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07-12-2014, 07:11 AM - 3 Likes   #1
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Q10 Arrived: First Impressions

Got the Q10 this week and have been playing around taking photos with it. There's a few first impressions I'd like to share.

Holy cow it's small. It looks like a toy (but feels a little more substantial than one). It's ridiculous how small it is.

I've heard a lot of good things about picture quality. I will say, I'm pleasantly surprised how good it is in good light. However, there were also no surprises when the ISO creeps up or in conditions that are anything less than ideal... it starts to look like a typical modern (and good) compact camera sensor pretty quickly. It's not a bad thing at all, but no one should expect APS-C or even m4/3 level quality out of the Q10, especially at anything other than the absolute lowest ISO settings possible. That's not to say the image quality isn't very very good; it's surprisingly good.

I got a refurbished body and 02 Standard Zoom for just $159. For this kind of super low-risk investment, pretty much no one can say it's a bad choice for an ultra small camera with this kind of flexibility. I have an M-Mount adaptor on it's way and will be testing out a C-Mount adaptor this weekend. I plan to try doing some time-lapse photography with the Q10 in the next few weeks (and of course will share). I had been looking at GoPro cams recently and with no real way to focus the shot or change lenses, the Q10 seemed like an interesting alternative.

Photos:

The first photo was on the first day I got the camera. This shot was converted to B&W using photoshop, and I also ran it through Analog Efex Pro for some texture. Shot with the 02 Standard Zoom.



This next one was shot with the 01 Standard Prime (which will obviously become my favorite lens!). I shot in the BC (Bokeh Control) mode, with the level set at 2. BC seems to work better than I expected it to, though moving the focus point area to exactly what you want in focus (not focusing and recomposing), seems to yield the best possible result.

This was shot in color and I converted it to monochrome in-camera and added the vignetting in-camera. In photoshop I added a hint of warmth.



This last batch of shots is from yesterday.
Bold Monochrome might be one of my favorite things about the Q10 so far. I love contrasty black and white photos, and to my taste the Q10 nails it quite well! All of these are almost straight out of the camera. The only thing I did in photoshop was to add a little warmth, and the one with the "piloting" book, I did a little spot contrast adjustment on the book itself. The first one (with the rope) I used BC Mode, the rest were just regular aperture priority (Av) mode.







q

One of the things that is always hard to quantify is the "fun factor". There's something that's just really enjoyable about using the Q10. It's simple enough to use that I'm sure anyone who knows photography could get a decent shot with it, but for those of us a little more enthusiastic about photography, it has advanced enough features to keep us smiling.

It's not going to replace my K5-IIs, my K-01 or my Fuji XT1 anytime soon... however, I am anxious to try it for time-lapse and am pleased to just have it around to play with. II'll be sharing more results as I try different things, so feel free to ask questions or contribute too!

Thanks for reading along

07-12-2014, 09:46 AM   #2
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Some nice shots there. Good to see that it found you well.
07-12-2014, 01:46 PM   #3
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Definitely a camera that punches above it's weight and size class! You took some great photos with it - in the right hands it's a tool that can give you some great photos and it is so easy to have around, there's not that big of a sacrifice to have it with you.
Of course there's the battery life issue that one needs to be prepared for, but if you keep a few of them on you, there should be no problem.
I assume you've done the firmware updates - if not, it makes a big difference in the focus speed.
Congrats on the cam - I'm interested in hearing what you think given your skill level and your experience with other cams.
Any thoughts on getting the 06 and fisheye 03? both worthwhile imo. and the 08 is awesome if you like superwides...
07-12-2014, 11:13 PM   #4
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Thanks Maleek and Vagrant.

Right now, I'm not going to buy any new lenses for a while... I want to see how the adapted lenses will work, and also don't want to invest too much until I'm sure the Q10 will work out for the things I want to use it for.

I did try shooting some test time-lapse today and ran into two problems...

1 - white balance shift. I had the camera set to "daylight" and every so often a few shots would have a slightly different color cast (a tad green). Pentax DSLRs have a setting in the advanced menu that lets you keep the white balanced "fixed", but the Q10 doesn't have this option. I'm going to try changing the metering mode, and will try setting a custom white balance to see if it eliminates the problem.

2 - Overheating. Mounted to my windshield today (inside the car), it overheated within the first 20 minutes. It didn't shut down, but the battery also died (wasn't fully charged), so I don't know if it would have kept running. It was about 85║F today, and being under the windshield in the bright summer sun likely contributed to the problem, but if it's this sensitive to heat, it could be an issue for me.

Here's a couple of more photos with the bold monochrome setting and both with the 01 Standard Prime from today...





07-13-2014, 03:14 AM   #5
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I've never really tried the Bokeh control, but yours seems ok-will have another look at it.
I do like bold monochrome though.
07-13-2014, 06:08 PM   #6
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BC has it's plusses and minuses jethro, but you do really need to move that focus point to get the most out of it.

I did go out and shoot time-lapse today. World Pentax Day? Pft… I shot 12,000+ photos. LOL! I'm working on converting them to video files tonight, so hopefully will be able to share the finished footage tomorrow or the next day.

Interesting to note…

All those photos were shot on 3 batteries (and the 3rd still has some juice left). I seemed to get almost two hours on each battery. I had instant preview turned off. I had shake-reduction turned off. I had shutter sound turned off. I will be buying the AC Adaptor, but I thought battery performance was okay considering how tiny the whole package is.

I didn't have overheating problems today (like I had yesterday). The sun was not strong today, so I think the key is to keep the camera out of direct summer (hot) sunlight as much as possible for long time-lapse shoots.

I had one glitch. I was shooting in Aperture Priority mode part of the time and for some reason when the camera reduced exposure way down (to 1/4 of a second), it was never able to recover. The next 300 photos stayed at 1/4 of a second and were completely blown out. I don't know why this happened. It makes me wonder about the leaf-shutter lenses, and their durability.

I did use electronic shutter. However, you cannot FORCE the camera to use electronic shutter exclusively. I think there's been some confusion about this. If you enable electronic shutter, it will only use it when it cannot use the leaf shutter of the lens (or if the lens doesn't have a shutter mechanism itself). There's upsides and downsides to this. I would have liked to try shooting only with electronic shutter, but being I was using the 02 Standard Zoom (with leaf shutter), I could not.

I'll share more when I have the video to share too…

Here's a couple of the shots amongst the 12,000+ … LOL



Also, my M-Mount Adaptor arrived today, so looking forward to trying it out...

Last edited by DRabbit; 07-13-2014 at 06:50 PM.
07-13-2014, 08:31 PM   #7
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Woah, 12000+ photos in one day?
What sort of timing? If 15 second intervals that 50 hours. So I guess you have 5 second intervals, which is still 16 hours of continuous time lapse shooting - is that right, or is my math crap?
07-13-2014, 08:52 PM - 1 Like   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Steve.Ledger Quote
Woah, 12000+ photos in one day?
What sort of timing? If 15 second intervals that 50 hours. So I guess you have 5 second intervals, which is still 16 hours of continuous time lapse shooting - is that right, or is my math crap?
1 second intervals. Was over the course of about 4-5 hours, but there were times I turned the camera off

07-14-2014, 01:51 AM   #9
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Cool shots DRabbit. You have the Q performing great. Keep posting pics.
Shooting every one second must mean you are using jpeg? What movie program are you using?
thanks
barondla
07-14-2014, 03:47 AM   #10
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Interesting, you can only get just over 16 minutes at 1 sec intervals from the Q classic as the maximum set amount of images is 999.
I guess the Q10 has improved on this or are you using an external intervalometer?
07-14-2014, 04:06 AM - 1 Like   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Steve.Ledger Quote
Interesting, you can only get just over 16 minutes at 1 sec intervals from the Q classic as the maximum set amount of images is 999.
I guess the Q10 has improved on this or are you using an external intervalometer?
999 is still the maximumů I was just in front of the camera the entire time, so I could continue to restart it as necessary. It'll make sense when you see the footage, as it's all POV stuff from a moving car (husband was driving!)
07-14-2014, 04:09 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by DRabbit Quote
I was just in front of the camera the entire time
Wow! That's an awful lot of 'selfies' then
07-14-2014, 04:10 AM   #13
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LOL not selfies… from my POV so I'm never in it! :P
07-14-2014, 07:33 AM - 1 Like   #14
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So here's the video. It's not the most beautiful time-lapse you'll ever see, but I've been interested in doing these driving time-lapses lately, so figured that made for a good test. I've got an upcoming road trip to Pennsylvania soon and want to try to do a time-lapse of the drive there.

1-Second intervals. Camera was mounted to the inside of the windshield with a suction cup mount. Believe it or not, I found a decent one locally at BestBuy (it's the one made by Sony).

The moon footage at the end… I just threw that in there. I got my M-Mount adaptor yesterday so figured I'd try out the 90mm Elmarit when I saw the moon at the crack of dawn this morning.


In addition to what I already said above…

Shooting time-lapse with the Q10 is a mixed bag of pros and cons so far. Battery life is better than I expected. As an alternative to the GoPro (for time-lapse, not video), ability to change lenses, focus, have manual controls… much better. It's small, so mounting it on a place like the dashboard works well (not sure my suction cup mount would hold the K5-IIs or even the K-01). Increased DOF for these kind of moving POV time-lapses is a good thing.

Dynamic range and latitude of the files themselves, it's just not going to give you what a bigger-sensor camera does. It's a compromise.

Obviously I have to do more testing to come to any real conclusions. I was pleased with this as a first result.

Likely, if I'm going to use it often for time-lapse, durability will become a big concern. I can't say how something like the GoPro stacks up against it, but I assume the GoPro is all electronic shutter, which isn't the case with the Q10. No idea what the life of the leaf-shutter in these lenses would be, if they even have a life span? Shooting lens without a shutter mechanism might be a good choice, but might also be hard to find in wide enough angles.

Would love to hear your thoughts on all this…
07-14-2014, 08:28 AM   #15
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Cool video. I think I will go ahead and get a q10 while they are so cheap.
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