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Pentax Q7 02 zoom kit black Mirrorless Digital Camera 12.4MP Mirrorless Digital Camera with 3-Inch LCD and5-15mm (Black) (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
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Ramp up your fun and your image size with the PENTAX Q7, the smallest, lightest interchangeable lens system in the world, now featuring an upgraded 1/1.7 inch, back-illuminated CMOS image sensor, available in 3 edgy color combinations that are sure to match your personality and style. Expand your artistic endeavors with the Q-mount's family of seven specialty lenses including, prime, zoom, wide-angle, fish-eye, and the new mount-shield lens for a dreamy pinhole-camera effect. Maximize your creativity with the Q7's outstanding bokeh control, and its 19 smart effects and filters, all with multi-layering capabilities, for more expression and image quality than your cell phone ever dreamt of. Never miss a colorful moment with high-speed start-up, in-body sensor-shift shake reduction and high sensitivity shooting up to ISO 12800 for gorgeous, low-light imagery. Share your shots with eye-fi card compatibility for fast and easy image transfer. Pocket your super-compact, lightweight Q7 and take your colors with you everywhere you go for effortless, inspired photography - at the party, on the beach, or even on your way to work. It's your world, your camera, your way, with the PENTAX Q7.
Legal DisclaimerAs is no warranty from seller. All warranty issues must be taken up through Pentax.
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After quite a bit of research, I arrived at the Q7, and I was glad that I did. I bring it with me everywhere, it is extremely well made, the controls are very DSLR like, and it is a very flexible system. On top of that it easily fits in a jacket pocket, or a pants pocket with the 01 lens attached. At high-ISOs the images take on a film-grain look which is actually rather interesting, and much more pleasing than a lot of other cameras. With that said, noise does become an issue when you get above ISO 1000, unlike DSLRs and large-sensor mirrorless and compacts where you can go past ISO 1600 with little to no noise, not becoming and issue until ISO 3200 or higher.
So, let me sum up who I think would benefit most from this camera. People like me who already own a large sensor camera like a DSLR or mirrorless system camera who are looking for the smallest, most flexible, and fun camera out there. It's really hard to explain why, but this camera just makes you want to use it. From the control layout, to the small size, and the unique features like the customizable dial on the front, to the surprisingly useful green button on the back, and the very nice popup flash, as well as the ability to customize anything and everything, you just want to take it with you everywhere with the hope of getting a chance to use it.
In addition, I like the added benefit of the small sensor, the wide depth of field. You can shoot at wide open apertures, and get wide depth of field. On larger sensor cameras, if you shoot at large apertures, you need to work with very narrow depth of field, while this is a great thing for many applications, it is not always what you want. Sometimes you want to shoot wide open in low light and still get good depth of field. Or when shooting macro, on large sensor cameras you have to stop down to very small apertures, bringing in diffraction, or focus stack which requires a static subject and post processing work. With the Q7, stop down to a reasonable aperture, and you're good. Also with the rumored 09 telephoto macro coming up, this could quickly become a very popular macro camera.
The final big benefit (there are others, but I'd like to keep this as brief as I can), is for those of us who like to tinker. As I mentioned earlier, you can customize just about every aspect of this camera (including some things my DSLR won't do). Also, because of the very short flange to focal distance, you can mount almost any lens to it, from tiny C and D mount lenses from 8mm and 16mm cameras, all the way up to 35mm SLR and larger lenses (though they do start to look ridiculous if you go too big). Among these lenses are several C mount lenses with aperture speeds faster than f1.0 that can't really be used on any other camera (I know that some can be used on micro 4/3, but not all).
So, for certain people, this is a wonderful camera. I, however would not recommend this as your only camera. If you are looking for your first real camera, or a replacement for an old one, you would be much better served by a micro 4/3 camera, a Fuji system camera, a DSLR, or something similar, then you can look into one of these as a second camera. In addition, if you are looking for something simple and easy to use, while you can put this in Auto mode and shoot, you would likely be happier with something along the lines of a fixed lens compact with a wider zoom range (the Q7 does have a very wide zoom range, but requires the use of multiple lenses to achieve it).
In summary, this is a great little camera for the right person. Mine has been with me at all times since I bought it (I wanted to "live with it" for a while before reviewing it). It's amazingly good fun, and takes great images (daylight images are certainly good enough to print 8X10 or even a little larger). When looking at this camera to buy, just think carefully about what you want out of a camera, and if this meets those needs, because while it is great, it is not for everyone. But the benefit of the times we live in is that we are not short on choices. This is not as pocketable as something like an S120, so if that is important to you, you may want to look elsewhere. But this is way more flexible than any other compact. And finally remember, the photographer makes the image, not the camera, great photographers can take gallery worthy shots on just about anything.
One final note, if you buy one of these, pick up an extra battery or two. It's only good for 250 shots per charge, and if you start using flash or taking video, that number goes down quickly. The batteries are quite cheap, so there's no reason not to buy one.
The Pentax Q7 is the smallest interchangeable lens camera available, period. It can be used as a handy point and shoot camera, but spend a little time with it and you will discover it has the flexibility of a fully featured DSLR. The menu structure is the same as all of the Pentax cameras ... very intuitive and easy to use. There are 8 factory lenses in the Pentax Q mount product line and, with the right third party adapter, just about every lens made can be fitted to this camera. Four of the factory lenses have built-in leaf shutters and neutral density filters. The neutral density is a must when shooting outdoors. With this camera bird watchers can have an incredible telephoto experience with a very minimal investment! A standard 50mm normal lens on this camera will become a 225mm telephoto. A 135mm lens will become a 600 or so mm telephoto.
Because this camera has a small sensor I suggest not using an f-stop smaller than f4.0 and, in post processing, crop images minimally. I also suggest shooting in the RAW mode. While this camera performs very well in auto mode, I stress the importance to learn the menus inside and out. The more you know about your camera, the better your pictures will be, regardless of the kind of camera you use.
The Q7 is a huge upgrade over the Q in several areas:
*It's MUCH faster. One of my few real frustrations with the Q was the pause after each shot using Raw+JPEG mode. The Q7 - with a fast card - allows you to shoot pretty much continuously.
*Low light performance is much improved
*The lenses now have a wider field of view. I've always been a wide-angle guy, and, for example, turning the sharp-but-bland normal F1.9 !01 lens into a slightly wide...very nice. The 02 is now an ultrawide -- about 24mm equivalent in 35mm terms.
All in all, highly recommended if you have a Q. If you don't...what are you waiting for?