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03-10-2012, 10:31 PM   #1
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Why is Q So Expensive? Micro 4/3?

I've been playing with the idea of getting a backup/second/carry-everywhere camera to complement my K-x, since I just got my tax return. I was originally thinking about an older/cheaper Pentax body that I could just carry around all of the time without worrying too much what happened to it, but be able to use my current lenses, and then thought to look into a mirrorless body, so it's easier to take everywhere and a little less conspicuous.

Anyway, all of that being said, I saw and handled the Pentax Q in person for the first time today, and must say I'm impressed. The size is ridiculous (in a good way for the purposes I was looking at it), and it feels very nice, satisfying and solid to hold and use the controls. Unfortunately the battery was dead, and the employees refused to charge it for me or put in a new one, so I didn't get to actually shoot anything with it, but I was impressed enough that I would very much like one. But that price... really? There's no way I could justify spending over $200 more than I spent on my primary body on a backup/fun camera! Am I missing something? What makes it so expensive? The sensor is so small, it shouldn't be that, and yes the camera is very compact, but with the tiny sensor I don't feel like that accomplishment warrants such a high price, considering the NEX and Micro 4/3 cameras aren't that much larger, have significantly bigger sensors and can be had for much cheaper.

I am a fan of Pentax, and would gladly buy the Q for the right price. Is the price going to drop significantly now that the K-01 is out, and their prices are so close?

On a related note, do any of you have hands-on back-to-back experience with the Q vs. any of Panasonic's Micro 4/3 cameras? Or do any of you use either to complement your Pentax DSLR? I like the feel and looks of the Panasonics as well, they are small enough for me, have the features I need/want and their price, especially used, is great. They just don't seem to have that wow/cool-factor that the Q has. I have read through the review on here that compared it to the Olympus E-PL3, but I don't like the Olympus micro-4/3 offerings that I've tried.

03-10-2012, 10:41 PM   #2
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It is the first of it's kind, giving it a bit more glamour to the price. However, it seems that the Q is now about $600 most places, and $500 on sales, which is a good $200-300 drop from the MSRP 6 months in. I have high expectations that it will drop to a stable $400 dollars in the same range as the super compacts like the S100s, etc. At that price, it would be extremely well priced, even when compared with M4/3 cameras.
03-11-2012, 03:42 AM   #3
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I have the Q. I was an early adopter of the m4/3 system and owned the Panasonic G1 and then the first Olympus Pen. Concerning the Q price, I think you will find it dropping everywhere, although you might find a slightly cheaper deal on some of the m4/3 cameras with the old 12 MP sensor. I actually paid the full price for the Q back in October and I have no regrets for doing so instead of waiting for several months. The advantage of the Q for me is in the diminutive size. Even the smallest m4/3 camera is bigger and heavier. The clear advantage of the m4/3 system is in the number of native lenses available, although the really "tasty" ones are priced ridiculously high IMHO, condisering the initial m4/3 promise of reduced size with reduced costs. So it all depends on your personal priorities and preferences.
03-11-2012, 06:14 AM   #4
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Pentax Q's price has already dropped immensely. When it first came out in France in late September - early October, less than six months ago, its price with the standard prime was €699. This weekend you can buy it for €399.

03-11-2012, 07:38 AM   #5
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I have both the Q and an Olympus EPM-1. Both are small, and I do not prefer one over the other. Prices in the UK are now comparable, the Q only being about 10 more. I bought the Panasonic 14mm pancake lens for the E-PM1, and it is a joy to use, especially set up for aperture priority and RAW. With the Q, I have just the standard 8.5mm lens, and a wide angle conversion lens, which brings it to around 32mm if comparing to a 35mm camera. With this set up, the Q is a lot bulkier than the E-PM1, but it feels better to handle, and I tend to shoot JPG with it and use the digital filters & colour mode settings more frequently. If I had to choose, the Q is much better looking, the screen is better, it feels right. The E-PM1 is better in low light, faster and more accurate focussing, but not easy to hold. Image quality in normal lighting is comparable. I see no reasons not to get a Q once prices in your area fall to similar levels, which they inevitably will.
03-11-2012, 12:53 PM   #6
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There are many explanations to the high building costs of the Q :
- magnesium alloy body and metallic buttons
- specific flash mechanism (with a synch speed up to 1/2000s)
- sensor stabilisation (OK, not in comparison to Olympus)
- dobble IR sensor (front and back)
- very complete menus, including some functions like interval shooting or HDR (the EOS 60D lacks these, in comparison)

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