Cameras & Camcorders

If you live and primarily use a product in a state with sales tax, you owe sales tax on it no matter where you bought it and no matter whether the place charged you it or not. Period, exclamation mark.

That you can get away with evading some taxes owed to your state because Woot (or another given merchant) doesn’t force you to pay it at purchase isn’t a “benefit”. If you want to go down that road, Best Buy is always cheaper since you could just five finger it out the door if you want.

Geez, you’re a little righteous in your opinion. I think there are a couple other ways to decide which camera is good for someone. Like do you want to carry around a fairly large pack with you whenever you want to take pictures? Sometimes having a camera that fits in your pocket is just more convenient. And I also think it’s less intimidating to whoever you’re taking pictures of so it’s a bit easier getting natural candids w/ a smaller camera.

Another way to look at this comparison differently is by looking at the strengths of each camera. The Pentax Q has a much smaller sensor which gives it a larger depth of field (where at a given aperture, say f2.8, the Pentax will have a much larger area in focus than the Canon. Sometimes this is good, sometimes it’s not. For macro photography, that often can be a good thing. Sometimes at parties, I like to have everyone in the picture in focus. There are times when a larger depth of field is desirable.

Another feature that the Pentax Q has that the canon does not is focus peaking. I’ve been using my Q with my DSLR lenses via an adapter so I can take advantage of the 5.5 crop factor (a 50mm DSLR lens will then have a field of view of 275mm)… when I’m using an f1.4 lens, it gets a little tricky to focus, so focus peaking will highlight the area that is in focus.

Look, I’m not saying the Pentax Q is always better than the Canon or any other DSLR for that matter. I have and use both the Pentax Q and my DSLR depending on the situation (yes I am a camera junkie).

If anyone wants to see the pics I’ve taken with the Pentax Q, here’s a set f/ my flickr page:

Oh, in regards to lens availability… the Q system has 5 lenses available for it right now with another lens that’s about to be released before xmas. So their lenses will have a range in 35mm terms of 17.5 to 247.5mm. Of course if you add the millions of m42 and k mount lenses that you can attach to the Pentax Q, I think most people would find that adequate.

Well, at least he suggested a decent one, though I don’t understand why you wouldn’t go like for BW/Heliopan if you drop that much on glass. A well crafted UV filter has next to no effect on flaring, etc.

This of course sidesteps the fact that the front element of any good lens is a tank, hoods are more versatile, and Cokin always made more sense in the first place.

This is like comparing an Acura to a pickup truck. Seriously? It’s a toy camera versus an entry level DSLR.

Are you seriously suggesting adapting lenses designed for 24/35mm format to a camera with a crop factor of over 5? Even if it didn’t look ridiculous, that’s highly impractical.

Is it? I’ve done it… it works well. And why does it look ridiculous? Have you ever seen an SLR on the end of a 600 f4 lens? It’s a thing of beauty in my eyes. So what’s the difference if the camera is the Pentax Q? It’s optically stabilized due to sensor shift shake reduction. And the camera has a magnesium body so it can handle the weight (though I usually hold the lens and not the camera with lenses more than 50mm). Look, when I put on my 105 f2.8 macro that’s a field of view of 577.5mm w/ a max aperture of f2.8! I don’t really give a crap what it looks like if I get the picture that I want…

If you really want to see how small the Pentax Q is, check out this review’s pictures:

And here’s a very thorough review, warts and all:

Perhaps it comes down to need, but I have not once in my life desired a 600mm lens.

wildlife (especially birding), sports (from stands), extreme macro, espionage are all places for it.

Talking about ridiculous, I even mounted a 300mm f4 takumar to the Q for a moon shot. The moon almost filled the frame! 300mm on the Q is equivalent to 1650mm. Some users have even started to put laser scopes on the camera to help locate where the lens is pointing… To each, their own I guess.

Common, righteous has nothing to do with it. If you read my very first post the flaw I saw in picking the Pentax was the C note difference in price in comparison of the two. BTW, while I shoot Canon myself I am not stating this because the DSLR offered is a Canon. I would make the exact same arguments for an entry level Nikon DSLR. Where we do agree would be the size advantage when size matters. Your example of being able to carry in a pocket certainly would be true. However, it kind of ends there because you can purchase some very workable and quality point and shoots for half what the Q costs. the savings alone will get you half way to a decent DSLR with lens. In that case, you would have both. As far as depth of field, the Canon lens will give or kill depth of field more than adequately for the person that takes the time to understand aperture. Of course, that is needed regardless of which camera you use. My bet is (unfortunately for the user) most of the people buying either one of these cameras will using program or auto modes never learning or understanding aperture and how to use it. I really didn’t think too many pro’s would be looking at either camera so my remarks were for novices in the field in order to point out some things they may not think about. I then, and again mow are becoming wordy so that just does not allow spelling out every scenario possible. But, I will expand on one I already started. If you go with an entry level DSLR such as Canon or Nikon (I prefer Canon as the auto-focus motor is in the lens) and you acquire one or more additional lens, if you decide to step up another level, you can do body only as your lens will still be useful with the new body. That option would open the door to several models ranging from the few hundreds to the few thousands of dollars.

In the end I guess we have to agree to disagree. For me and my advise is, More bang for the buck comes with the DSLR. If size is critical, save around $200 and pick a good point and shoot made by many of the very good companies out there including Pentax. Or, if you currently have a point and shoot that is doing a decent job for you but you still want more, keep the point and shoot you have as your pocket camera and join the world of DSLR and for $100 less. With all that said, there is no argument that the Q is a finely made and functioning camera that packs a wallop from a very, very small package. The question again, Does this small package warrant it’s large price tag? I am a camera junkie, I have too many of them and some have not been used in years. I will admit though, when I first saw the Q, I wanted it. Needs and stuff just did not come into my mind. I just saw an attractive very small camera with a retro look that alone intrigued me. It looked very much like my first 35mm, a Yashica Lynx 5000 range finder that I still have. I still look at the Q with an admiring eye but for me, it does not deliver at it’s price tag.

he EOS Rebel T3 previously on the last woot-off and Sellout.Woot

Both at a dollar less! Woot succumbs to price inflation!!

One of the main differences between the Pentax Q and a point and shoot is that you can change lenses on the Q depending on the lens characteristics that you need for that particular situation. Need a fast 1.9 aperture lens? It comes with this kit. Need a good walkaround zoom? It comes with this kit too. Want a 550mm w/ a f1.7 aperture for when you go to a indoor basketball game? Get an adapter for $25 and the great Pentax M50 1.7 for around $50. Want some fisheye fun with a 160 degree field of view? The Q has such a lens. A system camera is always going to be more flexible than a fixed lens camera.

And then there’s picture quality… the high end point and shoots are really the only cameras that take pictures in the same league as the Q and those range in price from $300 to around $600. But again, you lose the option of changing lenses. That kind of flexibility is worth a premium in my opinion. Just like you were saying earlier, lens choice is important to a DSLR, I would suggest it’s important to any camera.

Here’s a scenario that I shoot in quite often: indoor dinner party with ok indoor lighting where I will be shooting at f2.4 iso 1600 with shutter speeds of around 1/45th. Let’s say my subject distance is 5 feet away and I’m using a 50mm equivalent focal length (35mm on the canon, 8.9mm on the Pentax Q). Most of the time I’m shooting candids so people may be talking in groups of 2 or more and the distance from one person in the picture will probably be 6 or more inches different from the other person in the picture. With the Canon, here is your DOF:
Subject distance 5 ft

Depth of field
Near limit 4.74 ft
Far limit 5.29 ft
Total 0.55 ft

In front of subject 0.26 ft (47%)
Behind subject 0.29 ft (53%)

So if person two is 3 or more inches in front of person one (who you’re focusing on), person two will be out of focus.

The depth of field on the Pentax Q is
Subject distance 5 ft

Depth of field
Near limit 4.07 ft
Far limit 6.47 ft
Total 2.4 ft

In front of subject 0.93 ft (39%)
Behind subject 1.47 ft (61%)

So person 2 can be up to a foot in front of person 1 and still be in focus! That’s a huge difference!

Now you’re right, you can adjust the Canon’s aperture to match that level of depth of field… but you’d have to be shooting at f10 to get the same level of in-focus area. So what does that do to your shutter speed or iso? Well the difference between f2.4 and f10 is about 4 stops. So if I’m shooting at 1/45th at f2.4, at f10 I’ll need to be shooting at 1/3 of a second. Good luck holding the camera still and don’t forget to tell your subjects to not move at all so they don’t induce motion blur. Or you could bump your ISO to 6400 in which case you’re shooting at a shutter speed of 1/10. Still too slow for most candids and for the focal length you are using, but you’re also inducing a lot more grain to the picture.

I often take pictures in social settings and in a lot of cases, the Q is a better tool than my DSLR (but actually, I use both since I have both). But the same issues apply to macro shooting and to long telephoto shots where a larger inherent DOF from a smaller sensor will allow you to have lower iso’s and higher shutter speeds.

And again, at this price point most of the buyers are not going to understand a word you have said and are going to be shooting in program or auto. For those people which I do believe are the largest buying group we see here on woot, guessed at by the questions they ask the Q is not going to help them much over a very good point and shoot. For those that take the time to learn these things, they most likely will want to step up as their skill and knowledge dictates, from the Q or any entry level DSLR. But, like every camera out there, technology and the acceptance, (purchasing) of the public is the real test. A couple more years of market and the demand or lack of demand will state is the Q (and or it’s off springs) worth what it costs.

I am simply here to express my excitement.

Just purchased the T3 after analyzing all of the comments from all of the times this camera appeared recently. thanks!

I am entering the world of DSLR and it sounds like this is a great entry point at a good price.

Picked up that dreadful little Bell & Howell 1609534 Keychain Digital Camera in a BoC earlier this year. Took some significant google-fu to get the software to work on our computer. The photos are blurry and so poor that even my 9 year old didn’t want it. Save your $5 plus shipping and don’t even think about giving these as stocking stuffers.

It is a great entry to what can be a brand new world of photography for you. Look, the camera will do on it’s own some pretty darn good stuff with you just making some simple choices but, take the time to learn how to do more than just point and shoot. The more you learn the more you will enjoy your DSLR and you will be able to push your results way past what you can today. Congratulations and have fun!

Not a deal. Look at the latest offerings and you can get something FAR superior for not many more dollars. Some great ILC cameras came out in the past month or so. Look at the Olympus E-PM and E-PL lines. Other good ones from Panasonic too. Better sensors, better kit lenses. from $400-$800. You can do better for $500 if you look around a little.

Panasonic is a relative new comer to the still image camera scene especially when compared to Olympus. As a brand name while Panasonic makes some fine products they have never reached above to many other companies. Olympus has been around for a long time and back in the 80’s was best known for making very small products that competed with their larger counterparts. Also, Olympus was known for great optics. But there has been a gap between Olympus and companies like Canon and Nikon for many years now. While all SLR’s are ILC’s the reverse is not true. As you point out if you want an ILC to compete with the Canon, you have to pay more. I also believe the models you describe all have a viewing screen only and no optical view finder. Bad, bad, bad! Not a soul on earth is going to be able to use a digital display on a extremely bright sun shinny day to acquire a desired subject and shoot anywhere near as fast or as accurately as someone using a viewfinder. The ILC’s you mention because of size and other qualities may have a market but no viewfinder alone takes it off the table for many and certainly is a major con when adding up the pros and cons. I don’t believe you are going to see pros give up their equipment with viewfinders anytime soon either. Myself, not going to put out $500 for a camera that does not have one.

You appear to not know much about micro 4/3 cameras. Yes they do not have optical viewfinders. But every single model except for the original Olympus E-p1 have the ability to use an attachable electronic viewfinder, or have them built in (mostly just panasonic cameras with the exception of the recent Olympus e-m5 which has a built in viewfinder). Basically my point is that for under $400 you can get a number of olympus or panasonic micro 4/3 cameras, including a viewfinder.

I’m not a pro, but no eye-level viewfinder means no sale. My mind also boggles at non-disposable digital cameras with poor / inaccurate optical rangefinders.