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08-30-2015, 09:48 AM   #1
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Q-S1 any good ?

Hi, I want to try out a mirror less camera and possibly replace my old Sony point & shoot. I am following a good deal on a Q-S1, is this a good camera ? The reviews are not very promising.

08-30-2015, 10:12 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by kjphilippona Quote
Hi, I want to try out a mirror less camera and possibly replace my old Sony point & shoot. I am following a good deal on a Q-S1, is this a good camera ? The reviews are not very promising.
I like it. Are you looking for anything specific to ask about?
08-30-2015, 10:13 AM   #3
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Which reviews are you referring to?

The Q-S1 is essentially a cosmetic revision of the Q7 which is highly rated when used as intended. Less enthusiastic reviews of the Q-S1 are often a result of persons expecting significant technical upgrades to the Q7.

Try these reviews of the two cameras.
Pentax Q7
Pentax Q-S1

And reference this sub-forum for on-going discussions.
08-30-2015, 10:15 AM   #4
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The sharpness of its pictures, how does it handle low light action shots!
The Pentax review!

08-30-2015, 10:27 AM - 1 Like   #5
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Very sharp with the 01, 06 and 08 lenses with decent depth of focus (bokeh) control for its sensor size. The sensor can do pretty well up to 1600-2000 ISO. Its not going to track action, though.





08-30-2015, 10:30 AM - 1 Like   #6
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The Q-S1 is a rebranded and gently updated version of the Q7. I think there were some features added for video. Otherwise, the sensor and the general image processing engine is the same. The small sensor presents some challenges especially when it comes to higher ISO settings and low light. I wouldn't rely on the camera's JPG engine. More detail and better IQ can be extracted if you shoot RAW and process the images on your computer. You don't need anything terribly complicated. Even some simple presets would be a step up. After all, you would be harnessing the massive computing power of a PC vs. a small microprocessor in a small camera. If you are looking for performance of a 1" sensor or a u4/3 sensor then you will be disappointed.

One advantage of the Q ecosystem is the interchangeable lens system. The 01 prime coupled with the 02, 06, and 08 zooms will give you a complete kit. This kit is very sharp and it can all fit in your coat pocket. I always like to share a picture of my Q7 with the 06 zoom lens.



The 06 lens offers the reach of a 200mm lens in 35mm film speak ... and it all fits in the palm of my hand. I have since replaced the metal screw in hood with a reversible tulip bayonet hood so the package is even smaller now when stored. The 06 lens is a beauty offering very sharp images at f/2.8 - f/3.2. The 01 prime and 08 zoom are ridiculously sharp as well. I made 18" x 24" prints from the 01 and 06 lenses. No problem. Many people criticize the 02 standard zoom but I think it's OK. Use the lens at wide open apertures so diffraction won't eat away at IQ. The 02 can produce very nice 8" x 10" prints but I wouldn't go bigger than that.

In general, the lenses won't be your limiting factor. Maybe one day Ricoh will find a better 1/1.7" sensor with a higher pixel count, wider dynamic range, and lower noise.

Some people may not want the interchangeable lens system. It's another system to build and maintain. A premium compact may serve them better.

You're welcome to look through my Q7 album on Flickr.

https://flic.kr/s/aHsk7pLJMU

There are other Q7 shooters here who can run circles around what I do. Check out their work to see what is possible with this little camera.
08-30-2015, 10:54 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by kjphilippona Quote
Hi, I want to try out a mirror less camera and possibly replace my old Sony point & shoot. I am following a good deal on a Q-S1, is this a good camera ? The reviews are not very promising.
If you were happy with any point-and-shoot camera you'll be thrilled with a Q-7 or Q-S1, as long as occasionally changing lenses isn't an issue for you.

We have page-after-page of good examples on the https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/136-pentax-q/172196-lets-share-shots-q.html thread.
08-30-2015, 11:08 AM   #8
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Wow, thanks guys for the very informative write up's! I have really been enjoying the DA35 you sold me Boris I have dug deep and recently purchased a very nice copy of the FA31 Limited and will be selling the DA35 to my daughter's fiancé. Keeping it in the family

08-30-2015, 12:28 PM   #9
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I've got both the Q-S1 and the Q7. The Q-S1 will autofocus while doing video with the 01, 02 and 08 lenses. I think the Q7 is a little more ergonomic, but not by much.

The Q system's greatest strength is in versatility using specialized lenses. If you can get into manual focusing, it will accept virtually any lens ever made, and will make any of them image stabilized. The system is popular with birders and macro enthusiasts because of the crop factor. Here is a handheld unprocessed jpeg shot with a 90mm APO-Rodagon enlarger lens on the Q-S1: IMGP0788_zpsgxzipn3q.jpg Photo by dktrfz | Photobucket

As far as low light and action goes, like any small sensor it has its limits, although it also has an advantage: for any given field of view it will have much greater depth of field than a FF or APS-C system. Here's a link to a photo album shot in a night club, the first four pictures are with the 02 zoom and fill flash, most of the others are available light with the Pentax 110 18mm f2.8, there's one shot with the 03 fish-eye as well: Mystic Funk by dktrfz | Photobucket

I would disagree with 6BQ5 about the Q's jpegs vs. RAW., Pentax cameras in general have very good jpegs, the Q is no exception. You may be able to get somewhat better images with RAW, but I can't, at least not with PS's converter. I find that I get the best results if I don't pre-sharpen the jpegs, turning the fine sharpening setting to its weakest setting on the jpeg preset, then upsizing the image in PS, then smart sharpening as the last step.

I generally limit my ISO to 800, beyond that it gets somewhat impressionistic.
08-30-2015, 12:42 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Professor Batty Quote
. . . about the Q's jpegs vs. RAW. (sharpening)
There can be significant differences in one's comparitive images if not aware of the specific adjustments set for in-camera JPG processing.

Remember that you'll never see a "RAW image" only a JPG translation of a RAW DATA FILE that's been processed by some pre-set options dependent upon the in-camera selections and/or the PP program used. Be knowledgeable of the default JPG processing selections being displayed.
09-01-2015, 09:55 PM - 2 Likes   #11
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I think the best way to summarize the Q series is to think of your Pentax K-mount DSLR shrunk down to a teeny tiny toy sized camera but not having lost most of the power and controls. A mini-DSLR, maybe? If you like shooting with your K then you'll love shooting with a Q. You'll be familiar with the menus since most are the same. Those that aren't can be easily figured out.
09-01-2015, 10:25 PM - 1 Like   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Professor Batty Quote
I would disagree with 6BQ5 about the Q's jpegs vs. RAW., Pentax cameras in general have very good jpegs, the Q is no exception. You may be able to get somewhat better images with RAW, but I can't, at least not with PS's converter.
There is a lot of truth in that statement plus I may add that there is no guarantee that you will get better quality out of shooting RAW. Oh, the quality will be there, but do you have the ability to extract it? Processing of RAW images is in itself a skill and an art form and not everybody can produce a better JPG from a RAW file than the JPG that they can get from the camera. In fact I have seen some pretty sad RAW to JPG conversions done by shooters. So unless you are skilled in processing RAW and have the time to do so, I would concentrate on JPG and forget about RAW.

The Q series lends itself to a lot of customization and by tweaking the “Custom Image” configurations and other camera settings to suit your shooting style you can produce good images to suite your personal tastes but DO NOT expect it to produce the quality that is available from a DSLR manufactured in the last six or seven years.

You might also get additional insight by reading some of the historic posts on this forum.
09-02-2015, 05:12 AM - 2 Likes   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by kjphilippona Quote
The reviews are not very promising.
I think a lot of reviewers are used to DSLR, and the Q system is not meant to compete with DSLR. Q priority is small size and good features. But compared to P&S, the Q should be quite great, especially because it has many features, can shoot raw, and has interchangeable lenses.
09-02-2015, 05:52 AM - 1 Like   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
I think a lot of reviewers are used to DSLR, and the Q system is not meant to compete with DSLR. Q priority is small size and good features. But compared to P&S, the Q should be quite great, especially because it has many features, can shoot raw, and has interchangeable lenses.
Remember, one simple thing you can do when shooting RAW is ETTR. Even a slight +0.3 or +0.7 can do wonders, especially after you recover the highlights in post processing. Noise levels fall considerably and details are less likely to be muddied up. Like Na Horuk said above, you still won't get DSLR performance but you'll get something a heck of a lot better than P&S output.
09-02-2015, 06:13 AM - 2 Likes   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by 6BQ5 Quote
The Q-S1 is a rebranded and gently updated version of the Q7. I think there were some features added for video. Otherwise, the sensor and the general image processing engine is the same. The small sensor presents some challenges especially when it comes to higher ISO settings and low light. I wouldn't rely on the camera's JPG engine. More detail and better IQ can be extracted if you shoot RAW and process the images on your computer. You don't need anything terribly complicated. Even some simple presets would be a step up. After all, you would be harnessing the massive computing power of a PC vs. a small microprocessor in a small camera. If you are looking for performance of a 1" sensor or a u4/3 sensor then you will be disappointed.

One advantage of the Q ecosystem is the interchangeable lens system. The 01 prime coupled with the 02, 06, and 08 zooms will give you a complete kit. This kit is very sharp and it can all fit in your coat pocket. I always like to share a picture of my Q7 with the 06 zoom lens.



The 06 lens offers the reach of a 200mm lens in 35mm film speak ... and it all fits in the palm of my hand. I have since replaced the metal screw in hood with a reversible tulip bayonet hood so the package is even smaller now when stored. The 06 lens is a beauty offering very sharp images at f/2.8 - f/3.2. The 01 prime and 08 zoom are ridiculously sharp as well. I made 18" x 24" prints from the 01 and 06 lenses. No problem. Many people criticize the 02 standard zoom but I think it's OK. Use the lens at wide open apertures so diffraction won't eat away at IQ. The 02 can produce very nice 8" x 10" prints but I wouldn't go bigger than that.

In general, the lenses won't be your limiting factor. Maybe one day Ricoh will find a better 1/1.7" sensor with a higher pixel count, wider dynamic range, and lower noise.

Some people may not want the interchangeable lens system. It's another system to build and maintain. A premium compact may serve them better.

You're welcome to look through my Q7 album on Flickr.

https://flic.kr/s/aHsk7pLJMU

There are other Q7 shooters here who can run circles around what I do. Check out their work to see what is possible with this little camera.


This is the image I always show people when they ask me about my Pentax Q7. The size is basically it's biggest strength, although the lens selection is pretty thin compared to other mirrorless cameras, its still outstanding that the Q system essentially has its own "holy trinity" of lenses despite only having 8 lenses to choose from.
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