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12-04-2015, 10:09 AM   #1
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Trying to decide between the Olympus Pen E-PL6 & the Pentax Q-S1.

I would like to surprise my wife with a new camera. Let me give you some background. She has an old 8MP Canon A590 IS point & shoot that she really loves. It's pretty old, but it still takes decently good pictures. What makes that camera more amazing is that when we were up in Bishop, CA a few years ago, she accidentally dropped the camera into the creek that was coming out of the dam. It took me a few minutes to retrieve it, since it was lodged in between some rocks in the creek, but after a bit of contortioning, I was able to get it out. We thought it was toast, but after sticking it in some rice overnight, it worked! It has been working for the past 5 years. So you can see why she loves her camera.

However, the camera does have its quirks. Even when we load fresh new AA batteries into it, sometimes the camera still warns that the batteries are low. We have to keep taking them out & shaking the camera a bit for it to finally work. Sometimes the camera shuts off on its own, but overall, the camera still shoots decent photos.

I was looking to get her the latest Canon ELPH 350 point & shoot, but after looking around the Internet & junk, I decided that it might not be the best thing. Her old Canon A590 IS has a f2.6-f5.5 lens which actually does very well in low light. The new Canon ELPH 350 has a f3.6-f7.0 lens. It seems like it wouldn't do as well in low light, but I did read some reviews & one tester did mention that this is probably one of the cheapest point & shoot cameras that can do some low light work. I'm still up in the air about this camera. The only thing it has going for it is the fact that it's super slim & she can take it in her purse just about everywhere.

Earlier this year, I got 2 Pentax K-50 cameras & 4 lenses. A black one for me & a red one for the her. I love shooting with them, but she's not too thrilled with hers. She'll only use it when we go out specifically to shoot. I use mine for just about everything. She typically prefers her A590, but she does recognize that the image quality of the K-50 is leaps & bounds better. She does enjoy post processing the RAW files that she likes as well. I'm actually thinking of unloading one of the K-50 bodies & picking up a K-3, but that's a whole other story.

This is where a different kind of camera comes to mind for me. I think she would love a mirrorless camera. I have read, looked around, & toyed with a few of them. I have narrowed them down to a couple of them. The Olympus Pen E-PL6 & the Pentax Q-S1. The idea of an almost 100% touch screen camera plus the massive amounts of M43 lenses is what I find appealing about the Olympus Pen E-PL6. The super compactness of the Q-S1 is what appeals to me as well. Less lenses, but that cute little cameras seems to be able to take some pretty decent photos, despite its small sensor. Yes, they are both a tad bit larger than her Canon A590, but I think she'll love the idea of a small camera, but with the ability to change lenses & shoot in RAW. That can't be achieved with the Canon ELPH 350.

Both of these cameras seem to offer so much for so little. Both of them sell for about $300 with a kit lens & $400 with 2 kit lenses. Each one has its pluses & minuses. Olympus has more lenses, but the Pentax is a lot smaller & compact. The image quality of the Olympus is a bit better than the Pentax, but the Pentax image quality is still leaps & bounds better than her old Canon A590. Yes. The Olympus could get more expensive with lenses in the long run & the Pentax only has 8 lenses, but I don't really need that many lenses. I could go on & on, but I think I'm dead set on one of these two cameras. I have already looked at all the pros & cons, but. I can't figure out which one of these 2 I want to get for my wife.

I'm not a brand whore, brand loyalist, or anything like that, but I'm really big on bang for the buck. I have shot with Canon, Nikon, & Sony DSLRs in the past & currently shoot with Pentax DSLRs, since their cameras & lenses offer a lot of bang for the buck. I don't care if it's a Canon, Nikon, Sony, Fujifilm, Panasonic, Pentax, or whatever, but if it can do a lot for little money, I'm all over it.

So my fellow mirrorless Pentaxians, what would you do? Get the Olympus Pen E-PL6 or the Pentax QS-1? I know that I'm on a Pentax forum, but I'm pretty sure that I'll get some unbiased responses & comments. Thanks!

12-04-2015, 10:24 AM   #2
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It comes down to image quality VS size. The Olympus is a better camera from a pure, photo-making perspective, hands down, no questions, and any argument to the contrary is naive. The Q wins on size and size does matter, BUT, and it's a HUGE but, the Q loses nearly all size advantage once you put a zoom lens on the thing. There are some nice, small prime lenses for it, but the zooms are all bigger than the body is, in width.
12-04-2015, 10:33 AM   #3
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If you go with the Olympus, I would recommend getting the accessory VF-3 viewfinder.
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12-04-2015, 10:34 AM   #4
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Dunno about your wife, but any idea of having to change lenses for different scenarios is in 'that' territory of complex photography for mine. Size of an ILC is less relevant. Are you sure a non-ILC straight-up P&S wouldn't be a better option?

12-04-2015, 10:46 AM   #5
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I would go for the Olympus for the lens selection and IQ definitely.
But, as mentioned above, what about a non-interchangeable lens option...such as the Panasonic LX-100, and Sony RX100, both of which get great reviews.
12-04-2015, 11:03 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by realitarian Quote
Dunno about your wife, but any idea of having to change lenses for different scenarios is in 'that' territory of complex photography for mine. Size of an ILC is less relevant. Are you sure a non-ILC straight-up P&S wouldn't be a better option?
I've looked at higher end point & shoots that can do RAW files. Most of them are similar in size to the Olympus & cost about the same or a lot more, which in the end, kinda defeats the purpose. You're stuck with a single lens & can't change it. I'd rather pay the $160 for the Canon ELPH 350 to do same thing. The problem is that there is no RAW capture for the ELPH 350 point & shoot plus the lens is slower than her current Canon A590.

My wife does enjoy switching out the lenses on her K-50 & using the lens best suited for the moment. The only issue she has with the K-50 is the "heft" & "bulk" of it. Imagine the K-3. This is why she doesn't really use it much. I personally love the "heft" & "bulk" of DSLRs. A small mirrorless like the E-PL6 & Q-S1 seems to be the ticket for her 'cause she'll still be able to pick the right lens, but not have to deal with the "heft" & "bulk" of a traditional DSLR.
12-04-2015, 11:05 AM   #7
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I would go for the Olympus, I've never really felt the image quality of photos looks very good from the Pentax Qs, while I've seen some amazing pictures with the Olympus cameras. Plus the Pens are really not that much bigger. Compare camera dimensions side by side
12-04-2015, 12:12 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dipsoid Quote
I would go for the Olympus, I've never really felt the image quality of photos looks very good from the Pentax Qs, while I've seen some amazing pictures with the Olympus cameras. Plus the Pens are really not that much bigger. Compare camera dimensions side by side
My daughters had Canon A-family cameras. If Mrs. OP is happy with her A580, then she'd be more than happy with pictures from either of these cameras.

---------- Post added 12-04-15 at 02:14 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Wolfeye Quote
It comes down to image quality VS size. The Olympus is a better camera from a pure, photo-making perspective, hands down, no questions, and any argument to the contrary is naive. The Q wins on size and size does matter, BUT, and it's a HUGE but, the Q loses nearly all size advantage once you put a zoom lens on the thing. There are some nice, small prime lenses for it, but the zooms are all bigger than the body is, in width.
Q loses all size advantage once you put zoom on it?? Yes Q+06 is larger than Q+01, but isn't Pen+zoom much larger??

12-04-2015, 12:33 PM   #9
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Make sure you factor in FL range when making size comparisons, I suspect she will prefer a single setup (no lens changes) and that + size is what prevents her from adopting the k-30 and a bunch of lenses. It looks like her existing camera covers 35-140mm so compare the cameras with those ranges especially for comparing in low light scenarios. Perhaps the E-PL6 with the little 14-42 (probably the most compact feeling for her or 5-15 on the Q.
12-04-2015, 12:39 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Professor Batty Quote
If she is looking for a camera similar in weight to her old P&S, the Q is half the weight of the Olympus, and even more so when considering lenses (the Pentax lenses are much cheaper as well.) Unless the interchangeable lens feature is a must I think she would be far happier with a Canon S120. Both the Pentax and the Olympus are quirky, if she hasn't warmed to the K-50 she probably doesn't like the Pentax interface. The biggest knock on the Olympus that I've seen is in its interface.
+1

I was down this road a few months ago to replace our old A480. I've looked at both the Q and the PEN as final candidates. No matter its qualities, the PEN with a lens is significantly bigger than the other two. On the other hand, the Q + 01 isn't much bigger than the A480. In fact, it fits quite well in the same sleeve that we were using for the A480... This was the deal breaker for us: we weren't looking for a replacement for our DSLR but for our P&S, which we liked because it was small enough to fit in a coat pocket or in my wife's purse. IQ maybe isn't up to the PEN but is head and shoulder above the A480 or the other Sony 20MP P&S we have.

So, basically, if you want something to replace the P&S, the Q will give you everything you need. If you rather want something with an IQ more in line with what you get from your K-50, you will certainly be better served by the PEN...

Since we have the Q, our two P&S are rarely used. And I even often use the Q in situation where I would have used my DSLR in the past.
12-04-2015, 12:51 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by The Squirrel Mafia Quote
I would like to surprise my wife with a new camera. Let me give you some background. She has an old 8MP Canon A590 IS point & shoot that she really loves. It's pretty old, but it still takes decently good pictures. What makes that camera more amazing is that when we were up in Bishop, CA a few years ago, she accidentally dropped the camera into the creek that was coming out of the dam. It took me a few minutes to retrieve it, since it was lodged in between some rocks in the creek, but after a bit of contortioning, I was able to get it out. We thought it was toast, but after sticking it in some rice overnight, it worked! It has been working for the past 5 years. So you can see why she loves her camera.

However, the camera does have its quirks. Even when we load fresh new AA batteries into it, sometimes the camera still warns that the batteries are low. We have to keep taking them out & shaking the camera a bit for it to finally work. Sometimes the camera shuts off on its own, but overall, the camera still shoots decent photos.

I was looking to get her the latest Canon ELPH 350 point & shoot, but after looking around the Internet & junk, I decided that it might not be the best thing. Her old Canon A590 IS has a f2.6-f5.5 lens which actually does very well in low light. The new Canon ELPH 350 has a f3.6-f7.0 lens. It seems like it wouldn't do as well in low light, but I did read some reviews & one tester did mention that this is probably one of the cheapest point & shoot cameras that can do some low light work. I'm still up in the air about this camera. The only thing it has going for it is the fact that it's super slim & she can take it in her purse just about everywhere.

Earlier this year, I got 2 Pentax K-50 cameras & 4 lenses. A black one for me & a red one for the her. I love shooting with them, but she's not too thrilled with hers. She'll only use it when we go out specifically to shoot. I use mine for just about everything. She typically prefers her A590, but she does recognize that the image quality of the K-50 is leaps & bounds better. She does enjoy post processing the RAW files that she likes as well. I'm actually thinking of unloading one of the K-50 bodies & picking up a K-3, but that's a whole other story.

This is where a different kind of camera comes to mind for me. I think she would love a mirrorless camera. I have read, looked around, & toyed with a few of them. I have narrowed them down to a couple of them. The Olympus Pen E-PL6 & the Pentax Q-S1. The idea of an almost 100% touch screen camera plus the massive amounts of M43 lenses is what I find appealing about the Olympus Pen E-PL6. The super compactness of the Q-S1 is what appeals to me as well. Less lenses, but that cute little cameras seems to be able to take some pretty decent photos, despite its small sensor. Yes, they are both a tad bit larger than her Canon A590, but I think she'll love the idea of a small camera, but with the ability to change lenses & shoot in RAW. That can't be achieved with the Canon ELPH 350.

Both of these cameras seem to offer so much for so little. Both of them sell for about $300 with a kit lens & $400 with 2 kit lenses. Each one has its pluses & minuses. Olympus has more lenses, but the Pentax is a lot smaller & compact. The image quality of the Olympus is a bit better than the Pentax, but the Pentax image quality is still leaps & bounds better than her old Canon A590. Yes. The Olympus could get more expensive with lenses in the long run & the Pentax only has 8 lenses, but I don't really need that many lenses. I could go on & on, but I think I'm dead set on one of these two cameras. I have already looked at all the pros & cons, but. I can't figure out which one of these 2 I want to get for my wife.

I'm not a brand whore, brand loyalist, or anything like that, but I'm really big on bang for the buck. I have shot with Canon, Nikon, & Sony DSLRs in the past & currently shoot with Pentax DSLRs, since their cameras & lenses offer a lot of bang for the buck. I don't care if it's a Canon, Nikon, Sony, Fujifilm, Panasonic, Pentax, or whatever, but if it can do a lot for little money, I'm all over it.

So my fellow mirrorless Pentaxians, what would you do? Get the Olympus Pen E-PL6 or the Pentax QS-1? I know that I'm on a Pentax forum, but I'm pretty sure that I'll get some unbiased responses & comments. Thanks!
Vote for Olympus. There is this interesting deal with VF and 17mm prime for the E-P5: PEN E-P5 with 17mm f/1.8 and VF-4 Viewfinder
12-04-2015, 01:05 PM   #12
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Fuji X30. Take a look, not least because it has a viewfinder!!!
12-04-2015, 01:25 PM   #13
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I know this was not one of the options however, if you want a camera that combines the best of both the 4/3 system and the Pentax Q series than may I suggest you take a look at the Panasonic GM-5. The image quality is very good, it uses all the 4/3 lenses, with the 12-32 kit lens it is about the same size as the QS-1 with the 01 lens. It has a nice combination of features such as that metal feel of the original Q that some users miss, a touch screen and a built in EVF which many folks have been wishing for on the Q series. While the Panasonic 12-32mm kit lens is pretty good, I added a Panasonic 15mm 1.7 lens with aperture ring for an old school shooting experience. Though I keep the Q7’s for shooting miniature models, the GM-5 has become my walk about camera. Here’s a photo of my setup and a few tourist type images from it. On the B&W shot I ran the JPG file through Lightroom and increased the contrast.






12-04-2015, 01:49 PM   #14
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^ Hmmmm.... Thanks for pointing that camera out. I'll have to take a look at it. That looks like another possibility.



QuoteOriginally posted by CarlJF Quote
...we weren't looking for a replacement for our DSLR but for our P&S, which we liked because it was small enough to fit in a coat pocket or in my wife's purse. IQ maybe isn't up to the PEN but is head and shoulder above the A480 or the other Sony 20MP P&S we have.
You pretty much nailed it on the head. I' not really looking to replace our DSLRs. It's more to compliment what we have & get a bit more out of it with a small form factor.

My wife likes the ability to swap lenses, just not the format of a DSLR. It seems like the Q-S1 would be the smallest with the best image quality.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/hjbyeo/11620563974/

^ Pretty neat. Yes. The Olympus is a lot better in terms of image quality, but from what I've seen on the Q picture thread, the Q-S1 isn't far behind & the Q still has far better image quality than my wife's old Canon. I've already toyed with some ISO 1600 to ISO 12800 DNG files in Lightroom & RawTherapee & the images look pretty usable to ISO 3200 & OK at ISO 6400. The body with 2 lenses is about $400.

The cool thing about the Olympus is that it is more touch screen oriented. Focusing, shooting, & changing settings can all be done via touch screen. The LCD screen also flips out. That would come in handy once in a while. There are a ton of lenses available for it too. The body with 2 lenses is about $400.
12-04-2015, 02:47 PM   #15
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i'd vote for the larger sensor size olympus. i had the original q with the 01 prime, should be one of the better lens out there. still felt like the images were closer to point and shoot than dslr. don't get me wrong, it was fun and i've seen amazing pictures from the q line. it just wasn't for me.

sounds like you're stressing interchangeable lenses and RAW development. you'd get more flexibility in both of those departments with the olympus. the only pro that i see with the q-s1 is that it's cute. and lighter. but the shapes are still very similar... they don't fold flat or become more compact unless you get pancake lenses or body cap lenses, which both systems have; the m4/3rds just has more options for pancake/body cap lenses.
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