Customer Reviews: Pentax Q Black Kit w/ 02 Standard Zoom Lens
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on March 11, 2013
1) Order extra batteries, you will need them if shooting for more than a couple of hours.
2) Despite the small sensor, IQ is surprisingly good at the lower ISOs. The basic zoom lens is very sharp, even wide open. The review is worth reading.
3) Depth of field could be an issue since the small sensor and lens combinations make a lot of the image sharp.
4) There is a benefit to the small camera: It doesn't get in the way. The IQ won't be as good as a DSLR, but it your goal is screen or 8' x 10"s, then this is just fine.
5) An interesting benefit to this camera is with telephoto photography (e.g., birding). The crop factor is 5.5, meaning you can stick a 300mm lens on it (with an adaptor) and get a 1650mm 35mm equivalent, or the sharp 50mm 1.7 Pentax M that everyone buys for $45 on ebay and get a 275mm 35mm equivalent! If you need quality images from a super telephoto, but don't have quality lenses with the 400mm+ reach, the Pentax Q offers a cheap and easy way to do this (provided you don't mind using cheaper older lenses that are manual). As most people know, you can get better image quality using a great 200mm lens (and blowing up the image) rather than using an average 400mm lens. Well, now you can use that super-sharp 100mm portrait lens gathering dust in the closet and get great images using it as a 550mm equivalent on the Pentax Q. This is an interesting benefit to the camera.
6) Shooting RAW is no problem on those HDR shots (assuming you do not want to use the in-camera HDR mode) by making a selection after the shot. I wish I could just set the camera to capture all shots in RAW automatically in certain situations.
7) Definately upgrade to the new firmware as soon as you get the camera. It will help with focusing and with other issues.
8) I am disappointed in the fish-eye, since it is more of a "toy" lens than a super sharp one. It is just fine when shoot something close to you, but the "distance" shots (like the inside of that romantic Irish Pub you crawled into) are just average.
9) The main knock on the camera was never the IQ, which is good emough. The issue was what you are getting for $800. Well, now the price is below $250 with the 02 basic zoom lens. I can easily justify the cost because: 1) It is so small I can always have a camera with me (like when skiing), 2) I now have an inexpensive way to shoot long distance shots with very good to excellent IQ; and 3) It is simply fun to use.
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on May 12, 2013
I was debating to purchase a Pentax K01 which unfortunately has been discontinued. Glad that I instead bought the Pentax Q. Words alone cannot describe the incredible feeling you get once you pick up this tiny engineering marvel. Small as a digital compact but almost as mighty as a DSLR.

The standard zoom lens alone is an incredible piece of hardware and functionality. It takes beautiful and vivid images that are even more gorgeous when you look at them on you computer screen. This zoom lens is a lot smaller than the ones you see on the Sony NEX and Nikon of Samsung mirrorless cameras.

I also ordered a Fotodiox Pentax K adapter which allowed me to use my old 120mm Tamron prime lens as well as my standard 35mm, 50mm, 70-150mm and 80-200mm just like I did in the old days when I was using film. Mind you, the only drawback is that you can only use these lenses in manual mode and only with a tripod since there is a 5.5X multiplier effect. This means that you 35mm becomes a 175mm lens and etc. which do need a monopod or tripod to keep it steady.

Also if you are ordering the Fotodix adapter be aware that a tripod mount is already built in the adapter and no additional tripod collar is needed to mount the older and longer zoom lenses. Otherwise still great pictures even when using it handheld.

For my purposes, I am using an old pistol grip from my old 8mm movie camera which allows you to hold in one hand and adjust the zoom with the other. A flash bracket works equally as well.

I just had the camera for several days and already I am impressed with the number of features and special effects that it capable of.

In closing, the price I paid for the Q is is more than bargain considering that you had an excellent zoom lens as well the ability to use your older lenses which have definitely better optics than some of the point and shoot cameras that are on the market. It is a definite advantage when you are seeing through a pure optical verses a digital zoom. I also began using my old Vivitar 2700 which has a guide number of 80 with incredible success. Talk about having enormous flash power to spare. It just doesn't get any better.

With the adapter it does feel rather small since most older Pentax K lenses were rather large and longer and fatter than the Q. This disadvantage is easily overlooked once you see the incredible images that you can produce once again this time in a digital format.

Highly recommended by a veteran Pentax owner.
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on May 28, 2013
I have had several digital cameras and have always been drawn to the smaller sizes. My first dslr was a Nikon D40, my final is a Pentax K5. Here are a few of the things I love about the Q. The size: I have large hands and it's still easy to operate the controls and buttons and it feels good to hold. The small size makes it easy to bring with all the time. Never be caught without a camera. The build: Very solid and well built. When ever I pick it up I think, "Leica". Wonderful finish, not slippery, so it won't easily slip from your hand. I also have a Lumix G3 and by comparison the Q feels so much better. The menu system: Easy and logical to navigate. As for the small sensor. I don't enlarge my photos to huge sizes. And I'm not a pixel peeper, so I am totally satisfied with the quality of the images. I always shoot raw and do minor tweaking in Photo Shop Elements. I couldn't be happier with this camera. Thank you Pentax.
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on April 13, 2013
The Q is just a great camera. Very adaptable system: I have SLR lens adapters, movie camera lens adapters, scope sight kit, a real pleasure to use the Q. It has great image quality. Focus peeking is awesome if you any manual lens, very easy to gain crisp focus. easy to set up custom settings on the front dial. Just a great camera. The 02 lens is pretty good too. It is a bit big, making the camera no longer shirt-pocketable. I don't really care about the long end of the zoom, as there is not much reach. I do love the wide end. That said, the fisheye is an awesome wide angle lens and you can remove distortion in photoshop. The 01 lens is still my favorite because it is small, fast and sharp. Visit my blog for examples, [...] No regrets on this camera!
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on April 21, 2014
I'm glad I bought this camera. It's so lightweight, I can wear it around my neck and take it anywhere. It's a little slow in processing images, but the photos always turn out great. It's possibly the best camera purchase I've made in years.
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on July 16, 2014
Great camera for a great price! Yes, it's not the latest model, yes, it has a smaller sensor than most mirrorless cameras on the market. But guess what? It takes Great pictures. Pictures I wished I had taken with this highly pocketable camera when my regular K5 was too big to lug with me on hikes, or a late night dinner. I have given up trying to find the ultimate phone camera and now carry this with me everywhere. My personal experience with it confirms the bulk of the reviews I had read online posted by people who have actually used it - this is a FUN camera to use. Everyone I've shown this to remarked on how cute it is, and their jaws drop when I pop the lens off and tell them it's a mirrorless camera. At some point when the newer Q7 drops in price, I would consider getting it too, as it has a slightly better sensor, but this original Q is still a great camera in its own right - all metal, and you can absolutely feel the quality in the build. Get it while it lasts - you won't regret it.
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on December 27, 2013
I bought this at a fire sale, so price is not the issue...
This camera strikes a near perfect balance between size, usability and picture quality. The sensor and the prime lens in tandem crank out really good quality pictures (cleaner than my Canon S90 for instance) - and you will just keep shooting, because of the fun you're having :)

In short:

- good image quality will put a smile on the face of all who are not grinches
- fluid, easy handling and function control
- accurate (and pretty speedy) autofocus
- built like a brick, yet travels very lightly indeed
- battery charges in under 2 hours
- 01 prime lens is a very nice every day lens (and minuscule to boot)
- nice opening for a conversation anywhere
- "bold monochrome" picture setting - it's brilliant!

- sensor could have been even better (camera was apparently designed for 1/1.7", see Q7) ;)

So, in total, if you find it at a price within your budget and you want a little foto monster that will keep surprising you (in a good way), go for it!
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on June 12, 2013
Much smaller than my DSLR and much better than my compact digital camera. Get an adapter and you can manually use most SLR and DSLR lenses.
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on June 2, 2014
I took this small camera for the first time on my business trip to Japan and use it during weekend off days. Outdoor picture quality during the day was excellent, not sure of its capability with low lighting at night. I believe the excellent picture quality is because of its superior lens (I have the 02 kit lens) since its sensor is quite small.

I am very happy with the purchase and it will be a complement to my Nikon DSLR when I do more serious trips (vacations). This little guy has a whackload of options that makes you really creative with your picture taking. There are so many that i don't remember them all and they would be very hard to create with my other cameras.

My favorite selections are the HDR, Tone Expression, and Contrast Monochrome shots. A really beautiful and well-made camera which travels well in my briefcase or laptop backpack.
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on June 12, 2014
Still learning my way around it, but I love the compact size, the solid build quality, the overall comfortable feel of the camera in-hand, the effectiveness of the pop-up/retractable flash, the easy-to-follow menu layout. Don't understand why camera manufacturers (and users) feel they need so many in-camera filters and effects when there are a million programs/apps available to allow you to edit *after* you take a properly-exposed shot, but this seems to be the way of all cameras these days. Would love it if all that were eliminated to simplify the camera, but otherwise very, very happy with my choice.
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