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10-01-2011, 06:28 PM   #1
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Tried the Q yesterday ...

I tried very hard to like it, but decided in the end it was not the camera for me.

Size = good, smaller than the micro 4/3 - same size as a Canon S95, which I held up next to it.

Controls = quite good, very familiar Pentax interface.

Quality (I shot a few raw images off it, then went home and checked them out on Lightroom) = quite good, the prime is not the sharpest, but image quality is okay (I was shooting at ISO250)

Depth of Field = not too bad - I shot a few casual shots, and I can see some blurring of the background on the standard prime, bokeh reasonable

The big negative was response time = the camera took quite a while to write to the card, even on my Panasonic SDHC UHS-I card (rated at 90MB/s read, 25 MB/s write)

Also fps rate in continous mode is abysmal, barely over 1 shot a second.

Also auto focus is not very zippy or sophisticated - compared to E-PL3, GF3, or NEX-5N.

All in all, I decided not to buy it, and wait for the Nikon J1 instead.

What can Pentax change to make me buy it? AF needs to be faster, and more sophisticated (touchscreen focus point would be nice, plus focus tracking like the Sony). Response time needs to be FAST, and it needs to have high continuous fps. It needs multi-shot aggregation modes like on the Sony and the Nikon 1. In other words, it needs to be a LOT more like the new Nikon 1 series - which I will probably buy as soon as they come out.

10-01-2011, 07:43 PM   #2
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Good, thanks. Been waiting to hear what you thought of the thing. In what kindo light conditions did you use the AF?
10-01-2011, 08:24 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by conradj Quote
Good, thanks. Been waiting to hear what you thought of the thing. In what kindo light conditions did you use the AF?
In a camera shop. Mainly shot around the shop, taking photos of my friend and the sales guy.

The main thing that bugged me was the slow write times, particularly in continuous mode. After what seems like only like half a dozen shots (which were around 1 per second) - the camera locked up and I had to wait and wait and wait for the buffer to clear. This was raw capture, Av mode.

The slow fps makes it unusable for me. I normally leave my K-5 in continuous mode, and I am very used to the habit of firing 3-4 shots at a time when taking portraits, as I ask my subjects to move slightly when I take photos of them - I get much more natural looking portraits that doesn't look as "posed".

The Nikon 1 cameras have a very cool feature where the camera automatically does what I do manually - it can take up to 20 shots on a single shutter press, select the best 5 and recommend 1 - I can see myself using that feature very often.
10-01-2011, 10:23 PM - 1 Like   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Christine Tham Quote
I normally leave my K-5 in continuous mode, and I am very used to the habit of firing 3-4 shots at a time when taking portraits,
QuoteOriginally posted by Christine Tham Quote
The Nikon 1 cameras have a very cool feature where the camera automatically does what I do manually - it can take up to 20 shots on a single shutter press, select the best 5 and recommend 1
How did you survive in the days of film?

I still struggle with every decision to release the shutter button.

10-02-2011, 12:23 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Christine Tham Quote
The Nikon 1 cameras have a very cool feature where the camera automatically does what I do manually - it can take up to 20 shots on a single shutter press, select the best 5 and recommend 1 - I can see myself using that feature very often.
But there is no more pleasure of photography like that...
10-02-2011, 01:49 AM   #6
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Clearly the camera isn't for you, but I really wonder about your typical habits in regards to photography because I have heard a lot of things about the Q, but slow isn't one of them. Not as fast as the others, like typical pentax but not slow either. Also the slow write times is something I've haven't heard about before, in fa t I haven't seen it mentioned wit the same level of frustration as you seemed to experience, so I really have to wonder about that. As for the nikon 1, I think that letting the camera basi ally do all the work and then even choose the 'best' of the bunch is just ridiculous. Sorry. Indent mean to down your desires in a camera, but with Something like that, youmay as well not even be behind the camera. But if that's your thing, good luck.
10-02-2011, 02:45 AM   #7
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Well no, don't be so critical abt that working method until you've thought abt it.

i grew up with film i could barely afford which i had to make time to develop myself, so my working methods like many of you is very sparing of the number of frames i shoot ... BUT, if you think abt how we see and remember people, what we retain of them as iconic and representative of their individuality, it can be described as a selection of one moment out of a spectrum. Our memory retains the frames we choose to, and we file and tag those selections as what such and such a person looks like in their natural state showing their personalities. The other ones that look like ostriches or hippos we just forget. Except ifn we don't like the person.

And when one thinks abt most of the famous photo portraits that exist, well, how many of them were selected out of a bunch of shots we never get to see, and how many are one-offs?

... except for smeggypants of course. He shoots mostly masterpieces.

Last edited by conradj; 10-02-2011 at 03:01 AM.
10-02-2011, 04:43 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by conradj Quote
Well no, don't be so critical abt that working method until you've thought abt it.

i grew up with film i could barely afford which i had to make time to develop myself, so my working methods like many of you is very sparing of the number of frames i shoot ... BUT, if you think abt how we see and remember people, what we retain of them as iconic and representative of their individuality, it can be described as a selection of one moment out of a spectrum. Our memory retains the frames we choose to, and we file and tag those selections as what such and such a person looks like in their natural state showing their personalities. The other ones that look like ostriches or hippos we just forget. Except ifn we don't like the person.

And when one thinks abt most of the famous photo portraits that exist, well, how many of them were selected out of a bunch of shots we never get to see, and how many are one-offs?

... except for smeggypants of course. He shoots mostly masterpieces.
thats very different from having your camera decide for you and do all the work. very different.

10-02-2011, 06:31 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by séamuis Quote
thats very different from having your camera decide for you and do all the work. very different.
i get you 100%, just think one must give the photographer the benefit of the doubt on that one, that they'll be able to suss out when and when not to use that kind of automation. i've been asked plenty of times, as i'm certain you have been also, to take a picture of some people at some point in time when you really would rather save your concentration for something else, plus you know they want exactly some kind of standard smiling heads thing, which would still take some attention to get right. Tell them to go away, or put the camera on some kindo full auto that includes auto multi-shots with auto brain-free in-focus happy head selection.

and if the photographer doesn't want to know anything abt doing the critical esthetic thing themselves, just means if they get that camera it'll be one less person who'll come and bug you to do it for them.

of course if one's bread and butter happens to be brain-free in-focus happy heads, then that's another problem completely.

and then some of us, like me, are just naturally happy-headed, since we spend most of our time tied down in a rubber room at the funny farm, on a diet of happy pills. That's why i need autofocus, i haven't any myself.
10-02-2011, 09:30 AM   #10
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I'm a bit surprised about the report of slow write times. I've had my Q for nearly a month now and I haven't run into that problem; also found the focus to be fast enough as well. Re the write times: could it be the quality of the SD card used? Of course, in the long run it boils down to each of us having differing expectations and needs in a camera, I too am of the "old school" and I never use the machine gun rapid fire technique (comes from way back when; when I had a fear of using too much precious film) in my work, so I've never checked out the write times after a chain of rapid shots taken- just not my way of doing things. I was considering the Nikon 1 Series but frankly the user interface doesn't seem to give one the ability to "take control" with the same facility that the Q does and they just look really blah cheap- like the whole venture was sort of an afterthought in hopes of keeping some of their Nikon customers in the fold, so to speak.
10-02-2011, 10:42 AM   #11
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Slow write times and low fps can be due to the lens correction features. Turning those on will bog down any Pentax.
10-02-2011, 11:05 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
Slow write times and low fps can be due to the lens correction features. Turning those on will bog down any Pentax.
thats a good point, I didn’t think about that. if the lens correction or something else that may have been turned on, it could easily slow down write speeds to a crawl. I’m willing to put money on that being the issue in this case, as I have heard no reports of write speeds being slow.
10-02-2011, 12:33 PM   #13
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i remember the techradar review mentioned it and it did give me pause since i've lived for years with my Canon A650IS + CHDK and that thing locks up for 6-10s after every shot when shooting DNG. Did you download some of those photographyblog Q DNG samples to play with? they're like 22M each.

Though, i don't suppose Christine Tham was shooting RAW when she tried it out.

perhaps Pentax will come out with firmware that makes that better.
10-02-2011, 12:35 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
Slow write times and low fps can be due to the lens correction features. Turning those on will bog down any Pentax.
That's quite possible - I didn't check for that.

dpreview says the Q should be capable of 5fps - I was getting a lot less than that (more like 1 fps).

The other possible explanation is that the camera is slow focusing in low light (the shop wasn't very brightly lit). My K10D (which didn't have lens correction) was like that too - it would be awfully slow in continuous mode in low light.

In any case, the Q definitely felt sluggish and unresponsive compared to my NEX-5N (which had no problems in the same conditions, with all 3 types of lens correction features enabled)
10-02-2011, 12:50 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by conradj Quote
i remember the techradar review mentioned it and it did give me pause since i've lived for years with my Canon A650IS + CHDK and that thing locks up for 6-10s after every shot when shooting DNG. Did you download some of those photographyblog Q DNG samples to play with? they're like 22M each.
Yikes, I didn't know that - I went back and checked the images I took, and they are all around 20-21MB in size.

However, the NEX-5N writes 16MB raw files and have no problems on the same card (it's a Panasonic UHS-I Class 10 rated at 25 MB/s writes).
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