Just got my Q7 tonight and unfortunately do not have had much time to play with it due to work and not feeling so well. But had to try a bit.
In a nutshell barring a few small set of cons, the Q7 is everything the Q is, but better. There are many tweaks I have not seen reviews mentioned (or I accidentally skipped that information) that goes from features to UI that have been tweaked for the better, and for more options.
I want to start with the cons list first because this is a very small set, and it's just best to get it out of the way.
- Body - I still prefer the original smaller magnesium alloy Q body. Though the Q7 seems easier to grip, there is still something to the ultra small ness of the first. Also the buttons in the back seem a bit closer and harder to make out, they are easier to get to on the Q.
- The lenses seem to show more CA's than on the original Q (well the 01, which is the only one I have tried so far).
- Lens Distortion - as some reviews have noted is more marked, so the software correction is more marked too. This does not impact the Q much as the Q philosophy was a bit of make do with the optical distortions and does not get in the way of high quality portraits or the like.
- Looks like the ability to compare images side by side is now gone :-\
Pros over Q
In general as I said- a better Q. Faster, better LCD, richer feature set, in particular some things that caught my attention:
- LCD is much MUCH better in sunlight. Way better actually. Not Sony RX100 II good but in that direction. I was pleasantly surprised and I cannot understand for the life of me why this difference does not seem marked in contrast to the original Q in reviews. IN fact, Ricoh should advertise it clearly and I don't think they do.
The LCD also has better contrast, and it's easier to read/see the shots.
- You can now shoot in RAW mode while still having any filter mode enabled (that includes smart filters).
- You can now convert from RAW including a filter or whatever filter combination you had at the time you took the shot
- Movies can now select between 24/25/30 fps frame rate.
- Movies start recording sound immediately (this was a small bug left over from Q)
- Movies have a few levels of audio amplification for recording audio (audio is now decidedly recorded mono though)
- You can finally turn off the display information that was *always on* on the Q while taking a shot if you want
- You can save a current setting to the dial wheel-user setting from the menu that pops up as if you were going to develop a shot in raw or apply a filter to it (new setting/icon)
- You can set the shake reduction auto-off (when using a timer, etc) to NOT turn off. This option did not exist on Q.
- Manual focus now has up to 6x magnification
- You can now for the Q7 to really use electronic shutter ONLY at all times if you desire so (make it literally 100% quiet while shooting)
- Boke Control mode uses completely new algorithm where the camera does something about moving the lens from far focus to front focus. I believe this is the same algorithm Fuji and now Canon are using too. It makes for MUCH better Bokeh Control effect, though I need to play with it more- but the camera has to hold still as this operation takes like 2.5 secs from pressing the shutter.
- ISO improvement is in general about one full stop, but the tonality at each stop seems improved (color sensitivity).