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09-21-2011, 07:31 AM   #1
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Q on steroids?

I just looked at the press releases for the Nikon V1, not the smallest (which is being claimed in some sectors of the press) but looks like what I wanted the Q to be, especially with the Electronic View Finder and ability to use older lenses - a Pentax philosophy (except for the Q). I know the Q offers a clip on viewfinder - but this only works for the standard lens. Strong sunlight and ageing eyesight make the LCD monitor useless to me. Lets hope Pentax take not of this when putting together the Q-Super!

09-21-2011, 11:44 AM   #2
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I disagree. This is fundamentally very different from the Q from a controls perspective. No PASM dial is a huge pain. Also no standard hotshoe means you are limited with flash selection. Also has no built in flash. Maybe the image quality will be better, but I don't like the interface of the Nikon.
09-21-2011, 12:24 PM   #3

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Hi ronniemac,

The fact that Nikon chose to go with a smaller than 4/3 format for their MILC system validates Pentax's concept for the Q, IMO. Smaller lenses to go along with the smaller bodies for a distinctly smaller system size.

It's got some impressive features and performance aspects, but leaves a lot to be desired IMO,. A main concern would be 1 mount CX lens pricing since OIS (VR) is their stabilization method of choice, and in the FX and DX lines, this seems to add some significant $$$ per lens. I don't think they could justify a much lower pricing differential between VR and non stabilized lenses in the CX line without outraged reactions from their DSLR users, so I'd expect CX lenses to be significantly pricier than comparable Q mount Quality Line lenses. Despite a narrower ISO range, the CX lenses so far don't seem to offer faster apertures to compensate.

The V1 body looks to be not nearly as easily controllable for shooting as the Q, with much more of a P&S-like user interface, but I could be wrong. Early reports pretty much unanimously praise the Q for a DSLR-like user interface, which I would find more desirable in a high end body. The lack of a pop up flash would be a negative for me, as would the lack of a "normal" hot shoe for external flash, requiring a dedicated interface to use an external flash.

Though the larger 1" sensor seems to be a significant advantage, there are more downsides to basing a system on a unique sensor format than using one on a fixed lens camera. If it becomes wildly popular, then future sensor development will probably be assured, but if the format doesn't sell in large numbers, then development will likely stall. Examples of this can be seen in 24x36, 4/3 and 1/1.7" sensor formats compared to the much more popular APS-C and 1/2.3" formats. They seem to develop a sensor, then stand pat for 2-3 years. For the system concept to be viable over the long term, the DSLR model would suggest that timely upgrades to the sensor will need to be offered to promote continuing body sales. Canon had to come up with their own sensor to provide a CMOS 1/1.7" for the S100, and this will be relatively costly for them unless they introduce more models in this format and sell lots of them. Sony could be even less prone to put money into further developing this sensor format now that Canon has left the fold. There is more to sensor development that just making a new size cookie cutter and dividing an existing chip disk into larger sized portions.

The Q currently uses the most widely used sensor format that has shown the most rapid technical development of any because of its popularity. There is already an existing upgrade sensor in the 1/2.3" format with the 16MP BSI CMOS that is being used in a number of models currently. Also, if a 1/1.7" or 1/1.63" CMOS sensor is introduced (by a mfg that actually sells the sensors to be used by other camera makers, so Canon doesn't count) either could apparently be used in a future Q model. The Q's unique standing as the only ILC in the format suggests that future sensors can spend some time in the market in fixed lens models without any significant competitive negatives before being adopted by Pentax for the Q. Being small and relying on other companies to supply the sensor development and manufacturing divisions could actually work to Pentax's advantage in what looks to be a relatively long visit in the negative area of the sine curve in the world's economic cycle. They can pick and choose the best-suited available sensor, get it modified for their own purposes, and introduce sensor-upgraded new body models on their own timetable.

For my projected use, the Q's smaller size and larger crop factor offer more advantages than disadvantages. In addition to using it as a compact, I'd be using it as a very light and compact macro system that significantly increases effective magnification and DOF with larger working apertures. The body and a K>Q adapter could also be added to the birding bag as essentially a TC that doesn't adversely alter Av or add optical distortions. The greater the differential between sensor formats, the greater the advantage for both of these purposes (to a point, of course). More DSLR-like control is more desirable, as is sensor based stabilization (while it doesn't seem to be a current option for adapter mounted lenses, it probably isn't a difficult fix), pop up flash, and a standard flash shoe.

The downsides to the Q are lack of a VF (but I've already thought through this and have a number of workarounds to try) and the smaller sensor which will limit ultimate IQ. From what I've seen so far, IQ and ISO range are good enough for my purposes. The BSI technology looks to make up enough to make the format acceptable for my projected use.

I was looking forward to seeing what Nikon had in store. I think that the feature set is impressive, and they've definitely seemed to up the ante for performance in FPS at full res, AF, possibly processing, and video options. I'm not impressed enough with other aspects to be convinced that it would serve me better than a Q.

09-21-2011, 03:14 PM   #4
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