The Pentax Q coulda/shoulda been a Ricoh....

Started Jun 26, 2011 | Discussions thread
Tom Caldwell Forum Pro • Posts: 30,480
Re: Friends! ... to the barricades.... Queue for a Q

Michael Barkowski wrote:

Looking at current cameras, dpReview reported that the P300 was grainier than 1/1.7" sensor cameras at base ISO but there was less of a difference at high ISO.

Eventually the difference in everyday image quality between 1/2.3" and 1/1.7" sensors that are otherwise equal might be very small, so why not take the forward looking approach and choose the cheaper option that is as far from u43 size as possible?

After all, the choice of format probably has mechanical implications, not just pixel density ... like maybe the ability of lenses to protrude into the camera cavity, the challenge of getting light to hit the sensor at a good angle, the size of the sensor-shift mechanism and the image circle required by the sensor-shift mechanism.

And of course, the size of telephoto lenses. The Fuji S200EXR is the only 1/1.7" sensor camera I know of that has a long zoom: 31 – 436mm. It's a pretty large camera - almost 6" deep.

My guess is that the telephoto lens is being held back so they can make another media splash. In video mode, the fact that the zoom is not motorized is a huge advantage compared to bridge cameras. And the large depth of field could also be very desirable at those long focal lengths, especially for video shooters.


I think that if the proposed pricing of the Q was at giveaway prices the queue would indeed be for a Q. But if people have to start counting their disposable reserves for their single camera then they don't want it and the small sensor becomes the hurdle. If it were an aps-c then all would be smiles but the naysayers would be saying "won't work in a body that size", of course they would be right.

So if we have a camera that small with interchangeable lenses then a small sensor is mandatory. Just how small I do not know but I guess if the Pentax engineers could manage to fit a bigger sensor in then they surely would have done so.

So the P10 module does very well in practice in the GXR with the same sized sensor. Many will not have a bar of it simply because of sensor size. Myself I don't care as I like the largish zoom in a compact package. The images don't bother me that much, but then I am probably not a perfectionist and more a horses for courses guy. If I want perfection I simply use a camera designed to take more perfect images and realise that I have to sacrifice something to get something else.

The proposed price of the Q bothers some. I hold myself back to be amazed or otherwise by the product on the day I see one. From the sound of things this is an up-market small sensored camera at an up-market proposed price. If others can tan the hide of it with their superior larger gear, then fine by me. If others can get similar results from a similar sized sensor point and shoot, also fine by me. Point and shoots tend to be recycled fairly frequently and a Q rhat might last a few years might be cheaper in the long run.

Let's wait and see - I don't think the Q is stillborn.

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Tom Caldwell

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