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10-29-2014, 01:24 PM   #1
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Relative Pentax Q Image Quality P&S, mirrorless & DSLR

Just curious about the staff reviews relative to the Pentax Q line primarily pertaining to the image quality. Not sure if anyone knows, but are the ratings for the camera (image quality my main concern) relative to other mirrorless cameras, DSLR, or point and shoot cameras. Image quality is rated the same as the WG-3/4, a point and shoot camera, but I would think that have a higher quality lens (compared to what is fixed on a P&S) as those offered in the Q lineup in addition to a larger sensor on the Q7, image quality would be significantly better than those P&S cameras. As far as Pentax goes, the only other mirrorless camera is the K-01, but that's not fair because it's basically a compact DSLR, so are the ratings in comparison to that (even though no longer available new). Or in relation to cameras as a whole, to include DSLRs, which a 5 & 6 rating (for image quality) would make more sense (and by decent considering the sensor size). Or is the image quality just not that good (which I hope isn't the case because I love Pentax, just trying to remain objective here?)

So, my final question would be: Do I get a P&S camera I can use anywhere (WG-4 or WG-3) and strictly use a Q7 adapted to my K mount tele lenses, or can I use the Q7 as a very high quality P&S camera and OK "DSLR" substitution where compactness is extremely important.

I appreciate any input and thank everyone in advance.

10-29-2014, 01:34 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by transam879 Quote
So, my final question would be: Do I get a P&S camera I can use anywhere (WG-4 or WG-3) and strictly use a Q7 adapted to my K mount tele lenses, or can I use the Q7 as a very high quality P&S camera and OK "DSLR" substitution where compactness is extremely important.
YES! Does that help?

Actually the Q series is not really pocketable, but it is fun to use. It appeals to the tinkerer in me and others as evidenced by the adapted lens thread. You have more control over shooting parameters as with a DSLR (almost, within limits). The Q7 is the best of the series, perhaps Q-S1 has similar IQ.

If you just want have a pocket sized camera that can take snaphots get a P&S. Or use your iPhone.
10-29-2014, 01:39 PM   #3
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There are premium P&S cameras that outperform the Q, so my personal recommendation would be to get one of those for your snapshots. The thing that bugs me the most about the Q is that it's not pocketable with the standard zoom lens.

The Pentax MX-1 has a very sharp lens (better than the Q 02), and then there are other great cameras like the Sony RX100 or Fuji X series that I'd recommend.

Consumer cameras like the WG-3 probably won't please you from an image quality standpoint. Might as well use a smartphone unless you need the waterproofing, IMO.

Review ratings are generally relative to the market segment in question, so comparing numbers side-by-side would be misleading.

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10-29-2014, 03:33 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
The thing that bugs me the most about the Q is that it's not pocketable with the standard zoom lens.
Was the Q system ever marketed as a 'pocket' camera?
I don't think so.

You know, when I first got the original Q I was astounded that the results were very close to what I was getting with the K-7.
I've never updated the body because I see no reason to, I have the MX-1 which as you say has a very sharp lens. The Q isn't a pocket camera, but it's a camera you can put in a small bag and take anywhere yet still have near DSLR control and exceptional results in spite of it's small sensor. It's a classic.

10-29-2014, 05:13 PM   #5
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I own a WG-3 and a MX-1. My preferance for IQ goes to the MX-1. The ability to shoot raw, and the superb image sensor is what sold me. Also, you won't need to buy additional lenses or keep wishing you had a lens for this or that situation. With the MX-1, you just focus on being creative.

On the other hand, the WG-3 is tough and essentially care free. You don't need to worry about breaking it, because it is almost impossible to break. However, the JPEGS can be a bit dissapointing and mushy especially when you get into low light. The control you have with the MX-1 is going to have the hand here.

I assume the Q is much like the MX-1 especially since the Q7 and the MX-1 share the same sensor. Q, Q10 do not, they have a smaller sensor that can be challenging in low light. The lenses for the Q system are adiquate, but not overly awesome. You need the 01 lens for sharpness and even then, its like having a fixed 50.

Here is my suggestion. If you are new to photography and you are on this site, it seems to me you really want to buy a imaging tool to make awesome pictures that POP and make you proud to show them off. If you are seriously looking at a compact, go for one with more "Pro" controls and the ability to shoot Raw. If you have some extra cash, I suggest you buy a DSLR like a K-5, K-5II, K-5IIs, or the ever so awesome K-3 and get a 35m F2.4 or 50 F1.8 (and a kit lens like 18-55wr).

Happy Shooting!
10-29-2014, 05:17 PM   #6
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I find the Sony nex line is the most adaptable system.. You can get adapters for any lens and the image quality is so much better than the q7. I use a k5 and a nex and the compliment each other so well.
10-29-2014, 06:07 PM   #7
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I find the Q is pocketable w/ the wide 04 (toy) lens and a 40mm voigtlander viewfinder. See first photo. And by pocketable--it fits in my regular sport jacket/blazer pocket and my vest. That means every day when traveling/working it is w/ me. And in my other pocket I carry a hood, PL filters, and either the 01 or 02, and extra batteries.

I happen to find the toy wide lens to be nice enough. The reason i stress the toy wide--is the other lenses make it too large for my jacket pocket--well anyway w/ the viewfinder--and for me the viewfinder is the most important addition! And if I want better I switch lenses. Attached are some examples w/ the toy wide.

The following pictures (#2-5) were part of my testing the setup. All pictures were camera raw and pp in photoshop, w/ lens correction and sharpening, but no noise reduction--i.e., my normal pp.

#1 the Q w/ toy wide lens--DIY mod to accept filters and hood.
I WAS UNABLE TO ATTACH #1 (?), SO #2 THRU #5 FOLLOW

#2 iso 1600
#3 iso 400 at 0.4 s w/o tripod
#4 iso 125
#5 iso 125 at 0.8 s w/ tripod
Attached Images
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX Q  Photo 
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX Q  Photo 
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX Q  Photo 
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX Q  Photo 
10-29-2014, 06:13 PM   #8
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And the #1 picture (of my Q w/ finder, 04 lens, and DIY filter ring) follows.

BTW: you cannot attach a picture previously attached to another post?

I would add that I taped the lens to be in focus from about 4 feet to infinity--testing I found this to be just past the 2nd mark. Actually I lost my first Q and lens, and purchased a second one and by testing found the same focus position (on both lenses),

Attached Images
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX K20D  Photo 

Last edited by dms; 10-29-2014 at 06:25 PM.
10-29-2014, 06:50 PM   #9
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There isn't any advice in this post, but I'm kind of in the same boat. I've looked at the Q and like the cuteness and the concept of it, and am not left wanting for IQ after looking through every page of the Let's share shots with Q! thread, but what keeps me from it is that I'm imagining a pocketable dedicated camera for my use, which the Q isn't, at least with a zoom attached. I like what I've seen from the MX-1 but it seems like I was late to that party - it's discontinued and most of the major retailers seem to have had a nice big fire-sale in the first quarter of the year, letting them go for $200~250. Whatever sellers have them in stock are selling them for >$300, and I find it difficult to consider paying that after it's been discontinued and was sold for a much lower price. Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be any mention of an MX-2 that I've seen. I'd love to see lingering stocks drop to that price again, or mention of the MX-2, but I don't want to wait for what could potentially be a while.

I've been looking at the Fuji X30, but it's a little pricy - don't want to start cutting too much money out of the lens budget... but still, the best camera is the one that's with you, right? I do like what I've seen from it so far, but I'm still looking around.

QuoteOriginally posted by dms Quote
I find the Q is pocketable w/ the wide 04 (toy) lens and a 40mm voigtlander viewfinder. See first photo. And by pocketable--it fits in my regular sport jacket/blazer pocket and my vest. That means every day when traveling/working it is w/ me. And in my other pocket I carry a hood, PL filters, and either the 01 or 02, and extra batteries.

I happen to find the toy wide lens to be nice enough. The reason i stress the toy wide--is the other lenses make it too large for my jacket pocket--well anyway w/ the viewfinder--and for me the viewfinder is the most important addition! And if I want better I switch lenses. Attached are some examples w/ the toy wide.

The following pictures (#2-5) were part of my testing the setup. All pictures were camera raw and pp in photoshop, w/ lens correction and sharpening, but no noise reduction--i.e., my normal pp.

#1 the Q w/ toy wide lens--DIY mod to accept filters and hood.
I WAS UNABLE TO ATTACH #1 (?), SO #2 THRU #5 FOLLOW

#2 iso 1600
#3 iso 400 at 0.4 s w/o tripod
#4 iso 125
#5 iso 125 at 0.8 s w/ tripod
Hey! I've never seen the 59th street station looking that empty!

QuoteOriginally posted by dms Quote
BTW: you cannot attach a picture previously attached to another post?
I think you can, but you have to go to "Insert Album Photos" to the right of the post instead of using manage attachments.
10-29-2014, 08:44 PM - 1 Like   #10
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The Q is not pocketable unless you've got cargo pants size pockets. IF that's the only important criteria, then read no more. But if you like the option of using different lenses and having a very wide range of focal lengths from 11mm to 135mm in aps-c terms, then this might be the ticket. I always carry around a 3 lens kit (02, 06, 08) and 3 batteries - the 2 lenses fit in a bag that's the size of a soda can that attaches to my belt, and the camera has a strap that I wear around my neck under my jacket if it's raining. It's a 3 lens kit that weighs less than a pound, and if I wanted to make it a 4 lens kit, I'd add a few ounces with the 01.

DSLR like controls, hot shoe, a front dial to quickly go to any of 4 effects filters that you can customize while being able to capture a RAW version (correctable) at the same time, and ergonomics that defy it's size and makes it a tool that you don't have to think about because it works like my other DSLR (though with a single wheel). It's truly larger than the sum of it's specs.

That's not to say I'm about to hang up my k3. -3ev focusing, high iso shooting, photos for big prints, the need to crop heavily, extra dynamic range --- all of these things will keep me a dual system user. But I like how much different these cameras are - if they were too similar, then really what would be the point. For portable, large depth of field, inconspicuous camera, I use the Q. For being able to print large, low light, fast action, WR, or ultimate control, I'll bring the full kit. I've looked for a small cam for a long time to supplement the DSLR kits - lx3, v1, k01, etc. but the Q, though I was extremely sceptical at first (I actually was thinking that I would ONLY use it for extreme telephoto w/ a k to q adapter), but the Q has completed my kit for pretty much all situations at all times.

Here's some Q pics I've taken:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/55038128@N00/sets/72157631762031470/
10-30-2014, 01:47 AM   #11
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Great images Vagrant10. They're a real eye opener for sensor size elitists (including me). Is the neon walkway O'Hare?
10-30-2014, 06:58 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by crewl1 Quote
Actually the Q series is not really pocketable, but it is fun to use. It appeals to the tinkerer in me and others as evidenced by the adapted lens thread. You have more control over shooting parameters as with a DSLR (almost, within limits). The Q7 is the best of the series, perhaps Q-S1 has similar IQ.

If you just want have a pocket sized camera that can take snaphots get a P&S. Or use your iPhone.
Yep... I would agree with that assessment. The thing I love about the Q (and I have the old original Q) is that not only is it capable of really good IQ (contrary to what you might have heard) it operates like a mini-DSLR, with the same degree of control over your images, and similar ergonomics. I love it and think it's a classic.
10-30-2014, 07:15 AM   #13
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Thanks for all the input. I wasn't really looking for an expensive, higher-end P&S or mirrorless as I have the K-3 for high quality use. Also have the K-01 but was going to sell for something more compact and "uniQue" if you will. Just looking for an inexpensive alternative. I was planning on getting a WG-2/3/4 for my 6 1/2 year old who is interested in seriously (relatively speaking for a 6 year old) taking pictures (not just a novelty at this point as she has used the cheap kid alternatives but not from a photography standpoint either, hopefully when she's older). I just don't want to get the Q7 and be "borrowing" her's all the time because it's more practical. I'm interested in adapting tele/macro lenses to it and having fun with that. So maybe the Q7 for me and an inexpensive (used) WG-2 or 3 for my daughter right now. At least the WG would be useful on vacation at the beach where I won't have a coronary handling my K-3 or potential Q7.
10-30-2014, 07:48 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by transam879 Quote
Thanks for all the input. I wasn't really looking for an expensive, higher-end P&S or mirrorless as I have the K-3 for high quality use. Also have the K-01 but was going to sell for something more compact and "uniQue" if you will. Just looking for an inexpensive alternative. I was planning on getting a WG-2/3/4 for my 6 1/2 year old who is interested in seriously (relatively speaking for a 6 year old) taking pictures (not just a novelty at this point as she has used the cheap kid alternatives but not from a photography standpoint either, hopefully when she's older). I just don't want to get the Q7 and be "borrowing" her's all the time because it's more practical. I'm interested in adapting tele/macro lenses to it and having fun with that. So maybe the Q7 for me and an inexpensive (used) WG-2 or 3 for my daughter right now. At least the WG would be useful on vacation at the beach where I won't have a coronary handling my K-3 or potential Q7.
It's not that good at adapting lenses. Sure it makes your tele photo and macro lenses blown up however it doesn't make them super lenses like many lead you to believe. You spread what sharpness you have over an area 10x smaller than an aps-c Sensor. Ive Had 2 Q's and got rid of them both because I thought the first one was just a Bad apple.
10-30-2014, 08:25 AM   #15
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FWIW, here are my shots taken with a Q7 + Tele-Takumar 200 mm f/5.6.

https://www.flickr.com/search/?tags=teletakumar200mmf56&sort=relevance&user_id=34418903%40N00

I debated between the Q series and Ricoh GR. Decided on the Q since it was less expensive and I already had a bunch of M42 lenses I could adapt. I'm having a lot of fun with the Q and don't regret not having gone with the more pocketable, bigger sensor GR.
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