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Old Jun 26, 2011, 12:47 AM   #21
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that is a sensor much larger then the 1/2.23 that you can push it past 3200. But look at all the sony 1/2.23 cmos sensor camera's out there, it is not really subjective after 800iso. It is the physical limit of the current technologies. If you shoot at 3200 allot, this little thing will not even come close. 600iso is still the top and 800 is pushed.

Sample where posted, and then was force to be removed, and when I looked at them before IR removed them. It was pretty much inline with what at 1/2.23 sensor can do. Nice photos at 100-400iso. Not bad at 600, and noisey at 800. It is a very expensive point and shoot with allot of controls.

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Originally Posted by snostorm View Post
"Good" high ISO performance is a very subjective thing, so we'll have to see. Many consider K-5 over 3200 unusable, but I shoot jpgs at up to 10000 without much concern. A lot of IQ opinions are based only on OOC images and default settings, neither of which are worth much to me since I usually tweak everything, both in the camera and in post.

I've never counted on other people's opinions of what is good enough for my purposes, so I don't think I'll do it this time either. I'll wait for some real samples from a production camera and lenses and make my decision on whether it might suit my purposes or not at that time, but until then, I'll retain what I consider a restrained optimism.

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Old Jun 26, 2011, 4:31 AM   #22
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that is a sensor much larger then the 1/2.23 that you can push it past 3200. But look at all the sony 1/2.23 cmos sensor camera's out there, it is not really subjective after 800iso. It is the physical limit of the current technologies. If you shoot at 3200 allot, this little thing will not even come close. 600iso is still the top and 800 is pushed.

Sample where posted, and then was force to be removed, and when I looked at them before IR removed them. It was pretty much inline with what at 1/2.23 sensor can do. Nice photos at 100-400iso. Not bad at 600, and noisey at 800. It is a very expensive point and shoot with allot of controls.
You didn't understand my point. I wasn't suggesting that the little Sony sensor could be pushed to the same extent that the APS-C sensor on the K-5 could be. What I was trying to say was that what is "good" and "not acceptable" is totally subjective to each photographer for whatever purpose each might want to use the gear. Some of this depends on the chosen display medium, some on the how adept one might be at PP, some on the chosen subject matter and the photographer's perception of how to display the images of it. I think that conceptually this camera might work for some things I want a camera for. That's enough for me to consider it.

I'm making some assumptions here about this camera, and some of these might be off base. I know I like the concept, I just won't know enough about the implementation until I see real images from a real production sample with finalized firmware. Maybe it'll be good enough, maybe it won't, but I'm willing to consider it until then.

The fact that Pentax had IR pull the downsized images from a pre-production sample is no indication of anything. No camera company would want pre-production samples to be displayed if they planned on making final tweaks to the in-camera processing before release. We just have no way of knowing the reasons why this happened, and probably never will. According to the preview, the camera wasn't even totally functional, so the assumption has to be that the firmware was nowhere close to finalized. I didn't get the impression that Pentax had to twist any arms to get them to pull the images or that IR felt overly put out by the request.

I did get the impression that they reacted fairly positively to their overall experience with the pre production sample of the Q, and they stated in the preview that images from production versions should be comparable to the other cameras in the enthusiast compact class which have larger sensors. I took that as a good sign.

Apparently you don't like the concept. I imagine that makes the decision about whether to buy one considerably easier for you. . . I'll sit on the fence a while longer.

Scott
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Old Jun 26, 2011, 4:57 AM   #23
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IR has place pre production samples of allot of different camera on their sites. And the K-5 was one of the recent pentax that got posted without pentax having any problems with it. But those samples were very favorable to pentax actually.

Granted the camera is still not finalized. But at the end of the day it is still the same sony 1/2.23 sensor in the HX-#V line of camera. It is a tad better then the cdd the same size at high point and shoot iso, but just a tad. And the technologies and physics that there will not be a big difference in iso performance. The k-5 used the sony sensor, and though pentax has a very nice NR system, it was not a radical improvement over other cameras with the same sensor. So the Q will be close to the other cameras out there in iso and iq with the same sensor. That was my point I was trying to make.

What you get with this little camera is full manual control, and a ton of reach if they ever come out with a real long lens like a true 8-150mm lens. But that will defect the compactness that is what this camera strong point is.

But form the line up of lenses, you can not shoot a real wide angle shot or have any real dof control. So the aperture control is really for shutter speed and iso control vs dof. I just think that will be very limiting do to the physics. I even find with m4/3 camera that even with a big aperture. I find time when it lacks the dof control I want for the shot. And not everyone like shooting wide with a fish either. For a dslr user uses to more control, this is a tad to limiting in the dof department.
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Old Jun 26, 2011, 6:55 PM   #24
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Hi shoturtle,

Excuse the very long post, but I'll try to cover just about everything I've thought of when considering the possible suitability of this camera for me.

I am very conscious of the limitations of the sensor format. I started digital with small-sensored Oly in 2000, went to Canon Sure Shots, then Pansonic FZ Super Zooms, and then to Pentax DSLRs in 2005, so I have some experience with little sensors and the images they capture. I also have a bit of experience with photography, so I have a pretty good handle on what I'd want and for what purpose.

Shallow DOF is not a concern for the purposes I would specifically want this camera for. This seems to be the holy grail for many, since limited DOF control is the main complaint that I've read about the Q in the fora, but there are a enough situations where it's just not important or is actually less desirable for me. Deep DOF at wide apertures is a virtue in some genres like handheld lower light architecture and landscape, macro, and street photography. There are still a lot of old-timers who have the hyperfocal distances of their favorite lenses engraved in their brains, so I guess I'm not alone in wanting tons of DOF on occasion. On the other side, if I wanted it, the built in 2 stop ND filters in the higher grade lenses could maximize DOF control in brighter light by allowing the use of the widest apertures. Nice touch by Pentax. . .

The similar/same DOF of the 4/3 / APS-C mirrorless cameras, the larger lenses needed, and the limitations of EVFs are reasons why I haven't been interested in the large sensored MILCs. All I'd get from them is a smaller body, probably with fewer features, and all of my current lenses would be fully manual at best. With the Q's deeper DOF and significantly smaller lenses, I get some different shooting and portability properties that are enough to offset the disadvantages of the EVF for me. With the add-on OVF, though pricey, I don't even have to sacrifice a real time VF for normal FL shooting with the Q. If the pop up flash allows triggering of remote wireless TTL flash, I don't even sacrifice relatively sophisticated flash use with the OVF in the shoe. I will be sacrificing a few stops of high ISO performance and some resolution, but that's another tradeoff I'm willing to make.


I have the K-5 for extreme high ISO situations and shallower DOF, and don't need or expect it from the compact. BTW, I have high ISO NR turned off on the K-5, so in-camera NR is not much of a factor for me, I do it all in post. I'm hoping that this will also be an option for the Q. If High ISO for this class of sensor is 600-800 then that's okay. With the standard 01 prime at 47mm EQ f1.9, this should be fast enough for most of the available light shooting I'd do with this camera.

BTW, just last night, I saw one of the IR studio sample crop comparisons with the S95, Q, and NEX5 at 3200 posted on another forum. Assuming that these were downsized jpegs with default settings and with in-camera NR, I think I could use the Q effectively in this ISO range. Apparently, this was taken with the prototype Q with firmware V.03 which is thought to be only the first Beta version (second overall) in the Pentax firmware hierarchy for a pre-production prototype, so it's understandable that Pentax didn't want the pics posted. I would guess that final in-camera processing is reserved for late in the firmware development timeframe after the camera's operational functions are taken care of.

I don't normally shoot wide so that's not much of a concern for me. I own over 20 lenses, most of them either very high or premium quality, and I don't own a prime wider than 50mm, and only cover wider than 50mm with zooms, so that should be reasonable indication of how low a priority shooting very wide has been to me. The standard Q 02 zoom (28-83 EQ f2.8-4.5) would meet my wide needs for this camera admirably. If I need longer or wider, I'd break out a K.

The zoom is fast enough and has a wide enough FL range to shoot family events pretty easily, and I'm hoping for a full featured compact low power bounce flash to compliment the Q's size. I'd also use this flash extensively with the K DSLRs. A definite reason to stay in the Pentax family.

The two toy lenses and the FE are a ? for me, and I'd have to see what they do to determine whether I'd want any of them, but if I decided I wanted any, they're all dirt cheap.

I'm sure that a long zoom is in the works, and an 18-56 (@95-300 EQ) will fit in a big pocket easily and weigh under a pound if I decided I wanted one. Definite advantages of the Q zooms over the other small sensored super zoom compacts are the manual zoom ring and the ability to take the lens off the body for increased convenience to carry. I don't really anticipate shooting the Q with long lenses unless they make a K to Q adapter which would make the Q body a 3.7x TC that doesn't lose any light. How cool is that? With the longer FLs, shooting at arm's length with a relatively big lens just isn't practical, but with the big K lenses, I'd be shooting off of a tripod, and the only handicap the EVF would pose would be the VF lag. If the adapter isn't offered, I'll have one made -- easy enough to do. . .

I'd really like to see a dedicated macro to take advantage of the DOF. I like to shoot macro handheld, so more DOF at wider apertures in a light compact would be an advantage for this genre because it usually involves a certain amount of contortion to get into position, and much lighter gear would be helpful to this old guy, who for some reason, keeps getting older and creakier. Until this lens becomes a reality (which should be a no brainer IMO), I could use the zoom with the two achromatic diopters that I currently own, a Nikon 4T or Raynox DCR 250. All I'd need to make them work are either a 40.5 - 52 step up ring or optimally also a 40.5 - 43, both of which are easily available. I'm hoping that Pentax thought to include remote wireless TTL flash triggered by the popup in the feature set. . .that would make this really easy.

The Q could give me a compact system that would all easily carry in a pair of cargo pants. The lenses have the potential to be better optically than the fixed lens cams, because they would need none of the optical compromises to fit into design, weight, size or price parameters of a set camera model and they wouldn't need to retract. I wouldn't need or want a super zoom (over 3x) so optics wouldn't be compromised as much as usual for that kind of design. For me, the system concept is worth the price if Pentax follows through. There are few lenses on my LBA short list. All of the lenses on this list are just "wants" like an FA 77 Ltd or an A* 200 Macro -- none of these are "needs", so most of my photography budget for quite a while is still available to spend.

Another positive is the P-TTL hot shoe. Some, but not that many compacts with TTL external flash capability that I've seen. Diaphragm shutter allows flash synch to max shutter speed. Personally, I've not run into severe limitations for 1/180, but I also don't use a lot of fill flash outdoors -- maybe this will become a more common practice for me in the future. . .

To keep this balanced, the negative aspects of the Q system as I see them are, in no particular order:

1. Limited DOF control for those that want it in this type of camera.
2. Lens choices limited to Pentax as there is little chance that 3rd party lens makers would bother to make Q lenses unless the system became insanely popular.
3. Limited lens lineup, with expansion probably contingent on sales of a camera that a lot of always frugal Pentaxians seem to perceive as much too expensive. Of course they said the same thing about the K-7 and K-5, but there seem to be quite a few of these out there.
4. System cost, though if the Q is well received, an entry level will probably follow.
5. Perception that a camera this small has to be just a toy, child's, or (rather condescendingly) women's camera. This goes with #4 and makes the price seem that much more unreasonable to those that don't get it that it's meant as serious photographic tool.
6. Extra cost per premium lens for AF motor and diaphragm shutter in each lens.
7 Possible ultimate limitations to IQ and ISO range due to small sensor format.
8. Difficult to design ultra wide lenses because of tiny sensor format.
9. 5 aperture blades will give hexagonal bokeh unless rounded (pretty picky)
10. Lack of EVF.
11. Lack of battery grip (just kidding, but it might actually be a reasonable idea to make it more suitable for larger hands or add shot capacity for those who might want to actually use it seriously)
12. AF and FPS too slow for sports (now I am really kidding, but what's a negative list for a Pentax without these. . .)

The potential and practical portability of the system is my current rationalization for wanting the Q. One (really cute, IMO) body with high build quality and lots of control, lots of potential versatility without much compromise for lenses, and the possibility of specialty lenses to come to add even more specific versatility. If they upgrade the sensor, I just buy a new body and keep the glass instead of being subjected to the whims of the marketing dept for lens spec. The system concept was a significant reason to go from a super zoom fixed lens to a DSLR, and now that I have that, it's also just as valid a reason in choosing a compact camera to go along with it.

At first I said "Naw -- I don't think so, but thinking about it more, I changed my mind. I've thought this through pretty extensively. Given that I've yet to see details of the full specs and feature set and real images from a production copy, I know there are negative aspects to the camera and format. I've just not seen any real deal breakers in the Q for me to this point.

Scott
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Old Jun 26, 2011, 8:46 PM   #25
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Excellent entry, Scott. Given the Q's current price tag, I don't know if I'm completely won over just yet. But your argument has a number of points worth considering. As I said, I'll wait until I see images from a production Q before I make a serious technical judgement. But if my conclusion is positive and there is a really good sale...
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Old Jun 26, 2011, 9:24 PM   #26
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My point is pretty much covered by what you have posted. There are advantages to the q over a fixed lens point and shoot, and they mated it with a nice sony sensor. But what I do not get is the target market it is trying to hit. Is it going for the point and shooter or the advance shooter.

I just think 800 dollars is very step for what you get for a point and shoot user. And the big reason the pns shooter moves up to a mirrorless is higher iq, better low light while staying small. The Q hit 1 or the 3 reason the pns user would go form a 300 pns to a 800 Q.

And for a advance shooter, who is accustomed to the control of a dslr. They then to look for a more compact system with the iq they are accustom to and the control they are uses to, and are willing to take some lost in low light performance to get a smaller system. And the Q hits 1.5 of the 3 points. You get .5 for the control as you do lose allot of the dof that allot love about big aperture, but you can use faster shutter speed and larger aperture to ge hand held macro. It meets a much smaller package. But you are still getting the IQ of a point and shoot. And for the price, it just makes more sense to get a mirrorless like m4/3 or a nex that hits all 3 marks and at a bit less money. Or go cheap and get a very good point and shoot travel shoot. As it will be a jack of all trades. Or give up the long zoom and get a 1/1.63 or 1/1.67 pns like a lx5 or xz1 and hit the size, iq and control to a point. And again save on the money.

It just does not hit enough of the points for either group to have a strong sell. It will find a niche market I believe. But I do think the aps-c model will be more inline with the reasons people go to a mirrorless for.
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Old Jun 27, 2011, 3:01 AM   #27
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Hi shoturtle,

A thoughtful analysis, but. . .

You've forgotten the Japanese/Asian market which is the most important to Pentax. Miniaturized, cute, high quality, high tech. An entire high end miniature camera system that fits in a small fanny pack. They are the ones that got all the color combinations for the Kx (which generated more than a few chuckles on photo fora here, but was a marketing success), and they are the ones that will get the Q first before the rest of the world. Even here, they're marketing it as the "smallest interchangeable lens camera system in the world". Photo forum pixel peepers may laugh at it here, and declare this model marks the death of Pentax, but the same guys said the same thing about the colored Kx's. . . and the price of the K-5. . .and the price of the K-7. . . and the list goes on and on.

Then there's the Ipad/Android tablet crowd. $500 for quite a few steps backward in computing power from a laptop or desktop to have what? Portable internet? Check your e-mail? Watch movies (that you pay for) on a 10" screen during your break? Keep in touch with your friends? Follow what Snooky or Charlie Sheen might be up to? . . .and you have to pay at least $360 a year to keep it connected? -- $800 isn't really considered that much for a convenience nowdays.

I'm not knocking Tabs as I'll be getting one later this summer, but I have some ideas about using it for photography display primarily.

Add affluent gadget gurus to some serious photographers and I think that Pentax could do pretty well with this model. I've heard that their production goals are similar to those of the Kr, about 20,000/mo. It has a high end build and look, but includes entry level shooting modes. . . and full 1080P HD @ 30fps video with 264 compression, which none of the Pentax DSLRs even have IIRC.

Current photography markets may not be what photographers might perceive them to be. Photo forum pixel peepers haven't exactly proven themselves to be at the top of the food chain when it comes to predicting marketing trends in the past.

Some people don't think twice about paying $1000+ for a premium specialty lens that they'll use maybe 10% of the time. Look at the market for FA 85 f1.4s or FA 200 f4 Macros. You don't even have to get that exotic. I doubt that the majority of the DA*60-250 owners have the lens mounted on their camera as their normal walk around lens.

I don't mind paying $800 for a quality camera that will be with me all of the time. I could get a similar camera for less, but it wouldn't do the same things, the way I'd want to do them. The Q seems to so far -- we'll have to wait and see about the details.

Scott
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Old Oct 18, 2011, 9:51 AM   #28
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I have 2 Canon P&S's both with a 1/1.7 sensor, (10pm and 14.7mp) and f2.8 zoom lens. while they are poor at chasing the g kids at soccer games they are amazing for landscapes. I have (12) 20"X30" prints hanging in the basement that are amazingly sharp with great DOF.

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