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Thread: The Pentax Q - a real World user review

  1. #21

    Default Re: The Pentax Q - a real World user review

    Image Quality (Base ISO)



    Typically, I'd like to keep my sanity by not pixel peeping at pns sized sensor o/p.
    But here's one just as a reference.

    Base ISO 125.
    Found a few frogs at Clarke Quay of all places.




    100% crop



    Again a showcase of the o/p in "Reversal Film" setting.
    I just love the colors :




    Last edited by pinholecam; 30th July 2012 at 10:58 PM.

  2. #22
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    Default Re: The Pentax Q - a real World user review

    Quote Originally Posted by pinholecam View Post
    The roadmap is supposed to be :



    I'm just waiting for the release of the original K-mount to Q-mount adapter which as a built in shutter.
    Thanks for sharing.

    AF? What's mount cap lens, Jap meaning of K mount ?

  3. #23

    Default Re: The Pentax Q - a real World user review

    Quote Originally Posted by wonglp View Post
    Thanks for sharing.

    AF? What's mount cap lens, Jap meaning of K mount ?
    If I am not wrong, the telephoto zoom, wide and telephoto prime are lenses with AF and supposed to be good quality.

    The Mount Cap Lens is a body cap with a pinhole. Basically a fun pinhole camera. (ha.. ha.. pretty lame to me... )

  4. #24
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    Default Re: The Pentax Q - a real World user review

    My Flickr | Nikon D800 | Nikon irD50 | Olympus OM-D E-M5 |

  5. #25

    Default Re: The Pentax Q - a real World user review

    Oh wow..your photos are AWESOME pinholecam! I could never get them that contrasty or sharp. Did you take them in raw and process later or are they pure jpgs off the camera? really good. Like the one with the young lady where you caught yourself in the frame too...
    PENTAXKR,18250,18135,35,40,70,600,AF360
    SONYA6000,1650,1855,18200,5018,3028,16,RX100M3

  6. #26

    Default Re: The Pentax Q - a real World user review

    Quote Originally Posted by silence View Post
    Thanks man!



    Quote Originally Posted by airconvent View Post
    Oh wow..your photos are AWESOME pinholecam! I could never get them that contrasty or sharp. Did you take them in raw and process later or are they pure jpgs off the camera? really good. Like the one with the young lady where you caught yourself in the frame too...
    The metering on the Q is pretty good.
    Perhaps why you are seeing its not as contrasty for you is because exposure is good and centered, lacking deep blacks and pure whites.
    I just stretch out the levels in Picasa (ie. Auto) and then adjust the slider if I not happy with the result.
    I'm also mainly using 'reversal film' setting, which is more vibrant and contrasty.

    At the moment, my thoughts are to not delve into RAW, though I know it can get even better results from the Q.
    Its a pns like MILC, and I don't want to bother about ultimate IQ.
    I would opt to use a DSLR if I wanted IQ.

  7. #27

    Default Re: The Pentax Q - a real World user review

    Battery Life

    Up to this point, I've used the Q for a while now, on many session varying from 1-5hrs.
    My take on battery life. SHORT
    My typical usage pattern for the Q is to shoot a couple and review and now and then.
    Camera is left 'ON' if I find myself in a roll and got a few things to shot with close proximity of each other.
    As mentioned earlier, I consider myself pretty stingy with battery power, so I switch off the camera when moving from Point A to B and/or if I determine that the near 100-200m ahead does not have anything interesting to shoot.

    With my usage pattern, the battery typically lasts for about 3-4hrs.
    This is certainly not enough for a full day of shooting from day to early evening in a typical travel/tour scenario.
    Thankfully the battery used on the Q is very standard (the same as the ones on quite a few small compacts (ie. Li-68)) and readily avaliable on ebay at cheap prices.
    I got a spare at only <$5 plus shipping.
    But in hindsight, I'd recommend having at least 3 batteries (if not 4), since one battery only lasts 3-4hrs.
    So 2 batteries used up in a day, plus 1 spare, is probably right.
    I'm certainly buying at least one more.

    BTW, the batteries are small and light (like Ghirardelli chocolate squares), so carrying a few won't kill anyone. (just don't mix them up with Ghirardelli's and swallow them)



    Here have a rock? Pentax Q + Prime01 @f1.9



    Pentax Q + Prime01
    9 stitched vertical frames
    click here for larger picture :
    http://imageshack.us/f/207/imgp1062imgp1083and2mor.jpg/
    Last edited by pinholecam; 3rd August 2012 at 09:14 PM.

  8. #28

    Default Re: The Pentax Q - a real World user review

    Great review and great pics!
    Very tempting! Haha.
    Any idea how much the price has drop to now?
    Thanks!

  9. #29
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    Default Re: The Pentax Q - a real World user review

    thanks for review..your pic almost get me to buy pentax Q.
    could you upload a full reso pic for sharing ? that might break my resistance..

  10. #30

    Default Re: The Pentax Q - a real World user review

    Quote Originally Posted by Adnix View Post
    Great review and great pics!
    Very tempting! Haha.
    Any idea how much the price has drop to now?
    Thanks!
    Thanks.
    I've yet to touch on the real fun/good part
    Its $690 before GST from the Pentax Web store
    Mirrorless & Hybrid Cameras
    I have no affiliation with them of course.

    If I am not wrong, you can get it from SLR Revolution and OP too at like prices.
    I checked out SLR Rev for the Fisheye lens and it was the same price as the web store.


    (more to come )


    Quote Originally Posted by wong_se View Post
    thanks for review..your pic almost get me to buy pentax Q.
    could you upload a full reso pic for sharing ? that might break my resistance..
    Personally, I feel that pns cameras come and go, but a camera like the Q is unique.
    I uploaded some samples here :
    ImageShack® - Online Photo and Video Hosting
    ImageShack® - Online Photo and Video Hosting
    ImageShack® - Online Photo and Video Hosting

    These are OOC except for a levels adjustment on Picasa.
    Picasa seems to have compressed it to 2+MB file size too, but I think they should still be good.

  11. #31

    Default Re: The Pentax Q - a real World user review

    Quote Originally Posted by wong_se View Post
    thanks for review..your pic almost get me to buy pentax Q.
    could you upload a full reso pic for sharing ? that might break my resistance..
    lol. i just saw the above photos.

    don't think it will break your resistance.

  12. #32

    Default Re: The Pentax Q - a real World user review

    Crop Engine
    ============

    The Q uses a rather small 1/2.3", 12.4MP back-illuminated CMOS sensor.
    In terms of 35mm format equivalence, it has a 5.5x crop factor.
    It has also been one of the reasons some pundits have laughed at the Q as a viable photographic tool.
    However, it is this large crop factor and the ability to mount various lenses that makes the Q unique amongst the array of PnS cameras avaliable out there.
    Its also makes it a rather good compliment to an existing DSLR w/o overlap in abilities.

    I like to term it as 'Crop Engine' capability.


    5.5x crop on good lenses can provide unique opportunities.


    Pentax Q+F*300 (1650mm equivalent)

    This has got to be my best Moon shot to date.
    Even after cropping off about 30-40% of the original frame for composition, the details are the best out of all the Moon shots I've done.
    With APS-C, I could have cropped, but at this size of the Moon, the pixel would be close to showing and the file size would be very small 2-4MB.
    I'd expect that it can be even better if not for my limited time to focus and take shots before the Moon was covered in cloud.


    Nowadays, the Moon is not showing up at my window and its pretty hazy/cloudy. Perhaps I will revisit Moon shots when the opportunity arises.
    Last edited by pinholecam; 1st August 2012 at 10:24 AM.

  13. #33
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    Default Re: The Pentax Q - a real World user review

    Quote Originally Posted by pinholecam View Post
    Personally, I feel that pns cameras come and go, but a camera like the Q is unique.
    I uploaded some samples here :
    ImageShack® - Online Photo and Video Hosting
    ImageShack® - Online Photo and Video Hosting
    ImageShack® - Online Photo and Video Hosting

    Thanks, will take a look

  14. #34

    Default Re: The Pentax Q - a real World user review

    Crop Engine - Macro
    ==============


    Coupled with a macro lens which can do 1:1, the Q becomes a macro tool with the capability to focus anything from infinity to minimum focus distance (MFD).
    At MFD, with a 1:1 macro lens, equivalent magnification due to the crop factor is a 5.5x magnification macro.

    At this point, I am using a 3rd party adapter which has no built in shutter, and flash sync speed is limited to 1/15.
    This is not as bad as it sounds for macro, as the stopped down aperture and shade of the forest canopy usually means that flash power is the only contributing factor to the photo.
    With flash, its motion stopping despite the camera being at 1/15 shutter speed.
    If its a bright day condition that is not under shade, the user can attempt to not use flash and dispense with the 1/15 flash sync limitation.
    A OEM adapter is supposed to be released this year which will have a built in shutter and a flash sync speed of 1/250.

    As an additional info, for native lenses, the Q has a max flash sync speed of 1/2000 with built in flash and 1/250 for external flash.

    Admittedly, I'm not a macro shooter, so my skills and standard is pretty basic, so bear with me.

    The capability of the Q with a macro lens is amazing to me.
    On APS-C, I would have needed a long lens + reversed 50mm and still crop a lot to get near (but still not exactly) this.
    And then struggle with the limited range of focusing due to the reversed lens.

    But with the Q, its easy peasy....
    Just focus at the distance I need.
    Far, near, no problem at all.

    Jumping Spider about 4mm in size.

    Hmm... he looks like a hairy crab... wonder if he's tasty
    Pentax Q with 100mm macro



    Pentax Q with 100mm macro



    This is probably a crop off 40% of the image. I had a 1:1 version, but not enough DOF to cover from segmented eyes to mouth.


    The difference between a Q+macro lens and a pns+macro filter is in the focusing range that the Q+macro lens affords.
    A pns+close up filter can only focus within the focusing range of the close up filter.
    The Q+100mm macro lens can focus at any range from infinity to minimum focus distance, becoming a 550mm for skittish insects and a super macro for very small one.
    All at one go.
    Not to mention the liberation from the need to put the macro filter on/off depending on needs, and having to keep it clean with all the handling under the sweltering tropical heat.




    Pollen on the back of a Bee

  15. #35

    Default Re: The Pentax Q - a real World user review

    Quote Originally Posted by wong_se View Post
    Thanks, will take a look
    No probs

    Honestly, if its just IQ at pixel peeping level, its still a very small sensor camera.
    But it does have a few niffy tricks up its sleeve, offers some unique options and is good enough for most non-critical uses

  16. #36
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    Default Re: The Pentax Q - a real World user review

    Bro, I want to try le with my Panagor. Are you going for the next Pentax meet?

  17. #37

    Default Re: The Pentax Q - a real World user review

    Quote Originally Posted by hjbyeo View Post
    Bro, I want to try le with my Panagor. Are you going for the next Pentax meet?
    Its so small, of course I will bring to next outing

    I'm real interested in seeing how it does with a shorter FL macro like the Panagor.
    Expectation is smaller and easier to handle, more DOF due to the shorter FL (a good thing)
    The Panagor is very smooth and fine focusing too, so even better.

  18. #38

    Default Re: The Pentax Q - a real World user review

    Crop Engine - Long Range Applications
    =============================


    So far, I've only had a sample shot of the Moon as a long reach application of the Q crop engine capability.
    Frankly, that's not a generic application for most folks.
    I'd probably get bored with shooting the Moon after the nth time. (Full Moon... Lill' bit done Moon....Half boiled Moon... yawn..... )

    Before I got the Q, I thought of the crop engine capability making a 200mm lens a 1100mm lens.
    Wow! no need to buy a expensive 500/4.5, I imagined.
    But when I finally got one, I realized that it would be a tall order.

    1. With the small sensor and pixel density, any good lens would still do fine. Bad lenses, would have their bad points accentuated by the crop factor.
    2. Its MF only, and not that easy for live subjects that would shift about (still doable though).
    3. At these magnification and pixel density, any mis-focus is very apparent.
    4. Its still a crop engine at the end of the day, not an optical projection onto a larger APS-C/FF sensor.
    Perhaps on best of conditions (perfect focus; very good lens at max sharpness; stopped down less than diffraction limit of about f4.5-f5.6 for the small sensor, ideal DOF ) , the result will still be stunning at 100% crop. Otherwise, I'd be happy to walk away with an image that was good up to 50% crop (thats already very very good over what can be cropped out of any APS-C sensor)


    Since I'm not a birder nor have the field craft and tenacity of one under our tropical heat (my to the birders out there) , I opted for the easy way out to showcase what is possible with the Q+telephoto lens.
    Went to the Zoo for a short while and got some animal shots instead.
    All shots taken with Pentax Q and FA*80-200/2.8 at f4.



    Cropped about 1/10th for composition



    Cropped about 40% for composition; 'The Elusive guy' finally got a clear shot of him.




    Cropped about 1/10th for composition;


    Results are certainly very good as long as focus is achieved.
    Those familiar with the Zoo will roughly know how far these fellas are across the low fence + moat and how much cropping on APS-C and/or serious lens firepower is needed to get shots this close(ie. a lot).
    Last edited by pinholecam; 8th August 2012 at 02:53 PM.

  19. #39

    Default Re: The Pentax Q - a real World user review

    Conclusion and Personal Impressions (for Now)
    ===============================


    I guess if there is a right time to wrap this up, its now.

    In short here are the Pros and Cons (IMO) :

    Pros
    ====

    1. Smallest pns and MILC out there
    2. Fast AF speed in bright/fair conditions
    3. Very well built and soild
    4. Wealth of buttons to eliminate menu diving
    5. Quick Dial on the front makes it easy to switch modes and have fun with photography like no other camera.
    6. Very good tweakability in settings via the menu
    7. Very quiet mechanical shutter
    8. Totally silent electronic shutter
    9. Good range of In-camera filters to play with
    10. Good max flash sync speed with native lenses (1/2000 with built in flash and 1/250 with external flash)
    11. Lenses can be brought over to the next new body unlike a conventional pns (saving part of the initial investment)
    12. Fantastic tele/macro ability when coupled with DSLR lenses via an adapter, which is not provided on any other pns system and in fact unique as a system at time of writing.


    Cons
    ====

    1. Short Battery Life
    2. Rather typical pns like AF in low light; (CIRCA late 2011-2012 are already seeing pretty fast CDAF on some cameras).
    3. 1/15 max flash sync speed limitation on non-native lenses without a built in shutter.
    4. Slow start up time of about 4s with non-clear indication that camera is still starting up.



    Personal Impressions and Thoughts
    =========================


    Though there are some rough edges to the Q, I must say that having used it for just over a month and pushing it for the review.
    I am thankful that Pentax was willing to take the risk and imagine up as well as produce such a system.

    In the market today, there are pns ver#1, 2, 3, etc, coming out year after year and they basically provide the same bottom line.
    To get pictures in a smaller form factor than their larger MILC/DSLR brothers.
    A form of duplication of purpose or 'backup' to their larger counter parts.

    The Q stands out in this respect.
    Not only does it perform the purpose as mentioned above, with an adapter, it adds to what the enthusiast has without much duplication.
    The extreme tele and macro shots presented is no mean feat, on any system, which would have need pretty hard-core use of extension tubes, diopters, teleconverters, expensive lenses or DIY jury-rigging to get to such extremes.


    The incredible flexibility of the Q is really its biggest benefit over other premium small compacts.
    IQ is "good enough" and the size is really a boon to taking it everywhere, which results in the ability to challenge and grow the users photography on a daily basis.

    To me, if you like cameras and admire them, the Q is unique.
    Sort of like how some camera makers went out there in the film days and did the 110, PEN, 44 cameras.(ie. smaller film size and all)
    The Q is like a digital version of those (and those days)


    I will update this review every now and then as I gather more info and photos.


    Thanks for reading and do post up any queries.

  20. #40
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    Default Re: The Pentax Q - a real World user review

    Hi!
    Just wanna ask, where can I find the lenses adapter for this Pentax Q?

    I already bought one with dual lens kit.
    It's truely an awesome mini camera!

    Thanks for the awesome review, too. Love it!

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