Pentax Q takes mini system camera crown
The world's smallest, honest
And just when you thought the dust had settled on that particular crown, along comes the Pentax Q which those with long memories may see as a return to form along the lines of the Pentax System 10 SLR 110 film camera.
The Pentax Q not only lays claim to being the 'world’s smallest' compact system camera (CSC), its 12.4Mp, 1/2.3in CMOS sensor is a good deal smaller than the APS-C and micro four thirds formats on the Sony and Panasonic, respectively. Even so, the Pentax Q shoots in both RAW and JPG formats, captures 1080p video and includes a micro HDMI output.
Face on, its only marginally bigger than a credit card, but round the back it has room for a 3in, 460k dot screen. The magnesium alloy body ensures that, despite its size, this ultra compact system camera will take the knocks.
Looking slightly vulnerable though, is its levered pop-up flash arrangement. The camera also features a hotshoe to broaden the range of lighting options. This also holds the O-VF1 viewfinder option.
The Q system kit will feature a standard f1.9, 8.5mm lens (equivalent to 47mm on a 35mm camera). However, Pentax has plans to offer five Q-mount lenses when the camera is released in September 2011.
Apart from the prime 47mm standard lens there will be a 27.5 - 83mm zoom, a fish-eye (160-degree coverage), and two 'toy' lenses – wide (35mm) and telephoto (100mm) optics designed to retain their respective aberrations for emphasis and effect.
In the US the Pentax Q will cost $800, international prices have yet to be announced. ®
So many questions
I guess this is going to answer the question "how small a sensor are people willing to accept to get in to an interchangeable lens system?"
Also "how much are people willing to pay for a camera with a 1/2.3" sensor in 2011?"
And "how much are people willing to pay for an f/11 equivalent prime lens?"
However there is also the question "will people care?" and it might end up selling like hotcakes. I'm in the pessimistic crowd on that one, though.
Re: Missed a bit...
It's apparently based on television tube diagonal measurements or something archaic. I've read at least one long rant about this, but such obscure metrics serve the manufacturers nicely, cause punters' eyes to glaze over, and appeal to those who are "in the know" and like arcane factoids, so it won't change any time soon.
I don't get it
Surely someone interested enough in photography to want a camera that takes different lenses is going to want to a camera that has a sensor large enough to take reasonable quality pictures?
I really don't understand the market for cameras like these.
what a waste
from the article: "its 12.4Mp, 1/2.3in CMOS sensor is a good deal smaller than the APS-C and micro four thirds formats on the Sony and Panasonic, respectively."
Fail... am I going to spend a lot of money on Pentax lenses to shoot with a tiny sensor? the severe drawbacks are too well known to bother reading the est of the article. All to save a few millimeters in the size of the case? The fat lenses make minor size differences irrelevant.
Either Pentax lost the plot completely, or they have such long development cycles, that they started working on this in 2003 and then couldn't make any changes to it ???
from the article: "Even so, the Pentax Q shoots in both RAW and JPG formats, captures 1080p video and includes a micro HDMI output."
yeah, great, so can my mobile phone...
except raw, and why bother with raw if your small sensor induced noise is already more than any compression would add?
Bah, disappointing.. I hate it when manufacturers go the wrong way... we're going to get larger sensors in point and shoots soon, that just have one built in lens, but an excellent fast lens, that's optimized for the application.
I bet the crummy old Samsung NX100 that's dropped to $250 in price is a sharper sword than this.
Then of course, if the camera spec at the very top of your personal list is to take the guinnes book of records position "I am the smallest in category x", I guess Pentax has got you covered.
But its like selling you a tiny and expensive Aston Martin with a 2CV engine in it.
You're missing who the target market is
iPhone 4 owners, the ones who are using all the toy camera apps and services like instagram. This camera is a trendy geeks wet dream, especially with that funky toy fisheye.