Those test results are too blatantly soft. They're wildly at odds with my experience using two original Q bodies and the 02 zoom as well as an 01 prime. I wonder if Dpreview got hold of a pre-production Q7 or 02 zoom with a defect, or maybe failed to turn IS off before making tripod-mounted shots. Maybe there's a bug in the processing engine.
I don't know what the problem is, but it's clear to me something's not right with the Q7 and/or lens tested, or with the way the test shots were made. I don't see Pentax knowingly bringing a $500 to $700 camera to market with such a pronounced and obvious lack of sharpness.
I suppose this technology holds out the possibility of a future where everyman can be his own technological innovator, product designer and fabricator. "If you can imagine it, you can make it!"
Then, I'm reminded of the wide variation people exhibit in matters of talent, technical savvy and, most of all, taste. After all, someone at some time thought the '91 Chevy Caprice, Pontiac Aztek, Nissan Cube, Toyota Echo and VW Thing were really cool-looking vehicle designs. The mind boggles.
Maybe this capability will work out well overall. I'm making a good-faith effort not to scoff and reject the new and different out of hand. Looking at Marius' interesting but aesthetically challenged camera effort, this is going to take a lot of good-faith effort. ;)
Eccentric me has no need for his every camera to be capable of ne plus ultra IQ, the better to produce billboard-size prints or to pixel-peep all my image captures. I admit it's a weakness, but likability, design personality and fun potential can count for a lot.
I like what I see in the Q7 so far. I'm anxious to see how it stacks up in reviews.
Antony John: "No place in the Sun for Chicago's Photographers" seems an apt headline for the newspaper.Pretty sad really.
That would make an excellent headline for a story about what the newspaper is doing.
Skilled, experienced, talented news photographers know and routinely do things cell-phone snappers and savvy amateurs with good gear can't be counted on for. Pro news photographers go places with news media credentials that freelancers can't access. Pro's forge ties with people in positions of authority — ties that come in handy when something big happens. Pro's stay all night at a major calamity, while cell-phone-toting civilians sleep. Pro's wade through floodwaters and brave blizzards while amateurs take snapshots from their deck, then retreat inside where it's warm and dry.
The Chicago Sun-Times will continue to get photos, some pretty good ones at times, I expect. But the newspaper has just forfeited an abiding and obviously undervalued strength. It's one more brick out of a wall that appears to be crumbling. The greatest shame is that neither newspaper decision makers nor much of the public appreciates that they're losing something of value.
trekkeruss: I don't know what all the commotion is about. OK, I do. Geeks want a better camera than this one. But it's cameras like this one that, at least in theory, that make companies like Pentax money so they can build and sell the more enthusiast cameras.
So...does this camera actually have the ability to be manually zoomed, or is the rubber-looking grip around the lens barrel just for aesthetics? I'm betting the latter, but if it can be manually zoomed (or even focused), that would be pretty cool for an inexpensive superzoom, and certainly a differentiating selling point. I'd expect that from Pentax.
EDIT: examining the product photos closer, it appears the grip is just for show. All bling and no zing. Too bad.
"So...does this camera actually have the ability to be manually zoomed, or is the rubber-looking grip around the lens barrel just for aesthetics? I'm betting the latter, but if it can be manually zoomed (or even focused) . . ."
The specifications list above clearly statess, "Manual focus | Yes."
SW Anderson: So, priced at $500 like a DSLR or ILC but with a smaller sensor and no optical or electronic viewfinder. I'll pass.
I share your appreciation for dials and buttons, but can get along nicely without a touchscreen. The faster lens is good, too. Alas the lack of an OVF or EVF is a deal breaker. If one is offered later at a reasonable price, I'd be willing to take another look at this camera. But if the viewfinder costs as much as a good camera, forget it.
Prairie Pal: The monitors are a little short on resolution, but otherwise....wow for Pentax. I'm not in the market for a camera with this sensor size, but there are many who are and this Pentax will be seriously considered by some of them. An electronic viewfinder in this price range? Tilting monitor in this price range? Wow and wow. 26X lens? Nice. 16mp....hmmm we'll see. AA batteries? Ding-Ding!! Bonus. Who wants to buy yet ANOTHER battery format that will never fit another camera. As nice as this camera is, it's not a lifetime camera, the battery will probably outlast it, and who wants to buy a second back up battery at 50 bucks that you will throw away with the camera in 3 years? This is a well thought out release by both designers and marketers. As for a DSLR look-alike...so what? The people who buy it will be aware they are not fooling anyone. They're buying it because it's all that it is PLUS it's cute and something to play with and it just might take pretty good pictures !!
I wish camera makers would ensconce every lithium ion battery within a module that could be swapped out for an AA batteries module should the proper lithiums no longer be available. Of course, lithium batteries for cameras using this design approach would have to be 3 volt or 6 volt and of appropriate amperage to make this workable.
I'm very interested. If IQ measures up, I'm in. I just wish the sensor size was larger or pixel count was less. But I will withhold judgment until review results are in.
So, priced at $500 like a DSLR or ILC but with a smaller sensor and no optical or electronic viewfinder. I'll pass.
Folks who covet things very small and sleek, and who have been pining for that form factor in a larger-sensor camera, will probably flock to this one. It delivers impressive IQ, going by the sample photos. But for the flock to be of good size, the street price will have to come down closer to where most people can reach it without getting behind in their bills. At this price, the RX100 is up against DSLR's and ILC's with terrific IQ, more features and greater flexibility.
And, BTW, some of us prefer a bit more camera to hold on to and work with over very small and sleek.
I 'm sure manufacturers hope these mirrorless cameras will create a lucrative market for additional lenses. I read years ago that was the thinking of leading film SLR makers, which competed more on camera price but realized bigger per-item profits from lens sales. However, I think what spurred the growth of film SLR sales from the 1970's-1990's was the availability of more-affordable, good- to excellent-quality lenses from third-party makers.
So far, I don't see third-party lens makers hurrying out products for ILC's. They're probably in wait-and-see mode. If independent lens makers do bring out some "popular"-priced ultrawides, faster-than-kit medium zooms and faster fixed focal length portrait lenses, I think they will be rewarded with good initial sales. But down the line, when more people buy ILC's in part because more more-affordable lenses are available, the lens makers will enjoy even bigger sales.
Just a thought, anyway.
Hmm. I was a little quick on the draw. For some reason, the headlines didn't appear when I first landed on your main page. When I went back to it just now, there they were. Someone either responded to my previous comment with amazing speed, or I mistook a glitch in rendering the page for a design change.
Your site is overall excellent. That said, I really miss headlines on the main-page news items. Please bring them back.
Even though the X-S1's sensor is smaller than its LCD, I'm smitten. Maybe it's because I don't get prints the size of a sports bar flat screen TV. The EXR system's flexibility strikes me as a smart way of dealing with challenges different lighting conditions present. If this camera performs in line with its specs, the piggy bank gets it. :)
All in all, very impressive performance. The Half Price Books shot, the informal portrait aboard a ferry and that sunburst scenic are wow factor results. Makes me really want one of these, even if it's a budget stretcher.
Repeated attempts here and at Youtube to watch the video resulted in a message, "This video is private."
What's with that?
I've been comfortable shooting several form factors and sizes of camera over the years. Classic rangefinder and SLR suit me best.
Maybe it's just shock of the new, but the Lytro design leaves me cold. Sort of like holding a salt shaker at an awkward angle, but without a nice taper. Aesthetically, I'm enough of a traditionalist to prefer a camera that looks like cameras have traditionally looked. As for practicalities, judging by the photo of a woman looking at the viewing screen, this camera will take us back to the skimpy/squinty mini-LCD days of about eight years ago. For $400.
Ex post facto focusing is nifty technology. But it appears there are limits on it effective range — probably to within depth of field. So, it appears it's not hard to record images that include elements whose sharpness can't be adjusted after the fact.
I look forward to some nitty-gritty reviews. If they're good, maybe the design will grow on me. For now, I'm kind of underwhelmed and disappointed.
Looks to be a very nice camera, provided IQ is really good. I can't help but think the price is overly ambitious, especially in this economy. Even considering the actual selling price will be somewhat lower, it's high. For that kind of money many will go with a DSLR or ILC, whether or not they intend to buy additional lenses.
Good overall performance, IMO. I wish the Panasonic FZ0 and Fuji S4000 were among the cameras available for comparison.