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04-07-2012, 05:29 AM   #1
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Complement to K5

Howdy All - I have a K5 (which I mostly use with grip/L plate attached) and a few DA & FA lenses. I love the K5 but it is a little too big for some activities. I'm looking for something I can put in my pocket/small bag and be good to go. I really like the feel of the Q. I think it has a sort of retro look/feel that rivals the Fuji X series without being quite as large. But at the current price point, I'm wondering if the Q is really worth the money, maybe some sort of point and shoot would be a better option.

So the question is: What is a good, smallish camera, that will compliment my K5? Sensible layout, real-time speed (like time between power up and a completed photo), RAW capture, a good jpeg engine, and image quality up to print size of 8x10 are my major specs. I'd like good ISO performance, but I know that is tough with the small sensor. Lets say printable at 8X10 at ISO 800 and printable 5x7 at ISO 1600 as goals. I don't mind a little noise/grain, just not a lot.

I'd be using this camera for more snapshot sort of photography and invariably travel photography. When I use it, I don't want to feel, "Damn, I should have brought my K5 despite it being bigger and heavier."

Price isn't so much of a concern as I don't think anything in this category is super expensive anyways. I buy things and then have them for a long time...

This was posted in the Q forum since I guess a main question I'm asking is "Does the q satisfy my requirements?" But, if it should really belong somewhere else, by all means, move it!

04-07-2012, 06:11 AM   #2
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I would recommend a Sony Nex-7 or a Nex-5n.
I only have a Nex-3 along with my K5, but I find that it is excellent as a second camera. With an adapter you can even use with it (with manual foacus) all your pentax lenses.
04-07-2012, 06:15 AM   #3
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Probably an Olympus MFT camera with a k-mount adapter. Or a GH2 so you're covered for video too? The Olympus EP3 looks very nice, and whilst it's twice the price of the Q and not as small, it's small enough and with excellent image quality and focusing.

Not sure how they compare to the NEX series, but I've just always been drawn more to Olympus than Sony. There're a ton of native lenses to choose from with MFT too.
04-07-2012, 06:36 AM   #4
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The Nikon j/v 1 would fit the bill, if you have the cash. My mom just picked up an epl1 for $200.

04-07-2012, 06:59 AM   #5
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I bought a GF2 in the hopes of achieving just what you are trying to achieve. The MFT cameras fail in my honest opinion in achieving any economy of scale because they use lenses that are far larger, in general, than the body thus negating nearly all of the space saved by having a smaller body. I've come to the conclusion that my K-5 with a small lens like the 18-55 and without the grip is not too much larger than the Panasonic with its 14-42 lens and is far more capable. The K-x is even smaller than the K-5 and is also much more capable than the GF2. If I want something really compact than I just go with my Panasonic superzoom P&S that is just a wee bit larger than a deck of playing cards.

I tried to buy the Q when QVC pretended to be selling it - got a VS20 instead (POS IMHO) of what they sold me and promptly returned it - because it seems to genuinely achieve the economy of space that the MFTs claim but fail to achieve. The capabilities of the Q are solid and the pics I have reviewed look very good, but at its current price its a bit of a non-starter for me.

Last edited by Docrwm; 04-07-2012 at 07:06 AM.
04-07-2012, 07:10 AM   #6
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Previous cameras

I'ved owned an Olympus e520 w/ the 12-60 as well as the Panasonic g2 with the kit 14-42... I agree with you Docrwm, the NEX cameras look great but they are only compact if you use it with one of the pancake lenses. The thing I liked about the Q is that even with the zoom, it is still a pretty small thing. With the prime, it is very coat pocketable, although perhaps not pants pocketable.

I really like the Olympus MFT series, they sort of have everything I want... but I'm a little nervous about Olympus these days with all the talk about bad/illegal money management. Whatever I get, it will likely be used, I think all these things are a bit overpriced and used makes so much more sense to me.
04-07-2012, 07:21 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by dmort Quote
I'ved owned an Olympus e520 w/ the 12-60 as well as the Panasonic g2 with the kit 14-42... I agree with you Docrwm, the NEX cameras look great but they are only compact if you use it with one of the pancake lenses. The thing I liked about the Q is that even with the zoom, it is still a pretty small thing. With the prime, it is very coat pocketable, although perhaps not pants pocketable.

I really like the Olympus MFT series, they sort of have everything I want... but I'm a little nervous about Olympus these days with all the talk about bad/illegal money management. Whatever I get, it will likely be used, I think all these things are a bit overpriced and used makes so much more sense to me.
I got the GF2 on one of those weird sales that was probably an error, so it was essentially in the used price range but BNIB with a 20mm pancake lens. I got the 14-42 from B&H used and its a nice enough lens. I got the MFT-P adapter here from the marketplace for $10. I must say that the K300 on the GF2 is a very interesting experience but I fail to see what I gain by use of it with lenses that are larger than the camera.
04-07-2012, 07:35 AM   #8
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People will always recommend what they bought themselves. I doubt any of the people that replied have actually used a Q?

I was initially hesitant about the Q and was inclined to agree with most when the Q was generally dismissed as too small. Also not fully understanding Pentax's intent with this small a camera.

However, this was before I got to try the Q and see its results. I was able to use and compare Pentax's various offerings on a recent outing with a friend who works in a camera store. Whereas I was really looking forward to having a go at the K-01, it was the Q I very unexpectedly fell in love with. For me at least it fits the requirements you describe exactly!!

Of course it has a small sensor that will never be as good as bigger ones in low light high ISO. But the small sensor (large DOF) and relatively bright standard 01 prime (f/1.9) being of excellent quality wide open, mean you can shoot at the base ISO of 125 at f/1.9 most of the time (avoiding diffraction). This means indoors shutter speeds will be surprisingly useable, esp in combination with the Q's shake reduction.

Bottom line: the Q performs remarkably well! Take this from a sceptic who was converted and who is now happily using a Q as the camera he'll always have with him when his K-5 is too big

As a complement to the K-5 the Q is even better, if only because of the similarity of its user interface. Both buttons and menus will be very familiar making for a seamless transition between both cameras. The Q is not like most of these small entry level cameras that are a pain to use in any but the Auto modes. On the contrary, it feels like a DSLR in the degree of control it provides the photographer, achieving this with Pentax's well known ergonomics.

Give the Q a chance, and it will very likely win you over effortlessly.

Wim

04-07-2012, 08:07 AM   #9
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The Q is probably one of the next pieces of equipment on my list (300 on Amazon!) and I fell in love with it when I tried it in Jessops, but OP said that good ISO 800 and 1600 prints were a goal, and I'm not exactly sure the Q could reach that. I've looked at Image samples, and it's very impressive given the size of the sensor, but certainly not as good as MFT, NEX or a K-x.

Though I will admit, yes MFT and NEX systems are a bit false in terms of their size advantage as only the super expensive or optically iffy pancakes are actually small enough to give an advantage over the K-5 with a pancake on it (I'm imagining that literally in my head). The Panasonic 14mm and the Oly 45mm are fantastic lenses though, and very small.

Actually, now that I think about it, what about the Samsung cameras? Their pancakes are apparently amazing, though there aren't many of them. And I think the NX200 looks awesome.
04-07-2012, 08:56 AM   #10
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Thoughts on a recent trip to B and H

I live in NYC so I'm lucky enough to be able to go to B and H to try stuff out... I really wanted to like the Fuji X10 and I did with the fact that it is still a pretty a big camera. I liked the k-01 but I didn't see the point of it. As a US consumer, the only feature it really had (that markedly differentiated it from the k5) was 1080p video at 30fps (NTSC) as opposed to the K-5's PAL 25fps. I really liked the Q and for I want it for, I think it is ideal. My only hangup is whether $550 - 750 (depending on the deal and the store) is a lot to pay for what will basically be a snap shoot tool. I did like it though, my concerns aren't around whether the IQ is good enough (I'm well enough convinced based on this forum and flickr) and whether I like the feel of it or not (I like it!) but whether it is worth the asking price.
04-07-2012, 09:03 AM   #11
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I bought a Q as a small pocketable camera. No regrets so far.
I wanted something small that could be easily carried. The Nex was out because the lenses are big. I considered a Panasonic, but the bodies and lenses are big compared to the Q.
The Q is a remarkably capable little camera.
04-07-2012, 11:33 AM   #12
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I could write a long reply but would probably just end up repeating what ishpuini/Wim already posted above. Get a Q and you won't be disappointed.

-Randy
04-07-2012, 02:28 PM   #13
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Hi dmort,

I was an early adopter of the Q. I was looking for a compact that would do exactly what the title of this thread suggests, complement my K-5 system. The Q uniquely does this IMO because of the small sensor. With Q system lenses it is consistent with the promise of compactness, which none of the larger format MILC systems, even the Nikon 1 system is capable of. It handles, as many have noted, like a real camera, giving me the control and build quality that gotten used to with my DSLRs.

I have quite a few premium quality lenses (probably quite a few more than most ) and with a K to Q adapter, the Q expands my photographic capabilities significantly since the 5.5x "crop" factor changes the nature of each of these lenses so dramatically, it's hard to describe. Everything from the DA 10-17 FE to my FA* 300/2.8 becomes an entire new photographic experience. I've been shooting digital since 2000, and Pentax DSLRs since 2006, and haven't had this much fun exploring new possibilities in capturing images since I opened my first 1.3MP image file in my PC 13 years ago.

I'm primarily a bird and bug shooter, so I'm not the typical Pentax shooter by any means, and the fact that the Q makes virtually every SLR lens I have a tele is a boon, not a disadvantage (the same is true of the added DOF BTW). I never expected to get, and don't look for "equivalence" in IQ with my DLSRs. I'd rather have the additional versatility than IQ equivalence. With a compact, I just wanted competent images, and the Q produces these easily with the 01 prime, 02 zoom, and FE.

With my K mount lenses, the Q gives me capabilities that I've only dreamed of -- with my FA 50/1.4, it's like shooting a 180mm f1.4 that focuses down to 1.5 ft on my DSLR -- for me, this is a revelatory as being able to able to shoot at ISO 10K with my K-5, opening up whole new worlds of possible situations for me to capture the images I've always wanted to be able to shoot, but could never get because of gear limitations. At the long end, with one of my 300 mm lenses, it's like shooting a 1080mm lens on my K-5, a birder's dream, even if I have to focus manually, and adding the Q body and K to Q adapter to my birding kit is not something I even have to consider in bulk or weight.

I always carry my Q, and always look forward to shooting it -- and I have always been a rather stubbornly confirmed OVF and AF shooter!

As I stated, I was an early adopter, so I paid full MSRP for my Q, and I have no regrets. . . For my purposes, the advantages have far outweighed the cost. Of course, YMMV, but I thought I'd add my personal perspective to this thread. . .

Scott

Last edited by snostorm; 04-07-2012 at 02:36 PM.
04-07-2012, 06:20 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by dmort Quote
Lets say printable at 8X10 at ISO 800 and printable 5x7 at ISO 1600 as goals. I don't mind a little noise/grain, just not a lot.
ISO 1600


04-07-2012, 06:57 PM   #15
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The Q is the ONLY camera that does what you want! Is it worth the price? Yes. It is in the same price range as the Olympus m43, Nikon 1, and Sony NEX. It is better built than any of them. Add in features like in camera IS, HDR, multiple exposure ( use for noise reducton), Raw+jpeg, etc. It is like turning Brainiac's shrink ray on your K-5. The Q is a mini me K-5.

I have a deer picture at work printed 13X19. No one has grumbled about the quality or slight noise. Shot Raw, developed in the supplied Silkypix program. Silkypix has a very easy and effective noise reduction tool ( only one I have ever gotten good results with for any camera). My friend printed the deer image. He shoots FF and laughed at my "toy" Q. He was blown away by the image quality and now owns a Q.

My Q is a backup to the K-7, K10D, and K20D. I used to use a Panasonic LX2, and an Olympus EPL1. They mostly sit now. The Oly is two big, Pana not as capable, and both are too slow to use.

If you try the Q here is what will happen. You will quickly fall under its spell and even the K5 will get used a little less often. Then one day the Q will change from Clark Kent P&S to Superman ultra tele system camera. It will travel along with the K5 in the big bag. There will be shots that the Q can get that even leaves the K5 out of breath. You will not even consider leaving the Q at home. Look at the equipment snostorm, wheatfield, Ishpuini, and others own. We all love and use the Q. Bet the Q has one of the highest customer ratings of any camera. How many Q owners have said it isn't worth it and they wish they hadn't bought it? Even those who paid full opening day price wouldn't give it back.

Try the Q and you will see. It will expand your photography horizons.
thanks
barondla

Give the Q a chance. Give the Q a chance. Give the Q a chance. Give the Q a chance. Give the Q a chance. Give the Q a chance.
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