What I think the Pentax Q needs "to make it"
So I decided today to leave my K-5 at home and cover some street life Pride Sunday 2011 San Francisco with just my Panasonic Lumix LX5. Yup, just that. I wanted to get in my head an idea how far up the bar is for the Pentax Q to clear and a few clear things emerged after some real world street life.
This is my opinion but in my view:
- at least one stop higher ISO quality from RAW (not just JPEG) than LX5. This means ISO 400 on LX5 = ISO 800 on Pentax Q
- very high quality glass (for the premium denominated lenses) that are good at controlling flare, chroma aberrations, sharpness corner to corner
- cnet and online photographer mentioned no AA filter. Add that one. This would give a boost in resolution compared to the LX5 maybe in the order to 2-4 more megapixels. I understand the LX5 may use a weak AA filter. If both the lens and the AA filter work on the Pentax Q, that should give a visible boost in quality.
- very fast operational speed. We can ignore autofocus in this for now- just make it really super responsive. In manual focus you press that shutter from no-touch and it should scream fast. Like a DSLR.
- total DR at least half a stop higher than the LX5. 1 more stop would be great, but I think that will be tough.
If Pentax can nail all of these, I can see this as a nice premium camera. Fail to do these and take $50-60 off for each, from the MSRP $800 USD (not the street price). And for every failed point add 20% to fail vs the competitors here.
Shows from the LX5 next post to show what I think this camera needs to do better.
The standard shot.
I think the LX5 did here rather well. Here's the shot resized to the web and later a 100% PNG lossless crop:
The 100% png crop:
The wide shot
The LX5 did quite quite well at this size, but we can see at 100% that the lens it has, can't do everything.
Now for a 100% crop, looking at the left side:
The shot starts overall pretty sharp and when you go to the left it starts to blur. Maybe it's an air difference temperature at play to some degree, but I also think it's the lens at this focal/aperture combination.
I would like to think the Pentax Q should be able to handle equal sharpness from left to right, commanding that premium price. Lack of AA filter may increase the resolution for those trees/people in the crowd quite a bit.
Telephoto shot and bokeh
I think the LX5 did this shot superb with good handling of detail, purple fringing and bokeh (for such a small camera). Also the LX5 does 1:1, 3:2, 4:3, and 16:9 aspect ratios natively with no loss in resolution due to the way they did the sensor and the actual final image crop from it.
Telephoto, some blooming for LX5.. highlights...
Here's a shot where I would like to think the Pentax Q would improve on. This has a bit of blooming and a bit softer in some areas. I still think the LX5 did reasonably well considering, but I hope the Pentax Q at the lowest ISO at least could deliver a bit of more stunning/eye opener result.
Again, not too horrible for the Panasonic at native Bayer size, but would be nice if those papers were not all completely blown out, some details like hair have a bit more detail due to lack of AA and 12 MP sensor, if transitions from white to darker be more sharp.
I wonder how the Pentax Q would cope with these situations.
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