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05-16-2013, 09:17 PM   #1
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Q for Mom?

I think my mother needs a new camera for her birthday, which is about a month away. Her current camera is a PowerShot A590 IS, which is good for what it is: a 5-year-old, sub-$100 point-and-shoot. She lives on the beautiful Pacific Coast, though, and I think she'd have more fun, and do better justice to her surroundings, with the Q. I have some questions, though.

First, how difficult is it to use? When I visited her last time, about six months ago, she told me the screen wasn't working anymore on her Canon when she was taking pictures. Apparently, it had been like this for a month. Guess what the problem was? I pressed the DISP. button, and hey presto, it works! I guess what I'm saying is, she's not very good with technology. Is she going to be totally lost if I give her a Q?

She's not an incompetent photographer by any means. She's just technologically challenged. She had a fully-manual Olympus SLR in the '80's (when I was still a twinkle in her eye, as they say), and I believe she took some photography classes in college. Maybe the Q would be even easier than her current Canon for her, since it's more like an SLR?

This was a picture she sent me the other day that I really liked. Sorry, she has a thing for date stamps:



Second question: how bad is the battery life? That's one of her complaints about the Canon: she can only get a few dozen pictures before the battery dies (she uses Energizer Lithium AAs). I heard the Q doesn't have great battery life, but surely it's not that bad?

Third, and last, question: is there a really good reason to spend twice as much on a Q10? The classic Q + 02 zoom kits are at fire-sale stage, selling for close to $200, so it would take a really good reason for me to spend $500 on the "new and improved," even with all those pretty colors. Slightly better sensor and autofocus, yeah, but $300 better?

Thanks in advance for the help.

05-16-2013, 10:11 PM   #2
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I'd say go with a prosumer point and shoot rather than the Q. The Q is more of a camera for enthusiasts IMO, and your mom will probably prefer something that is capable of one-handed operation w/ zoom.

Take a look at this camera IMO:
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7 Digital Camera (Black) DMC-LX7K B&H

The Q's battery life is decent, 200-300 shots I'd say, certainly more than enough for a single day of casual shooting.

QuoteOriginally posted by scratchpaddy Quote
Third, and last, question: is there a really good reason to spend twice as much on a Q10?
Not really. It's the same camera as the Q with a different body and some firmware changes (many of which are available via an update for the original Q).

Adam
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05-16-2013, 11:05 PM   #3
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My wife uses the Q on P mode, and she's not very tech savvy either, but I agree with Adam. She'd appreciate a point and shoot. Let her focus on composition and let the camera do the rest. The battery life of the Q is really bad if you use the flash at all.
05-17-2013, 12:47 AM   #4
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For $250 the Pentax Q is the best camera in the market. The Q can be a réflex if you want that, and also can be a point&shoot. She will love Q!

05-17-2013, 03:06 AM   #5
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Go get one for $210 now. They wil Not last at that price. They are on sale at Newegg. There is no reason to get the Q10 except for external color. Battery is good for 150 or so photos. 2 additional batteries and charger from Wasabi cost around $25 and get you 3x the power and a much better charger. Pretty easy in full program mode. Has the fun front dial too that can be very creatively used by setting different capture modes across 4 dimensions. Most fun camera to use I have owned in decades.
05-17-2013, 06:01 AM   #6
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Hey there...

The Q is as easy or difficult to use as you want it to be. If you want easy, set the mode dial to P & it's a point & shoot. If you want anything more advanced all the way to all-manual operation, you have that too.

Battery life isn't bad. Not great, but not bad. You might want to buy her this Wasabi charger & 2 battery pack. At $20 it's a smashing good deal, and the battries are equal to OEM quality. Plus, the charger will work in the car as well as the house. Get this and her battery worries are over.

And finally, there's no reason to spend the extra money on the Q10, in my opinion. The differences between the Q & Q10 are very, very minimal. Plus, the Q has that lovely magnesium alloy body, where the Q10 is plastic.

I love my Q. While it hasn't entirely replaced my DSLRs, I wind up shooting with the Q about 90% of the time. It's an awesome, fun little camera. I think your mom will love it. :-)
05-18-2013, 06:06 AM   #7
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My mom liked my Q when she borrowed it. She's only technically challenged when she feels like, but that includes when using cameras, so she's probably a fairly good indicator of mom-compatibility. (She considers cellphones hopeless, but she's a Wikipedia admin. You decide where that puts her on the technically challanged scale.)
05-18-2013, 10:41 PM   #8
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Depends on the person. Someone that has only used a PnS might miss some features of a PnS. Your mom had a great slr. She would likely look at the Q as a shrunken OM camera and be very jazzed by it. Get her the Q. It is her chance to escape the boring plastic PnS. If it doesn't work out the Q would be easy to sell.
thanks
barondla

05-19-2013, 12:34 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
I'd say go with a prosumer point and shoot rather than the Q. The Q is more of a camera for enthusiasts IMO, and your mom will probably prefer something that is capable of one-handed operation w/ zoom.

Take a look at this camera IMO:
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7 Digital Camera (Black) DMC-LX7K B&H
I appreciate the suggestion. That camera looks really tempting (especially that f/1.4-2.2 zoom, wow!), but I think she'd get upset if she found out I spent $400 on a camera for her. The menus look intimidating, too. I don't know. I haven't ruled it out yet. Are there any other P&S that take great pictures, but are still priced similarly to the Q?

QuoteOriginally posted by ElvisQ Quote
For $250 the Pentax Q is the best camera in the market.
QuoteOriginally posted by Docrwm Quote
Go get one for $210 now.
QuoteOriginally posted by GibbyTheMole Quote
I think your mom will love it. :-)
QuoteOriginally posted by drougge Quote
My mom liked my Q when she borrowed it.
QuoteOriginally posted by barondla Quote
Get her the Q.
Okay, it seems the overwhelming consensus is that I should get the Q. My biggest concern now is size. Yes, the Q is tiny, but with the 02 zoom on it (31mm thick camera + 48mm long lens), it's 79mm thick. The K-5 beats that if you put, say, a DA 40 or an Industar-50 on it (which is a fun setup, BTW). P&S cameras have the big advantage of being able to retract the lens for storage.

She likes sewing. Maybe making a case for the Q + 02's awkward shape would be a fun project? How do you people handle carrying it around?
05-19-2013, 01:01 PM   #10
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I have the 02 Standar Zoom and it's not big. I don't use a camera bag or something like that. Here is Winter now. I just take my jacket and put the Q + 02 in a pocket!
Your mom probably used a small female bag. The Q fits perfectly.
05-19-2013, 01:57 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by ElvisQ Quote
I have the 02 Standar Zoom and it's not big. I don't use a camera bag or something like that. Here is Winter now. I just take my jacket and put the Q + 02 in a pocket!
Your mom probably used a small female bag. The Q fits perfectly.
Do you mean a purse? No, I don't think she uses one of them anymore. I know she doesn't bring one on hikes. She uses a backpack then.



I think she keeps the Canon in a side pocket which may or may not be big enough for the Q. I don't remember seeing where she kept it, and I can't tell from the pictures I took on my last visit. I'll ask. I believe she keeps it in a coat pocket, like you, as long as she's wearing one, which is quite often. It's mildly cold year-round where she is.
05-19-2013, 07:31 PM   #12
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QuoteQuote:
Is she going to be totally lost if I give her a Q?
Why not ask her?
05-19-2013, 07:54 PM   #13
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I stick my Q in my pocket quite often. I've never bought a case for transporting the Q while I'm out for the day. So far it's handled being in a pocket just fine. My Mum who's a luddite when it comes to technology loves my Q. As for battery life I bought a spare and a knock off charger for mine and it's as good if not better than my old point and shoot that used AA batteries.
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