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Wednesday, 22 June 2011

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This could be a winner for my next photography obsession: underwater. A nice, small, interchangeable lens outfit for scuba diving would be a real winner. Now they just have to persuade someone to make a decent housing for it.

What are the 1, 2, 3, 4 positions on the front dial?

if I had another $800 to waste, I'd definitely waste it on one of these.

In answer to John Robinson, the non-toy lenses have inbuilt ND filters.

"Almost as if we are all starting to get just a bit tired of serious, utilitarian, cookie-cutter black-blob DSLRs and the everlasting pursuit of clinical perfection, and just want to have a little fun."

I don't understand this. How is this supposed to work? What is the "fun part" in a digital camera? Or what 'fun shooting' really is? Am I doing something wrong if I have tons of fun with my 'serious, utilitarian, cookie-cutter black-blob DSLR'?

I get it with simple film cameras, you don't have to fiddle with controls and you can never be sure what the result will be, which can be exciting (it is for me). But it's just different kind of fun compared to my DSLR, it's not fun vs no fun.

Maybe it's something in japanese mentality, when to have fun and enjoy themselves they need some kind of official impulse, an endorsement, be it an fun event or fun labeled item? Or is it a more widespread phenomenon?

When I look at Pentax Q, I still se a plastic/metal box full of electronics with a piece of glass stick to it. On the other hand, if it was made of plush, purred, could fly and shoot bubbles (and take photos, I guess, as well), well THAT would be a funny camera.

I think I should be more positive, so I have an idea for Pentax: put a few dozen more art/fun filters into the camera and then add a 'fun mode'= image review is diasabled (permanently for the photos taken in the mode so you have to DL them to computer or send to twitter/facebook/flickr etc to see them), all controls are automatic and the camera randomly picks the art/fun filter every time. If it was a point and shoot, the camera could also pick the focal lenght. That should be fun.

Mike: I suspect you shuddered when you saw 'Bokeh Control' ; -)

BTW. Great post as usual. Fair and balanced. I hope the system sells well for Pentax.

Cute cameras may be the next phase of hipster cameradom. (Or may just be an add-on.) I don't know how many of you go to Urban Outfitters, but they have two whole displays (with redundant material) of Hipster Cameras, up to and including a $250 whiz-bang Diana ensemble with books, flash, multiple backs, and multiple lenses, along with filters, a CABLE RELEASE, and I don't even remember what all. (See it here: http://www.urbanoutfitters.com/urban/catalog/productdetail.jsp?id=15935885&itemdescription=true&navAction=jump ) They also have a LOT of hipstery photo books, selling for full price and damn you, Amazon, full speed ahead.

As for price premiums - hello, $250 Diana kit? Not only that, they sell Fuji Instaxes for $158 and film for $34/20 exp. (Calumet Photo has the same for $68 and $21, respectively.) If they can get markups like that, there is obviously a hipster market crying out for horrendously overpriced cute cameras. So all Pentax has to do is convince that market that they need this camera. Now those are film and this is digital, I grant you. But those people are not right in the head. This could work.

"why can't they just produce a full format dSLR the size of an OM-1 or Pentax ME? Is it true that nobody wants such a camera?" LM

I sure do.

Smallness is a good thing, until it bumps into the size of actual human fingers. Beyond that it's hard to grip, hard to hold steady, and doesn't provide enough real estate for controls AND gripping surfaces.

For me the OM-1, Pentax ME, Olympus E420/620, maybe Panasonic G2, represent the lower size limit, and the ideal size for serious cameras, and since they don't need those 2 big chambers for film, they should be able to fit a nice big sensor.

And a viewfinder of some sort.

Seems so obvious that I don't understand why nobody's done it.

And +1 for MHMG's post too.

Its the size of this thing that gets me. Looking at the pictures of it, my mind flashed back to the incredible size of Andre the Giant's hands in The Princess Bride. We will all channel our inner Andre when holding a Q.

If I were Pentax I'd be delighted that most comments are about price - not only can this always be adjusted, but it also indicates that people do actually want it. With a sensor that size I can't see production costs being huge, and these are surely only going to come down.

MHMG, I find the not-welded-to-my-face picture taking position to be very freeing. And just as stable (and I've been practicing low-light shooting for over 40 years).

What frustrates me is that none of the enthusiast cameras have tilt/swivel LCD screens, which give a huge leap in capability. As it is, I'm very often framing by the traces of image I can just barely see on the LCD at extreme angles. Still, even that is better than having to climb into positions (often involving floating in the air) where I could put my eye behind a viewfinder.

Small sensor with the many limitations that all small sensors have. Nothing new here. Oh, except the price. "There's a sucker born every minute"

I don't know if this has been mentioned yet, but the Leica D2/Panasonic L1, both of which I owned, had the same sized sensor (tho' much older technology) and both were capable of producing superb results.

The lack of a viewfinder would be the kybosh for me, personally. I will use an X-100, Panny G1, and LX-3 in the meantime—and I usually pick up the G1, with a much larger form factor, simply because it has an excellent EVF, and a swivel LCD—until you have used one of these latter devices on location, you can't imagine how useful it can be.

There are plenty of cameras with big sensors and fast primes.

The look of sliver-thin DOF and creamy bokeh all over everything is a super dated trend.

Smart money is on photographers who can shoot interesting pictures even without the of selective focus.

This thing is nifty, and if it can shoot fast, what better street camera could there be? If it can make decent pictures in the dark what better party camera could there be?

I leave my 5D and fast 50mm at home quite a lot, but if I had this little camera, I'd carry it more and thus have a camera a lot more of the time. Just saying.

As for the difficulty of pictures showing the small size of this Q system: how about Pentax gluing one of those gold coloured, Japanese "Passed" stickers on, at a jaunty angle? As seen in the Auto 110 photo... though many people dating from a certain era, will not even consciously see this label, prominent as it is - it is so completely familiar.

Just for scale, you understand - and for nostalgia's sake. Assuming they can find a clear surface big enough to do it!

There's a small but respectable company in Kowloon that has been marketing a "Toy Lens" for a year or so. (Search for "Toy Lens" on eBay). Like the Pentax lenses of the same name, it's an uncorrected lens that gives blurry-dreamy results.

Wonder if that phrase is copyrightable?


Going back 6 years to Rob Gailbraith's interview with magnum photographer Alex Majoli

http://www.robgalbraith.com/bins/multi_page.asp?cid=7-6468-7844

Majoli was shooting with the small compact sensor Olympus cameras of the time and he was musing that he would like to see a small sensor camera with interchangeable lenses.

I didn't think that the Olympus EP cameras would have small enough sensors to give Majoli what he wanted, but maybe this could.

Yeah but does it make phone calls?

Awesome memory Paulo. I'd forgotten that.

Mike

Check out Michael R's field review of the Sony HX-100V superzoom. I suspect the camera may be using the same or similar sensor as the Pentax Q:

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/cameras/sony_hx_100v.shtml

the Pentax Q is smaller than any, and has the advantage of interchangeable lenses, some of which in theory could be of higher quality, with greater sharpness in the corners and less chromatic aberration (again, we won't be able to say this for sure without testing a shipping version).

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