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Pentax Q small-sensor mirrorless camera announced and previewed

By dpreview staff on Jun 23, 2011 at 04:00 GMT

Pentax has announced the 'Q' mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The camera is the first to use the company's Q mount and features a compact-camera-sized 1/2.3" image stabilized CMOS sensor. This is wrapped in a magnesium alloy body with a distinctly rangefinder-esque design but distinctly compact sizing. Its feature set ranges from the 1080p30 movie shooting (with H.264 compression), to a series of fun filters that can be applied to the Quick Dial on its front plate. We've had a chance to play with a pre-production Pentax Q and have prepared a quick preview.

Click here to read our Pentax Q Quick Preview

PENTAX UNVEILS THE PENTAX Q:

The World’s Smallest, Lightest Interchangeable Lens Camera

GOLDEN, CO. (June 23, 2011)…PENTAX Imaging Company has announced the PENTAX Q – the world’s smallest and lightest interchangeable lens camera (ILC).* The Q offers the versatility and precision of an advanced DSLR in a body that is significantly smaller than every other digital ILC body available on the market today.

The camera’s tiny size, lightweight design, and superior image quality are made possible by an innovative PENTAX developed imaging system. With a high-resolution 12.4 megapixel, 1/2.3 inch CMOS image sensor, the Q carves out an entirely new camera category that extends beyond traditional digital compact, APS-C or 4/3 digital cameras. The backlit sensor is a highly efficient light-gathering instrument that produces very little noise at high sensitivity levels particularly in low light settings. Further, the new Q lens mount is a perfect match with the new sensor and every interchangeable Q lens is designed for more advanced image quality than may be found on traditional compact digital cameras. This innovative PENTAX design is the foundation of the Q’s position as the world’s smallest, lightest ILC system with superior image quality.

Several important features of the PENTAX Q include:

  • A newly designed PENTAX Q-mount lens system for convenient interchangeability with a variety of specialty Q lenses including prime, zoom, fisheye and more.
  • Exceptional image quality in 12.4 megapixels from the Q’s 1/2.3 inch backlit CMOS image sensor. Capable of producing 12 bit DNG RAW and JPG images, the backlit CMOS sensor is a highly efficient light-gathering instrument designed specifically to produce very low noise at high levels of sensitivity.
  • Extremely compact, durable, lightweight, scratch resistant magnesium alloy body.
  • The power and flexibility of traditional DSLR shooting modes such as Program, Aperture/Shutter Priority, and Metered Manual exposure control as well as highly convenient PENTAX Auto Picture and 21 scene modes for casual shooting, including new Forest and Stage Lighting options
  • A variety of creative modes, Smart Effect options, or camera settings that assign to the Q’s Quick Dial located on the front of the camera. Smart Effects modes enhance digital photography by applying a series of effects to images to achieve high quality finishing. Brilliant Color, Vintage Color, Warm Fade, Bold Monochrome, and Water Color are just some of the Smart Effects available and may be assigned on the Q’s Quick Dial.
  • In-camera HDR capture mode shoots 3 images of varying exposures, blending them to bring out the details in even the darkest shadows and brightest highlights of extreme contrast shots.
  • High quality motion video with stunning full 1080p HD clarity at 30 frames per second. The Q processes the full HD video using high quality h.264 compression for superior color and detail and offers creative video effects through custom image modes, digital video filters, and interval shooting.
  • A sensor-shift Shake Reduction system with integrated DRII Dust Reduction for blur and dust free images even in low lighting.
  • 5 frames per second continuous shooting mode for any fast action setting.
  • Effortless bokeh control with the Q’s Bokeh Control filter. (Traditionally controlled through a DSLR lens’s aperture, bokeh is the out of focus part of the background that helps to emphasize the subject, drawing the viewer’s eyes to the most important part of the photo.) The Q offers a fine degree of extra control over image bokeh via an in-camera filter operation.
  • Powerful USER modes allow the creative photographer to save a series of favorite camera settings, filters, and custom image modes for instant reuse.
  • Shutter speeds range from 1/2000 to 30 seconds for freezing fast action or capturing long nighttime exposures. Bulb mode adds flexibility for low light photography and motion effects.
  • A built-in popup flash adds the perfect amount of extra light to an image with a high extension to naturally reduce the redeye effect common to compact cameras. The Q’s flash is effective to 23 feet at 200 ISO, and covers a wide angle 28 degree field of view.
  • Compatibility with the latest generation SD, SDHC, and SDXC memory cards for ultra-high capacity storage as well as outstanding image file portability.

Along with the Q, PENTAX introduced the PENTAX 01 Standard Prime kit lens and an optional optical viewfinder. The unifocal standard lens has a focal length equivalent to 47mm in the 35mm format. The lens offers a natural perspective similar to that of the human eye and is ideal as a multipurpose, everyday standard lens for various subjects including landscape and portraiture. With a maximum aperture of F1.9, it performs superbly in dim lighting and may be easily adjusted for bokeh. Incorporating two high grade aspherical optical elements, this lens compensates various aberrations to a minimum .

Featuring the state-of-the-art optics incorporating special optical glass elements and PENTAX exclusive lens coating technology, this lens delivers beautifully defined, high quality images that are sharp and high contrast even at the edges. The AF motor installed in the lens assures smooth, quiet focusing operation. The lens shutter mechanism allows the PENTAX Q’s built-in auto flash to be synchronized to the camera’s top shutter speed of 1/2000 second (or 1/250 second when using an accessory flash unit). This lens is also equipped with a built-in ND (neutral density) filter, which comes in handy when shooting with open aperture at bright locations or when using slower shutter speeds.

The shoe-mounted viewfinder attachment is an optional accessory. This External Viewfinder O-VF1 offers outstanding compositional framing, even in the brightest sunlight where viewing an LCD screen is traditionally a challenge. (Note: The Viewfinder offers framing marks for the Standard lens.)

Available in white or black body models, the PENTAX Q and Standard Prime lens (available in silver) kit will be around $800. Initially, the PENTAX Q system will ship in Japan. Anticipated shipping time to the United States is early Fall 2011.

The optional shoe-mounted viewfinder will be available at the same time for $249.95 USD. Each may be pre-ordered now on www.pentaxwebstore.com The PENTAX 01 Standard Prime kit lens will not be sold separately. More information is available here: www.pentaximaging.com/news

* The world’s smallest and lightest digital interchangeable lens system camera, as of June 15, 2011 (based on PENTAX research).

90
I own it
4
I want it
9
I had it
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Comments

Total comments: 323
12345
darthpol
By darthpol (Jun 24, 2011)

seems horribly half-baked. looks like pentax just wants to jump on the EVIL bandwagon. they completely missed the point of m4/3s and other similar products. what makes this better than many of the advanced compacts available today for a lower price?

4 upvotes
absentaneous
By absentaneous (Jun 24, 2011)

in a way it seems the industry is again doing the same mistake as it's been happening with the race for MPIXs in the past. the price to pay then was lower IQ. these days the race is for the size and again the price to pay seems to be lower IQ.

of course I won't speculate on others needs but from the point of my needs this camera simply seems way out of balance. it looks nice and fun, it's small but very well built, got all the right buttons and fetures and got all these lenses but if the image quality in the end remains on the same level of a decent enough compact camera costing much less then I don't see the point in having one.

2 upvotes
fransams
By fransams (Jun 24, 2011)

What is the function of the 4-3-2-1-0 dial on the front? Is it a manual self-timer?

0 upvotes
role_of_72
By role_of_72 (Jun 24, 2011)

"The Quick Dial on the front of the camera provides quick access to one of four special features that might otherwise be lost in the menu system somewhere.

It also adds to the camera's retro look, of course."

0 upvotes
xiod_crlx
By xiod_crlx (Jun 24, 2011)

No! It's here to impress your opponents!

0 upvotes
Couscousdelight
By Couscousdelight (Aug 28, 2011)

It's funny to read the reactions above now than image samples are out and looks just pretty good, even at hi iso (1600).
For a P&S camera, of course. ;)
But i could consider that camera.

1 upvote
marike6
By marike6 (Oct 4, 2011)

Seems everyone is an "expert" now days. "How could they use such a small 1/2.3" sensor?" they say. "What about bokeh?" and on and on. The we see images from the Q and the positive reviews, and it's "well, it's still too expensive". Same thing happened when the Nikon 1 was released. "Such a tiny 1" sensor, what is Nikon thinking?" Then the images came out, and then people criticized the high price. But the sensor size wasn't mentioned again.

I downloaded tons of samples from the Q, and I've played with it at B&H, and I will surely buy it. Will it replace my D7000? No, but it's not meant to.

0 upvotes
role_of_72
By role_of_72 (Jun 24, 2011)

I don't understand why it hurts so many people.

You don't like the fact that now you have one more possibility besides dslr milc and compact cameras?
Pentax was all about possibilities and good alternatives (instead of C or N) for quite a few years now. Just think of Pentax dslr system and its compatibility! And now they have something again that can be useful for some. Anyway: where else can you get a fisheye lens for less than $150? Let me guess: nowhere (or you steal one :D)

OK, it's overpriced but it can change (with cheaper future models, too).
Worry about IQ? There will be an other, APS-C sized Pentax milc system (maybe with K)

Did you lose something with this? No.. but you have one more way to go now.
You should thank it to Pentax instead of the stupid "epic fail" bullsh!t.

Know what? Let's go out and shoot! ;)

Cheers!

1 upvote
straylightrun
By straylightrun (Jun 24, 2011)

Sony has the ECF1 fish eye converter for under $150 that attaches on to their 16/2.8 kit lens.

0 upvotes
role_of_72
By role_of_72 (Jun 24, 2011)

Alright, didn't know that. But..
The thing is that you attach a $130 converter (not lens) to a $250 lens is not a sub $150 solution for me anymore. :)
(Nothing to say about the size.)

I just say that probably it isn't that dead-born child as some may think. It will turn out anyway.

0 upvotes
Izu
By Izu (Jun 24, 2011)

So now it's all about fish eye? Cheap fish eye with not-so-much use and 299$ for a standard zoom?!?! Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8-4.5 costs 100$ less and has OS, so if they managed to put more glass and OS in less price I can't understand why Hoya can't do the same...

0 upvotes
seta666
By seta666 (Jun 24, 2011)

You can buy a NEX and a Samyang 8mm for less money, and quality is awesome
Samyang is also developing a fish eye for micro 4/3

1 upvote
danaceb
By danaceb (Jun 24, 2011)

It takes a whole new level of moron make the Ricoh GXR system seem like a bargain. On one side you have Japanese camera companies who understand value like Sony with their Nex and Cosina with their Voigtlander lenses, and then you have idiots like Pentax and their Q and Sigma with their Foeveron X3 junk.

Pentax invented a new form of stupid while Sigma has been kicking theirs along for years now.

5 upvotes
Zvonimir Tosic
By Zvonimir Tosic (Jun 25, 2011)

Pentax invented a new form of stupid?
You want to say so far pocketable P&S cameras with small sensors were stupid? Perhaps they were, but unlike your non-comprehensive guess, they got smarter with Q.

0 upvotes
harrisoncac
By harrisoncac (Jun 24, 2011)

Sigma SD1 and Pentax Q, won't work in making quick cash.
You will see their launch and crush.

1 upvote
RoccoGalatioto
By RoccoGalatioto (Jun 24, 2011)

I just do not get the small sensor idea at all.

5 upvotes
001FJ
By 001FJ (Jun 24, 2011)

I was thinking the same thing as I was reading the article! Why can't they make a full-frame DSLR in the same size as as olds film camera! I would buy one for sure!

0 upvotes
harrisoncac
By harrisoncac (Jun 24, 2011)

I will buy every model they make.

0 upvotes
sportyaccordy
By sportyaccordy (Jun 24, 2011)

I get the small sensor; what I don't get is the price... $800 for a 1/2.3" sensor and a prime lens, when a NEX-5 offers a decent APS-C sensor and standard zoom for less? It's an $800 camera with the specs of a disposable digital camera. What a mess.

All this investment... what a waste

3 upvotes
sportyaccordy
By sportyaccordy (Jun 24, 2011)

I get the small sensor; what I don't get is the price... $800 for a 1/2.3" sensor and a prime lens, when a NEX-5 offers a decent APS-C sensor and standard zoom for less? It's an $800 camera with the specs of a disposable digital camera. What a mess.

All this investment... what a waste

2 upvotes
Michael Barkowski
By Michael Barkowski (Jun 29, 2011)

"Why can't they make a full-frame DSLR in the same size as as olds film camera" ... that would be a special market: people who want miniaturized electronics with compromises for body size but need to buy expensive, heavy lenses to attach. What compromises should they make to reduce the electronics size? Take away autofocus. Use an expensive high-density battery. Use slow, low power electronics that generate less heat. Use low MP count to reduce the size of buffer and image processing needed. A lot of these compromises seem designed to generate the same backlash you are seeing right here from "mirrorless fans" awaiting the next compact miracle.

0 upvotes
Michael Barkowski
By Michael Barkowski (Jun 29, 2011)

"Why can't they make a full-frame DSLR in the same size as as olds film camera" ... that would be a special market: people who want miniaturized electronics with compromises for body size but need to buy expensive, heavy lenses to attach. What compromises should they make to reduce the electronics size? Take away autofocus. Use an expensive high-density battery. Use slow, low power electronics that generate less heat. Use low MP count to reduce the size of buffer and image processing needed. A lot of these compromises seem designed to generate the same backlash you are seeing right here from "mirrorless fans" awaiting the next compact miracle.

0 upvotes
Michael Barkowski
By Michael Barkowski (Jun 29, 2011)

"Why can't they make a full-frame DSLR in the same size as as olds film camera" ... that would be a special market: people who want miniaturized electronics with compromises for body size but need to buy expensive, heavy lenses to attach. What compromises should they make to reduce the electronics size? Take away autofocus. Use an expensive high-density battery. Use slow, low power electronics that generate less heat. Use low MP count to reduce the size of buffer and image processing needed. A lot of these compromises seem designed to generate the same backlash you are seeing right here from "mirrorless fans" awaiting the next compact miracle.

0 upvotes
Vladik
By Vladik (Jun 24, 2011)

This is going to be the same thing as E-P1 and E-P2, started with 1000 and then crashed to 300 within a year. At least people bought E-P1, this one I'm not so sure.

1 upvote
ezradja
By ezradja (Jun 24, 2011)

tbh, if they priced this in 300-500$ range with 3-4 toy lenses included, i'll be happy to buy it. as a toy camera.

0 upvotes
Vladik
By Vladik (Jun 24, 2011)

Of course we will see the test results and samples and be able to tell how good or bad it is. Though if Pentax made any significant breakthrough in the sensor technology of that size, we would know already. I would be really surprised to see it perform better than LX3 or LX5, which have larger sensor.

0 upvotes
Vladik
By Vladik (Jun 24, 2011)

Of course we will see the test results and samples and be able to tell how good or bad it is. Though if Pentax made any significant breakthrough in the sensor technology of that size, we would know already. I would be really surprised to see it perform better than LX3 or LX5, which have larger sensor.

0 upvotes
Vladik
By Vladik (Jun 24, 2011)

Of course we will see the test results and samples and be able to tell how good or bad it is. Though if Pentax made any significant breakthrough in the sensor technology of that size, we would know already. I would be really surprised to see it perform better than LX3 or LX5, which have larger sensor.

0 upvotes
Vladik
By Vladik (Jun 24, 2011)

Of course we will see the test results and samples and be able to tell how good or bad it is. Though if Pentax made any significant breakthrough in the sensor technology of that size, we would know already. I would be really surprised to see it perform better than LX3 or LX5, which have larger sensor.

0 upvotes
Vladik
By Vladik (Jun 24, 2011)

Of course we will see the test results and samples and be able to tell how good or bad it is. Though if Pentax made any significant breakthrough in the sensor technology of that size, we would know already. I would be really surprised to see it perform better than LX3 or LX5, which have larger sensor.

0 upvotes
Vladik
By Vladik (Jun 24, 2011)

Of course we will see the test results and samples and be able to tell how good or bad it is. Though if Pentax made any significant breakthrough in the sensor technology of that size, we would know already. I would be really surprised to see it perform better than LX3 or LX5, which have larger sensor.

0 upvotes
Vladik
By Vladik (Jun 24, 2011)

Of course we will see the test results and samples and be able to tell how good or bad it is. Though if Pentax made any significant breakthrough in the sensor technology of that size, we would know already. I would be really surprised to see it perform better than LX3 or LX5, which have larger sensor.

0 upvotes
Stepwisephoto
By Stepwisephoto (Jun 24, 2011)

If you do not know what are you talking about, do not critisize. We are not talking about APSC such as k-r. We are talking about packing a small sensor into DSLR. You should know the limitations of IQ and noise at high ISO of a 1/2.33" sensor. Unless you have low expectation, it is "silly" for you to say never mind the size of sensor.

0 upvotes
waxwaine
By waxwaine (Jun 24, 2011)

Funny how silly people criticise it, even without having used it or tested the camera. I proudly own a fantastic Pentax K-r and I´m sure this little thing will surprise everybody.
Nevermind the sensor size. If Q can take good quality photos, this is the most important issue.

0 upvotes
Mssimo
By Mssimo (Jun 24, 2011)

Its going to be hard to surprise anyone at $800 bucks. I did see some image samples, and they look very good...even at 6400. Lenses also look very high quality. But you have to admit...its a hard sell. Pen mini is coming out next week and its almost as small.

0 upvotes
ezradja
By ezradja (Jun 24, 2011)

image samples were 3MP only. Of course they look good at that size.

1 upvote
Roland Karlsson
By Roland Karlsson (Jun 24, 2011)

When it comes to image quality. We know what an 1/2.3" sensor can do. There are lots of cameras out there using such a sensor. Pentax is neither wizards on making sensors nor on making Bayer CFA reconstruction software. So - we dont need to wait. Just look at what other 1/2.3" cameras can do.

0 upvotes
Zvonimir Tosic
By Zvonimir Tosic (Jun 25, 2011)

Another miss Mr Karlsson? If that what you say were true, then Nikon would have mustered more than Pentax from the same APS-C sensor. But they didn't. And this Q sensor happens to be a new one, thus you can't even guess the quality Pentax can muster out of it. So you got two misses in one thought Mr Karlsson.

0 upvotes
Stepwisephoto
By Stepwisephoto (Jun 24, 2011)

This is a pretty dumb move by Pentax. DSLR with pt&shoot sensor!? What IQ and noise level at high ISO can we expect? Size and convenience are not everything, not to mention the need to develop a completely different line of lenses.

Just like 645, I really do not have a clue why Pentax deviates themselves from developing the main stream DSLR (APSC/35mm full frame) to "compact" DSLR. It does not help Pentax stand out from the market. I am not sure how many Pentaxians or Pentaian-to-be appreciate that.

1 upvote
Zvonimir Tosic
By Zvonimir Tosic (Jun 25, 2011)

It is a dumb move from Pentax. Same as Nikon D1 was a damned dumb move from Nikon.

0 upvotes
slncezgsi
By slncezgsi (Jun 24, 2011)

Not to offend anybody, but I really do not get this concept ...

5 upvotes
Demmos
By Demmos (Jun 24, 2011)

How could a company responsible for producing the amazing 645D also be responsible for producing this? Talk about straddling both ends of the spectrum!
Was the 645D team just bored and decided to create this because they had some free time on their hands?

I usually don't chime in (preferring to mostly sit in the background), but the introduction of this new Q camera/lenses is just plain confusing, frustrating, and a general waste of time and resources. Where is the digital (full-frame) version of the LX or K1000? That would have sparked much admiration and respect, and subsequent sales!

5 upvotes
Mssimo
By Mssimo (Jun 24, 2011)

LIGHT BULB!!!!!

EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM + Extender EF 2x III + EOS to Q-mount adaptor (5.27 crop factor) = 6324mm SUPER DUPPER TELEPHOTO lens

6 upvotes
Photographer_C
By Photographer_C (Jun 24, 2011)

:)) This must be the only logical explanation why they have made such a camera, otherwise I can't imagine what those guys at Pentax were thinking when they decided to invest so much in a new camera system. I think it's a waste of time, money, resources and it's a step backwards in the evolution of digital photography :p

1 upvote
Zvonimir Tosic
By Zvonimir Tosic (Jun 25, 2011)

"when they decided to invest so much .."
How exactly you know how much Pentax has invested in this system? Do you work for the company? As far as we know, this may be all free weekend work by their vigorous and inspirational staff, given to Pentax pro bono. Thus the R&D cost of this whole project could be nil.

0 upvotes
Mssimo
By Mssimo (Jun 24, 2011)

M9 killer?

1 upvote
onlooker
By onlooker (Jun 24, 2011)

Much more likely it will be a killer of some marketing manager's career.

7 upvotes
RoccoGalatioto
By RoccoGalatioto (Jun 24, 2011)

Very funny

0 upvotes
daymadi-T
By daymadi-T (Jun 24, 2011)

28 May 2011, at Gallery Weslicht an old leica 1923 has been sold 1M400 USD!

0 upvotes
Barry Nelson
By Barry Nelson (Jun 23, 2011)

Pentax hit a home run with the K X. This looks they have been a losing team and charge more for their tickets. Go forward Pentax not backwards. Although I would say the scene mode "toy camera" is perfect for a camera like this

K X in white = Cool
Pentax Q in white = $12.25 at Toys R Us

2 upvotes
lumiere
By lumiere (Jun 23, 2011)

I Think if you put a Red dot on it a leica name on top, it would sell to the fools that buy re-baged panasonics. of course than the price would be $1500 US. ;). pentax you just do not have the same reputation (despite their great limited primes) nor does it sound like a good product at $800 even if it was a Leica.

1 upvote
Tormenborba
By Tormenborba (Jun 23, 2011)

That might be true for entry level Leica, 4/3 and APSC but the buyer that can afford a full frame Leica has a camera that is worth it.

A part that that has got nothing to do with Pentax, this is just a compact camera with a crappy sensor, nothing to do with Leica!

Said that go and check Leica lenses as well before you talk, whoever has both a Leica and say Canon or Nikon knows that the worst Leica lens is better than the best Canon/Nikon.

1 upvote
Callus
By Callus (Jun 23, 2011)

This, to me, seems like an astonishingly stupid camera.

9 upvotes
princewolf
By princewolf (Jun 23, 2011)

Make such a cute-looking retro camera, and then place a 2/3'' sensor. And make the user actually buy lenses for such a small sensor. The flash looks like it has a mechanical life span of five launches. I could easily forgive lack of integrated VF. Oh, and pay 800 dollars by the way. No, thanks.

2 upvotes
rallyfan
By rallyfan (Jun 23, 2011)

My iPhones have taught me one thing: the best camera is no camera. The ideal camera would have all the capabilities of a pro dslr body but it would not be a standalone device; it would be integrated into something everyday and useful like a mobile phone. Sure it doesn't seem realistic but the closer we can get to that, the better.

Small is better.

Pentax need to work on making the price smaller. If the camera is lively and the price is smaller, they'd be onto something.

0 upvotes
romeoechoyankee
By romeoechoyankee (Jun 23, 2011)

The rise of the iPhone and the common use of apps such as Hipstamatic are surely the driving force behind this.

Yes the sensor is small, but I don't think Pentax are trying to necessarily compete with CSCs here.

Time will tell, but I praise Pentax for trying something new. I personally wouldn't buy one, as I like to print large, but I can think of a few people I know will never print larger than postcard size or use online galleries; who would love this.

0 upvotes
goblin
By goblin (Jun 23, 2011)

And then, overnight, we 4/3 & m43 users suddenly felt BIG :D :D :D

What a joke, honestly. A pity they have invested any time at all in that thing.

2 upvotes
HBowman
By HBowman (Jun 23, 2011)

What a wast of energy !! Oo Blimey ...

1 upvote
Mssimo
By Mssimo (Jun 23, 2011)

We will not buy it unless they have a adapter for our Leicas 50mm f/0.95 Noctilux-M ASPH!

0 upvotes
christophbodner
By christophbodner (Jun 23, 2011)

Pentax Q has a crop factor of 5.27. Using a fullframe 50 mm lens on this tiny sensor is like mounting a 263 mm tele lens on a fullframe camera. Sounds like a marriage between a bulldog and a Yorkshire terrier.

7 upvotes
Mssimo
By Mssimo (Jun 23, 2011)

Poor Yorkshire lol

1 upvote
Mssimo
By Mssimo (Jun 23, 2011)

The off white one is so ugly. Looks like something you would buy from a street vendor in manhattan.

From the sample photos i seen, IQ is quite good (compared to compacts)
very sharp and little noise at 6400 (because they blur the crap out of the picture)

I would think about buying a camera like this for around $350-400.

With new new PEN MINI coming out in two weeks at a lower cost, you would be crazy to get this over it.

0 upvotes
ipribadi
By ipribadi (Jun 23, 2011)

Sorry to feed in with the doom and gloom here, but I think Pentax missed the mark:
1. Waay to pricey (should be $400 or so for body + lens kit). How would this ever compete with NEX or m4/3? .. well maybe due to it's size, but ..
2. Not small enough: assuming IQ is similar to G12/LX5/XZ-1, the trade off of lost IQ and lost bokeh is too much for the serious photographer which would consider an interchangeable system.

m4/3 is barely excusable due to the same reasons: too pricey and with lenses which are too big & heavy.
I suppose over time (another 2-3 years) m4/3 will come down in price & lens size, but this here is just not justifyable.

What they should have done is fit it with a m2/3 sensor!
With all else being equal (price & size) if the Pentax Q was a micro two thirds system it would have made more sense and compete well with m4/3 and prosumer premium compacts such as the LX5/XZ1/G12.

2 upvotes
rallyfan
By rallyfan (Jun 23, 2011)

If the price is corrected and the shutter response is faster than a pocket digicam, I'm in. No more DLSR hauling (with the associated stigma etc). Discreet and capable is where it's at.

0 upvotes
chitiho
By chitiho (Jun 23, 2011)

The sensor is too small

2 upvotes
Niche
By Niche (Jun 23, 2011)

Hmmm. I'm 63 years old but I still enjoy hiking and backpacking. My D300 plus 17-55 2.8, a decent macro & medium range tele weighs around 12 pounds.

If I can get an equivalent kit with this little camera that weighs around 3 pounds, I'm very, very interested.

I don't think Pentax meant it as a replacement for a DSLR. But it sure might be a fine little low volume, low weight addition to a DSLR shooter's main kit.

0 upvotes
Zebooka
By Zebooka (Jun 24, 2011)

Go buy Canon S95, Panasonic LX5 or Olympus XZ-1.
All are great cameras.

0 upvotes
Niche
By Niche (Jun 24, 2011)

I don't get the negativity toward this camera. Start with the basic size and IQ of a P&S and add all the stuff we love about our DSLRs, like RAW image files, interchangeable lenses and the ability to add filters (a biggie for me). I like that! I'm willing to swap IQ for size when I need portability. I have a Canon SD800 that I use when I need to travel light. Its pics are fine for posting on the 'net or sharing with friends, but I chaff at the inability to add a ND filter or take an HDR series or have the RAW image to work with or take a 1:1 macro or go to 300mm. I think the best compact right now is the Canon G12. I've come so close to getting it, but just can't see paying $500 and still living with the P&S limitations. I'm ready to pay $300 more to get P&S IQ with DSLR flexibility.

But then, that's just me.

1 upvote
csbrown
By csbrown (Jun 23, 2011)

I don't know what happened with Pentax. I grew up with Pentax film cameras. I had a K7 DSLR system. For under $1,100 you got a fully water resistant DSLR with two water resistant lenses. That was a really great value! Then the premium priced K5 body came out. Now this. Where is the value?

Just started using a Nex-5 and on first glance was feeling a little "buyer's remorse" when I saw the lens announcement. But really they are announcing two lenses. The others are for "fun".

That said, I am a Pentax fan and are hoping they come to their senses. I would buy the K5 system if Pentax dropped the price to that of the original K7. *** I may have the model numbers mixed up.

0 upvotes
Gorpalm
By Gorpalm (Jun 23, 2011)

Oh Jeez just looked again at the photo at the top of the press release - THERE's the white one...

0 upvotes
Gorpalm
By Gorpalm (Jun 23, 2011)

Cute, and looking through Pentax goggles, it Kind of makes sense...for them...They have some nice looking, slightly quirky designed p&s's around. And make no bones about it, you're paying $800 for a p&s.

Ohoh and if they can't afford to develop a '3rd front' to their offerings ie P&S, DSLR, & MILC, they might have figured this was the only way to go - Make the lenses interchangeable, shove up the price to kingdom come so people looking at a X100/some sort of Leica, or Sony/Olympus/Panny/Samsung MILC or at a stretch G12/LX5/XZ1 etc cast their eye over this too, and hope for showroom appeal and a cult fashionista following. I'm surprised they haven't launched a white one at the same time for the ladeez.

0 upvotes
pentakz
By pentakz (Jun 23, 2011)

The current state of the art delivers good image quality at $100 price points. It's about time somebody decided to innovate a little instead of trying to get the nth degree of perfection out of every pixel. I just pre ordered 2 of them. I'll get the OVF for every camera I own with a hot shoe. Including my LX.

1 upvote
gDaniel
By gDaniel (Jun 23, 2011)

no, thank you!

5 upvotes
steve131
By steve131 (Jun 23, 2011)

It is a beautiful camera, much better than the Sony NEX system. But for me, a camera has to take good pictures. I am eager to see the sample pictures. If it comes out not good, this will be a dead-end for Pentax Q.

For now I have my E-PL1 with 20mm lumix. I don't even care to zoom or change lens. I may want to pay for Leica 25mm, but certainly not investing into another mirrorless system.

0 upvotes
justmeMN
By justmeMN (Jun 23, 2011)

$800 for a camera with a smaller sensor than a Canon S95 or G12?

(It's a matter of personal aesthetics, but I think the flash arm looks really dorky.)

1 upvote
Kaptein Gordyn
By Kaptein Gordyn (Jun 23, 2011)

The flash looks like something from WALL-E...

1 upvote
JensR
By JensR (Jun 23, 2011)

I've never seen a sensor looking so lost behind a mount...

7 upvotes
Matt Yardley
By Matt Yardley (Jun 23, 2011)

I think this camera will find a market and possibly steel into that of the G12, XZ-1, & LX-5. The sensor size hmmm, seem's to me the majority of enthusiast photographers do not print images beyond A4 all that often?

Whilst higher resolution can be offered by larger sensors, the question is whether it's actually a prerequesite to producing high quality images for every day use, storing memories, and telling stories through images, I'm not convinced. Perhaps the snobbery behind the larger sensor is more to do with the professional photographer wannabies. After all the finest most expensive golf clubs do not make a pro golfer, you can own the clubs, just as you can own a camera.

Lets give the Pentax-Q a chance and admire it for what it is and try not to compare it to something that it is not. The engineering and design that has gone into this camera is impressive. Have a look at this article, http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/PENTAXQ/PENTAXQA.HTM

4 upvotes
justmeMN
By justmeMN (Jun 23, 2011)

If you want a small 1/2.3 BSI-CMOS sensor, you can get one in a Nikon P500, for half the price of this Pentax; or in the Nikon P300 for even less.

1 upvote
Matt Yardley
By Matt Yardley (Jun 23, 2011)

I have a samsung nx100, & canon ixus 220hs, I was considering giving the olympus zx-1 a try but may wait and see what the pentax Q performs like.

0 upvotes
BPJosh
By BPJosh (Jun 23, 2011)

That flash looks like "Jonny 5"...lol

1 upvote
mpgxsvcd
By mpgxsvcd (Jun 23, 2011)

The new comments section is great. Well great for us. Not so great for poor old Pentax,

8 upvotes
mpgxsvcd
By mpgxsvcd (Jun 23, 2011)

I think they realized the flash was going to take up too much room in the camera so they made the sensor as small as possible. Doesn't it look like that Flash is going to break off the camera any second?

1 upvote
BPJosh
By BPJosh (Jun 23, 2011)

Agree, looks like it will snap off.

0 upvotes
M Jesper
By M Jesper (Jun 23, 2011)

Like the magnesium alloy body, that hinge seems to be high quality.

http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/PENTAXQ/ZURPOPFLASH.JPG

0 upvotes
Xon_Fedaa
By Xon_Fedaa (Jun 23, 2011)

1/23" = mirrorless?
Does than mean I should start calling my 3 P&S cameras mirrorless also?
To me it should be called an "interchangeable lens P&S".

Somewhere else I read that the "hot" thing in Japan was small and gadgety, and that this product was developed for that market. If that's the case, it may do quite well. (It's difficult to tell from the photos, but this thing is very, very small -- roughly about the height and width of a credit card.)

For me, I will wait for the "real" mirrorless option with APS-C sized sensor, or better yet, full-frame -- whether mirrorless or not.

Xon

6 upvotes
M Jesper
By M Jesper (Jun 23, 2011)

These shots show the size nicely:

http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/PENTAXQ/PENTAXQ-productshots.html

0 upvotes
railwalker
By railwalker (Jun 23, 2011)

Wondering how many Pentax will sell for that price?
If they'd made something with a full format sensor, people willing to spend that kind of money on a camera system would happily spend at least twice as much.
Sensors are where size matters, not just because of high sensitivity performance, but because of tonality, variability in depth-of-field and overall 'look'. Enthusiasts and professionals know that very well.
If I were to spend that kind of money on a new camera system, I'd decide for something else.

0 upvotes
theranman
By theranman (Jun 23, 2011)

Must be some kind of alternate April fools day in Japan. Pentax is tlying to tlick newbies into tinking it's somesing good.

1 upvote
Paul_B Midlands UK
By Paul_B Midlands UK (Jun 23, 2011)

What a comprehensive battering poor old Pentax are getting for this one. Bosh. Next.

0 upvotes
ny10522
By ny10522 (Jun 23, 2011)

Flimsy breakable flash, no weatherproofing, no VF ,and a TINY sensor. But wait...interchangeable lenses(???)..let´s see how many consumers buy this moronic camera. All for $800!
May Pentax Rest in Peace!

0 upvotes
jack scholl
By jack scholl (Jun 23, 2011)

The Canon G12 has a 28-140mm zoom, larger sensor and is smaller . . . . . . . . . why would anyone want the Pentax instead?

5 upvotes
Michael Barkowski
By Michael Barkowski (Jun 24, 2011)

The Pentax is lighter, more durable, has interchangeable lenses, has f/1.9 at a normal focal length (the G12 is f/3.2 at 50mm), and has DSLR smooth non-motor-controlled zoom, and manual focus control on the lens. For starters...

1 upvote
Pedro Moreira
By Pedro Moreira (Jun 23, 2011)

Is it me or it looks like an Lomo?

2 upvotes
unknown member
By (unknown member) (Jun 23, 2011)

Unbelievably sad that Pentax has come to this. I hope they didn't waste a lot of resources on development. How do they recover the R&D money for this? I think everyone wants Pentax to make it, but......

0 upvotes
Total comments: 323
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