Why the Q system makes sense

Started Jun 23, 2011 | Discussions thread
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Bart Roskam
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Why the Q system makes sense
Jun 23, 2011

When Sony released its NEX models I was impressed. An APS-C sensor in such a small body just seemed incredible. My enthusiasm quickly faded when I saw the camera with lenses attached, or should I say; the lens with a camera attached. It's nice to have a pocketable camera, but if the lens makes the combination almost as bulky as a DSLR, I'm not sure whether the NEX- system is really an improvement at all. (check this thread for pictures of a NEX-camera with 18-200 http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1036&thread=38731629 )

The Q-system's sensor size will allow for much smaller, lighter and cheaper lenses. It allows for lenses that actually fit with the camera's concept! It is a trade-off in image quality though, but it is a choice, not a design-defect. Smaller and lighter does not mean that it has to be low quality. The body is a magnesium alloy, the flash flips out high above the camera and allows for 1/2000 flash sync and 1/250 with an external flash. The two kit-lenses have an integrated ND-filter and the mounts are made of metal.

A lot of complaints are made because of the sensor size. The sanity of the people at Pentax is questioned. I argue that the people at Pentax are not stupid, but made a conscious choice in order to construct a new system that is pocketable. A compact system is not possible with a large sensor, and thus, a compact system needs a small sensor. Sony's NEX's, or even the Olympus PEN's, were thus never designed to be truly compact systems .

The comparison with camera's like the LX-5 or the G12 seems more valid than the comparison with the APS-C or m4/3 systems. When comparing to these camera's, the price, although it is the MSRP, seems rather high. For the money though, you'll get the Magnesium body, great flash-sync, metal mounted lenses, a real fish-eye, and the possibility to upgrade the body while retaining the lenses. This new body can be designed even smaller than the current one (something which is not possible with the NEX models since that mount as already as high as the camera).

As long as you don't expect the same Image-quality as from your APS-C, the Q-system makes sense

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