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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Exceeds expectation
My main camera is a K-x with a slew of Pentax "limited" lenses. So I was a bit concern about the small sensor on the Q. However I am more than please with the image quality. Certainly is in not as good as an APC size sensor. But the results are significantly better than anything I expected. Up to 800 iso the results are almost comparable. Above 800 iso the noise is an...
Published on February 25, 2012 by J. Farr

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82 of 101 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An interesting, but compromised, small camera. Read the pros and cons!
The idea of a compact system camera is to take the important internal bits of a DLSR and pack them into a smaller package. This is a small package. Heck, it's tiny really. With the lens off, it's a small, compact camera. With the lens it's obviously a bit bigger, but should fit just fine in a jacket pocket or small case. It's smaller and lighter than either the...
Published on February 17, 2012 by Michael A. Duvernois


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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Exceeds expectation, February 25, 2012
This review is from: Pentax Q 12.4 MP CMOS Sensor Kit with 8.5mm 1.9 AL [IF] Prime Lens(Black) (Electronics)
My main camera is a K-x with a slew of Pentax "limited" lenses. So I was a bit concern about the small sensor on the Q. However I am more than please with the image quality. Certainly is in not as good as an APC size sensor. But the results are significantly better than anything I expected. Up to 800 iso the results are almost comparable. Above 800 iso the noise is an issue, for me, not usable above that figure. On my K-x I get acceptable results all the way up to 4000 iso.

However the results I am getting are better than anything I have seen with a 4/3 system, which I think is the intended compotition. Given the size of the camera and the build quality I am very happy I bought it. The Kit lens has outstanding optical quality and a classic 50mm lens equivalent (47mm) field of view. The "02 Stand zoom" has some barrel distortion issues but they are correctable with in camera software and the zoom range right in the popular range 28-85mm equivalent.

Overall this is a fantastic camera for street photography. It fits into your coat pocket and you can take it anywhere. I ofter forget it's even in my pocket, it's so tiny. But the quality is still about 90% of my considerable larger Pentax K-x. It has all the same SLR type functions as well and a slew of digital filters.

I would recommend looking through samples in the "Pentax Q" group on Flickr.
[...]
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39 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pentax Q, July 27, 2012
By 
John Wright (Salt Lick, Ky USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Pentax Q 12.4 MP CMOS Sensor Kit with 8.5mm 1.9 AL [IF] Prime Lens(Black) (Electronics)
I bought this camera on a whim thinking it would be fun to play with. Well, it's that & a whole lot more. It feels like a little brick in your hand. The controls are laid out just right. And most of all the pictures are excellent. After all what is a camera made for? To take pictures,right. So forget all this crap about sensor size, how many lines per inch, and all the so called professional reviews.
If a camera feels good in your hand & the pictures are great & you enjoy taking pictures with it. That's the one for you.
By the way I've been in photography for forty plus years.
John
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great little camera with proper expectations, June 19, 2012
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This review is from: Pentax Q 12.4 MP CMOS Sensor Kit with 8.5mm 1.9 AL [IF] Prime Lens(Black) (Electronics)
I have read all the reviews of this little Pentax camera I could find before purchasing. Many people are focused on the image sensor size and various other technical aspects but for me the overall experience with the camera interface, capabilities and image quality are the real measure of success.

Overall this is probably best classified a niche camera and not intended to replace your higher end DSLR units.

The camera is physically small but not too small to handle or use. Lens system is tiny but good optically. Camera body is 3.9 x 2.3 x 1.2 inches. I purchased an adapter to use normal sized Sony and Pentax lenses with the Q. The use of the larger dslr lenses extends the cameras usefulness a bit but changes footprint dramatically.

I find the Pentax Q a very small full featured and capable camera. Startup time for my unit is on par with all my other big bodied DSLR cameras. The focus speed is certainly not the fastest but mine will focus within 1.5 seconds max with kit lens. All the normal manual and automatic features are available that I normally use from my Pentax K-r or other.

I restrict the ISO settings to 1250 max for low light photos and have taken excellent pictures. Yes the image sensor size does limit the very high ISO ranges based on noise introduced but most cameras have this limitation. The dual position flash is interesting solution to avoid lens light blockage. The HDR in camera process works well.

Writing speed of images to SD card is acceptable when saving both RAW+JPG images at same time. Just saving RAW or JPG images are as expected much quicker with a decent image burst speed for an inexpensive camera.

Rechargable battery provides me with about 200 continuous use images without flash.

It is not a Pentax K-5,Sony SLT-A77 or Nikon J1. Think more of a Panasonic LX5 with interchangeable lenses. In my opinion, if you are interested in a TINY interchangeable lens camera with dslr like capabilities then this is a good choice.
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82 of 101 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An interesting, but compromised, small camera. Read the pros and cons!, February 17, 2012
This review is from: Pentax Q 12.4 MP CMOS Sensor Kit with 8.5mm 1.9 AL [IF] Prime Lens(Black) (Electronics)
The idea of a compact system camera is to take the important internal bits of a DLSR and pack them into a smaller package. This is a small package. Heck, it's tiny really. With the lens off, it's a small, compact camera. With the lens it's obviously a bit bigger, but should fit just fine in a jacket pocket or small case. It's smaller and lighter than either the competitors (I'm thinking GF3 or NEC-C3) but perhaps not meaningfully since they'll all fit in a jacket pocket, and none of them will go in your pant pocket.

Okay, good enough so far, but the sensor (which of course is THE big deal in a DSLR) is a small 1/2.3 inch unit. Same size as that found in low-end compact cameras. You might have interchangeable lenses, but it's a compact camera sensor that is good for its size but is still very small. That means noticeable noise even at ISO 250 and no real ability to go past ISO 800.

To the Q's credit, it has a very fast f 1.9 lens that lets in twice as much light as the GF3's f 2.5 or the NEX-C3's f 2.8 lenses. And there is sensor-based image stabilization. The combination leads to respectable low-light performance at moderate ISO.

Oh. Performance. Yeah, here the camera falls flat on its face. The autofocus takes forever (multiple seconds), powering on takes an eternity (four seconds at least), and there's a terrible gap between autofocus confirm and the actual shutter. Compact camera performance really. And this is after firmware upgrades. Video looked okay, but I'm not an expert.

Pros:
- Really quite small
- Interesting lens options, this fast 47mm equivalent, the zoom, fisheye...
- Very well built
- Different than anything else out there
- Good low light performance
- With the small sensor, real possibilities of interesting lenses such as a super-ultra-mega-zoom (30x or more)
- Menus from the Pentax DSLR line
- 1080p video with stereo mic built in

Cons:
- Tiny image sensor which...
- ...leads to noise at high ISO
- ...has locked you into the 1/2.3in world which may or may not be a success
- ...has a lot of cheap, compact camera heritage seen in...
- ...slow autofocus and slow operation, delay on shutter
- Quite expensive

So, in essence, I kinda like this camera, but it's not for everyone. There are real compromises in its construction and perhaps too much focus on miniaturization. For the money, I'd seriously consider other options before jumping for the Q and would probably recommend waiting for version 2 on the Q on general principle.

Full disclosure: I received this camera free of charge for the purpose of reviewing it.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Funky, fun, inspiring, and much better than you'd imagine!, August 1, 2012
By 
Nathan D Jedinak (Columbus, OH United States) - See all my reviews
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Online reviews gave a fairly lukewarm reception to the Q when it was released, partly because the initial price polarized opinions. When the price came down to more manageable levels, I could no longer resist the temptation to try the Q myself.

I'm pleased that I made the leap. Almost straight out of the box, the Q endears itself to the user--it's so cute, so well-built, and so fun and intuitive to use. The many creative filters and incredible customization options allow for a tremendous amount of flexibility and creative expression--if you're one that enjoys tinkering to get a signature "look" you will adore the Q.

It's just an inspiring camera to shoot with; speed of operation is good, autofocus is reasonable and fast enough to generally keep up with toddler unpredictability, and because it's easy to get the shots you want you feel the freedom to experiment more than usual. All in all, a very fun experience.

What about image quality? Reviews early on pegged it as no better than the compact camera crowd, but after nearly 2500 frames, I disagree. Dynamic range is very good, and even without using HDR image stacking you won't see blown-out skies often. Detail is significantly better than most compacts, helped tremendously by the excellent 01 Prime lens, and less-aggressive-than-typical noise reduction. My preferred settings are NR set to low, highlight and shadow correction OFF, and fine sharpness +1. Make sure you update the firmware to get the best that "fine sharpness" can offer, and I think you'll be impressed. I'd say it's roughly on par with my old Nikon D200 up to about ISO 320, or for you film lovers roughly equivalent to a Leica screwmount with a Summitar. That's really quite good, isn't it?

Negatives? For me, color reproduction isn't where I'd like it to be, lacking depth and richness. Some of the color modes (bleach bypass, in particular) are fantastic, but I've never really settled on an "accurate" color mode I love. I tend to shoot the Q in monochrome mode, and B&W is one area I think the Q really excels in. Play with the B&W color filters, contrast, etc and you can mimic many classic old films. That's fun. Another negative is battery life. No beating around the bush--it's pretty terrible. I think I get about 150-175 shots before I start to worry. If you plan on traveling with the Q, invest in another battery. Lastly, the size... Yes, it's the smallest interchangeable lens digital camera in the world, and theres something to be said for that. But something like the new Sony RX100 is smaller still, and packs better image quality, in my opinion.

All that said, the Q is a good buy if you plan to utilize different lenses--you can't shoot a real fisheye with other compact cameras, and that's expensive to do with a DSLR... And hopefully we will see more Q lenses in the future. And that's where the Q excels. An inexpensive but superbly well built and functioning absolutely tiny interchangeable lens camera. If you want what that admittedly small niche offers, the Q's your only game, and to be honest it's a good buy. It's also a good buy if you're a photo nut that likes to endlessly tinker and try new "looks," like Tri-X one minute, lomo the next. If you're looking for an all-rounder, though, I'd look elsewhere.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great photographer's tool in tiny package, July 18, 2012
By 
Raist3d (California, CA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Pentax Q 12.4 MP CMOS Sensor Kit with 8.5mm 1.9 AL [IF] Prime Lens(Black) (Electronics)
Don't read the paper specs and do the knee jerk reaction of "oh it's a small 1/2.3'' sensor, so it must not be any good."

The Q is a great little photographer's tool and a lot of fun. The sensor does better than most think and combined with the fast 01 prime lens, it is far more capable than many think. I have the LX5 and in lower light the Q outclasses it (not saying the LX5 is a bad camera, it's also a nice camera).

The other thing that is missed is that the Q has perhaps the best photographer - centric controls of any camera in its size and actually, several bigger cameras than it. This may sound silly but when you are doing photography, the more the camera "gets in your way" the less intuitive the workflow from seeing to capture is.

The Q also sports some rather odd characteristics that punch way above its weight- like 1/250th external flash sync (that's in medium semi pro DSLR territory), unibody magnesium-alloy build (like a pro dslr), full photographic controls in an easier to use interface than many other cameras.

The bigger cons of this camera has been its launch price. At $375 USD here at Amazon the price it's more than a share of fair, as you get a nice lens too. If you have a chance to see one in person pick one, it's just not the same as seeing it in pictures.

The Q is quite a capable camera if you are interested in pushing your photography and sticking with it, pros and cons. It's a camera you can "wear" and carry at all times with its prime lens, and other lenses could even fit in your other pocket. And with the latest firmware upgrade Pentax released a while back the speed of operation improved in a notable way (i.e. it no longer takes 4 seconds to boot- not at all).

Think of it as a digital Diana or Holga thanks to its jpeg filters and customization, but with the capability to punch much higher than that when used judiciously with RAW. And it's fun.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars awesome little system, October 13, 2012
I've had this camera for a couple months now and simply love it. I was a bit skeptical as I'm a long time DSLR user. Initially, I had concerns about the picture quality of the camera as well as wondering if it was too small to use comfortably. I'm finding both concerns unfounded.

Regarding picture quality: yes my Pentax k-5 takes better photos, particularly when I have to shoot at iso 1600 and above. But there are times when having a greater depth of field is nice (and with a smaller sensor, that is the default situation). So if I'm taking pics of a party where light is low, if I'm shooting at 1.9 w/ a aps-c sensor, there's a good chance that if the picture has more than one person in it, one person will be out of focus if the other person is. But with the Pentax Q, the chances that both will be in focus is quite a bit better. So for example, if I shoot with the k-5 @ f2 w/ a 50mm equiv (33mm), at 5 feet I will have a dof of about .5 feet. Whereas with the Q, @ f2 with a 50mm equivalent (8.5mm like the standard prime lens), I'll have a dof of about 5.5 feet! With this kind of dof, I can keep my shutter speed high and reduce the chances of motion blur while keeping everyone in focus. I've even put the camera in manual focus, knowing people from 3 feet to about 9 feet away from me will be in focus, so it's easier to shoot from the hip and great natural candids w/out waiting for the AF to lock.

Another aspect that the Q adds to my system is the great macro options it gives me. Since the crop ratio is about 5.5, my 105 2.8 macro sigma becomes about a 575mm f2.8 macro! And with the extra depth of field a small sensor gives me, you can get some pretty cool shots using a Q mount adaptor. Of course the tele options are enhanced too... I put a m42 300 f4 lens on the camera to see what shooting the moon would be like... the full moon almost filled the frame!!!

I'm not going to stop using my DSLR, but the Pentax Q is a joy to use. It's well built, its small enough to fit in my pocket, and it adds options to my system that are pretty amazing. I've been very pleased with the picture quality I can get with it... it's just a fun camera to use.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars suprisingly good image quality in a very compact package, July 22, 2012
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This review is from: Pentax Q 12.4 MP CMOS Sensor Kit with 8.5mm 1.9 AL [IF] Prime Lens(Black) (Electronics)
There have been a lot of reviews that focus on the characterstics of this camera, particularly on the small size of the sensor (1/2.3") and other characteristics. I will not mention this here, but rather discuss my experience with the camera and what you can expect and then give you a verdict.

First off, despite the small sensor size, the image quality you get is very good. When I first received the camera (without firmware updates) the output jpegs looked a bit soft but with latest firmware even the jpegs look great (with the standard prime lens). You can record both jpeg and raw and then process a few of your favorites to make them look even better.

Secondly, the build quality of the camera is very good. It is good enough so that I don't worry about putting in my bag and about some minor bumps it may encounter along the way. This is not your average plastic camera and this characteristic, along with its small size and good controls is what makes it attractive to me: it is possible to carry it around every day; I don't think you would carry your dslr with you every day.

Thirdly, the controls on the camera are very good and straightforward to use.
You can adjust all the main characteristics: iso sensitivity, aperature, exposure, etc. This is about as good as on a good dslr. Low light performance is good for a camera of this size. Start up times are very fast (with new firmware). Built in modes such as HDR work well.

Lastly: you should understand that the camera comes with just a single prime lens. The lens has very good (in my opinion) optical performance, but it is not a zoom lens. A zoom lens is available, but it is not very cheap, so if you do not plan to buy any more lenses you will not have zoom. For me it is not a big problem I don't want to carry around multiple lenses anyway: I bought this camera to take with me every day and produce generally very good IQ images, which it so far has accomplished. It also does video in 1080p and the controls are better than on most high end point and shoots I've seen in the store.

For a very compact single lens package with good build quality, manual control, and good image quality; below 500 I think it is a good buy.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great camera all around and really nice while travelling., August 19, 2012
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My wife and I bought this camera in preparation for our London Olympics trip. We actually didn't open it until we arrived in London at our hotel. We charged the battery for about 2 hours and then headed for our bus tour of London. Being on a moving bus, I was worried that the photos might end up blurry or improperly focused, but all the pictures turned out great. Later on, we messed around with the exposure settings and HDR. We got some very nice close ups and the flash was awesome. The battery held its own for a good 3 hours of constant photo taking, which seems pretty reasonable.
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19 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Awesome little camera..., November 3, 2011
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This review is from: Pentax Q 12.4 MP CMOS Sensor Kit with 8.5mm 1.9 AL [IF] Prime Lens(Black) (Electronics)
Haven't put this camera down since I got it, would give it a 5 star review but theres just no EVF. The LCD can get bad glare. Also the new firmware update has boosted the AF pretty good. If you want to see what this lil camera is capable of check out my blog @adventuresinq.com
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