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Pentax Q, Q is for "Quirky"
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Rick Dreher
(halfturbo) - MLife

Locale: Northernish California
Pentax Q, Q is for "Quirky" on 06/23/2011 11:41:48 MDT Print View

Pentax has announced a tiny, interchangeable-lens camera system. It differs from other mirrorless systems in having a point & shoot-size imager, which certainly helps with the packaging but raises the question, "why bother?" (They even have "toy" lenses to sate Holgaphiles.)

Nevertheless, it's a fun-looking little camera and will probably grab a slice of the prestige compact market.

There are rumors of another Pentax shoe to drop yet this year: an APS-C mirrorless system. Because the Q system has several clever design elements, an upsized version would be welcome.



[edit] It really is tiny.

Edited by halfturbo on 06/23/2011 11:58:44 MDT.

Will Webster
Why indeed on 06/23/2011 13:37:24 MDT Print View

This isn't the first time Pentax has done this:

Good news about the APS-C mirrorless. If enough companies make them maybe someone will make the one I want. Meanwhile I just got an S-95 for when my hiking DSLR is too heavy.

Tohru Ohnuki
(erdferkel) - F

Locale: S. California
Re: Pentax Q, Q is for "Quirky" on 06/23/2011 13:43:21 MDT Print View

I think i remember reading somewhere that when manufacturers start with the colored bodies and other 'fashion' modifications, that class of camera is doomed as the functionality is not relevant anymore. With the ubiquity of high quality cell phone cameras, the compact point-and-shoot's days are numbered...

Justin McMinn
(akajut) - F

Locale: Central Oklahoma
Pentax Q - Smallest, lightest interchangeable lens camera on 06/23/2011 15:25:22 MDT Print View

Weight with a memory card, battery, and lens is 8.2 ounces (235g), and 7 ounces (198g) with the lens removed. That lens 1.3 ounces (36.8g)

As for the toy lenses? I bet we will be seeing more of these, particularly with the popularity of Instagram. Even photog snobs/aficionados like Ryan Jordan are all over Instagram's filters.

Edited by akajut on 06/23/2011 15:26:49 MDT.

Ismail Faruqi
(ismailfaruqi) - F
Doomed from the start on 06/23/2011 19:49:34 MDT Print View

This Q is doomed from the start... just try to compare it with XZ-1... XZ-1 has bigger sensor, faster lenses, requires no fiddling changing lenses, is lighter, cheaper etc...

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
Sign of the times perhaps... on 06/23/2011 22:15:38 MDT Print View


For enthusiasts who could care less about high ISO noise levels and sensor size, the Q may hit a home run in portability, image control, and for being en vogue. Honestly, if someone solely displays their photographs on a personal blog or website (ie. Tumblr, Wordpress, Blogger, Flickr, Facebook... etc.), online gallery, or whatever digital platform they choose to unravel their life's conscious stream of imagery.... then a Pentax Q may be worth the price of admission. The price tag is a bit alarming, considering what you can purchase in the MFT and DSLR market at that price, however, the rapidly curved development in the imaging software found on iPhones and Androids have proven that much of our world gives a rat's a%# about the device in which an image was taken, it's all about the finished product... and how it looks on a laptop monitor or an AMOLED phone screen.

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: @Tarptent
Pentax Q, Q is for "Quirky on 06/26/2011 19:02:06 MDT Print View

This is very much along the lines of the Pentax 110, mini SLR system.
That sold relatively well not because of image quality but because it was very cute and (Q) and gimmicky.
People loved fiddling and collecting the lenses (6) winders (2) , filters (UV, PL , Close Up) and even trying to buy the 2x converter (Soligor) , just for fun.
The lenses were in fact capable of taking better pictures than the film format allowed.
(The 110 film was slightly curved because the format did not have a pressure plate to keep it flat.)
So my prediction is that it will do at least OK because it is cute.

Greg F
(GregF) - F

Locale: Canadian Rockies
I don't get it on 06/28/2011 08:57:49 MDT Print View

I don't get this camera system. What niche does it fill?

Its sensor is smaller than the XZ-1, LX-5, S95 there for quality and depth of field control is lower. The size is slightly larger than the above cameras and the lenses protrude more making it less packable. When I heard Pentex was going to release an interchangable lens mirrorless camera I was excited becuase they make such good small primes for their DLSR's that could be furthur miniaturized in a mirrorless system. But this system doesn't make sense. It is also very high cost $800 for body and a 50 equiv prime.

I don't understand how any of these cameras sell.

Rick Dreher
(halfturbo) - MLife

Locale: Northernish California
Re: I don't get it on 06/28/2011 10:22:37 MDT Print View

Hi Greg,

Yes, a head-scratcher. I do think it's a prestige item aimed primarily at the domestic market and not at advanced amateurs--literally something folks will want because it's cool. The digital marketplace is really fragmented now, and basically everybody who wanted a dslr already has one so they have to create new niches. This is where mirrorless comes in and I think also explains the overwhelming response to the Fuji X100.

I'm holding out hope the Q lenses have a larger than necessary image circle, which would keep the door open for larger sensor bodies in the future.



Ken Bennett
(ken_bennett) - F

Locale: southeastern usa
Re: I don't get it on 06/28/2011 18:56:33 MDT Print View

"I don't get this camera system. What niche does it fill?"

I suspect it will sell well in Japan, where "tiny" and "high end" seem to do very well. I doubt that we are the target market.

Rick M
(rmjapan) - F

Locale: London, UK
Ricoh buys Pentax on 07/01/2011 02:47:07 MDT Print View


Edited by rmjapan on 06/18/2015 04:02:01 MDT.

Erik Danielsen
(er1kksen) - F

Locale: The Western Door
Japan on 07/26/2011 14:07:58 MDT Print View

This is definitely more of a japanese market cam. These quirky oddball products pentax occasionally put out do rather well domestically.

No real downside to the Ricoh purchase. Market share means very little compared to whether or not the company turns a profit. In that regard, things have been looking nowhere but up for pentax lately.

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: @Tarptent
Pentax Q, Q is for "Quirky on 08/04/2011 17:54:09 MDT Print View

Some unofficial , pre final production and compressed images :
Mostly to give a better idea of the size of the camera...
Pentax Q
I was in town yesterday so had a play with one.
definitely quirky..
looking at the not much bigger Panasonic GF3 it was easy to see the choice between high tech toy and a bit more serious photographic tool.
Interesting to see that Olympus seems to have dropped the DSLR segment(apart from the E5) in favour of the mirrorless type.

Edited by Franco on 10/22/2011 16:19:26 MDT.