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07-30-2017, 06:03 AM   #46
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None of this takes away from the fact that the Q is no longer a system, is no longer in stock, is an orphan product line, and is the perfect example of where a market zigs and where Pentax zagged, leaving Pentax with dead IP and no foothold in the mirrorless market save for the GR, which is a unique beast and not in the growth segment.

Worse, the Q ranked dead last in ILC sales in every measure. Market data demonstrates clearly that consumer compacts are not only declining, they might disappear forever. Sony, Canon, Nikon, Olympus all saw this coming with better business planning that Ricoh/Pentax. They have alternatives positioned and they ALL feature larger sensors. In fact, that is their spelling point, blatant in the advertising. Sony, Nikon and Canon have been explicit in their marketing that an ILC is centred around a larger sensor than a "compact", so the Q was labouring against the market norm. It went fashion "cute" while the tech and sales went for larger sensors and superior features. It's a decisive shift.

The worst part? Every industry watcher saw this from Day One of the Q's launch. The Q has always baffled because it tried to fashion upscale the compact sensor at a time when Sony (the #1 manufacturer by far) was closing its small sensor fabs and shifting to smartphone sensors and larger sensors for the rump dedicated camera market. I've heard form one major distributor that the Q was so complicated to stock and sell, it actually contributed to Pentax's lost shelf space overall, perhaps irretrievably harming the future of Ricoh/Pentax cameras entirely.

In the camera industry you probably couldn't pick a better example of how a company read the market and the tech trajectory so poorly. This is business 101...a textbook case suitable for the classroom.

07-30-2017, 07:05 AM - 3 Likes   #47
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
None of this takes away from the fact that the Q is no longer a system, is no longer in stock, is an orphan product line, and is the perfect example of where a market zigs and where Pentax zagged, leaving Pentax with dead IP and no foothold in the mirrorless market save for the GR, which is a unique beast and not in the growth segment.

Worse, the Q ranked dead last in ILC sales in every measure. Market data demonstrates clearly that consumer compacts are not only declining, they might disappear forever. Sony, Canon, Nikon, Olympus all saw this coming with better business planning that Ricoh/Pentax. They have alternatives positioned and they ALL feature larger sensors. In fact, that is their spelling point, blatant in the advertising. Sony, Nikon and Canon have been explicit in their marketing that an ILC is centred around a larger sensor than a "compact", so the Q was labouring against the market norm. It went fashion "cute" while the tech and sales went for larger sensors and superior features. It's a decisive shift.

The worst part? Every industry watcher saw this from Day One of the Q's launch. The Q has always baffled because it tried to fashion upscale the compact sensor at a time when Sony (the #1 manufacturer by far) was closing its small sensor fabs and shifting to smartphone sensors and larger sensors for the rump dedicated camera market. I've heard form one major distributor that the Q was so complicated to stock and sell, it actually contributed to Pentax's lost shelf space overall, perhaps irretrievably harming the future of Ricoh/Pentax cameras entirely.

In the camera industry you probably couldn't pick a better example of how a company read the market and the tech trajectory so poorly. This is business 101...a textbook case suitable for the classroom.
You can buy any Q model and any Q lens with a couple of clicks on Amazon or eBay.

"Sony, Nikon and Canon have been explicit in their marketing that an ILC is centred around a larger sensor than a "compact". So what? The Q is a small sensor ILC camera, that is its whole reason for existence, that is why it has it's fans.

" … I've heard form one major distributor that the Q was so complicated to stock and sell, it actually contributed to Pentax's lost shelf space overall, perhaps irretrievably harming the future of Ricoh/Pentax cameras entirely." The Q was never on the shelf of any photo retailer outside of NYC, for that matter Pentax DSLRs are scarce as well, Pentax/Ricoh has always had marketing problems in the US and it may not survive, but the Q isn't the cause of them.

"In the camera industry you probably couldn't pick a better example of how a company read the market and the tech trajectory so poorly."
All of the camera companies misread the rise of smart phones, at least Pentax had the guts to offer something unique- the smallest ILC with built-in shake reduction, reasonably priced lenses and easily adapted to almost any optic ever made: something no one else has done as well. It will be a sad day if only Canon and Sony (and maybe Nikon) survive, the photo industry needs more variety, not less.

Last edited by Cipher; 07-30-2017 at 07:05 AM. Reason: typo
07-30-2017, 01:21 PM   #48
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Hi Charles,

My take on it as a person who carries around Q7 every day and is satisfied with my outcome in general is this:
The first thing you want to make sure is if Q-S1 or Q7 offers what you need as of now. If it does, then worry about future (or not). If Q-S1 is substandard anyway why worry, it's better to move on.

If you don't carry your Q around because IQ is not even close to your K-01 or K-30, I'm afraid that your new Q-S1 or Q7 will not be close to K-01 or K-30 either. Sure these "newer" bodies might have better IQ than Q and Q10, but not K-30 level better.

If you shoot jpeg, my gut feeling is that you'll be disappointed once you get past the initial "this certainly has lower noise than the original Q" period. If RAW shooter, maybe worth it, maybe not, you are the one to decide, but again don't expect K-30 level good. Look at forum members' pictures to figure out.

Worrying about future is more tricky business and I don't have any concrete advice here, sorry. Some don't worry much and I belong to that group, but I understand that it could be a concern for some.

QuoteOriginally posted by ChopperCharles Quote
Is this a viable platform moving forward? Will there be new lenses and new bodies to buy? I've got two original Q cameras with the 01 prime and 02 zoom, as well as the fisheye. I'd like like to have a newer body, with the larger sensor and wider FOV... but I'm a little hesitant. The original Q was fun, but the IQ is so much less than that of my K-01 (or K30), especially in low light, that I find myself rarely taking the Q with me anywhere. My assumption is that the bodies will get better and better... but if the Q is finished, I'm not sure I want to keep investing. Thoughts?

Charles.
07-30-2017, 03:11 PM   #49
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QuoteOriginally posted by Cipher Quote
You can buy any Q model and any Q lens with a couple of clicks on Amazon or eBay.

"Sony, Nikon and Canon have been explicit in their marketing that an ILC is centred around a larger sensor than a "compact". So what? The Q is a small sensor ILC camera, that is its whole reason for existence, that is why it has it's fans.

" I've heard form one major distributor that the Q was so complicated to stock and sell, it actually contributed to Pentax's lost shelf space overall, perhaps irretrievably harming the future of Ricoh/Pentax cameras entirely." The Q was never on the shelf of any photo retailer outside of NYC, for that matter Pentax DSLRs are scarce as well, Pentax/Ricoh has always had marketing problems in the US and it may not survive, but the Q isn't the cause of them.

"In the camera industry you probably couldn't pick a better example of how a company read the market and the tech trajectory so poorly."
All of the camera companies misread the rise of smart phones, at least Pentax had the guts to offer something unique- the smallest ILC with built-in shake reduction, reasonably priced lenses and easily adapted to almost any optic ever made: something no one else has done as well. It will be a sad day if only Canon and Sony (and maybe Nikon) survive, the photo industry needs more variety, not less.
Sony didn't mis-read the smartphone accent. Neither did Olympus. Both companies acknowledged that when Olympus trimmed almost all of their compacts and put $$$ into m43. And Sony was shutting down compact market fabs and re-tooling for smartphone integrated sensors and circuits years prior, about 7 years ago, in fact. And Sony was doing that while being #3 in compact digital sales after Canon and Fuji.

Canon (who most often used Sony sensors) was also scaling down their compact offerings, but unlike Fuji (who kept too many compacts in the market for too long, which later showed in their financial) had no mirrorless in the wings. Note: all had large sensor, higher margin, offerings as a replacement.

Again, while there was widespread movement away from small sensors from the dedicated optical companies, only Pentax zigged towards small sensors (and then upped the sensor size after literally no sales and fierce criticism) while every other major brand zagged, dropped their small sensor offering to nearly zero, and paired their advanced optics (which smartphones cannot touch) with larger sensors.

The investment and market trajectory is very clear: Pentax jumped the shark. It was marketed broadly as a fashion accessory more than a "real" optical ILC system. They are solid little units, but a perfect example of market mis-read.

And the Nikon 1 series is not defunct. Still fully in stock at Adorama and B&H and other major retailers. Where Nikon goes is a bit of an issue (they overprice like nobody else in the biz, but the Nikon 1 series has blazing AF).

07-30-2017, 03:39 PM   #50
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
the Q ranked dead last in ILC sales in every measure
Where did it rank in Japan?
07-31-2017, 12:19 AM - 1 Like   #51
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
None of this takes away from the fact that the Q is no longer a system, is no longer in stock, is an orphan product line, and is the perfect example of where a market zigs and where Pentax zagged, leaving Pentax with dead IP and no foothold in the mirrorless market save for the GR, which is a unique beast and not in the growth segment.
Are you replying to me? Not sure, but assuming that that's the case:
None of that takes away from that you have made a statement that is incorrect in a fundamental way and used that statement as a basis to blame Q. I'm pointing out just one simple thing: When you somehow present a claim as a fact, your claim should never be verifiably false. Please don't spread misinformation. If I find somebody doing that I'll complain.

I might or might not disagree with your other points, but my point doesn't have anything to do with that, or zigging or zagging for that matter.

But enough of a digression already, sorry Charles.
08-01-2017, 03:37 AM - 1 Like   #52
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
From the start the Q series needs at least a 1" sensor to compete with the likes of the Sony RX100.
This is pretty much the truth. 1 inch stacked sensors are the future of compact cameras. In many ways the newest 1 inch from sony actually outperforms M43 sensors, particularly in Dynamic Range.

I shot with an RX100 V extensively and very foolishly sold it (for a profit at least). In my search for a 2nd copy I stumbled across someone selling a Pentax Q7 Complete kit for just $500 and picked that up. While the Q7 is a great camera, the slower AF, lack of EVF, inferior IS, and generally worse performance make it a far cry from the mighty RX100 V. The Q is more versatile but for my type of shooting the 24-70 f1.8-2.8 lens of the RX100 was more than plenty. I love to shoot wide and in low light and it is nearly impossible to find something with a 24mm f1.8 in ANY system so they fact that I can get it on a body that fits in my pocket that pushes up on APSC quality is amazing.

I will try using the Q for a bit but I imagine a few paychecks from now I will likely cave, sell it and buy an RX100 V or VI.
08-01-2017, 06:54 AM - 2 Likes   #53
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I think one point overlooked in this discussion is the fact that the Q system is an adjunct of the Pentax K system–it uses the same menu setup and is designed to be used with K-mount lenses with the Pentax adapter. A cursory look at the pros and cons of of the RX100V (and the comments of owners) shows Sony's lack of a unified approach to camera design, a unified approach that Pentax has always had. The RX cameras are great point and shoots, but they aren't a system.


Last edited by Cipher; 08-02-2017 at 07:27 AM. Reason: typo, syntax
08-02-2017, 03:09 AM   #54
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
...And the Nikon 1 series is not defunct.
End of the line? Nikon 1 mirrorless system may be discontinued: Digital Photography Review
Wanna bet?

Cheers!

Abbazz
08-05-2017, 08:49 AM   #55
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Just for fun—the earliest "Pentax Q is discontinued" rumor I could find: RiceHigh's Pentax Blog: Pentax Q Discontinued?
08-11-2017, 11:39 PM   #56
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My take on this is that the Q system clearly appears to have been discontinued... but so what? The cameras still work, there will be used examples around for many years along with the lenses to go with them, so what does it matter. The system was obviously successful enough for there to be a few new versions to be released, but the camera market has collapsed over the past 5 years, especially the compact/small sensor market in the face of the smartphone boom.
I am forever buying, selling and playing around with different cameras and was always curious about the Q system but always felt that it didnt 'quite' make the grade for the price. I favoured the Fuji X system instead. However, last week I spotted a Q10 with 02 lens on eBay for 87, boxed and in mint condition... so for that price I couldnt resist it. since it has arrived I am quite impressed. It is never gonna win any picture quality awards, but its size and functionality are awesome. I have always gravitated towards cameras that are more usable rather than the image quality they produce, as I think that you are bound to take better photos with a camera you are comfortable with rather than one that on paper gives the best images. I think back to a few years ago when I had a Nikon D200 and Nikon D7000 at the same time, the D200 was WAY behind the D7000 on image quality, but the layout and usability made the D200 my 'go to' camera.
So, although the Q may be discontinued, it will now lead its own life with other people like me who pick them up to find out what it is all about and inject some joy and fun into our photography in the process along with those who were enthusiasts from the start.
Who cares how many it did or didnt sell? What does it matter to us? If you love it, use it and enjoy it, if you dont, use something else!
The question should be 'What do Pentax do next?' This once giant of the photography industry surely need some sort small ILC? Maybe join the M4/3 brigade?
08-12-2017, 06:37 PM - 1 Like   #57
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
In the camera industry you probably couldn't pick a better example of how a company read the market and the tech trajectory so poorly. This is business 101...a textbook case suitable for the classroom.
In order to be "textbook", you should have a conclusion with no competition. Even today small sensors are successful in super-zoom cameras such as the P900 with its 1/2.5" sensor; the Q-S1 with its 1/1.7" sensor provides seriously better IQ. I believe Pentax could have handled the "Q" differently - for example, building the K-to-Q adapter to be fully functional, providing AF in K-mount lenses mounted on a "Q" - but their thinking seems to have focused entirely on the "school girl" market; they forfeited much of the benefit of the flexibility inherent in an ILC line.
08-12-2017, 08:18 PM   #58
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QuoteOriginally posted by reh321 Quote
their thinking seems to have focused entirely on the "school girl" market they forfeited much of the benefit of the flexibility inherent in an ILC line.
No way: fisheye, wide zoom, telephoto zoom, adapter, ... .
The only aspect they've now "forfeited" is macro,
although you can still kludge it with the adapter.
08-12-2017, 08:49 PM   #59
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QuoteOriginally posted by lytrytyr Quote
No way: fisheye, wide zoom, telephoto zoom, adapter, ... .
The only aspect they've now "forfeited" is macro,
although you can still kludge it with the adapter.
But that adapter is a seriously weak link. Looking at price of the 01 lens, the adapter is probably over-priced, and it provides a weak connection to Pentax's strength, namely K-mount lenses. Of that I am certain, but I guess there is no point to discussing this since the Q is all but buried, so I have nothing more to say.
08-12-2017, 09:33 PM   #60
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QuoteOriginally posted by reh321 Quote
that adapter is a seriously weak link.
Its probably overpriced when you consider Canon can sell an M to EF/S adapter for half the price and it makes those lenses fully functional...

However, the el cheapo Ebay adapters bring the Q series back to full manual operation which is fun for all to have the best teleconverter available.
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