More Pentax Q Camera Talk

Now that the Pentax Q has started shipping, there is a lot more information available. I mentioned the Q back in June and I think a lot of what I said is still valid.

I’m personally still on the middle road with the Q. I see positive aspects, but at the current price and lacking a few Pentax features (WR for example) it isn’t something I would be willing to spend my limited funds on at the moment. The main appeal to me personally is the possibilities of experimental photography that I’ll get to later in this article.

The first week of sales in Japan look pretty strong (first noticed that link on pentaxforums.com and then 1001noisycameras.com). The white version was at #11 and the black at #17.

This result proves an idea I had recently…

The Q is certainly something unique. From my perspective it seems like an offering that is meant to show people how fun photography can be anywhere and everywhere (well besides rain, no WR sadly). It has a very Japanese flair to it. I really think they made that camera especially for young stylish Japanese women who have an interest in photography with the hope that other people will “get it” as well. I’m looking forward to seeing what TV commercials they make for the Japanese market (I should check Youtube…).

Not that I know anything about sales, but in the USA I think the price and Pentax’s ability to market it seem like the biggest roadblocks.

So my non-color of choice was black and it turns out white is more popular in the first week. Given that, I think the demographic I described might be pretty fitting to the reality.

Information in Japanese about a K-to-Q adapter:
http://dc.watch.impress.co.jp/docs/news/20110905_475272.html

First off, the K-to-Q adapter has some potential and would be a reason to give the Q a second look. The first negative I see is that it is a completely “dumb” adapter in that it has no electrical connections from the lens to the camera and of course has no auto-focus capabilities. Even so, this simple adapter would make the Q a super-telephoto camera system with just about any K-mount lens.

Imagine this situational use #1:
– Pentax Q camera with K-mount adapter.
– An 85mm f1.4 lens or something else that’s optically strong and fast.
– A 3″ LCD eye loupe add-on so you can use the camera’s LCD as a decent viewfinder in the bright sun.

Assuming the quality is there, that could be a really fun setup to use. A 1/2.3″ sensor has a crop factor of 5.62, so the 85mm lens would “feel” like a 477mm lens. My 300mm f4 would calculate to a whopping 1686mm. The additional benefit is that you would need less tripod to stabilize the Q setup than anything remotely as long in 35mm terms. I’d like to see an electronic K-to-Q adapter with auto-focus and would hope the sensor and lens could resolve decent detail. I could see this being interesting for animal and astro photography.

Besides K-mount lenses, there is another possibility in C-mount on the Q.

Situational use #2
– The Pentax Q with a C-mount adapter
– A 3″ LCD eye loupe add-on again
– bhphotovideo.com has a 1/2″ 8-48mm F1.0 Manual Zoom Lens for example.

I’m not versed at all on the c-mount, but I do know it is used for TV cameras and Pentax actually sells quite a few lenses in this mount. There is probably a big used market for c-mount glass too. These lens are completely manual, so all that is needed is a “dumb” adapter. I don’t know what these lenses would turn out like in field of view matched with the Q, but if it isn’t a problem I could see these lenses and the Q being a great combination for video work. Consider that these lenses were designed for video, the Q has SR (assuming it will work for video with a manual lens), and the size benefits with stabilization gear it could be a really strong setup for video. My only gripe is that the Q doesn’t have a MIC input port it seems and I don’t yet know the general video quality of the camera.

Here is a more recent article from that Japanese website with test photos:
http://dc.watch.impress.co.jp/docs/review/newproduct/20110906_475397.html

I’m not too impressed with the samples on that site. The standard auto-iso image at ISO 125 of the robot, books, and compass doesn’t look too bad, but the ISO 1600 shot isn’t even close to what I can remember my K-5 doing.

EDIT: Someone on Pentax Forums found out that a 3rd party is already going to start producing adapters for the Q mount.

Details in Japanese:
http://dc.watch.impress.co.jp/docs/news/20110909_476402.html
http://homepage2.nifty.com/rayqual/PTX_Q.html

Looks like 8 different lens mounts, most notably the K-mount and C-mount as I talked about in this article above. From what I can tell all but the C and D mounts have a fixed tripod mount that can’t be removed. It makes sense considering the crop factor of the others.

The negative is that they look pretty expensive ($163 for c-mount and $212 for k-mount, based on current exchange rates) and most likely exclusive to Japan. Let’s hope they or something similar eventually make their way to the USA.

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