Pentax Q – Sales? Failed!

August 4, 2012

Pentax Q white

Pentax Q CSC sales are a big disappoitment, and that’s what Pentax says. According to post, Pentax is a disappointed with the Pentax Q sales. It might come to Pentax as a surprised, but not for many of us.  For those of you who don’t know, Pentax Q is a Compact System Camera that use a 1/2.3-inch size sensor.  It’s a very small sensor, even in CSC standards. The Pentax Q does support interchangeable lenses, but the sensor size was its biggest disadvantage. Even the Nikon 1 sensor, which is relatively small (1-inch), is much bigger than the Pentax Q one.

Pentax Q sensor size

Pentax Q sensor size comparison

The above diagram illustrates that perfectly. What does Pentax think, that it can win success in the Mirrorless market with such a tiny sensor?

This post was written in February 2012. I Wanted to know if something changed since then.

I went to and couldn’t find the Pentax Q in the top 80 interchangeable lens camera’s list. Just to let you know that September 2011 and according to BCN Ranking,  two Pentax Q kits entered the top 20, the white at the #11 and the black at the #17. The previous week prior to that week it was outside the top 100.

I went back to BCN Ranking website and double check myself. but nope, the Pentax Q seems out of the top 100. Year 2012 didn’t do any good to Pentax Q.  On September 21, 2011, Nikon introduced  the Nikon 1 system. It seems that since then, things start getting pretty bad for Pentax and its Q system.  I wrote an article about the Pentax Q CSC camera, saying “Risky or Genius move?”. I also said “I really try hard to think of a reason why should anybody buy this camera.” and “I can certainly call that a very risky move..”. It seems that I was quite right about that. Pentax made a big mistake with this camera.

Maybe Pentax misjudge the customer’s knowledge about digital cameras. Maybe Pentax thought that people don’t care about sensor size, but they do care about the camera compactness.  So by introducing a very tiny mirrorless camera (CSC), they will be able to outperform the competition. That was a big mistake apparently.  I will eve dare to say that Nikon might have made a mistake with its 1-inch CX sensor, being smaller than the Micro Four Thirds.

Ricoh/Pentax at least didn’t take any chances and released the Pentax K-01 ILC. A Compact System Camera that uses a large APS-C size sensor.

Sensor size, Pentax Q vs K-01

Sensor size, Pentax Q vs K-01

According to what I’ve read, Pentax will continue making accessories and lenses to the Q system. However, if I read the map correctly, Pentax Q will be history in a two years from now. That’s shame, because I can just see the faces of those who bought the Pentax Q and really wanted to love this camera. How many of you would invest in more lenses and accessories if you have a feeling that Pentax will stop manufacturing lenses for this Q, and there won’t be any new model to upgrade to.

I think that we should wait to Photokina 2012 to see if Pentax will introduce new lenses or even a new body to the Q system. Right now, the best thing to do is to invest more money in the Pentax APS-C based mirrorless system. The K-01, although weird looking, already got some very positive reviews. Maybe some polish to the camera design and some new cool features can bring Pentax back on track.

I want to hear what is your opinion, will the Pentax Q survive 2013, or it will be written as a big failure in Pentax history.

More Reviews and Articles

Related posts:

  1. Pentax Q Mirrorless Camera – Risky or Genius Move?
  2. Why Ricoh acquired Pentax? – New Mirrorless Cameras on the Way?
  3. Pentax K-30 Affordable Weather Sealed DSLR Camera
  4. Mirrorless Camera Market Share 2012/2011
  • Raist3d

    Oh btw, ironically the “Pentax didn’t take any chances with the K-01″ is the one that isn’t selling, and the one Pentax officially stated will be no more. It is the K-01 that has been a big failure (as nice as it is in many ways), and not the Q.

    And I will have to say this: people really have to get past the knee jerk reaction of the small sensor. First the sensor actually does perform better than expected. It’s quite amazing what Pentax did with it. The Q10 sensor performs slightly better.

    Second Pentax packed the Q with a Fast lens (F1.9) that allows a wide range of real world use. My wish for Pentax here is that they release F1.0-F1.2 lenses and re-issue the 01 lens as a F1.2 at least. Seeing the constant tele photo zoom is F2.8 fixed is great news. Fast lenses change the system.

    There is no equal to the size, ergonomics and controls this little camera gives you. 1/250 external flash sync (that’s DSLR semi pro class), shutter speeds to 1/8000th, the new update now gives you full auto ISO even in manual mode, etc. There’s much to like here if you are a street photographer.

    I took shots last week of a Cello concert and the fact it’s a leaf shutter allowed me to take those shots. It was a small venue and if I had brought in my K-5 I would have been kicked out- as quiet as the K-5 shutter is, it would have still been too loud for moments in the composition where it goes subtly quiet or even stunningly quiet.

    This is an ISO 6400 shot in very low light (1/6 of a sec, F1.9, ISO 6400)

    From that concert (it was low light also)

  • Raist3d

    Finally on the Pentax Sales disappointment – yes, Pentax said that *initially* when the camera was at USD MSRP $800 and was not moving. That has all changed now.

  • BishopLenBrennan

    Well so much for insight. Pentax has just released the Q10, the next in the Q series and a new 06 Telephoto Lens fixed at 2.8 aperture! Now that the original Q with a 5-15mm telephoto can be had for under $300, I think the future of the Q series is a little brighter than stated.