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Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Pentax Q – Mini-Me’s Camera of Choice!

Last week we saw the release of Pentax’s new “Q” camera. A rugged, understated retro-designed camera. You may think there is a roll of kodachrome inside with all the nobs and dials.

The press release states the Q (for cute?) sells at $800 suggested retail for a kit with a 8.5mm f1.9 lens (50mm equivalent). Not cheap.

It also states the Q features “a 12.4 megapixel 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor, similar in size to sensors used in many point-and-shoot models, but adding advanced camera features including 12-bit RAW file capture in Adobe's DNG format, in addition to standard JPEGs.” Hmmm? Don'y the Canon G12, S95, Olympus XZ-1, and Panasonic Lumix LX5 also have these features at half the price?

Get out the shrink-ray gun. Pentax Inc. explains the camera is targeted primarily at D-SLR users looking for a backup camera that is smaller and lighter than a full size D-SLR. 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. But in addition to my D-SLR and its lenses, am I also going to pack around a Mini-Me and its lenses? We all love the bokeh (soft focus) of D-SLRs. However this effect comes from sensor size and lens to focal plane ratios. The Pentax Q has the similar sensor and design ratios of the above cameras, so “D-SLR” bokeh is near impossible. The above cameras have zoom lenses, but with the Q we need to change lenses for different focal lengths.

This is one cute little camera, but other that cute, I am not clear of its purpose. Let’s hope for the best. Maybe this baby can capture the shallow depth of field shots yet!

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