The art of miniturisation come to like!
Its 2013, the second generation Q10 model has been out for a while but this is the camera to get for several reasons:
1) The price has come done to must have levels
2) The more linear design is just beautifully simple and eligant
3) You really aren`t going to notice the extra spec of the Q10 for the vast majority of real world shooting
I'm from the SLR stable, started with an OM1 30 years ago, been through the digital point and shoots, advanced onto DSLRs and never looked back....until now! Enter the Pentax Q. On paper you'd give it a pass, its not the best in terms of image quality, resolution, speed, connectivity, oh list goes on in favour of other models. But then the game changes when you get to see it in the flesh, hold the magnesium body in you fingers (its too small to say hand) and then switch it on! With a combination of SLR usability, compact size and sheer user enjoyment it has revolutionised my rationality. It zooms as fast as you can turn the manual ring. you can either autofocus or do it manually (well almost, its manual zoom bire wire). Its just such good fun. As a street camera it comes into a world of its own. The depth of field is pretty "humongous" which has its good and bad sides, thats if you don't choose the depth of field control offered when shooting in JPEG. I'm a RAW diehard so I can't comment on the plathera of image capture options it has in jpeg mode, but enough to keep the iphone app obsessive occupied!
I upgraded to the latest firmware on the camera's arrival so focus speed has not been an issue. I bought it with the 02 5-15 zoom lens which is simply amaizing for its size. I honestly haven't used my Pentax K7 DSLR since this mini wonder arrived.I also purchased a cheap retro leatherite case which makes the whole bundle even more rediculously toylike to look at!
I've played with a Pentax K adapter and had fun using my 55-300 zoom lens on it, or should I say, using the camera on the lens! A tripod is a must or else finding targets like the moon can be pretty hit and miss!
The only down side is the lack of viewfinder. For those of use in need of near sight correction the need to hold the camera out at arm's length to see the LCD isn't too hot. There is an optical viewfinder available for the 01 8mm lens but it costs more than the camera.
To cap it all, its so damn cute my wife declared she needed one about half an hour after seeing it in my hands. She now adorns hers around her neck like a neckless everywhere she goes! Not sure if more photos are taken but it proves that the camera really is a pleasure to carry round!
Really, its in a class of its own, and probably a future classic! I congratulate the Pentax desingers!
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I don't think you rated the flash performance high enough. What other camera can you think of that has a 1/2000 flash sync?
Hi Andy, I share your positive views re the Q & enjoy mine a lot. Re the lack of a viewfinder for folks needing near sight correction. I've been very pleased with the Hoodman Loupe. The one I use attaches easily with adjustable elastic loops (so it can fit regardless of what lens or adapter you have on your camera) But, more importantly, the glass lens rotates (like the eyepiece on a pair of binoculars ) to compensate/correct for your vision so the LDC display can be viewed sharp and clear, even after cataract surgery. It's far better than looking at the LCD at arms length, especially in bright sunlight. Regards, Geoff.
Thanks for the input Geof!
Only thing is, these bolt-on LCD viewers are bigger than the whole camera and then some. I've been looking into AVI viewer specs to plug into the camera AVI-out as a possible future alternative, but probably will have to make do with wearing glasses likr the rest of the world. Maybe a MKIII version might come along with a plug-in viewer like the rest of the EVIL clan out there. Having said that I've found moving the camera around, freed up from not sitting on the end of my knose, does have some benifits at times! Still, for the price I paid and the quality of this little jewel, I'm not going to grumble. Every time I pick it up to go out, it still gives a "Wow" sensation! I'm pondering on finding a 01 lens to make it even smaller although I do find the 02 zoom excellent for out-and-about snapping.
When it first came out I thought it was a veritable waste of space, a mini version of the K01 (which incedently I found to be just as bad in person as it was on screen, actually worse, buts thats another story). It turns out that size does matter and bigger isn't always better. The tiny sensor is a pleasant surprise, especially below ISO 800 and I just love the manual zooming, in particular after a day having to use a "normal" point and shoot.
There are still many who just don't get this camera. They look at it baffled. They ask in a incredulous demeaning sort of way "Whats the point of an interchangable mini point and shoot". I then swop the lens over from my K7 and the jaw usually drops! Brilliant, Pentax, just brilliant!
" There is an optical viewfinder available for the 01 8mm lens but it costs more than the camera."
Indeed, comparing the O-VF1's list price and current closeout pricing of Q's, the situation is kind of paradoxical. I believe Pentax could sell many more Q's, Q10's and the apparently coming Q7's if the company would come out with a good $99 optical viewfinder. Using molded optical plastic, Pentax should be able to produce one with guides for the wide angle and 01 lenses in one unit, sell the OVF profitably and probably benefit from additional camera sales as well. I base this notion in part on how for years camera makers such as Kodak and Nikon included OVF's of that type on their low-cost point 'n' shoots as a matter of course.
I recently bought a used O-VF1 on eBay for $150, and consider myself lucky for finding a used one to buy. Something like finding a four-leaf clover. I was able to get out and use it over the weekend, in brilliant sunlight where the LCD was absolutely useless for composing. The framing guides take a little getting used to, but after a few shots I gained a pretty good idea of where the boundaries are at various distances. I'm sure if I had to point and guess because the LCD was overwhelmed many more exposures would've gone to the trashcan.
I disagree about the K-01. I find the looks and build as interesting and solid as a Q. Performance is in another class. The Q can do the job, but it takes more care in shooting and post-processing.
If you want an OVF for the 01 prime, there are some old viewfinders available for good prices. I bought a Petri Tele-Wide for $25. The outer framing lines match up perfectly with the 01 and the camera looks awesome with the VF in the hotshoe. There are others besides the Petri that will work.