Pentax Q10 - a quick review


pinholecam

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#1
Declaration : This camera comes thru the local distributor APDS ( Audio & Photo Distributor (F.E) Pte Ltd ), so unlike the few other reviews I've done, its not my camera.
I'd like to take the opportunity to thank APDS for being very generous with the rather long duration of about a month I had with this camera though.





For those with are unaware of the Q system, here is a previous review of the earlier Pentax Q system showing off what it can do:
http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/reviews/1130914-pentax-q-real-world-user-review.html


Q10

Introduction
I'll keep it short, since its an upgraded version of the original Q, the world's smallest interchangeable lens MILC (at time of writing).
Do click that 'Real World Review" link I have on top to have a idea of what this little camera can do. ;)

Q10 is the successor to the Q and released in Oct 2012.
Its notable upgrades based on official release information are :
1. Improved 12.4mp backlit sensor with SR (shake reduction)
2. Upgraded AF system
3. Full 1080p30 Video with H.264 compression
4. New plastic body


Specs
There's plenty of spec sheets out there since so many web sites are eager to show that they have 'real' info on all sorts of cameras, so I won't bore you with them. ;)

The gist of it :

Sensor : 12.4mp backlit cmos (1/2.3’’)
File formats: RAW (DNG), JPEG (Exif 2.3), DCF2.0 compliant RAW and JPEG simultaneously recordable
Storage medium: SD, SDHC and SDXC Memory card
Drive modes: Single frame, Continuous (Hi, Lo), Self-timer (12s, 2s), remote control (0 sec. 3 sec. continuous), Auto Bracketing (3 frames, remote control)
Continuous shooting: Continuous high : Approx. 5 fps up to 5 frames in JPEG (12M, ★★★)
Continuous low : Approx. 1.5 fps up to 100 frames in JPEG (12M, ★★★)
Multi-exposure: Number of shots : 2-9, exposure adjusted automatically
Interval Shooting: Shooting interval : 1 sec. to 24 hr, Start interval setting :
immediately from the set time. Number of shoots : up to 999 images
Sensitivity AUTO : ISO 100 to 6400 (1/3 EV steps)
Bulb mode : up to ISO 1600
Screen Type: 3’’ TFT color LCD monitor, wide-angle viewing, 460k dots
Brightness and colors adjustable
Dimensions :58mm x 102mm x 33.5mm
Weight : 200g (loaded with battery and SD card), 180g (body only)

Link to official specs : PENTAX - Q10 Custom Colors
 

pinholecam

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#2
Physical size and feel


Q10 compare to Q from the front.


I'm surprised by how solid the Q10 still feels despite the plastic body compared to Q.
Pentax does often make nice choices with the materials used for the cameras.
No 'tappy' (which makes a 'kok' 'kok' sound/feel) plastic here.
It has a nice heft to it in terms of weight.
Lighter than Q but still feels substantial which is nice imo.

I had some doubts about the Q10 design, but it seems I really like the silver/black one that I have for review.
The new design grip may look insubstantial, but I'm surprised that it actually works well for providing more grip on the camera.
More so than the Q, and certainly a plus point when choosing between the two cameras.

Here are some other views comparing sizes.
To me Q10 though a bit bigger, in real use, the size difference is negligible.
As can be seen, the button/dial placement is the same, providing quite a wealth of buttons for fast access.












Button and dial placement is the same
 

PhilipKr35

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Jul 17, 2011
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#4
pinholecam said:
Physical size and feel

Q10 compare to Q from the front.

I'm surprised by how solid the Q10 still feels despite the plastic body compared to Q.
Pentax does often make nice choices with the materials used for the cameras.
No 'tappy' (which makes a 'kok' 'kok' sound/feel) plastic here.
It has a nice heft to it in terms of weight.
Lighter than Q but still feels substantial which is nice imo.

I had some doubts about the Q10 design, but it seems I really like the silver/black one that I have for review.
The new design grip may look insubstantial, but I'm surprised that it actually works well for providing more grip on the camera.
More so than the Q, and certainly a plus point when choosing between the two cameras.

Here are some other views comparing sizes.
To me Q10 though a bit bigger, in real use, the size difference is negligible.
As can be seen, the button/dial placement is the same, providing quite a wealth of buttons for fast access.

Button and dial placement is the same
Like it ! Part 2 of XX.
Did anyone Noticed 03 lens on Q looks so tiny!
 

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pinholecam

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#5
In Use

I'll focus on a user's impression from using the Q10.
IMO, its how the camera responds and outputs to the users needs that counts more than just pixel peeing of TED the teddy bear in a boring static shot from ISO 0-1,000,000.

So here are a few situations over the 3 weeks where I used the Q10 to take photos of whatever caught my interest.


Startup time : seems similar to the Q (3-4s).
I was hoping for an improvement on this, but it seems it has remained largely the same.
If there was a difference, it was not glaringly obvious to me.


Processing speed : largely similar to Q
Again, no day and night difference that I noticed to write speeds, screen previews and such.


Now, one of the advantages of the Q system is its ability to change lenses.
Unlike a pns camera, the user gets to bring his existing Q lenses over to the next new body like what I have done this round, using my 01 prime (43mm f1.9) and Fisheye (f5.6).
See here for a list of available lenses :


Pentax recently added a 06_lens 83-249mm f2.8 to this


Here are some fisheye shots used as a pseudo UWA as well as a fisheye.












Wider than any pns can offer and fun too as a fisheye.
An additional wide angle prime lens is supposed to be in the lens roadmap scheduled for 2013-2014.
 

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wonglp

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#6
Looking fwd! Perhaps the best Q series reviewer:) Did you tweak the shadows/highlights on FE shot or is it in-cam filter?
 

pinholecam

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#7
Looking fwd! Perhaps the best Q series reviewer:) Did you tweak the shadows/highlights on FE shot or is it in-cam filter?
Thanks,
It was done with the camera set to bracket 3 shots at 2ev steps and then blended in PSElements.
I'm not sure about other pns, but the Q10 does have the feature to have exposure bracketing at selected ev steps.
 

pinholecam

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#8
AF speed was pretty niffy in daylight.
Of course its larger DOF due to its small sensor can help too by keeping more things in focus.





No problems grabbing shots like these.


Q10 close focus ability is straight off better than Q with its earlier firmware (v1.0).
But with Q firmware v1.10, both cameras focused well for close ups.

Its pretty easy to get very close to the insects with such a small setup hand held. (Q10+01 prime)
(largely uncropped - only cropped for composition purposes, so it pretty close to the butterflies)







 

pinholecam

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#9
As with the closeup shots of the butterflies and snail, with a fast lens like the 01 prime (43mm f1.9) and for smaller subjects, some shallow DOF shots are possible.



Quick dial set to 'Reversal Film' mode which I like for the punchy colors



A tad bit of DOF control for small subjects with the 01 prime to give subject isolation
 

zoom3

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May 18, 2007
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#10
Great job in showing what this little guy can do. Keep them coming JK.
 

pinholecam

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#11
Great job in showing what this little guy can do. Keep them coming JK.
Like it ! Part 2 of XX.
Did anyone Noticed 03 lens on Q looks so tiny!
Thanks guys.
I liked the silver/black design of the Q10 over the full black of my Q.
Was really tempted to MIA with the camera :D

Ah! then there's the Limited Edition Evangelion ones. ;p


Image taking can be characterful and not so serious.....
 

pinholecam

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#12
The front dial for the Q10 can be assigned to a myriad of fun filters.
This allows fast switching between favorite (up to 4) filters and more normal modes.
As with the Q, I found that the small size of the camera, coupled with the less serious small sensor and the quick dial made me want to do a lot more less typical colored shots.

Sort of like a "Hey! this camera isn't serious. Lets have some fun with it!" which does not happen often if I was holding a more 'serious' DSLR used for 'serious' photos as only 'serious photos' can justify the lightning CDAF; Large sensor; $$$; and all that nonsense mental baggage.


Had fun fooling around with the filters.










The quick dial works exactly like on the Q.
That does mean no full mix and match assigning the quick dial between picture modes/filters/effects though...
The quick dial has to has to use the specific effect group (the group used can be switched in the menu of course)
 

pinholecam

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#13
Practicalities in Low Light

I'd like to touch a bit on low light performance.... with a twist... sort of...
The usual argument is that a small sensor has poor high iso performance compared to larger sensors.
Well, that is still true.
But in practical aspects, I find that advanced compacts have improved a lot and coupled with fast lenses, small easy to hand-hold camera and in-camera shake reduction, the ISO need not be too high in low light situations.

Here are some very typical places one would find him/herself taking photos.
The Q10 with a fast lens like the f1.9 prime 01 certainly allows for getting the shot done when a photo opportunity arises.



Macdonalds; 1/40; f2.5; ISO400
Not even wide open, and only ISO400 is needed in a restaurant type lighting/situation



100% crop

Enough to order from menu
This is from jpg and not DNG RAW which would have given a slightly better result.


Another often encountered situation in low light (small objects)

1/60; f1.9; ISO1000
Something like 1/60 would be a decent shutter speed to lower the chance of camera shake and subject movement too.
The Q10 also has in-camera shake reduction.



1/3; f5.6; ISO400
Light was falling fast in this situation on a gloomy/cloudy weekend with low 6.52pm light streaming in from double walled/dirty windows.
Shot with the Toy Fisheye lens which is fixed at f5.6; Handheld.
 

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pinholecam

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#15
A few images to show off what the Q system is capable of with a Pentax K mount to Q mount adapter.
This takes advantage of the 5.5x crop factor afforded by the small sensor.
(apologies that some images have been shared before)
Taken with the Q as I did not have the time to visit the zoo again to take more shots with Q10.
But basically Q10 can do the same thing.


Q with a 200mm f2.8; 1000mm equivalent



Q with 100mm macro; gives a equivalent 5x magnification on a macro lens that already does 1:1



Q with a 200mm f2.8; 1000mm equivalent



Q with 100mm macro;
 

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