fun doing it. Now onto why I wrote this thread. The Q.....

The Q absolutely excels in these areas. The build quality and overall feel are unprecedented. There are very few cameras that can illicit the same reactions that one gets when observing and operating the Q. It just feels solid and well thought-out. The first thought that came to my head when I picked up the Q was that I was going to have a lot of fun shooting with it. I can say with some certainty that this is a design quality that is often attempted, and rarely achieved. Pentax has again shown that they have the capabilities to really create something unique and of high quality.

In terms of usability, such as the GUI and controls, the Pentax Q also exceeds. While it is not the most responsive camera out there, it is snappy enough to never really get in your way or be obtrusive. If you are a pentax dSLR shooter, the adjustment period is nonexistent. Within a few shots, the controls of the Q had basically faded into my subconscious.

I really wanted to like the Q, and in these respects it completely delivered. I'm confident that Pentax will find success with the Q, but that brings me to what I think is a serious deal-breaker for many shooters. I found image quality to be plain unremarkable. After handling and shooting with the Q, a viewing of the images belies the high quality external experience with the camera. It is as if there is some disconnect between the camera and the images it produces. I do understand that there is some learning curve involved in exploiting the strengths of a camera, but the Q does not instill much confidence in that concept. It may be a product of my expectations with the high price tag ( $870 with tax in NY ), but I never got the same response from looking at the results as I have with almost all of my previous camera/lens purchases. There is no single metric ( sharpness, DR, contrast, color ) that I feel is lacking on the Q, it's just a sum of all the parts. Many of us spend the money on these type of cameras because we want to be inspired by the results. You want to feel that you can create something special based on the potential that you are witnessing. I hope i'm not being too esoteric here, but I want to convey that I never got this feeling from the Q. In my opinion, the images were too unremarkable, and just didn't have any life to them. The photos do exceed on technical merits (sharpness, ISO noise under 800), but never quite had the qualities and intangibles that make an image really stand out, no matter how many camera settings or PP I modified. I'm sure I'll be criticized by some for my subjective evaluation, which I think is fair, but I am hoping that others out there would value this type of viewpoint over the typical obsessive clinical evaluations of cameras that seem to be ubiquitous with online reviews.

In conclusion, the first generation of the Q worked for me on so many levels, but came short in such a way that it was a deal-breaker for me. I'm entirely open to revisit the Q again when the sensor technology or image processing has improved. I do hope that the Q finds success in the market, but also that Pentax acknowledges that there improvements need to be made.

09-15-2011, 08:50 AM   #2
Site Supporter
Aristophanes's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Dartmouth, Nova Scotia
Photos: Albums
Posts: 3,922
Thanks for doing this.

The sensor is simply to small to deliver.

As a result, the value is not there.

I am curious if the image circle and lenses can match a larger sensor, and if so, by how much.
09-15-2011, 09:52 AM   #3
Veteran Member
jsherman999's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2007
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 8,228
.

EDIT: <never mind>

Last edited by jsherman999; 09-15-2011 at 02:41 PM.
09-15-2011, 01:42 PM   #4
Site Supporter
Zygonyx's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Ile de France
Posts: 3,068
Thanks for sharing guys.
Following Aristophanes' remark, my question to any IQ deception is : did you ever had a better experience with an other P&S and such a tiny sensor ?

09-15-2011, 11:25 PM   #5
Veteran Member




Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: central Singapore
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 409
QuoteOriginally posted by deanm3 Quote
I'd like to share my experience with the Q, as I am fairly certain that many people have been frequenting this board looking for hands-on impressions. I was on the fence about the Q, and I decided to put my fears to rest and give it a shot. I'm not a professional photographer; I don't often make and do not sell prints, and certainly don't spend hours pixel peeping and obsessing over high ISO comparisons. I'm much more concerned with the ergonomics, handling, and overall feel of a device. That's not to say that I don't appreciate excellent image quality, it's just that I value other factors highly, especially the overall shooting experience. To give you an idea of my taste in cameras, I own the Ricoh GRD and GXR, as well as a Pentax K-7 and a Pentax W-80. I got interested in photography because I love making imagines, and have a great deal of fun doing it. Now onto why I wrote this thread. The Q.....

The Q absolutely excels in these areas. The build quality and overall feel are unprecedented. There are very few cameras that can illicit the same reactions that one gets when observing and operating the Q. It just feels solid and well thought-out. The first thought that came to my head when I picked up the Q was that I was going to have a lot of fun shooting with it. I can say with some certainty that this is a design quality that is often attempted, and rarely achieved. Pentax has again shown that they have the capabilities to really create something unique and of high quality.

In terms of usability, such as the GUI and controls, the Pentax Q also exceeds. While it is not the most responsive camera out there, it is snappy enough to never really get in your way or be obtrusive. If you are a pentax dSLR shooter, the adjustment period is nonexistent. Within a few shots, the controls of the Q had basically faded into my subconscious.

I really wanted to like the Q, and in these respects it completely delivered. I'm confident that Pentax will find success with the Q, but that brings me to what I think is a serious deal-breaker for many shooters. I found image quality to be plain unremarkable. After handling and shooting with the Q, a viewing of the images belies the high quality external experience with the camera. It is as if there is some disconnect between the camera and the images it produces. I do understand that there is some learning curve involved in exploiting the strengths of a camera, but the Q does not instill much confidence in that concept. It may be a product of my expectations with the high price tag ( $870 with tax in NY ), but I never got the same response from looking at the results as I have with almost all of my previous camera/lens purchases. There is no single metric ( sharpness, DR, contrast, color ) that I feel is lacking on the Q, it's just a sum of all the parts. Many of us spend the money on these type of cameras because we want to be inspired by the results. You want to feel that you can create something special based on the potential that you are witnessing. I hope i'm not being too esoteric here, but I want to convey that I never got this feeling from the Q. In my opinion, the images were too unremarkable, and just didn't have any life to them. The photos do exceed on technical merits (sharpness, ISO noise under 800), but never quite had the qualities and intangibles that make an image really stand out, no matter how many camera settings or PP I modified. I'm sure I'll be criticized by some for my subjective evaluation, which I think is fair, but I am hoping that others out there would value this type of viewpoint over the typical obsessive clinical evaluations of cameras that seem to be ubiquitous with online reviews.

In conclusion, the first generation of the Q worked for me on so many levels, but came short in such a way that it was a deal-breaker for me. I'm entirely open to revisit the Q again when the sensor technology or image processing has improved. I do hope that the Q finds success in the market, but also that Pentax acknowledges that there improvements need to be made.
Well yes, but without any more specific comments about the image quality your mini-review is not very helpful. I have taken plenty of uninspiring photos with every camera I have owned. Was it the camera, was it the weather, was it me? I shall reserve judgement until we can see more examples of what the camera can actually do, set to raw in particular.
09-16-2011, 12:26 AM   #6
Veteran Member
Spock's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Photos: Albums
Posts: 419
At the end of the day, the Q is a point and shoot camera. There is no reason to expect it to give better pictures than any other similarly sized pocket camera.

The attraction of the Q lies not in image quality (for people like me at any rate) but in the fun of being able to change lenses and use it like a DSLR. If it was really as good as a DSLR then people would stop buying K5s tomorrow.

It is a shame that it doesn't have a bit larger sensor though.
09-16-2011, 12:32 AM   #7
Site Supporter
Zygonyx's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Ile de France
Posts: 3,068
I think we all agree with this statement Spock.
As far as i can see, according to the size (diameter) of the mount, putting a 1/1,6" sensor is feasible even keeping stabilization.
Now this doesn't answer the question of present lenses' image circle.

look for example at the Fujifilm F31fd with 1/1,6" sensor, in comparison :

09-16-2011, 06:16 AM   #8
Site Supporter
Aristophanes's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Dartmouth, Nova Scotia
Photos: Albums
Posts: 3,922
I'd like to know if the sensor can go even bigger than the 1/1.6" size.

There's a big gap between the smaller sensors for P&S and M43. For the Q's price point and lens array, this would make more sense to differentiate it from the P&S crowd.

I have a Canon S95 costing less than half the Q with equivalent IQ. The S100 is out now.

09-16-2011, 06:48 AM   #9
Loyal Site Supporter
Rupert's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Texas
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 25,001
I may never "get it".....Why do people crave these small cameras? They all have the same problem.....the IQ is unremarkable.....and once you mount a decent lens on them they are no longer a small camera, just a big lens with a little camera dangling off the back end.
I admit to being sucked in to the hysteria of a small camera and had a X100 on order for ages until a guy offered me a premium to take my place in the ordering line.....lucky for me really. The X100 with a fixed single lens would be a lot like having a fine looking lover than only had one position and no ability to alter it. Maybe some decent results....but how boring and dull after the new wore off.

At least the X100 had a viewfinder........not the greatest, but still something to use. Using a LCD to compose and shoot in the bright sunshine is near impossible, and not much better in decent light. I could go on with a dozen more reasons why these tiny cameras make no sense other than the novelty factor......but also admit, Ioften feel the attraction pulling me that way....I can't explain it, but at least I do know better!

Don't waste your time flaming me....in the past I have been broiled, fried, baked and roasted over these types of comments......not enough of me left for you to damage in the least!

If you love your tiny camera, that's all that matters, have fun...if you can!

Best Regards!
09-16-2011, 07:49 AM   #10
Veteran Member
rparmar's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2008
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 8,783
QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
I am curious if the image circle and lenses can match a larger sensor, and if so, by how much.
Have a look at the absolutely tiny entrance of the lenses visible in promo shots. Seems unlikely it would cover anything larger.
09-16-2011, 07:55 AM   #11
Veteran Member
rparmar's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2008
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 8,783
I was broiled myself for stating the obvious when the Q was announced: with a sensor that small it would never compete with the image quality of larger sensor cameras. I was flamed for daring to comment on a camera I had not used... as though the laws of physics could be repealed by a clever Pentax development team!

If someone wants to pay a lot for a cute little toy that's fine. Some only need small shots for the web and so on... this camera will do an adequate job if your demands are low. (Though there are other cheaper options that might be even better.) This was obvious before anyone had used the camera and will become twice as obvious now.

If only Pentax had not put the marketing department before the engineers we might have a slightly larger but entirely more capable device.
09-16-2011, 08:29 AM   #12
Veteran Member




Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: kobe/japan
Posts: 510
QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote
I was broiled myself for stating the obvious when the Q was announced: with a sensor that small it would never compete with the image quality of larger sensor cameras. I was flamed for daring to comment on a camera I had not used... as though the laws of physics could be repealed by a clever Pentax development team!

If someone wants to pay a lot for a cute little toy that's fine. Some only need small shots for the web and so on... this camera will do an adequate job if your demands are low. (Though there are other cheaper options that might be even better.) This was obvious before anyone had used the camera and will become twice as obvious now.

If only Pentax had not put the marketing department before the engineers we might have a slightly larger but entirely more capable device.


Nothing has changed you are still wrong. You were also claiming that k20 collects 4 times more light than Q, which was also wrong.
09-16-2011, 09:56 AM   #13
Pentaxian




Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Chicago suburb, IL, USA
Posts: 1,535
QuoteOriginally posted by Zygonyx Quote
I think we all agree with this statement Spock.
As far as i can see, according to the size (diameter) of the mount, putting a 1/1,6" sensor is feasible even keeping stabilization.
Now this doesn't answer the question of present lenses' image circle.

look for example at the Fujifilm F31fd with 1/1,6" sensor, in comparison :
Hi Zygonyx,

I don't think the diameter of the lens mount means that much. I think that they made it larger than necessary for strength, ergonomics (a larger diameter lens barrel for easier MF -- imagine manual focusing with a lens the diameter of a cigar. . .), and for the possibility of faster longer FL lenses (since these would take advantage of one of the Q's strengths -- the 5.6x crop factor -- I could be biased here )

The bloggers' preproduction presentation by Pentax in Japan seemed to indicate that the Q's image circle (and SR assumed) was large enough for 1/1.7" sensors, and perhaps a little larger (1/1.6" ?) The Google translation isn't really clear. . . Remember that the design concept was developed a while ago, and they were waiting for the "right " sensor. It seems to me that with that design plan, it would have been very short sighted to limit the image circle to one that would only take a 1/2.3" sensor. They stated that's one reason that they omitted the 35mm EQ FL from their lens designations -- it would tend to tie them into a particular format.

This means that they rejected the Sony 10 MP 1/1.7" CCD sensor which has been available for a couple of years. My guesses are that this sensor needs a larger body for heat dissipation than the very tightly packed Q, is not capable of full 1080 30fps HD video (either because of speed or heat), and the format doesn't sell enough units to merit the timely application of newer technology as does the very popular 1/2.3" format. Consider that the Samsung uses this sensor in this format instead of developing their own. It would have been a much more major marketing mistake to have to back off from 1/1.7" to 1/2.3" for lack of future sensor development..

Canon had to make their own sensor to get a CMOS 1/6.3" sensor in the new S100. Nikon's recently announced P7100 is still using the 10MP Sony 1/1.7" CCD -- Obviously Pentax cannot make its own sensors, so they have to rely on what's available -- and Canon doesn't seem to sell its sensors to be used by other mfgs, but I guess things could change. . .

Future Q models could see an upgrade in sensor size if/when more advanced sensor technology becomes a reality in a larger format. They already have a possible sensor upgrade path to the 16MP BSI 1/2.3" sensor that's already showing up in some compacts. I think they made the right choice in introducing a smaller than 4/3 compact ILC system. Nikon's rumored MILC at @ 2.5x crop sensor validates the concept of a smaller than DSLR sensor for smaller lenses and a more compact system, Pentax only took it further, and uses sensor based IS.

I think that it's most likely that Nikon will use OIS (VR) lenses which will make their lenses considerably more expensive if their DSLR line is any indication. It would be hard to justify using sensor based IS after years of touting OIS as superior, and difficult to offer low priced VR MILC lenses and very expensive VR DLSR lenses. . .

It's not inconceivable that Canon developed its 1/1.63" CMOS sensor for not only the S100 and next generation Gxx model, but for an ILC system using that format, since they have not entered the MILC market. Their marketing muscle could make this a viable segment and spur Sony (or another chip maker) to further develop the format, making a future 1/1.7" or 1/1.63" sensored Q a strong competitor since it could be the only one with sensor based IS and less expensive lenses.

I guess we'll have to see what develops. . .

Scott
09-16-2011, 10:27 AM   #14
Pentaxian




Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Chicago suburb, IL, USA
Posts: 1,535
QuoteOriginally posted by zxaar Quote
Nothing has changed you are still wrong. You were also claiming that k20 collects 4 times more light than Q, which was also wrong.
Hi zxaar,

I think there's little use in answering negative posts concerning the Q as these posts make little sense. Those doing this obviously don't find the Q appealing, and instead of just dismissing the concept as one that has no advantage for them and moving on, they choose to spend their time talking down the camera and concept to those who are showing an interest in it.

This would be analogous to a MFD shooter frequenting a DSLR forum to repeatedly tout the advantages of their larger format and downgrade the comparative performance of the FF, APS-C, and 4/3 cameras -- but they don't seem to do that, and when they do post, they usually actually acknowledge the advantages of the smaller faster DSLRs for the genres and situations where they excel. . . I guess they just have more vision about using the right camera in the right situation as tools to get the images they want.

. . .not to mention having a bit more class. . .

Scott
09-16-2011, 11:04 AM   #15
Pentaxian
audiobomber's Avatar

Join Date: May 2008
Location: Sudbury, Ontario
Photos: Albums
Posts: 6,684
I thought the Q's backlit 1/2.3" sensor was used because it slightly outperforms the slightly larger sensors in the Panasonic Lx5 and the Canon S95 and G12. By outperforms, I mean more Dynamic Range and better high ISO. Someone showed test results to demonstrate at the other forum, but I can't remember where they came from.
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
camera, images, mirrorless, pentax, pentax q, pentax q10, pentax q7, q10, q7, quality, sharpness, type
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
SMC Pentax-FA 135mm F2.8 [IF] mini-review rob1234 Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 4 11-17-2010 05:54 AM
Mini Review - Think Tank Multimedia Wired Up 10 raider Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 3 09-06-2010 02:38 AM
Mini review - Tamrac Express 6 camera bag for K-x two lens kit Graystar Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 12 02-04-2010 03:39 PM
MZ-7 mini review / first thoughts filmamigo Pentax Film SLR Discussion 29 12-17-2008 02:01 PM
DA 55-300: Mini Review Ivan Glisin Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 39 05-13-2008 04:42 PM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 05:35 PM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top