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11-03-2011, 05:45 PM   #1
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The Q or...

Ok, so I am having a bit of a dilemma. I want to get a ILC camera and I am seriously considering the Q. I know there are a lot of reviews that aren't great, but I did check it out in a local camera store and I really liked it. Great build and features. Plus, I am loyal to Pentax.

My dilemma is I am concerened about IQ, but it is not a complete deal breaker. I am also considering the Ricoh GXR with 28mm lens and bigger sensor.

Size is not a huge factor for me, but quality is. I did check out the new Nikon J1 and V1. I was not that impressed with either.

Is the $200 more for the GXR worth it? I know the Q price may come down soon.

Thanks!

11-03-2011, 05:55 PM   #2
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If image quality is a factor for you, don't get the Q. It's only special because of its small size and elegant design

Have you looked at the Sony NEX cameras?
Sony Alpha NEX-5N Digital Camera with 18-55mm Lens NEX5NK/S B&H

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11-03-2011, 06:13 PM   #3
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I have not. The local camera shop I like has a nice kit for the Sony Alpha NEX-5 with the 18-55 and 16mm wide angle lens, SD card and case for $699. Plus, they carry Pentax, go there when I can.
11-03-2011, 06:40 PM   #4
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I say the Samsung NX 200 with the 30mm or 20mm pancake. It would be the most expensive option, but cheaper than a Fuji x100. I have seen the camera and kit lens for 799 and i've seen the 20mm pancake for as little as 240.

11-03-2011, 07:19 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by EricBrown Quote
Ok, so I am having a bit of a dilemma. I want to get a ILC camera and I am seriously considering the Q. I know there are a lot of reviews that aren't great, but I did check it out in a local camera store and I really liked it. Great build and features. Plus, I am loyal to Pentax.

My dilemma is I am concerned about IQ, but it is not a complete deal breaker. I am also considering the Ricoh GXR with 28mm lens and bigger sensor.

Size is not a huge factor for me, but quality is. I did check out the new Nikon J1 and V1. I was not that impressed with either.

Is the $200 more for the GXR worth it? I know the Q price may come down soon.

Thanks!

Do you need shallow depth of field for non-close up photos?
Do you need the best IQ for your money?
Do you need a larger set of available lenses?
Do you need AF when shooting in movie mode?

Then don't get the Q.

But if you need:

Good IQ ( I disagree with Adam on the Q's image quality and provided sample photos and test images for the Q and K-x, but that's my own opinion )
Extremely compact size of camera and lenses
Super Telephoto and Super Macro lenses by using K-mount lenses on Q
SLR like controls and functions
Good build quality

Then the Q might be for you. The Q's firmware update improved some of the negative comments and in the UK it's already 100 pounds off. I wouldn't be surprised if they did the same in the US and marked it down to $700 with some retailers going lower.
11-03-2011, 07:45 PM   #6
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Image quality is near enough proportional to the size of the sensor.... all else being equal. The bigger the sensor, the better the quality. It really is as simple as that. The sensor of the Q is too small for anyone caring about quality, as Adam said, the Q is for those who care about size (and fashion??).
11-03-2011, 08:19 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by twitch Quote
Image quality is near enough proportional to the size of the sensor.... all else being equal. The bigger the sensor, the better the quality. It really is as simple as that. The sensor of the Q is too small for anyone caring about quality, as Adam said, the Q is for those who care about size (and fashion??).
I agree with your first statement. It's unfortunate I have to disagree with the rest of your comments. It is true, if I take a manufactures sensor technology and compare a small version versus a larger one that the larger one will have better IQ. That makes all other aspects of the sensor equal. However, every sensor is completely different in how it is designed and even when the same sensor is used by different companies it can be tweaked differently ( Sony vs Pentax cameras in K-5). Therefore, comparing that a sensor with completely different methods of creation and software tweaks, based solely on size, is not sticking true to the statement above. Very rarely are you going to ever compare sensors of different sizes that came or have the same technology behind it. I'm sure there are a lot of MFT owners who would like to speak to you about this claim that their cameras can't compare to a APS-c sensor. As well as every APS-C camera owner when comparing to FF cameras ( Again with the K-5 doing very well against FF cameras ). There is more to a sensor then just size. Size is a irrelevant measure. Instead we need to ask what benefits and drawbacks are available with the sensor. Some sensors give you very large DOF, some can give you very shallow. Others are good in Low-Light, and others give better IQ in good light and so on. In a few years MFT will be as good as APS-C and nearing FF. Things will continue to improve as it does for everything else. There is a plateau that is about to be hit, or really has hit for the consumer market with cell phone cameras, on IQ. 10 years from now when you get APS-C quality images from your phone, will we still be able to say that those cameras are for people who don't care about quality?

Eric, I agree with Twitch. If you have to have the best IQ for your purpose, don't buy the Q. Buy a K-5 or some other full sized DSLR. The Nex is good if you want to run the camera in Auto mode as my personal opinion is that the buttons on the camera are not very friendly for changing aperture, ISO, or shutter speed quickly.

I will make one last comment. I hope you, or others reading this post realize that IQ is not the end all be all of photography. It's great to compare images and see the details, but there are generations of photographers that had much less capable cameras and IQ then we what we have now in this current stage of digital camera technology and were able to create fantastic photographs. A photograph without a purpose, emotion, or thought is just an empty exposure. And being able to do that has nothing to do with IQ.

Maybe Twitch is right, the Q is for those who care about size, have too much money for a toy, a fashion statement, or have the ability to make the camera sing to justify purchasing it.
11-03-2011, 08:43 PM   #8
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The GXR seems like a great choice if you want to be able to adapt a lot of legacy glass. I see from your tags you already have a K-5 and K20D. So presumably, size is at least something of a factor or you'd just bring your K-5 everywhere, right? I have the Q now. It's small size means I'm much more likely to bring it with me. So spontaneous pics are taken with it instead of my phone. I had the NEX-5 but returned it because it was not really compact enough for me. The sensor is great but let down by mediocre glass. Also the controls are a huge pain to use. The NEX-5 interface is worse than many P&S cameras when it comes to easily changing settings. This is another reason I love the Q. GREAT interface.

Another reason to get a small camera like the Q is that many mirrorless cameras are only slightly smaller than a dlsr. I had a Panasonic G2, but I realized it was about 80% the size of my K-r. So if I was going to bring the G2, I may as well just bring my K-r. By having a Q which is MUCH smaller, it creates a distinctly different choice for portability.

11-04-2011, 03:55 AM   #9
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I guess there are too many choices!!

IQ for me one this purchase just needs to be good. When I want great, I take my K-5 which I use most weekends. I want something to take with me when I can't take my K-5. I travel for work and I don't want to take part of my K-5 gear along with all the work stuff I need to take. So I guess size and usability are most important.

I have a the W90 for a p&s, I like it, but IQ is average at best. Plus, I really don't need a weather proof camera, so I will sell this to fund whatever I decide to go with.

Thanks for everyone's input. This site is always a great help!
11-04-2011, 10:56 AM   #10
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The "IQ" of the Q is fine. The sensor technology allows it to hit well above it's weight.
A friend and I compared it to his new Lumix and the Q came up really well. The Lumix wasn't noticeably any better until past ISO 800.
OTOH, the Lumix is a pig compared to the Q.
It won't match a K5, but in good light where you can keep the ISO down, it does surprisingly well. Too many people have written the camera off on closed minded prejudice rather than trying it and seeing what it can do.
11-04-2011, 12:46 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
The "IQ" of the Q is fine. The sensor technology allows it to hit well above it's weight.
A friend and I compared it to his new Lumix and the Q came up really well. The Lumix wasn't noticeably any better until past ISO 800.
OTOH, the Lumix is a pig compared to the Q.
It won't match a K5, but in good light where you can keep the ISO down, it does surprisingly well. Too many people have written the camera off on closed minded prejudice rather than trying it and seeing what it can do.
Hi Wheatfield,

do you think you could get your friend to also do a comparison at the higher ISO's in RAW? Also do you know when both cameras where at the same ISO if the Q had a higher shutter speed? I found the Q to be 2-3 EV stops better then my K-x. Would like someone else to provide their own comparisons as well. Thank you.
11-04-2011, 05:35 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by knightzerox Quote
Hi Wheatfield,

do you think you could get your friend to also do a comparison at the higher ISO's in RAW? Also do you know when both cameras where at the same ISO if the Q had a higher shutter speed? I found the Q to be 2-3 EV stops better then my K-x. Would like someone else to provide their own comparisons as well. Thank you.
It will be next week before I can do that, but I'm sure we can set something up.
11-04-2011, 06:01 PM   #13
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I agree with Wheatfield, the image quality of the Q is fine. I would rate it about even with my K10D. The menus are easy to work - very similar to using a DSLR. The Q also makes a wonderful backup camera. Don't even know it is in the bag. Many moan about its price, but it cost a lot less than I paid for the new K10D kit at the time. Give it a chance.
thanks
barondla

Last edited by barondla; 11-04-2011 at 08:58 PM.
11-04-2011, 06:23 PM   #14
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The selling point for me on the Q was the fact that it shoots raw files in DNG. This means I don't have to drop another several hundred on new software (silky pix sucks). If you want DSLR quality get a DSLR. One cannot expect a camera the size of the Q to rival something like the K5. However, at the PDN PhotoPlus Expo, the Pentax booth had a portfolio of large prints from the Q and they were amazing for a camera that tiny.
11-04-2011, 09:25 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by kenafein Quote
I say the Samsung NX 200 with the 30mm or 20mm pancake. It would be the most expensive option, but cheaper than a Fuji x100. I have seen the camera and kit lens for 799 and i've seen the 20mm pancake for as little as 240.
I would stay away from the NX system. Samsung talked a good game about being a serious player in the mirrorless space, but their actual conduct has turned the otherwise promising NX system into a joke.
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