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03-18-2012, 03:47 PM - 1 Like   #1
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Got to play with the K-01 and the Q: My impressions

I wanted to dump this into the general forums because it's both the K-01 and the Q, but I wasn't sure if it belonged there..

..So I took a trip to B&H Superstore in NYC to purchase a waterproof messenger bag (Domke Courier Medium, if anyone is interested), and I stopped by the Pentax booth. The Canon and Nikon booths were loaded with customers playing with the cameras, but the Pentax (and pretty much all other brands) had one or two people stopping by to look at things. So I got myself to the front of the non-existent crowd to play with these two cameras!

Forgive my terrible pictures, my iPhone isn't the best camera:

Pentax K-01 Initial Impressions


Looks:
My my my.. what an interesting camera! The black is definitely the best looking to me, followed by Stormtrooper White. Bumblebee Yellow doesn't look terrible, but it's not that great for me. From the front, it actually looks pretty normal. I didn't even notice the stovepipe dial - it really just looks like a short SLR from the front. Back looks alright, top is weird with the red and green buttons being so prominent, but not "ugly".

Feel:
Feels great! I don't think I have a problem with grip! Even with a heavier lens, the camera feels substantial enough that I can still one-hand it (For reference, I carry my Tamron 70-200 F2.8 and k-x one-handed). Buttons feel pretty accessible, but I haven't tried it with the red and green buttons that people are saying are out of reach. The material feels really good to the touch - I hate the plastic that most cameras have nowadays. The camera feels very balanced with the 40mm XS, and I imagine it'll be great with almost any normal or shorter prime on it.

Menus and function:
The menu was so easy to navigate! As a Pentax user, everything was intuitive - it took me 10 seconds to find the focus peaking feature, set to center AF and center weighted metering, and then I was ready to shoot! If you have a Pentax camera, the menu system will be very intuitive.
Focus peaking is absolutely awesome - I finally get to see it in person. Very easy to use, remains active while in AF mode (so you can use it with quick-shift). Changing exposure settings doesn't make the screen darken or brighten like the S95 does - the metering bar tells you everything. I much prefer that over the S95 feature, because it was just distracting.
Shutter sound isn't that loud! Drive mode, and I could barely hear it - so in an environment with people chatting around, you can't hear the shutter from a few feet away. I guess that's like the k-5, since that was my impression of the k-5 too.
Live view screen is quite responsive and nice - a ton better than my k-x. I guess if you have a k-5, it should be similar.

Autofocus:
With the 40mm XS, it's great. Wow, it's good. It's not slow at all, as good as my k-x to say the least. And watching focus peaking in action while AF is happening shows you that the AF is accurate as heck! It does cycle through the range a bit, but the 40mm XS has pretty short throw. I understand that the AF system is not that great with a few of the other lenses (18-55, 55-300, 35mm macro). But after handling this camera with the 40mm XS, I am hoping that majority of the primes (especially the 21 limited, 31 limited, 43, 70, 77, etc) focus as quick or close enough.

Image quality
Got nothing to say here, the camera has no card so I couldn't review any of the pictures. But I'm sure they are good!

Summary
I want this camera - if only for the focus peaking. But I want weather resistance, so the k-5 replacement better have focus peaking!

Pentax Q Initial Impressions


Looks and Feel:
What a great little camera! It really endeared itself to me when I played with it. It looks really good in person, and makes most compact cameras look old fashioned. Despite it's size, it feels very solid to the touch. The body doesn't feel very plasticky, I can definitely use this camera one-handed. Button placements are nice, but buttons are tiny! I have really fat thumbs so I think the button sizes are not great for me. I used my k-x with gloves and had no problems hitting buttons, but I doubt I can do that with the Q.

Menus and function:
The menu is just as good as the K-01! Very intuitive to Pentax users. I can find practically any function very easily. The quick dial in the front is a brilliant idea on the empty space in the front. Single dial in the back like the K-01 and the k-x/k-r, which I am used to. I can't find anything wrong with the menu and layouts.
Shutter sound is very quite as well, which makes it very cute when shooting continuous drive.
I didn't try the focus assist for manual focusing - I think it is just zooming in? Manual focus on the Q isn't as fun as on the K-01. First, there is no focus peaking. Second, the screen is smaller, so the zoom in focus assist is a must. Third, the focus-by-wire system on the Q lens means it doesn't give feedback when it hits infinity or minimum focus. That doesn't sound like a big deal, but it is disconcerting.
Live view screen is responsive and not laggy at all. When compared to point and shoots, the Q fares very very well.

Autofocus:
Autofocus on the Q is quite quick. Nothing to rave about, but when we're comparing with point and shoots, the Q definitely holds its ground. Had no problems focusing between minimum and infinity.

Image quality
Got nothing to say here, the camera has no card so I couldn't review any of the pictures. But I'm sure they are good!

Summary
I would love to have the Q in my pocket. It's tiny, it's adorable, it's well built, and it's got almost everything I want in a camera. The only things missing is weather-resistance and a larger sensor. Once I get my k-5, I will definitely consider getting a Q.

03-18-2012, 04:17 PM   #2
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Thanks for posting your impressions!
03-18-2012, 05:10 PM   #3
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Appreciate your impressions. You guys that can actually touch the gear before you buy are SO lucky!
03-18-2012, 08:55 PM   #4
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I saw the Q last week and was astounded at how small it is. Not sure I could justify it, but it sure seemed like a fun camera.

03-19-2012, 05:33 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by rfortson Quote
I saw the Q last week and was astounded at how small it is. Not sure I could justify it, but it sure seemed like a fun camera.
I agree and my UPS guy has my Q on his truck today out for delivery !



Last edited by jogiba; 03-19-2012 at 05:39 AM.
03-19-2012, 06:22 AM   #6
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Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by rfortson Quote
I saw the Q last week and was astounded at how small it is. Not sure I could justify it, but it sure seemed like a fun camera.
If it drops to $400 (ignoring this weekend's $300 fiasco on QVC) and remains at $400, it'd be a huge competitor against all the other super compacts. It definitely felt a ton better to play with than my friend's S95.

QuoteOriginally posted by Docrwm Quote
Appreciate your impressions. You guys that can actually touch the gear before you buy are SO lucky!
Touching is so important! Feeling that K-01 in hand made a much better impression than just seeing it - especially with the multitude of people here saying it's going to be terrible to hold, etc. Yeah, it may be tough to hold with a 70-200 F2.8 on it, but most smaller DSLRs are pretty hard to hold with that big lens too! I don't have any issue holding my k-x with a 70-200 one-handed, but my friends complain about how heavy that combo is.
03-19-2012, 01:46 PM   #7
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The retards at QVC sent me a Pentax P&S instead of the Q.
03-19-2012, 01:52 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by jogiba Quote
The retards at QVC sent me a Pentax P&S instead of the Q.
Sorry. That's no fun. I'm afraid that I'm going to get the same thing. Ah well, if its too good to be true, it is.

03-19-2012, 02:18 PM   #9
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I also played with one yesterday at B&H

for me the camera did not feel good, very boxy , not good enough grip , and I did not like the rubber feel, it focused in the store quick enough but not as quick as the K-5 that was just next to it , (that is also only a little larger , yet feels smaller? or should I say more comfortable )

both the Sony booth and the Olympus one are right next to the Pentax. and both the Sony NEX and the pen 3 are focusing scary fast , and I mean crazy scary fast . not even a match to any Pentax camera to date .

for me form all the cameras I saw yesterday the one I really wanted is the K-05 silver with the new lens. but its just for me.

the K-01 would be great if you already have a lot of Pentax glass and you shoot manual focus
03-19-2012, 02:58 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by jogiba Quote
The retards at QVC sent me a Pentax P&S instead of the Q.
Bummer.

I still have the original screen capture of the Q for $298, if you think you may need it.
03-19-2012, 07:37 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by luftfluss Quote
Bummer.

I still have the original screen capture of the Q for $298, if you think you may need it.
I did screen captures also.




Last edited by jogiba; 03-19-2012 at 07:57 PM.
03-20-2012, 01:34 AM   #12
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For a split second, I thought I missed $289 deal.
Well, it can't be truth as of now.
03-22-2012, 12:40 AM   #13
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I tried the K-01 yesterday (in Tokyo). Focus peaking was great with a Sigma 30mm f1.4 (fastest lens within reach) but I didn't really like much else about the camera - to me it felt pretty fragile, and not in the slightest bit ergonomic.

(Fuji X-Pro 1 was great though. They also had two new Olympus OM-D's but they were behind glass.)
03-23-2012, 12:20 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by timh Quote
I tried the K-01 yesterday (in Tokyo). Focus peaking was great with a Sigma 30mm f1.4 (fastest lens within reach) but I didn't really like much else about the camera - to me it felt pretty fragile, and not in the slightest bit ergonomic.

(Fuji X-Pro 1 was great though. They also had two new Olympus OM-D's but they were behind glass.)
Huh. First time I've heard fragile. Mine feels solid as a brick. I guess ergonomics are all in the hands of the user. K-01 seems to fall naturally into my left hand and the buttons, including the Green Button and +/- are easy to reach.

Of course it has hardly left my hands between 6 and 10 pm for a week. Now a dSLR feels odd.
03-23-2012, 04:20 PM   #15
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I do mean fragile compared to other Pentax cameras, similar to a low end Canon in that if I drop it I expect the plastic to crack horribly. I didn't actually try dropping it in the shop though, I admit.

If I spent a few hours with it maybe I'd get used to the shape but based on my rainy-Tokyo-day camera-thon even the current NEX's are better.
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