Since I let Garry have my little Leica, I’ve been looking for something small enough to tuck into my bag. Everything is too big or too heavy — or doesn’t give me quality I like.

The back yard post rainfall

I’m never satisfied with pictures from the iPhone. To me, iPhone pictures fall into the “better than nothing” category. They are improved, but not really good. The quality of lens is at best mediocre. The photos are noisy and i phones are awkward to use. They are great for sending copies of checks to my bank account since they closed our local branch, but otherwise a cell will never be my first choice, though it may often be my last choice because it’s the only thing I have with me that takes a picture. It’s better than not taking the picture.

I remembered, eventually, that I own a pair of Pentax miniature cameras — the Q7 and the S1. They are nearly identical except that the S1 doesn’t fit into the little leather case into which the Q7 slides.

Old tree showing lopped off branch

Yesterday I went searching for all the pieces for these two cameras. I found half a dozen batteries — you need a lot because the batteries are small — as well as the charger and all the lenses. I have all the lenses they made for these cameras from the fish-eye and wide angle, to the long telephoto, standard telephoto, and the “standard” sort of 50 mm-ish fast prime. If they had made any more lenses, I would have bought them too.

I think I forgot what a remarkably good little camera these are. I hadn’t used either of them in at least a year. I had to recharge all the batteries, reset the dates and times, and then test them out.

Pentax, as a camera manufacturer, tends to be neglected. They make a fine camera. The lenses are as good as any on the market and they have made some unique cameras. The Q7-S1 didn’t “take off” the way they had hoped and was discontinued, though you can still buy a new one on Amazon for slightly more than they cost originally.

Today I took the Q7 outside and took pictures. It’s a sweet little camera. Really, the whole camera is adorable. It looks like a baby camera that hasn’t yet grown up to full size. One is red and the other is bright yellow. Some people might feel they are kind of funky, but I like the colors and find them amusing. Also, they are easy to find amidst all my other black cameras.

These little cameras are small, but because they use interchangeable lenses, they don’t fit into my bag as easily as I’d like. With a lens on it, they are rather square, not flat like many single lens cameras are. Regardless, they will have to do because I’ve got a lot of cameras. I am not buying any more.

Categories: #gallery, #Photography, Anecdote, Blackstone Valley, Cameras, landscape, Trees

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15 replies

  1. The first SLR camera I bought for myself was a Pentax MG back in 1987. After that all our cameras were Pentax so we could share lenses. I used mine until I started with digital cameras in the early 2000s.
    My current DSLR is a Pentax K10. I have always found them to be reliable and take a good picture. These days it is only the weight that is the issue if I have to carry the camera around all day. I think it is worse for women because we usually are hefting a handbag as well.
    I do like a camera that feels solid and has a proper grip though.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am learning about cameras and photography from you, Marilyn. I always use my iphone for pictures. Well, sometimes I use my ipad which is probably no better.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have taken pictures with the iPhone — AND with my Kindle. They are pictures, but the quality is on the low end, so if you want to enlarge them or print them, you aren’t going to get really high quality. But if it is the only thing you happen to have with you that takes a picture, well, better to take the picture than no. They are better than they used to be and probably will get better, but they don’t feel like a camera to me and adjusting the lens to longer or wider or anything other than “standard” is awkward. But, it takes pictures and some people get some pretty good results with them.

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      • You wrote. “Regardless, they will have to do because I’ve got a lot of cameras. I am not buying any more.” and I say HURRAY!! maybe?

        Regardless of where iPhones are on the quality totem, they are a damn sight better than those little drug store yellow Kodak boxes that used to be carried around. With that in mind, let’s get back to those of us who, do, and have always, prefered real cameras. Finding the one that is small enough and light enough to be carried around all day.., and give you the quality you’re looking for, is the problem.

        I tend to like the Lumix (Panasonic) DMC 19, 20, 30, 40, 50 etc. series for compactness and reach. But since I’m back to carrying a “Man Bag”, although it has that tactical/military look (increasing my perceived “Manhood”), I tend to keep my Oly EM10 in it at all times. It might not have the range, but it will take all the Olympus lenses (if I need them) and has the same sensor as the big guys, so quality is not an issue. There’s a lot to be said about consistency of use. I don’t like having to remember which camera I’m using, so using the whole Oly OMD series means controls are similar and I can concentrate on composition. While the little Leica, my friend gave me, and the little Pentax that came from you are great little cameras, they are not exactly easily dropped in one’s pocket. The EM10 with the 14-42mm pancake lens can be. Bottom line: I don’t even think about it any more.., and like you I’m set.

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        • I think ANY camera is better than those old Kodak box cameras we had. For one thing, most cameras have lenses and those cameras had something, but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t a lens.

          I have the Panny 80 which is a heftier version the the ones you mention. Oddly though, I don’t think it gives me as good quality as earlier models did, even though it has a Leica lens on it. It seems to produce a lot of noise. I use it when I want something that will actually fit in my bag, but while it fits, it is also a lot heavier than it looks. They designed it small, but it has all the weight of a much bigger camera. I tend to grab the Pen F most of the time. With the 25-200mm lens on it, it is not a “bag” camera, but it has a huge reach, from wide to long with high quality too. Not as high quality as my prime lenses, though. Telephotos are never as sharp as primes, but they are so much more versatile, I do the trade-off.

          I wish I liked the 14-42mm lens more than I do. I have two of them (I just discovered the second — I thought I had one), but it’s almost never the lens I choose. It’s not a range I prefer. I like a longer lens and the 25-200 is close to perfect. Actually, the lens on the Panny 80 IS perfect except for all the noise — it goes from 24-750mm and you can’t get more telephoto than that. I keep being surprised at how much noise it produces. It’s the first Leica lens I’ve had that does that. ALL the others produced much less noise. Maybe it’s just this particular lens.


        • Ben, you and Marilyn — discussing cameras and apps leave me feeling like young Garry in a Math or Science class.


      • Yes, they are adequate but not terrific.


    • Roberta, I believe I have the eye. Marilyn has the know-how.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. My first SLR camera was a Pentax Spotmatic F. It was a wonderful camera. After years of non-use, I had it refurbished, but it never did work right. I’m keeping it, though. Very sentimental reasons, but you are right–Pentax does make a very fine camera.

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