Without better lenses, the Pentax Q is a wasted effort

Started Jun 9, 2012 | Discussions thread
Edgar Matias
Regular MemberPosts: 168Gear list
Re: RX100 and upcoming "LX7/ZX-2"- how can the Q mount survive?
In reply to Raist3d, Jun 10, 2012


I pretty much agree with almost everything you wrote.

It was foolish to think P&S upgraders would want the Q -- at least outside of Japan. At the time the Q was released, there were already better options available (S95, S100, LX5) without the bulk or learning curve of a DSLR.

The Q is a mini DSLR. They need to appeal to existing DSLR users -- there are LOTS of them. What appeals to DSLR users is fast lenses, and fast lenses are profitable -- which Pentax needs to keep the Q mount alive.

Pentax should adopt the razor & blade business model.

Price the body aggressively -- making it too good a bargain for DSLR users to pass up -- and make their money on an assortment of fast lenses. DSLR users are willing to pay more for good glass. Make it for them.

Also, offer the body on its own and let users buy exactly the lenses they want. This keeps the cost of entry low. If they had a hard plastic body model like the Canon T3i, could they sell body-only for $200? That would be really tempting.

Anyway, to start, they really only need 2 good primes: a normal and a portrait lens. Follow that up with super-fast wide, and you have a future.

They already have the 01 Prime. While not the greatest, it's as fast as its fastest competitor at 47mm equiv. (the XZ-1). It's probably cheap to make. Bundle it together with the Q at an attractive price, then offer a selection of crazy fast primes for DSLR users to salivate over.

Start with an 18mm portrait lens. It would need to be at least F1.8 to match its competitors' zooms, but nobody is going to get excited about that. Make it F1.0 and you have less than 1ft DoF from 10ft. Awesome. Upto F1.4 would still be good, if it's not too expensive.

They should also add 24p / 25p and improve the video recording. That, plus those fast lenses gets you the video professionals looking for a small camera that can handle day and light shooting, without breaking the bank.

DSLR + video shooters would give Pentax two really good (profitable) markets they can genuinely appeal to.

As you say, the other approach would be go for a bigger sensor. That would make the camera more attractive to DSLR users, but also more expensive -- which is risky, if you're making your money on the lenses. Plus, the 1/2.3" sensors will continue to improve at a fast pace, with no R&D investment by Pentax. That part of Pentax's original logic still holds.

I don't think Olympus will make their sensor bigger. With a bigger sensor, they'd have to make the lens bigger or slower. Their current lens is incredible -- they won't want to abandon it. Better just to upgrade the sensor and offer really good 24p video recording. If they did that, I'd buy one.

Panasonic needs to fix their iffy JPEG performance. The multi-aspect sensor is appealing to video shooters, but they need to add 24p or 25p video recording. Better yet, add 25p and 50p. If they did this, I'd buy one.

We're living in a Golden Era for digital cameras. Competition is intense. Camera companies need to play their cards carefully.

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