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10-30-2013, 06:54 PM   #1
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The Q7 goes racing. Or does it?

OK, I know this sounds insane; but hear me out!

I shoot motorsports fairly frequently with my main rig (K-5 w/Sigma 70-200mm). In the interest of seeing exactly what one can do with a tiny, tiny, camera, I'd like to try the same with the Q7. The obvious problems I see are focal length, autofocus speed, and shutter lag. Here's how I think I can address those:

1. Focal length
Sure, the 06 zoom is short; but I'm planning to use the Pentax adapter and my D FA 100mm macro. Sure, I'll lose autofocus; but this brings me to problem 2.

2. Autofocus speed
Most of the time this won't come into play. With my big rig, when panning, I'll pre-focus, enable burst, and click off 3 shot or so in my target zone. Similarly, I'll often pre-focus in corners for standard (i.e., non-panning) shots. So, the lack of autofocus should not be an impediment. Granted, I won't be able to shoot anything unplanned that happens quickly outside of my pre-focus zone; but I'm prepared to live with that.

3. Shutter lag
I think I can compensate somewhat with burst.

So, what do you think? And has anyone else done this?

Last edited by ephophex; 11-04-2013 at 07:39 PM.
10-30-2013, 11:21 PM   #2
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Focus peaking will allow you to quickly setup your zone and even change it if the contrast is good. I don't know if the Q7 has improved the electronic shutter, but a fast moving object might produce the jelly effect, so you might not be happy with the results. The 06 zoom does cover the FF 70-200 equivalent.
10-30-2013, 11:30 PM   #3
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The main problem I find when trying to use the Q for moving objects is that the screen goes dark when it shoots.
If you are shooting a burst you will lose the object since it is no longer visible in the LCD the entire burst.
10-31-2013, 12:02 PM   #4

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For me, the biggest problem would be EVF lag I would think. With a subject crossing your camera's frame, by the time you see it in the EVF and react -- pressing the shutter button, it's probably already gone since you're not viewing in the EVF in real time.

I'd suggest using an OVF -- you can fashion an "action finder" from craft paper or poster board, or even wire. I'd make it rectangular and off center in the direction that the subjects will be coming from. This way, you can time your bursts starting when the subject is starting to enter the frame instead of when you first see it in the EVF. There will be some problems with parallax error, so you'll have to set up carefully to match your viewing angle to the correct height in relation to the camera, so a tripod would make this considerably easier. You could eliminate the parallax error by making the action sight three dimensional so you'd be looking through two slots at different distances, forcing a set viewing angle.

An alternative is to use a Red Dot Sight in the same manner. Since the sight is pre-aimed and will have a solid positional relation to the camera, this should allow for handholding. Either way, you'd lose the magnified view through the lens, but AF might be possible with the 06. You'd have to actuate the beep and wait for it, but AF can be really fast in good light, so if the lens is prefocused to close to the intended focus plane, it might be fast enough. The limiting factor that I'd see for myself would be my slow reaction time -- and it gets slower by the minute at my age. . .

Personally, I'd use a DSLR for this type of shooting. The K-5 series bodies is the best by a considerable amount because it has the shorter mirror cycle/blackout time than previous models -- but the K-3 will be even faster


Last edited by snostorm; 10-31-2013 at 12:09 PM.
10-31-2013, 05:20 PM - 1 Like   #5
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It's not the same but they may give you some idea of what you can do with long lenses and racing. I just focused on part of the track and shot when the subject got to it with my Q & 135 f3.5

see link


Last edited by hnikesch; 10-31-2013 at 06:22 PM.
11-01-2013, 09:05 AM   #6
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Can be done. You're limiting yourself a bit, and you may find it awkward, but I've shot motorcycle races with an advanced p&s, which amounts to the same limitations. Burst is your friend, and if you take a monopod it's a lot easier to keep the camera aimed at your intended target when the screen goes black.

Also, the Q's burst mode is epic fast, at least on jpeg.

11-01-2013, 09:06 AM   #7
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Oh yeah, if you're going to shoot adapted lenses, get the Pentax adapter. The cheapies won't cut it, you need a real shutter.

11-01-2013, 09:18 AM   #8
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Sounds like a crazy idea, but just might be doable. I'd consider pre-focusing on the patch of asphalt that you want to cover, that way you don't have to worry about AF. DOF is very generous so that might work. I think the biggest issues will be shot-to-shot speed and batteries. Oh, and LCD lag:

Looking forward to seeing the results!

11-04-2013, 07:03 PM   #9
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Original Poster
Everyone, thanks so much for the feedback. You've raised several points that I hadn't considered, as well as several solutions. Also, thanks for the samples, Hans - those guys display *much* more personality than F1 drivers! Truly nice shots.

At this point, I already have the OEM K/Q adapter, as well as a monopod. My next accessory, it seems, should be an OVF, or some sort of action finder.

Great hints, all - let's see if, in this case, "Q" is for "quixotic", or if I can manage a decent keeper rate.
11-04-2013, 07:18 PM   #10
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Prefocus on a certain spot as Johnmflores said. Add the Pentax red dot scope. This fits on the hotshoe and covers a much wider field of view than the camera/lens combo. Now you see the cars enter the red dot scope, before it is in the camera field of view. This gives you time to react and get the shot. The Pentax Rd10 has the widest fov and would probably be the best. Good luck.

Keep on having fun with the Q.

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