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10-12-2011, 07:45 PM   #1
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Looking at the Q

I'm very interested in the Q. I currently shoot with a K-x, and while I love it, I find the size to be a bit cumbersome while traveling.
I like the idea of having a camera on me at all times (and something that takes NICE photos, not crappy cell phone pictures that can't be printed above a 3.5x5)

I like having control over my lens, which is why I shy away from typical point and shoot cameras. Plus, I feel like I spent a decent amount on my entry-level DSLR and a point and shoot would be a bit of a step down.

That being said, the Q has a fairly hefty priced tag. How does the image quality compare to the K-x? How large can an image be printed before it starts to lose quality?
I tend to do close shots, unless I'm in a scenic area and want to capture everything. How is the kit lens? Does it feel limiting?

I'd love to play with it .I'm located in NJ, anyone know of some dealers that may have it?

Thank you for your thoughts.

10-12-2011, 07:56 PM   #2
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The Q has a point and shoot sensor, a nice one, but still of point and shoot quality. The pictures look pretty good from it, and it is really tiny. If you decide you want one, I'd wait 6 months or so for the price to drop.
10-12-2011, 08:58 PM - 4 Likes   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Christina Quote
I'm very interested in the Q. I currently shoot with a K-x, and while I love it, I find the size to be a bit cumbersome while traveling.
I like the idea of having a camera on me at all times (and something that takes NICE photos, not crappy cell phone pictures that can't be printed above a 3.5x5)

I like having control over my lens, which is why I shy away from typical point and shoot cameras. Plus, I feel like I spent a decent amount on my entry-level DSLR and a point and shoot would be a bit of a step down.

That being said, the Q has a fairly hefty priced tag. How does the image quality compare to the K-x? How large can an image be printed before it starts to lose quality?
I tend to do close shots, unless I'm in a scenic area and want to capture everything. How is the kit lens? Does it feel limiting?

I'd love to play with it .I'm located in NJ, anyone know of some dealers that may have it?

Thank you for your thoughts.

Hi Christina, I have the K-x and if you look in this forum you'll see my post

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-q-forum/161564-k-x-versus-q-versus-lumix-ts3.html

comparing the K-x and the Q. I am going to post a comparison shot of the K-x and Q in daylight as well later this weekend but the short answer is the Q is almost as good as the K-x. The RAW files from the Q are better then the K-x's JPEGS and when comparing RAW to RAW, the Q is only slightly behind in detail when viewing the image at 100 which you will 95% of the time never do.

I will answer some of your questions below:

Since you stated you like having manual control on your cameras, the Q will fit in perfectly. It works just like your K-x and is designed very well to be easily usable and configured to how you like to shoot your photos. You'll feel right at home with the Q.


The build quality on the Q is very good as well and it's very tiny, compact, and lightweight. Just like your SLR, it has a standard hot-shoe to use any Pentax compatible flash or other accessories. I use my Metz AF 58-2 on it and get the same great photos as my K-x with one caveat. I have to use the built in diffuser with PTTL mode or set it to Automatic mode for the Metz. I haven't used the Pentax branded flash on it but the manual says it supports all current Pentax flashes.

As for your image size, the Q is the same megapixel as your K-x essentially is so anything you could do with you K-x in terms of image size and quality you can expect from the Q. The Q also takes much sharper images.

They're are only two things that you may miss with the K-x versus the Q and that is the AF and Shallow Depth of Field with wide open Apertures. HOWEVER, both of these can be "fixed". The Q's AF is good and quick when there are high-contrast areas but in low-light I feel it's as bad as my K-x in focusing or sometimes better depending on the day. I find the K-x does a LOT of hunting in low light, the Q will take at most, that I've seen, about a few seconds to AF in bad lighting. Otherwise in good light it's under a second.

Since the Q is a smaller sized sensor, you will get different depths of fields for the same F-stop number compared to the K-x. The Q's 8mm f/1.9 is equal to a K-x's 47mm f/7.1 . This means it's harder to get those nice blurred shots, but not impossible. You can get nice Bokeh by just shooting up closer and filling the frame, which it seems like you do. Also, the Q has after-market adapters and lenses that I and others are testing on the forum to give more flexibility to the system. I have purchased a f/1.0 lens which should give me even more shallow depth of field and help me mimic the K-x when using a 50mm f/1.4 lens. To be honest though, you can get nice blurred shots by just shooting slightly closer and it comes out very well with the kit lens.


The kit lens is very good and not really limiting. It's a standard "human eye" perspective and unless you want a very wide landscape shot or super telephoto, the kit lens is good. I purchased the fish eye lens which I've really enjoyed and also ordered the Zoom lens because I found the Q to be such a wonderful and great camera. The zoom lens will let you shoot wider, 27mm-82mm, and give you some nice telephoto. If you feel you only want to shoot up close and wide angle shots, just buy the $89 wide angle "toy" lens and you're done. Otherwise, I think a better long term investment is to just buy the Zoom lens when maybe the price is a bit lower.

One more thing about the sensor size on the Q. Your going to hear a lot of comments and opinions that because the Q has a small sensor it is inferior and a poor product. I would ignore those people as they haven't actually used the camera. If you read reviews of the camera that are out and some of the newer ones that are coming from other reputable websites, they are all giving the Q praise. It's a very well made camera and designed for photographers. I've said this before and I'll say it again, no matter your profession, you don't blame your tools for the work you produce. A photographer is not defined anymore by the camera and equipment they use then a musician is defined by the brand of instrument they play, or by a writer by for pen they use. It is always about the people behind the tools that make the difference. Now that I've said that, the Q takes excellent images and comparing them to a P&S is silly because a lot of very high end P&S take VERY GOOD IMAGES. Technology has progressed to where your iPhone is as good as a top of the line digital camera from 3-4 years ago. The Q takes as good a photo as the K-x in RAW mode and there is the another benefit of the Q. The sensor is more sensitive to light, meaning if you took a shot at ISO 800 with the K-x, you could take it at ISO 200 with the Q. It has a 2-3 EV stop better performance then the K-x which means more shots are going to come out at a lower ISO's for better quality or faster shutter speeds for less blurring.

I hope that answers your questions but if you have anymore, please ask. I've really enjoyed the camera so far and if my new lens works the way I want, I will be selling me K-x and just using the Q.
10-12-2011, 11:01 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Christina Quote
I'm very interested in the Q. I currently shoot with a K-x, and while I love it, I find the size to be a bit cumbersome while traveling.
I have both K-x and Q myself and in daylight, Q is as good as K-x regarding image quality.

I have some images taken with Q here, Pentax Q - Heime. Click on "Full størrelse" below each image to see a larger version.

And you can use Google Translate to read the text.

10-12-2011, 11:49 PM   #5
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The pentax Q's IQ is very good considering its sensor size, but IMHO the body is too small and the lens selection isn't big enough. It's almost overkill to allow lens swapping on a camera this small - and while Pentax has certainly done a good job with a design, it's sort of hard to find a market for these kinds of things... It would have also been nice to have powered zooming on the zoom lens so that the camera could be operated with only one hand - especially considering its small size and otherwise-handy button layout.

If the price were closer to $400 when I'd say the Q would be worth it- but at $800 I'm forced to say that you'd probably be better off with a plain old high-end point and shoot camera (like the Canon G12 for $450).

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10-13-2011, 12:31 AM   #6
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knightzerox has made several good points in his post, and although I might personally agree with Adam regarding its size, it's no doubt a niche product of very good quality well-suited to someone as yourself. If the K-x is too combersome to lug around, the Pentax Q is a logical choice amongst other point and shoot cameras. The advantage I find over P&S cameras is that the Q is an expanding system with very good quality lenses; and over hybrid/bridge cameras are the Q's size and weight. Do check out the Q hands on and see for yourself.
10-13-2011, 02:09 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
The pentax Q's IQ is very good considering its sensor size, but IMHO the body is too small and the lens selection isn't big enough. .
If you don't want a camera that small there is no shortage of choice. To me, the whole point of the Q is pocket size with SLR type photographic control. I don't think you would want to carry too many lenses around either.

When size isn't the issue, I am looking forward to playing around with my k-mount lenses with a new crop factor.

As to price, some people may buy it because for its chic design but I would have thought enthusiasts would be the main market. From what I have seen, enthusiasts will pay whatever they can raise in cash or credit if they really want something.
10-13-2011, 06:11 AM   #8
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If portability is the question, the Q wins all cards. The Oly PEN is still big, and the Sony NEX's lens is still too cumbersome to fit into a jacket pocket. As for a market it has quite a small following getting on already. I've read an article in Adorama wherein the photographer took the Q out to New York Fashion Week. Here it is:

The Pentax Q Stress Test: Day 1 from Adorama Learning Center

I guess a lot of people will really step on its specs at first, but I guess the Q will have to prove itself first... which I'm eager to say it most probably will!. Just hope the price goes down quick. XD

10-13-2011, 07:15 AM - 1 Like   #9
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When I look back at my Fuji X100 pictures, most are shot between ISO 400 and 1600. And ISO 3200 is frequent. Reasons being, I shoot this easy to carry around point-n-shoot indoors and extreme light conditions more often than not, use a polaroid filter frequently and typically want faster shutter speed than I'd use on a larger camera since, for me, small, light cameras are easier to introduce hand shake.

My point is, when you now have a camera you'll carry everywhere, it better be able to shoot almost anywhere with decent IQ and not just in nice, bright daylight. YMMV
10-13-2011, 07:25 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by knightzerox Quote

I hope that answers your questions but if you have anymore, please ask. I've really enjoyed the camera so far and if my new lens works the way I want, I will be selling me K-x and just using the Q.
You have been very helpful! You answered many of my questions and beyond. I'm dying to play with a Q now and see for myself.
10-13-2011, 10:52 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by tuco Quote
When I look back at my Fuji X100 pictures, most are shot between ISO 400 and 1600. And ISO 3200 is frequent. Reasons being, I shoot this easy to carry around point-n-shoot indoors and extreme light conditions more often than not, use a polaroid filter frequently and typically want faster shutter speed than I'd use on a larger camera since, for me, small, light cameras are easier to introduce hand shake.

My point is, when you now have a camera you'll carry everywhere, it better be able to shoot almost anywhere with decent IQ and not just in nice, bright daylight. YMMV
I know the Fuji X100 takes very good quality pictures but I don't know how it compares in terms of light sensitivity to other cameras. All I can say is that compared to the K-x, the Q can shoot at lower ISO's or higher speeds when compared to the same settings of the K-x. Also the amount of noise between ISO settings from the Q to the K-x seems to be about one EV. Not 100% confirmed yet but I believe the Q has a better NR then the K-x letting it shoot at an even higher ISO then the K-x. This is what I would expect considering the Q is brand new and the K-x is around two years old now.

The Q takes pretty good low-light shots so far for the reasons stated above, but not sure what other test might show more differences. If you read the post I did above comparing the K-x and Q, I included an image shot at a bar in low-lighting which was shot hand-held at ISO 800 at 1/13 of a second. On my K-x this would have had to have been shot at ISO 3200-6400 for the same shutter speed which would have greatly reduced the quality.
10-13-2011, 12:07 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by knightzerox Quote
... I included an image shot at a bar in low-lighting which was shot hand-held at ISO 800 at 1/13 of a second.
That's fine for a stationary scene. But can people move in that time frame.
10-13-2011, 01:33 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by tuco Quote
That's fine for a stationary scene. But can people move in that time frame.
1/13 would be a bit slow for moving people or objects, but since the Q would only be at ISO 800 I can go an additional 3 stops on ISO to get a max shutter speed of 1/100th of a second which should be find. Sure the quality at 6400 wouldn't be the best, but I would be able to get a photo that was not blurred.

Again, I'm not sure what the X100 is capable of in low light compared to the K-x and how much flexibility it would give in the same conditions.

Last edited by knightzerox; 10-13-2011 at 01:55 PM.
10-14-2011, 03:08 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by knightzerox Quote

One more thing about the sensor size on the Q. Your going to hear a lot of comments and opinions that because the Q has a small sensor it is inferior and a poor product. I would ignore those people as they haven't actually used the camera.
The Q uses a tiny Exmor R sensor. it's not the first camera to use an Exmor R sensor with this pixel density. Some of us own such cameras. The IQ of the tiny Exmor R sensor is certainly a step forward over otehr little sensors, but the fact is it isn't up to the iQ of an APS-C sensor. nothing to be ashamed off of course.

If you want APS-C Quality you buy an APS-C camera. The issue with the Q isn't it's IQ, it's the prive.



QuoteQuote:
If you read reviews of the camera that are out and some of the newer ones that are coming from other reputable websites,
I learned to take little notice of reviews a long time ago.
10-14-2011, 05:43 PM   #15
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If you go to flickr and search for "Pentax Q" you can find a lotofQ shots. That should help you decide about the quality of this little wonder. IMHO it's the little camera that could!
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