Should I buy a 'Q'


Link Posted 02/12/2012 - 01:15
After a year of trying to like it I just can't get on with the Canon S95.
It's awkward to hold, get's very warm very quickly and frankly I'm disliking the Canon colours.

Now that the Pentax Q has dropped a lot in price I'm thinking this would be the better and somewhat similarly sized camera to have for those times I don't want to carry the K7.

I've read reviews and watched YouTube videos and am fairly convinced that I want one (somewhat for the novelty value as well I admit.)

What I don't see much is what people really hate about the 'Q' and how much it impacts on their use of the camera.

I do feel the weird popup flash is a bit of an accident waiting to happen and wonder about it falling to bits eventually, but with the 8.5mm F1.9 lens is it necessary to pop it up?

Has anyone bought the K-mount adapter and used their big lenses with the 'Q'
Last Edited by SteveLedger on 02/12/2012 - 01:16


Link Posted 02/12/2012 - 06:20
The flash can be used in the down position so does not have to be popped up, although it does help with red eye.

The Q is well built, with a DSLR interface and both 8mm and zoom are good quality optics. I am struggling slightly with set up of the quick dial on the front - my only gripe. The dof filter is slightly odd but works.

The camera just urges you to have fun but is also a serious photographic tool. Try it, the deals at the moment for the twin lens kit are excellent.
Last Edited by smc on 02/12/2012 - 06:22


Link Posted 02/12/2012 - 06:33
My rural location and the lack of PENTAX dealers in the region means I never have an opportunity to try before I buy..

Not sure I need the zoom.


Link Posted 02/12/2012 - 08:02
There's not much to dislike about the Q, the only thing I've seen people gripe about is the price. That's no longer an issue. Fears about image quality have been proven to be also not an issue.

I suppose you could pop your previous camera on eBay as well to further reduce your outlay.
Best regards, John


Link Posted 02/12/2012 - 08:10
Thanks John,
Not an eBay fan - but yes I have the S95 camera advertised locally and on Gumtree

I've seen a couple reports that say the display is laggy when panning, do you find this?


Link Posted 02/12/2012 - 08:52
Compact cameras are not the best to use when panning, nor are EVFs. I wouldn't put it as a strangth of the Q, but then I wouldn't use a Sony SLT DSLR either for that purpose. I find they all lag and it's very annoying.

Having said that, the Q is OK with shooting kids and animals, with care, so it can be used.

The primary uses for me are general shots, plus a bit of architecture, landcscape, etc., as having a Q kit with me can be the only option if the situations makes a DSLR too bulky.
Best regards, John


Link Posted 02/12/2012 - 10:50
There's nothing I hate about the Q. For me it is an ideal second camera and complementary to a DSLR but not a replacement for one.

I use it for family snapshots, discreet street work, experimenting, a go everywhere camera and high magnification shots of the Moon. I find image quality to be way better than expected, noise is an inevitable consequence of such a tiny sensor. In the right hands the Q is very capable.

Build quality is top notch, I have no concerns about the pop uf flash which I rarely use. f1.9 is bright enough for most situations.

I think the accuracy of metering is really good, I find it better than the K5, that's a real plus for grabbed shots.

I really like the look of B&W images from the Q.

There is some shutter lag. I think that's to be expected. Sports photography with the Q is going to be a bit tricky.

I have a cheap K/Q adaptor. There is an official one with a built in shutter which is pretty essential if you plan on using it on fast moving objects or with longer telephoto lenses. Some love elaborate setups for extreme focal lengths. I think adapted lenses have some specialist uses but I am generally unimpressed with the image quality. Others are more impressed. There are plenty of examples available so you can make up your own mind.
You can see some of my photos here if you are so inclined
Last Edited by DrOrloff on 02/12/2012 - 10:50


Link Posted 02/12/2012 - 11:30
I would go along with all of the above although I dont have a K mount adapter. I have ordered a Q/Pentax 110 adapter though since I like the idea of tiny 50mm f2.8 (300mm in 35mm terms) on it.

It most certainly has a huge smile factor.
“We must avoid however, snapping away, shooting quickly and without thought, overloading ourselves with unnecessary images that clutter our memory and diminish the clarity of the whole.” - Henri Cartier-Bresson -


Link Posted 02/12/2012 - 11:50
Pentax Q downsides

1) Initially price, £600 was way too much, not a problem now the price has come down.

2) Battery life is short (around 2 hours at the most) Fortunately it's a common battery and can be bought for around £3.00 each inc P&P (eBay, there are genuine suppliers on eBay, but 'caveat emptor' does apply). You'll need more than one extra. If you are using the standard 8.5mm lens with the hotshoe viewfinder you can turn off the rear LCD which greatly extends battery life.

3) It's not the fastest camera out there, if you apply any filters and/or effects it can be several seconds before it can take another picture, not a problem for me as I will use Photoshop if I want 'effects', but the front dial is a waste for me. On the same theme Pentax have enabled bracketed shots for HDR very well, it takes the bracketed shots very quickly (within a second for the 3 shots), but it takes around 4 seconds to store the images onto the card (shooting in Raw). Again not really a problem.

4) Lack of a good wide angle lens which is a function of the small sensor, apart from the 3.5mm fisheye the widest lens is the 5 - 15mm zoom which is the equivalent FOV of a 27.5mm to 82.5mm, not 'super' wide.

5) More of a technical one this, you can't use small apertures with lenses and adapters, the small sensor is prone to diffraction, as all small sensors are, f8 starts to show signs, f5.6 is fine.

Pentax Q Upsides.

There are lots,

1) Image quality is surprisingly one of them, it almost holds it's own against my K5 even in low light, it's not as good, but it's closer than you might think. I held off buying a Q because of all the who-ha about the small sensor, the first thing every review went on about. In practice it really isn't an issue, image quality is better than good and the 8.5mm kit lens is frankly superb.

2) Obviously size, it's the camera that's always with me, I can carry the whole kit of spare batteries, cards, lenses etc in a few pockets.

3) The opposite of 4 above is also true. You can get amazing telephoto shots with the Q and a lens adapter, the superb Pentax 300mm f4 becomes a superb 1650mm f4! A bird photographers dream come true and all with a small pocket-able kit. Very useable for Astro photography as well as terrestrial, Moon shots are easy, a 500mm lens will fill the frame with the Moon on a Q.

4) A street photographers ideal camera, the 'shutter sound' can be turned off and you have a pretty much totally silent camera, the small size also works here too as does the image quality, if street photography is your 'thing' (and after buying a Q it might well become your 'thing')your away.

All in all a very useful bit of kit, I would strongly suggest getting the twin lens kit as both the 8,5mm and the 5 - 15mm lenses are almost impossible to find at the moment.


Link Posted 02/12/2012 - 12:28
Good point about the wide angle. For me the Q is crying out for a wide angle, compact prime for, inter alia, street photography. There is one on the lens roadmap (2013 or later), I hope it is 2013. I use only the 8.5mm (47mm equivalent) which is compact enough to make the Q just pocketable. The zoom is quite a bit bigger. Once the wide angle comes out then I suspect it will be on the camera 90% of the time.
You can see some of my photos here if you are so inclined


Link Posted 02/12/2012 - 12:38
Thanks for the replies,

It was on special for AUD$299 a week ago here, but I missed out - currently the best price I can see is AUD$399.


Link Posted 02/12/2012 - 12:44
I'm not sure how much that is in real money but only 299 of them sounds a rather good deal. I'd grab that if it came up again.
You can see some of my photos here if you are so inclined


Link Posted 02/12/2012 - 12:47
299 Australian dollars = 239.7430 euros


Link Posted 02/12/2012 - 12:58


Link Posted 02/12/2012 - 13:11
The Q is a great little camera to carry around if you don't want to lug around the DSLR. I have the 01 & 02 lenses and enjoy the 02 for a walkabout lens to shoot anything; streets, people, cats, etc . . .
K1/K3, DA*16-50mm F2.8, FA 31mm F1.8, FA43mm F1.9 Limited, FA77mm F1.8 Limited, SMC Pentax K 85mm F1.8, DA18-135mm F3.5-5.6, FA*28-70mm F1.8, FA*200mm F1.8
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