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12-07-2012, 12:14 PM   #1
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Heretical MILC comparison/ remorse?

I've read lots of the threads here about the Q being a "fun, pocketable MILC" and adapting lenses to take advantage of the crop factor. So, I bought a Q+01 when it went down to $379 in Canada, then a second Q+02 when it hit $279 (that's cheaper than the 02 zoom alone up here!).

Having a MILC is much more "spur of the moment" portable for my casual photography (my work is landscapes and pano, which require a sherpa!). Like they say, "the best camera is the one you have with you that shoots raw with exp. compensation." Isn't that what "they" say?

I'm having fun experimenting with the Q and a some adapted K-mount lenses, but the autofocus speed with the native lenses is not much better than my W90 or other point-n-shoots (except for the lack of shutter lag). Image quality is good enough once I get the DNG and massage it a bit in ACR (but don't get me started on the wonky AWB), and the time it takes to write each image to the card gives the AF time to catch up, I guess.

However, I recently saw that the outgoing Nikon 1 V1 is going for $300 now with it's 10-30mm zoom...

It has an EVF, and much higher-res rear LCD.
It also has a 1" sensor (looks like much better IQ than the Q).
It uses CDF and Phase autofocus (and is apparently very fast).
The adapter for Nikon lenses is $200 and retains all metering, aperture and AF!

But...
It also seems to lag from shot to shot.
It has no physical M/Av/Tv/P mode switch.
It has no native "normal" prime (only a 10mm, which is 27mm equiv). There's an 18.5mm f/1.8
It is (relatively) much bigger than a Q.


Well, all that makes me wonder... when the shiny-newness of the Q wears off, will I be cursing its AF even more? Will I go back to my K-5 for snapshots because I find I put a big premium on IQ and raw flexibility? Would a Nikon (gasp) have been a better MILC choice, even if Nikonians seem to have written the V1 off as "not enough?"


Last edited by panoguy; 12-07-2012 at 01:28 PM.
12-07-2012, 12:23 PM   #2
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I saw the Nikon price drops as well and it peaked my interest. For my use though the 5.5x crop factor of the Q is a huge advantage, both for macro and telephoto.

Also, I already have K lenses that I can adapt on the Q, with the Nikon I'd want to buy their lenses to take advantage of the adapter with AF, but now there is more expense and the crop factor is only half of the Q's.

The Nikon has fast AF and awesome FPS rates, but a MILC wouldn't be my first choice for sports, for that I like my K-5.
12-07-2012, 12:32 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by crewl1 Quote
I saw the Nikon price drops as well and it peaked my interest. For my use though the 5.5x crop factor of the Q is a huge advantage, both for macro and telephoto.

Also, I already have K lenses that I can adapt on the Q, with the Nikon I'd want to buy their lenses to take advantage of the adapter with AF, but now there is more expense and the crop factor is only half of the Q's.

The Nikon has fast AF and awesome FPS rates, but a MILC wouldn't be my first choice for sports, for that I like my K-5.
I have to agree with you. Also, I previously owned a Panasonic GF2 with a prime and zoom. It's been sold and not missed. The Q is smaller, more flexible, more intuitive to use, and more versatile with my current lenses. It's lenses are also far smaller than the Nikon or other 4/3rds camera native lenses. My Q and 01-02-03 lenses fit in a case, along with 5 batteries, lens pen, mini-tripod, OVF, remote, and other do-dads that could not hold my GF2 + Zoom & Prime alone. Nor did I buy it with the expectation that it would in any way compete with the best IQ APS-C camera - my K-5.

Will I use the Q for sports, no. Will I use it for casual photography, yes. Will I experiment with it more than any other camera I have ever owned, again Yes.
12-07-2012, 01:15 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by panoguy Quote
It has no native "normal" prime (only a 10mm, which is 27mm equiv).
Actually, they just released a 50mm equivalent, f/1.8 prime for the Nikon 1 series for $187 U.S.
Nikon 1 Nikkor 18.5mm f/1.8 Lens for CX Format (Black) 3323 B&H

12-07-2012, 01:22 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by crewl1 Quote
I saw the Nikon price drops as well and it peaked my interest.
Haha... "peaked." That made me check something: the Nikon also does not have focus-peaking or any MF assist (perhaps the AF is so infallible it doesn't need them?). Well, that isn't a positive, and the more I think about it, I'd really miss the M/Av/Tv/P modes on the dial. I know them and use them, even for snapshots.

Grass is always greener on first glance, isn't it?

QuoteOriginally posted by seventysixersfan Quote
Actually, they just released a 50mm equivalent, f/1.8 prime for the Nikon 1 series for $187 U.S.
I'll edit my original, as that does make a difference!
12-07-2012, 01:23 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by panoguy Quote
Like they say, "the best camera is the one you have with you that shoots raw with exp. compensation." Isn't that what "they" say?
Surely you misheard. It must have been "that shoots raw with a manual mode".

QuoteOriginally posted by panoguy Quote
Well, all that makes me wonder... when the shiny-newness of the Q wears off, will I be cursing its AF even more? Will I go back to my K-5 for snapshots because I find I put a big premium on IQ and raw flexibility? Would a Nikon (gasp) have been a better MILC choice, even if Nikonians seem to have written the V1 off as "not enough?"
Turn AF off? I'm almost there with my Q. (I turned it off on half press right away, and I'm pretty sure I'd rather have my green button be green.)
12-07-2012, 01:27 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by drougge Quote
Surely you misheard. It must have been "that shoots raw with a manual mode".
12-07-2012, 01:38 PM   #8
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It's not a perfect camera. It's not for everyone. It is a nice little camera that's fun and takes nice pictures within its abilities. I've handled the V1 and I was not impressed at all, hence buying the Panasonic GF2. Still, like the Q better. Perhaps there is greener grass out there but this is what I have now.

12-07-2012, 01:42 PM   #9
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I am currently debating getting a K-01 or a Nikon V1 because they're roughly the same price (k-01 is $16 more right now at B&H). Pluses for the K-01 are that I don't need to buy any new lenses, it has focus peaking, the IQ is spectacular, it has PASM on a control dial. Minuses are that there is no EVF and it's a larger camera, and the AF is not nearly as fast. The reviews I've read of the V1 have been very unflattering but a lot of the "cons" seem to list the original price-- similar to that of the K-01 launch price. So if the V1 had been $300-400 originally, I wonder if the reviews would have been better? Still, there are definitely some negatives/drawbacks to any camera, and it's all about what annoyances you're willing to put up with, and what features/capabilities you desire.
12-07-2012, 01:43 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by seventysixersfan Quote
I am currently debating getting a K-01 or a Nikon V1 because they're roughly the same price (k-01 is $16 more right now at B&H). Pluses for the K-01 are that I don't need to buy any new lenses, it has focus peaking, the IQ is spectacular, it has PASM on a control dial. Minuses are that there is no EVF and it's a larger camera, and the AF is not nearly as fast. The reviews I've read of the V1 have been very unflattering but a lot of the "cons" seem to list the original price-- similar to that of the K-01 launch price. So if the V1 had been $300-400 originally, I wonder if the reviews would have been better? Still, there are definitely some negatives/drawbacks to any camera, and it's all about what annoyances you're willing to put up with, and what features/capabilities you desire.
Have you handled the two of them? I have and the K-01 is much more solid, except for the crazy rubber doors. It's also better balanced with a lens attached, by far, than the Nikon.
12-07-2012, 01:48 PM   #11
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Very helpful feedback, thanks! I haven't yet handled the V1 although I did handle the J1 once at Best buy. I hated how plasticy it felt! I think the V1 is made of metal so it should be better but I know the K-01 is very well constructed.
12-07-2012, 02:09 PM   #12
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I look at it like this.

I have an HTC EVO4G phone (I know, by today's standards an old/ancient phone). In the past I loaded it up with apps and I used it for a ton of other uses. I had GPS apps on it, and my music and I would sometimes watch Netflix on it. It was a great phone/entertainment device.

Then the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7 came out, and now I only use my EVO4G as a phone...although I carry them both around.

The point is that some devices are very close in function, but only differ slightly. What becomes the tipping point for use/love of a device is a very personal thing.

I LOVE my K5s, but my Q goes with me everywhere. When my Q adapter comes, there will be times when the Q will give me that something extra. Sometimes it will be the K5 and not the Q. The Q just "rounds out" my toolset, and I LOVE it too.
12-07-2012, 02:32 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Docrwm Quote
Will I use the Q for sports, no. Will I use it for casual photography, yes. Will I experiment with it more than any other camera I have ever owned, again Yes.
The last item is my favorite and for me it's true I have experimented more with my Q than with any other camera I have ever owned. I have found debug mode and adjusted the Af on my K2000 (not factory allowed), I have found and helped debug CHDK and run additional software on my Can** P&S cameras to allow raw, full manual, and override the Can** internal presets. But the Q with interchangeable lenses, all the available adapters, the crop factor and all the old lenses around has many many more possibilities for experimentation and fun. I am now hitting pawn shops and estate sales looking for more lenses for my Q.

Hans
12-07-2012, 03:13 PM - 1 Like   #14
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I actually considered the V1 -- the AF with adapted lenses, quick AF, EVF, trick modes, larger sensor, etc were attractive. . . then I handled one for quite a while. Admittedly, I'm a long-time Pentax user, and for me, at this point, the Nikon interface is unfathomable -- I know that I could learn it in time. . . if there was a good motivation to. . .

One of my primary motivations to consider a MILC and give up what is, to me, an invaluable advantage -- the OVF -- would be to go where my DSLR system cannot go -- super tele and macro -- so I looked at the adapter -- pretty big, and very expensive -- and considered the "crop" factor -- a measly 2.7x -- In order to get to the point that I could shoot beyond where my DSLR system could go in super tele, I'd need a 404mm Nikkor VR lens to equal the 714mm f6.3 that I get with my FA* 300 f2.8 + f 1.7x AFA + Sigma EX 1.4x APO TC. I could get close -- the 80-400 f5.6 at $1500 with no VR, and I could get faster with VR -- the AF-S NIKKOR 200-400mm f/4G ED VR II and it would only set me back $6300. For me, now that the Q has Focus Peaking and SR with adapted lenses makes a really big difference -- MF is no longer a chore with my age-failing vision, and is getting close enough to being as fast as AF, so I can get this reach (with SR) with an easily handholdable DA 50-200 f4-5.6. Big difference. . .and since one of the reasons to get the Q was to have a super tele kit that I could carry around every day. . . the Nikon 1 system doesn't cut it for me. Looking towards the future, if both the Q and Nikon 1 systems survive -- I would guess that the Q system will get 2, or possibly 3 sensor upgrades before the 1 system gets its first.

The Q also doubles as a stick-in-my-pocket normal "street" shooter with the Leica BL 50 OVF, and works fine for this purpose -- I could get something that fills the bill better, but this is not my primary use for the camera, so it serves well in that capacity.

The Q has expanded the capabilities of my ability to shoot, and overcoming the system's downsides has been about the most fun I've had in a long time. At family gatherings, people react to the Q totally differently than the DSLR gear -- I guess having someone shoot you with a "cute" camera is a lot less intimidating than with a DSLR and a seemingly huge f2.8 lens.

For my purposes, the Q works -- sure, I'd like the option of an EVF, would like even faster AF with Q system lenses, overall faster performance, and would like more choices in Quality Line lenses, but I'll make do with what they've offered, and look to the future and hope that Pentax/Ricoh continues to grow the system to add more utility and convenience to what the Q has already contributed to my now greatly expanded photographic system.

Scott
12-07-2012, 03:34 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by panoguy Quote
I've read lots of the threads here about the Q being a "fun, pocketable MILC" and adapting lenses to take advantage of the crop factor. So, I bought a Q+01 when it went down to $379 in Canada, then a second Q+02 when it hit $279 (that's cheaper than the 02 zoom alone up here!).

Having a MILC is much more "spur of the moment" portable for my casual photography (my work is landscapes and pano, which require a sherpa!). Like they say, "the best camera is the one you have with you that shoots raw with exp. compensation." Isn't that what "they" say?

I'm having fun experimenting with the Q and a some adapted K-mount lenses, but the autofocus speed with the native lenses is not much better than my W90 or other point-n-shoots (except for the lack of shutter lag). Image quality is good enough once I get the DNG and massage it a bit in ACR (but don't get me started on the wonky AWB), and the time it takes to write each image to the card gives the AF time to catch up, I guess.

However, I recently saw that the outgoing Nikon 1 V1 is going for $300 now with it's 10-30mm zoom...

It has an EVF, and much higher-res rear LCD.
It also has a 1" sensor (looks like much better IQ than the Q).
It uses CDF and Phase autofocus (and is apparently very fast).
The adapter for Nikon lenses is $200 and retains all metering, aperture and AF!

But...
It also seems to lag from shot to shot.
It has no physical M/Av/Tv/P mode switch.
It has no native "normal" prime (only a 10mm, which is 27mm equiv). There's an 18.5mm f/1.8
It is (relatively) much bigger than a Q.


Well, all that makes me wonder... when the shiny-newness of the Q wears off, will I be cursing its AF even more? Will I go back to my K-5 for snapshots because I find I put a big premium on IQ and raw flexibility? Would a Nikon (gasp) have been a better MILC choice, even if Nikonians seem to have written the V1 off as "not enough?"
I have a Q and a V1.

I love the Q except outside in bright light. It needs an EVF.

The V1 has a superb EVF. It has spectacular autofocus speed. I hate that the V1 does not have an adapter for a standard hot shoe. I do not like the "mode" dial and the lack of direct control for exposure compensation, white balance, or iso control. I hate the fact that the V1 can only be adapted to NIKON lenses to retain aperture priority mode and metering.
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