I have to believe that, if only subconsciously, Nikon product designers are out to protect their DSLR business. If I'm wrong about that, they need to do some serious focus-group work with soccer moms or photo enthusiasts. Better yet, they should do some focus-group work with both, to better understand what those diverse groups want, don't want and, of crucial importance, what they'd be willing to pay for cameras that provide what each group wants and omit what each group doesn't want.
BTW, if Nikon's designers want to shortcut that process on the enthusiast side they would do well to spend some quality time with an Olympus XZ-1. It's a camera design that feels like home to an enthusiast. Yet, the XZ-1 can be handed off to a soccer mom or P&S duffer in programmed or full auto mode with confidence it will deliver some very good images if the shooter has reasonable instincts about framing, composition and "decisive moments."
Paul Guba: Great to see some more makers enter the market. Obviously they feel there is a profit to be made.
"Great to see some more makers enter the market. . . ."
I'm glad also. I just hope having more M43 lens makers in the market will at some point yield competition that moderates prices. Seems as though anything wider than the ubiquitous kit zoom comes with an arm-and-leg price tag.
Kubicide: Nikon has every right to do this - so why the hate? Does everyone think the aftermarket folks really care about your camera or compatability, or bringing you some sort of "fair value"? No, they want your $$$. And as a manufacturer Nikon should do what they need to do to protect their product and support expenses.
No one knows for sure just how compatible or incompatible the aftermarket product is except for the engineers at Nikon and the other companies. This battery issue is just like the reverse engineered lenses. It's the old "buyer beware" thing. If you are out to save a buck then do it 'eyes wide open' and know that the aftermarket product may not work and the vendor just wants your money for their product. That's it. Nikon doesn't make any claim to state that their product is designed to work with anything coming out of any 'brand x' manufacturer.
I don't think anyone questions Nikon's *right* to to do what it's doing. Nikon has a right to make its cameras proprietary, put any price on them it wants to, even make them so they turn to rusty dust three years after purchase, if that's what the company wants to do. Likewise, I have a right to reject Nikon's proprietary products and buy the products of companies not out to gouge me for batteries and such, if that's what I want to do. And that *is* what I want to do.
Most often when there is a choice, I avoid proprietary gear and systems. I've always chosen Windows PC's over Apple computers and more recently Android tablets over iPads. Nikon might gain some additional profit from going proprietary, but those gains will have to be measured against the cost of future rejection of Nikon products by consumers like me.
I wonder if the Olympus Pen E-PL5 has the same problems. Unfortunately, it appears DPreview only does previews of E-PL models, not reviews.
The previewers' last paragraph on the first page is the most worthwhile part of this jaundiced preview. Obviously, this camera is meant to appeal to those who want to move up from an x-years-old point 'n' shoot, a phonecam or elderly superzoom that's now outfeatured even by the less-than-state-of-the-art Sony A3000. Then, there are those who'd like to give an ILC a try without spending upwards of $700.
I recall people disparaging the VW Beetle because it wasn't a V8-powered Ford, Chevy or Plymouth with power everything, lots of front and rear overhang, and able to pass everything but a gas station. Those critics just didn't get it.
I suspect most A3000 buyers won't be after a faux DSLR with which to impress others or to play let's pretend with themselves. Some like a DSLR-style design because it provides more to hold on to and controls tend to be less tiny and crowded. As for the lackluster LCD and manual EVF switch, look for fixes on a new improved A3000n in a year or two.
I'm reminded "trendy" rhymes with "spendy." Also, that miniaturization, like most things in this life, can be overdone.
To put it another way, I could probably eat a steak dinner using a scalpel and pair of tweezers instead of a knife and fork. But, why would I want to?
Dale108: The Q's main market is Japan, where is seems to be quite popular. I have the original Q and find it fun to use. IQ is also quite good and I find DR better than other small compacts such as the LX7.
@John Koch, I'm not sure anyone said the Q is a better value than a basic DSLR kit. That judgment, like one regarding whether the Q and its lenses are worth "the added expense" is a subjective one you have to decide for yourself. What works for me might not for you.
With its welcome full review of the Q7, Dpreview has provided you with a wealth of information with which to make a judgment. That said, I have some reservations about whether those sample photos from early July accurately reflect the Q7's capabilities. Results from my 1st generation Q make me think the Q7 is capable of much better than the sample pix would lead one to believe.
That's a delightful blog post/article. Thanks for pointing it out.
Next up, a medicine cabinet which, at certain times of the day, will lob pills at you if you're standing in front of it with mouth open and then open its door. What? You don't get it? Why have to actually reach in, take out and open a bottle or two, then take your pills manually, when technology can do 98 percent of the work?
Eventually, the Chow Plower — speed and efficiency preparing and feeding you a meal, beyond anything you ever imagined. You won't even have to lift a fork!
Seriously, this OMG Life "innovation" comes across as an odd, redundant contrivance in this era when most of the population feels naked without a smartphone-with-camera, and all-weather mini cams are reasonably priced and plentiful.
sfa1966: Ouch. I am a loyal Pentaxian, but I have to say that is very poor. The left side of the image looks like mush. The centre is unimpressive. Soft, soft, soft. And in the comments below, Richard Butler tells us that the much-heralded-by-the-fanboys 01 Prime was tested and it came out "considerably worse"!
C'mon Ricoh, kill this Quirky Quackers waste of your resources!
Tosic is talking objectivity. You're talking attitude. There is no rational reason why having "toy lenses" in a camera's line of accessories would affect the quality or capabilities of the camera or of other lenses and accessories for the camera. Your attempt to stigmatize the whole Q line because Pentax made the (unfortunate, in my opinion) decision to name two of the lenses for it "toy" says plenty about your attitude and little about the actual quality and worthiness of the cameras and lenses.
If you dislike the Q and its lenses, why not just ignore them? Your attitude and sarcasm are neither helpful nor appreciated.
Zvonimir Tosic: For better judgement — real life Q7 shots with 01, 02 and 06 lenses:
Results from the 01 and 02 lenses on the Pentax page are consistent with my experience with these lenses where sharpness is concerned.
SW Anderson: 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.
OK, I went back and compared the still lifes. The G15 is noticeably sharper at the edge than the Q when viewed at maximum online enlargement. At the center, I find the G15 very slightly sharper, but the difference is negligible. And that is at maximum online enlargement.
Andy Westlake has used this lens of limited specifications to about as good an effect as is humanly possible in these images, in my opinion. The subjects are remarkably appropriate, the lighting well suited, the compositions terrific.
A long time ago, a writer on photography asked if it was possible to take a lousy photograph of Marilyn Monroe. The point being that Monroe's incredible eye appeal and near universal recognition would make any technical or composition deficit inconsequential. A really good subject recorded with talent and skill can similarly make such things as softness and vignetting at the edges, and chromatic aberration, either largely beside the point or, in some cases, artistic assets. I think that's what Westlake has done here.
Bottom line: these images made with this lens should be a bit humbling for purists who reject as worthless junk any lens that falls short of the highest performance standards.
What I see in the ISO 200 new image of mannequin scene is comparable sharpness in the Q and G15 images.
What I also see is both those cameras delivering excellent sharpness, while the Q7 in Dpreview's test delivered unacceeptably poor sharpness. By the way, I noticed no such lack of sharpness in the sample photo series published a few days ago here on Dpreview.
Like I said, something's not right with the test Q7, its lens, processing engine or the way the test was executed.
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 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.