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 techradar.com 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 bcnranking.jp 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.



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