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Japan: These are the most sold cameras in 2013.


BCNranking publsihed the exact Japanese camera sales number for the whole 2013. Mirrorless interchangeable camera market share is 40% (DSLR has therefore 60%). Within the Mirrorless world Olympus takes the lead with 29.1% followed by Sony 26.4%, 14.2%, Panasonic, Ricoh imaging 9.8%, 9.34% Nikon, Canon 9.25 percent.

That said the Olympus E-M1 and the Panasonic GX7 and Gm1 have come to market very late. And at least in USA the Olympus E-M1 seems to sell very well according to Amazon US ranking (click here to see the list).

P:S:: New Years deal: Plenty of Gold Box deals on Tripods ongoing right now at Amazon US.

  • RIP Tiny Four Thirds

    Is this the best graph you can find for the m43 disaster? If it is, then M43 is truly doomed!

    Behind a Walkman manufacturer and one of the worst cameras of all time by Canon!

    Another hideous embarrassment for Oily-limp-puss!

    • Rchard

      Oily? Isn’t that a Nikon trade mark?

      • Bob B.

        Yes, that is a Nikon trademark, along with that new $1700 58mm soft-focus lens Nikon has it all.

      • RIP Tiny Four Thirds

        Yes Nikon specializes in oily sensors (and defective auto-focus), while Oily-Limp-Puss specializes in massive corporate fraud (and tiny sensors).

    • tosvus

      Man what an utterly sad life you must live, spending New Years trolling. If you ask nice maybe your momma will let you out of the bssement for some grape-juice.

    • Berneck

      I think you’re missing that m43 has the largest total share. However, I find it odd that the EOS-M is at the top of the list. Perhaps it’s people who already have Canon lenses, which makes sense. It’s encouraging that the E-M5 is on the list, since it is a $1000 camera, and it’s beating the NEX-7. It’s probably worth adding that most of these cameras are at a heavy discount to list. This is proof in my mind that m43 has to sell more for less if they want to compete.

    • Berneck

      It’s funny you say that about Sony. I think that has been Panasonic’s problem as well; The perception that they aren’t a camera company, and can’t make great cameras. I wonder if Sony went with the Minolta name you would say something that, for lack of a better word, is ignorant. I think they made a mistake by not keeping the Minolta brand alive.

      I admit the Canon ranking does have me baffled, but I can only think it’s the hugely discounted price, and the lack of knowledge of what m43 offers.

      And, if you have such disdain for the Olympus cameras, you clearly do not know Olympus’ history, and most certainly never used any of the recent high-end models.

  • Check the Numbers at the Bottom

    Check the numbers at the bottom. 4/3 leads APS-C and FF in this market.


      That’s just mirrorless. And APS-C cameras are the leaders, followed by weaker Olympus cameras. And if you really look at the chart, it doesn’t bode well for M43, if Canon’s sub – effort at a mirrorless camera is in second place.

      for the record, the E-M5 never did well in Japan.

      • Canon M in 2nd says more about the buyers than the camera!
        Well, kudos to Canon marketing at best, managing to push such crap onto so many…

        • milkiwei

          +1 Canon is good at getting people to buy crap. Not all of their stuff is crap, but their mirrorless certainly is.

          • beebop

            The EOS M is selling well because of the stock dumping that Canon has been doing, the thing is great value for money at ~$300, if you only wanted a body + kit lens you would be mad to choose anything else. If you want a lens selection and choice of body (actually using the camera ‘system’) then MFT is the clear winner.

            I do wonder if we will see Canon make a more serious attempt at tackling mirrorless in the future or if they will continue to move into more niche markets where they can extract a larger margin.

        • ronin

          Ha ha. If Olympus numbers are good, that’s because they have great cameras. But if Canon numbers are good, that’s because the consumers are stupid.

      • Olympus 29% Canon 9% which bit don’t you understand?
        Micro four thirds is the largest selling mount and the E-M1 and E-M5 are doing really well in Japan anaylse flickr data and trends….

        • MrALLCAPS

          “flickr data”? HAHAHA!
          PROTIP: Flickr does not equate to sales! Or sold when released brand new!

          There’s a bunch of AE-1 program users, so that film camera MUST be selling!


        • rrr_hhh

          I find it interesting that with only one (crappy) camera, and being late to the party, Canon has already 1/3 of Olympus total sales with all the models Olympus has available. It shows that once Canon decides to go seriously into mirrorless, they could sweep this market too. With all the Canon DSLRs around, the possibility to mount the optics you already own more easily added to the brand reputation could change the mirrorless market easily. One just wonder what Canon is waiting.

        • TR

          @YouDidntDidYou I see with interest that you are still engaging in these debates – maybe you will finally find the time to address the questions you dodged regarding your claim that a certain article by Thom Hogan was “unbelievably flawed”? It would be good to eventually see something that backs up that strong statement… As a reminder, I am talking about the article on the Olympus forecast:

          • @TR and @Thom Hogan

            “Last year’s top cameras (listed alphabetically): Nikon J1, Olympus E-PL2, E-PL3, E-PM1, Panasonic GF3 and GF5, Pentax Q, and Sony NEX-C3 and NEX-5N.

            This year’s top cameras (listed alphabetically): Canon EOS M, Nikon J2, Olympus E-PL3, E-PL5, E-PM2, Panasonic GF6, Pentax Q10, and Sony NEX-F3 and NEX-5R. ”

            Why would you list them alphabetically….unless you are trying to show canikon in a better light? and have a problem with Olympus, Panasonic and Sony?

            I will pull that other post apart in the next few days.

            • TR

              @YouDidntDidYou Sorry, I have no idea what you are quoting here (it really helps to state the source) nor how it relates to the questions I asked you last year and referred to now, but I look forward to you demonstrating your earlier claim.

              You seem to imply that Thom is biased against m43 and Sony; I am not sure I have made any statements relating to that, but I seem to remember that he strongly recommends cameras like the E-M5 and other m43 cameras, that he shots Olympus and that he also speaks very favourably about m43 and rates cameras like the Sony RX100 highly which to me might be taken to contradict your insinuation. Anyway, that is a different debate and certainly not mine, I look forward to your precise figures and data relating to your earlier statement.

      • MrALLCRAP – The Canon EOS-M is only selling because Canon is dumping them at a loss for $300, and has done so for some time now. The only reason it sells at all is the Canon name, and there are a lot of Canon dSLR owners out there with lenses they want to use on the EOS-M. The AF on the EOS-M is still horrible even after the firmware upgrade. How do I know this? I own an EOS-M, along with my stable of great m43 cameras. You, on the other hand, don’t own anything – cheapskate.

        For the record, you know nothing.

      • Des

        Price has a lot of influence to the list – cheaper camera usually has higher unit sales share. E-M5 is actually the top 1 in its price range. The second is Sony NEX-7. As for GH3… nobody cares about Panasonic camera in Japan.

      • Riley

        when actually
        mouths like yours were saying it would be all over for m43rds when mirrorless APSC appeared

        hows that workin for ya

  • Riley

    that should screw a few warped mind psychos around

  • doug nash

    Looks like Sony is doing quite well. Plus, they are the only game in town for FF mirror-less. That, right there, should concern the m4/3 fans, as the new A7 and still the RX1 are viable options for small, ultra-high quality imaging systems.

    Ideally, Sony will keep innovating, and at a certain point, Nikon and Canon will decide that they’re ready to introduce some real innovation.

    • “the new A7 and still the RX1 are viable options for small, ultra-high quality imaging systems.”

      When talking about “imaging systems” you forget to include lenses, apparently.

      I’ve said many times that FF is dead to me. And it is dead precisely because no company rose to the challenge of making small FF lenses.

      “Ideally, Sony will keep innovating, and at a certain point, Nikon and Canon will decide that they’re ready to introduce some real innovation.”

      I wish. People keep praying for that to happen, but best we got yet is the Nikon 1 and EOS M.

    • “…as the new A7 and still the RX1 are viable options for small, ultra-high quality imaging systems.”

      Systems you say?
      With a single (!) lens each?!
      Right, some system. I mean really, c’mon…

      • Dmac

        One lens for A7/A7r? Really, c’mon

    • Leif

      There is no reason to be concerned for them I think. People who go 4/3 do it for a reason, they’ve often decided against FF. The FF lenses can’t ever be as small and lightweight as the native 4/3 lenses can be and it’s very nice to use the lenses wide open without having a shallow depth of field that is in 90% of the situations unusable. Every format has it’s advantages and disadvantages – there is nothing wrong with both of them. The ones who should be concerned are Canon and Nikon, their marketing efforts won’t work forever if they don’t work harder on good mirror-less options. Their DSLRs are now in the dangerous middle between highest quality (digital medium format) and high quality and very lightweight & portable mirror-less cameras.

      • Anonymous

        Exactly. FF has 8% of the dSLR market.
        Most people don’t want the size, weight and cost of a FF system in the dSLR world when APSC is good enough for them.
        People who do want FF wouldn’t be looking at m43 anyway. Well, the rational ones anyway.
        m43 is competing with APSC and the people who should be worried about the Sony are the Canikon FF users.
        Canikon FF having a relatively small market share will not need to lose too many users or become too diluted by other competitors to become economically less viable.
        That will result in FF price rises.
        All this talk about APSC losing out to smaller formats and disappearing just won’t happen as the volumes involved are so large that they can afford to lose market share and still make money for the manufacturers.
        FF has less room for manoeuvre.

  • Yan

    I can’t not get why people are buying Canon EOS M system ? At least Nikon 1 have some arguments but Canon EOS M ? There is none ! you buy sony or Fuji at least !

    • Tron

      I agree, some people will buy anything with the word Canon on it. Nikon will probably be the first to capitulate and exit the market entirely, even though it should really be Canon – they’re like watching a dog drag it’s as$ across the carpet when it comes to mirrorless development.

    • Mister M

      Just because it says CANON… brand greedy consumers…

    • John

      If I remember correctly, the Canon EOS was priced to move for most of 2013.

      • Canon dumped the camera at a loss. I even bought one at the fire sale price to check out the IQ. It’s okay, but the AF is lousy even after the firmware upgrade. I may sell it. The Fuji is the way to go if someone wants APS-C, or a second ILC system along with their m43.

        • Bob B.

          Yeah…I have an extensive Canon FF system…and I REALLY wanted the M to be something special, but it was total junk…introduced at $800 (I think?)….then sold off for $300. I resisted the fire sale as even if it sold for $50…I would not use it. No VF, crappy AF, limited slow lenses, etc..etc. A TOTAL laugh riot with a super slow focusing, huge “L” lens with adapter and no VF!!! I call that suffering
          I would be grabbing my E-PL6 & E-P5 w/VF4 and some of my great AF primes when I wanted to go small, the M would just not get used. It’s a dog.
          It sold because of the Canon name and the low price. Too bad. All of those buyers could have been having a much better phot experience with a MFT system camera.

  • Marc

    Largely the list is moderately interesting and makes sense, but what on earth is the EOS M doing in #2? The Japanese are rather trend-minded, but leaving aside any m43 fanishness I might have, why on earth would anybody want that camera? Is there some appeal to it I’m not aware of (other than saying “Cannon” on the outside, and not being a chunky DSLR)?

    • See my response above. Canon has been dumping the camera at a loss at the $300 price point. That is the main reason, and also because the Canon name is on the camera. It is not because the camera is better than others, because it is not.

    • tim

      The canon EOS M is a really nice feeling camera and looks great. Its the kind of camera that you buy after going to the Electronics store looking for something else … and then you see the small EOS M with good looks and a great price.

  • Horaciux

    How many units total?

  • im

    FUIJI ????

    • Regarding APS-C, Fuji is the best of the APS-C bunch of ILCs (great, great IQ). And they support their cameras with firmware upgrades even after they have been discontinued.

      • AndyB

        I agree. I have a Fuji X100 and was surprised this Fall when they released a firmware update (fixed focusing problems among other things). I have Panasonic and Olympus and a bunch of m43 lenses that I love. But the Fuji are something special. And still fairly compact with excellent lenses and great image quality.

        • Anonymous

          Unfortunately, as I like the Fuji cameras, their market share is very small.
          Thom Hogan had an interesting analysis and his estimate was 300,000 cameras if I remember correctly and the bulk of them would be XA, XM and X100/S with the latter having no impact on lens sales.
          Unfortunately, in Asia, the market is dominated by younger people (very high % of population under 30) and they’re not so interested in the traditional control interface. The more hi tec the better as far as they’re concerned.

  • n3eg

    E-PL5: Number one micro four thirds camera. E-M5 and others: Way down on the list. Message: We want more features at an affordable price. Subtle hint: We don’t need no stinking viewfinder.

    I bought mine in July.

    • im

      We don’t need no stinking viewfinder. depends on where you live here in Cowell South Aussie there is too much glare so it is a must.

    • lorenzaccio

      Well, in Japan the epl5 sells with kit lens for 38.000 yen (360 dollars roughly). Remember that here the epl5 is already an old model, substituted with the otherwise equivalent epl6. Truth is: the cameras on top of the list sold well because they were heavily discounted. In few words: they sold because they were cheap, very cheap.

      • Bob B.

        I love the small size of the E-PL6! Once you set it up to your needs it is a very capable, beautiful little image making machine. Mine is always coupled with the just as incredible VF-4…I love the set up…it breaks down for travel and assembles quickly. The E-PL6 is as solid as a rock, too!

        • lorenzaccio

          Never said that the epl6 (or the epl5) is a bad camera. I said that the epl5 sells well only because it is cheap. And one of the best proofs I have is: the epl6 is not in that list! Why? More expensive!
          The problem is that the list takes into account only the amount of cameras sold, and not their price / profit for Olympus (or the others). That is also why the epl3 (which you could find in November, new, for 22.000 yen… slightly more than 200 dollars, with kit lens included!) is there. Almost for free. ‘fcourse it sells!

          • lorenzaccio

            Besides; I myself am thinking of buying an epl5 at that price. I would probably prefer a Pana GM1, but currently it costs 280 dollars more (in Japan) and does not have an English menu. I mean, 360 dollars for the epl5 is a steal!

            • Bob B.

              I agree…the top cameras on the list were top simply because of price. They may bring in little or no profit to the company.

      • Chatokun

        I tend to wonder, do people look at prices now as a reason something has sold well all year? This is 2013 data, not 4th quarter 2013 data. EPL6 seems to have been released in mid-2013, and I’m not sure when it would have been discounted, so while the low price may be true, if you’re just going off the price now, that’s still an assumption to make.

        It’s not really surprising that cheaper cameras sell more often, since many of us buy cheaper secondary cameras to use along side our main ones. Many EM5 users bought EPL5s as secondary cameras, while some more casual users bought only EPL5, etc etc.

    • Berneck

      I disagree. These cameras need viewfinders, especially at the high end, if try are to be taken seriously. It’s worth noting that the Japanese market is quite different from the rest of the camera market. Also, compared to the SLR market these numbers are probably very low.

      I’m still amazed when I walk through Times Square every day and see so many Canon Rebels, given all the great alternatives out there. It tells me that people just aren’t aware of what these cameras can do. It’s my belief that part of the problems is perception, and handling them like a point and shoot makes them no better than a point and shoot, add to that a higher initial price and you get low sales…

  • From what Google translates, mirrorless keeps falling in sales while DSLRs grow. And 90% are APSC format sensors, the format everyone here considers obsolete – time for a reality check…
    Non the less with about 12% market share in the combined DSLR/CSC market, Olympus can’t be as dead as some visitors here would like it to be.
    So why is a marginally better sensor selling so well? Maybe price point and perception of image quality of DSLR? Let’s see if the E M-10 can compete better…

    • Trying to decipher the gibberish of an educational system gone to the dogs will be difficult, in 2014 too :)

      Try however in your wet dreams that neither the figure of America, or those for Japan, as above, reflect the camera industry.

      Mirrorless certainly was a Japanese affair in the beginning, but it now has spread to the whole S. Asia.

      When I check Clubsnap in Singapore the have the latest m4/3 before us. And they have OM-D not E-PLx. Canon is a bad word.

      Olympus said that they woud stretch the top tier, and I think that there they are ready to follow. Those economies are booming, while Japan is just recovering.

      Best wishes, Admin and Riley!

      • Almaric, while your POV is always enlightening, sometimes debatable, I struggle to get it this time: who’s gibberish and educational system is gone wrong? Google translate? The Japanese? Let’s assume mine.
        After trying to skim info out of the original article (after reading translations into three other languages) I have to retract my statement about dropping mirrorless sales – it appears rather that compact camera sales are dropping. My apologies – it was rather late when I wrote that.

      • Riley

        thanks Am, very kind
        all the best things for you too :)

    • In case my gibberish didn’t make sense, let me elaborate my points a bit more:

      APSC dominates the field with over 90% share in DSLR
      respectable 40% in the CSC field. I cannot see that the format gets squeezed between m4/3 and FF yet.

      Time for a reality check! 1) Mr ALLCAPS and troll friends, your beloved FF plays a marginal role as for the fast majority the image quality of APSC (and 4/3) suffices. Also does the best selling m4/3 camera outsell the best selling FF camera (5D Mark III 1.5% of 60% market equates to 0.9% while E-PL5 8.9% share of 40% equates to 3.6%). So clearly FF is very popular amongst the visitors and members here but only used by the small group of enthusiasts and even smaller group of professionals.
      2) Dear believers in the 4/3 mount, while most current m4/3 cameras will outperform half of the DSLRs (Canon APSCs), the revolution isn’t taking place, yet. Olympus is keeping stable at 30% mirrorless share and Panasonic dropped this year. Two APSC cameras take the top 2 places as best selling mirrorless cameras and it remains hard to eat into the DSLR market. The size advantage of m4/3 will be hard to get across to a market that vastly buys the kit lens only and needs their images for social media.
      FF trolls and m4/3 users are only marginal groups compared to APSC; but at least in Japan there are trice as many m4/3 users than FF ;) A Happy New Year to all!

    • Berneck

      I honestly believe that there is no clear advantage to APS-C over m43 anymore. However, it wasn’t too long ago that that wasn’t the case. It’s really only the last year that all things have become equal. And, i believe m43 hasn’t even gotten started yet.

      I think people are passionate about m43 because they are aware of what this system could be, and is becoming. The E-M1 is proof that this format can kick ass. There is not a single APS-C camera that can come close to what that camera offers for the price. Not until you get to the $2000-$3000 range, and even then for those prices you give up a lot in portability. Also, I’m not even talking about the lenses which are in many cases faster, smaller and cheaper in m43.

      The A7 is certainly interesting, but it’s still quite a bit more expensive. And, the lenses are larger and more expensive. Has anyone held the A7 with the slow zoom on it? It’s huge! If you ask me, I think Canon and Nikon have more to worry about than Olympus and Panasonic, and I’ll tell you why.
      Sony might just put mirrorless on the map. What will happen is, if you want FF in a relatively smaller package, you’ll go with the Sony. However, if you want “APS-C in a MUCH smaller package” you go with m43.

      There I said it, Sony A7’s could actually be a good thing for m43.

      • Everyone here knows that APSC has no edge over 4/3 and I haven’t heard if any of the misleading sensor size ads any more. Actually Olympus should do one comparing the viewfinder size of the EM-1 with APSC or FF, that would be fun when all Canikon followers would rage about the deceiving representation of the viewfinder! Can’t anyone post something like that with the tagline “olympus, get the picture?” where it educates the public along with a FF and 2.8 zooms next to GH3/EM-1 and the m4/3 counterparts “gear schlepping or picture taking”? I’m sure some native speaker can tweak the tag lines ;)
        Let’s spread the wisdom a bit

        • MrALLCAPS

          “Everyone here knows that APSC has no edge over 4/3”

          Um, the Fuji sensor would like a word with you…

          In the case with sensors, bigger IS better. In my opinion, the 43 sensor is hitting the ceiling. Most reviews complain that both Olympus and Panasonic won’t go past 16mp.

          meanwhile, there are little to no complaints about the Fuji sensor. In fact, the only APS-C sensor complaint comes from Canon’s old APS-C sensors.

          You can have a feature rich camera, but with a soon to be outdated sensor, what good is it?

          • That’s the problem with general statements – it gets more complicated.

            1) I’m must admit I’m not familiar with current Fuji sensor tech. But it is a question of technology and not format, where APSC and 4/3 are pretty close in physical dimensions.
            2) I disagree with 4/3 hitting the ceiling at 16 megapixel, If a smartphone can boasts with 41 megapixel. Obviously pixel count is not a priority over other parameters. Actually my 7 megapixel from my 4/3 camera suffice and the damned thing doesn’t break to justify an upgrade…
            3) I wouldn’t complain about an APSC sensor either and just get a FF body, has I 35mm lenses. I would rather complain about the heft of my gear.
            4) If you are so concerned about outdated sensors, you should get a modular camera – that way you have a feature-rich body and always the newest sensor so that nothing limits your photographic skills.
            I for myself rather take a photo course to use my limited camera. If I manage to hit them I could justify the need to get one if the soon outdated mirrorless 4/3.

  • Jankoff

    Happy New Year to everybody! Yes! E-PM2 is among the three most sold Olympus cameras – and cameras in general! No wonder! Among Olympus cameras it has the highest ISO rating, the most important parameter, and blows out of the water all other Oly rivals, especially the otherwise good but ridiculously priced E-M1! Looking forward to another one for me!

    • yaa

      “it has the highest ISO rating, the most important parameter”

      Have you ever heard about something called dynamic range? Or how about S/N ratio?
      Have you ever considered not all pictures require iso10000000000000000000000000 ?

      Regardless, happy newyear to you as well, that it may finally bring you some understanding of the things you keep talking nonsense about.

      • Yes, happy new 2014 to all of you. My bet is that in some Neanderthalised countries including my own it will be dedicated to unlearn photography by the use of the smartphone.

        Therefore we will have to show resilience and daring if something of the Niepce device must survive in 2015, and lest exposure must become a bad word.

        People are already making SLR in lamps and slides into shades, v. trendy, latest design. I wish Admin made a poll asking into what you will make your obsolete mirrorless…

        You are holding in your hands, not the latest, but the last of the cameras… :)

  • Per K

    No positive news in this list. They sell small and (often) old cameras with little profit. People who buy them will probably not but additional lenses of high quality.
    Very depressing for Panasonic (Olympus always takes the wind from Pana) – and Fuji, not one camera on top 20.
    Mirrorless Japan is not a good market niche to be in!

  • pdc

    Best wishes to all m43 and other mirrorless users for 2014. 2008 brought in a sea-change for those photography and videography enthusiasts who understood what was happening. 5 1/2 years on, and the m43 platform is really solidifying. 5 years from now m43 will dominate, as it just makes so much sense. A big Thank You to Panasonic and Olympus for designing and building these wonderful cameras.

  • kiki

    there is no gm1, em-1, ep-5 and GX7 yet, they are the bests cams.

    Where are fuljifilm?

    • lorenzaccio

      the list shows the most sold cameras, not the best ones, nor the most profitable cameras for the makers. In fact all cameras on top of the list were hugely discounted for months, and brought no profit to their makers (Sony, Canon or Oly). They are all around 350 dollars, kit lens included, while the other cams you mention cost at least the double (plus gm1 is way too recent for this list)

  • Who speaks Japanese here? The pie chart at the end of the article seems to show that interchangeable lens cameras versus integrated lens cameras have swapped their market dominance?! Could someone translate the heading, please?

  • Andy

    Pentax Q figures are surprising even if they are discounted. 3 cameras in the top 20.

  • rutrem

    Is nice to watch how quickly those cameras is disappearing from electronic stores, how lenses are replaced,how gradually some are Youtube “journalists/vlogers/whatever” are deleting all videos when they have predicted the mirrorless fiasco and Oly/Pana disappearance from the scene.
    :) he,he
    ..those Japanese are crazy , buying those crap cameras with small sensor :D

  • rutrem

    Happy New Year to all FF,Aps-c and m4/3 users :D
    Best wishes to DSLR users :D

  • wseto

    What surprises me is the number of Ricoh/Pentax Q10’s that were sold. The EOS-M is a Cadillac compared to the Q10. Really, interchangeable lenses on a 1/2.3″ sensor? Maybe in 5 years when sensors that size can do 1200ASA with low noise, but now?!?

    The Q10’s just a high tech toy… reminds me of the Pentax Auto 110 that was competing with the Olympus XA in the late 70’s, early 80’s. I got an XA back then. Would you guess which one I’d choose today in the Pentax Q10 vs. Olympus XZ2 battle? ;-) It’s interesting how things change, yet stay remarkably similar 30 years later.

    The Japanese market is different than the North American market which is different than the European market, but the common theme is that Quality isn’t what sells. Marketing plays a large part in each region catering to differing preferences. Just look at the lack of Panasonic M43 cameras compared to the Olympus Pens. Arguably, based on quality, sales should be roughly equivalent.

    • But now it can do a lot. You can shot on the Q10 at ISO 1200, why not? Yes, you can get a reasonable result. Technology already marched further forward than you are giving it credit for.

      The Q has always been a “useless toy” to those who haven’t handled one and go by paper specs. It has *BETTER* usability than the other camera you mention, has many other options through interchangeable lenses, and the Q7 is the proper model to compare with the other model you mentioned.

      The Q can do a lot if you know what you are doing- and for the street photographer it provides dicrestion, invisibility and a conversation piece with the subject.

      (original Q, not even Q10):

      ISO 5000
      ISO 6400
      ISO 2000

      • wseto

        I may have been overzealous by calling the Q10 a “high tech toy”, it takes some of the best pictures that a 1/2.3″ sensor can provide, but compared to the other cameras on the Mirrorless list, the Picture Quality in more challenging conditions is definitely not even in the same league. However, for most of its purchasers, they’re not buying it for the reasons you are. You *know* the limitations of the camera, accept them and use them to your advantage. (There’s a reason why your HIGH ISO shots are black and white, and the colour one is left with the chroma noise intact, you are using the inherent weaknesses of the noisy sensor to make an artistic statement.) The average user would just wonder why the pictures look so grainy or blurry (because they’ll probably be holding the camera at arms length, so will have camera shake.)

        There’s NOBODY who would claim that the Q10 has better Picture Quality or a faster lens than the Olympus XZ-2 or Pentax MX-1 in stock form (the way the majority of the people who buy the camera will use it.) In the best conditions it would be equal, in more challenging conditions, it would be inferior. Of course you can adapt a Pentax K mount lens and others for the Q series, but then why buy such a small body? You can mount a full size bounce capable flash on the Q… well go ahead… but one can also do that on the XZ-2.

        Usability is subjective, so you are definitely right, that the Q series *is* much more usable for *you*.

        But if one wants to have the coolest “what is that?” camera, then the Q10 and its spiritual predecessor, the Pentax auto 110 was its analog in the 80’s definitely fit the bill. For the *average* Q10 purchaser, the Oly XZ-2 or the Ricoh/Pentax MX-1 would take higher fidelity pictures, they just don’t realize it because “interchangeable lens cameras *must* be better”, right? However, a few, like you, use the inherent noisiness and “gotcha” factor for artistic uses.

        Honestly, I would say that the Sony RX series or the Fuji X series cameras are more popular with street photographers that want a unobtrusive looking camera, not the Ricoh/Pentax Q series. One can easily *add* graininess in post, it’s much harder to process it away.

        • “You *know* the limitations of the camera, accept them and use them to your advantage. (There’s a reason why your HIGH ISO shots are black and white, ”

          I have a nice street shot in ISO 6400 *in color*. Wanna see it? :-)

          This is ISO 6400 in horrible mixed light and can print pretty good to 8×10. I don’t want to sound like I don’t get your point- I partially get your point, just stating the Q is a much bigger tool photographically than the size would suggest. And if we are going to talk about the line, I think it’s only fair to mention the Q7 because the Q is now what? 2 years old? The Q7 does notably better (1 stop to stop and a half better ISO, richer color, tones, and definitively much sharper).

          “There’s NOBODY who would claim that the Q10 has better Picture Quality or a faster lens than the Olympus XZ-2 or Pentax MX-1 in stock form”

          I definitively would claim the Q7 is on par. But yes, the Q10 won’t be as good there- however, I think a big point is missed which is usability. And no, I am not suggesting adapting K-lenses. I never suggested nor would suggest that- though it’s a great option for the birders (note: I don’t do bird photographer so it’s wasted on me).

          “Usability is subjective, so you are definitely right, that the Q series *is* much more usable for *you*.”

          There is a subjective aspect to it, there’s also an objective aspect to the design of it. I can tell you right now for example, that Panasonic GM1? Try to change the aperture in aperture priority and see how many times in ten tries you hit the WB setting (I tried it, dpreview even mentions the same issue in their review). The Q allows for instant state changes of the camera settings with one dial (front dial). The RX100 (either version) has lag in their menu selections, and extending that lens on turn on/off is a bit of a pain- nothing like zooming mechanically with the Q 06 lens (Fuji X10/X20 do as well here).

          So yes, there are objective aspects I can bring up, though I agree with you there’s also a subjective side to it.

          ” However, a few, like you, use the inherent noisiness and “gotcha” factor for artistic uses.” – No, not the inherent noisiness. Yes, you can use some of that for effect but you make it sound like the Q can’t deliver a high quality noiseless image. Look at that cat- it’s noiseless –

            BTW, I am not trying to say the Q is better in all ways to any of the other two cameras. What I am saying is that there’s a set of pros and cons and the Q in my book does come out with some pros that will appeal to some. A far cry from a dismissive “oh it’s just a high tech toy”- which to your credit, you yourself admitted it’s off.

          For doing photography, how the camera operates, and what it provides to you as a whole package is important. And that’s talking about Q10, if we go to the Q7 all the image quality issues you mentioned vs those two cameras go completely away.

          “Honestly, I would say that the Sony RX series or the Fuji X series cameras are more popular with street photographers that want a unobtrusive looking camera, not the Ricoh/Pentax Q series. One can easily *add* graininess in post, it’s much harder to process it away.”

          That shows again the misconception that you are assuming the Q can’t deliver a non grainy shot. That statement of yours is false- sorry. Oh and the Sony RX goes slow fast.

          A lot of the reasons the Q may not be as popular has in my book to do more with marketing here and the expectations again on paper of “oh it’s a smaller sensor so it mud s*x.” I actually bought the Sony RX100 MK II for 45 minutes and in those 45 minutes tried it and returned it to the store. Why?

          The camera was simply fighting me to get the shots. Slow on, slow operation, menus lagged a little, supid dial wheel interface on the back (but not anywhere near as horrible as the GM1 and a few other cameras that I can think of – oh yes the Nikon 1 V1). What good is “better image quality” if the camera is going to make you miss shot and cringe using it? I can tell you that annoyance adds up…

          Sony could make an RX100 with a good responsive interface. If they can get rid of the useless settings, add a faster response in the menu – if that means making a B&W menu do it! Panasonic nailed this down SO WELL with the LX3- the menus responded hyper fast. These things are things that a street photographer cares about a big deal.

          • wseto

            “I have a nice street shot in ISO 6400 *in color*. Wanna see it? :-)

            And it’s full of chroma noise, even at the reduced 1024×768 resolution… so are you trying to prove my point? A picture taken with a M43 or an APS-C sensor equipped camera on the the CSC best seller list would have a much cleaner image, even the 1″ sensors would be better. But if you’re fine with the noise, it’s your perogative. I am not so fond of the noise. Also the colour is all funky in that picture, is it that way straight out of the camera, or was it added in post?

            “Look at that cat- it’s noiseless –

            I’m not trying to say that the Q series *cannot* take good pictures, it’s just that with a sensor that small it will be inherently noisier in challenging environments, much more so than the other CSCs in the list. In perfect lighting conditions, even my 5MP cell phone camera can produce nice black and white images with very little noise.

            It’s a matter of preference. Some people will settle for nothing less than full frame sensors that are the least noisy in low light situations. Many that frequent the 43rumors site favour the smaller 4/3 sensor because it results in a more compact camera system with good-enough picture quality in reasonably low light situations. Others like you, favour the even smaller 1/2.3 sensor because it allows for an even *more* compact camera system and you are OK with the increased chroma noise in low light situations.

            I also mention the Q10 since it’s the one that’s on the best seller list, not the Q7.

            Here’s a site that has comparison pictures from the “old” Q vs. an “old” Oly E-PL3 M43.
            The quote from the site is: “The Olympus produces cleaner images at low ISO and its noise at ISO 3200 is about the level of the Pentax at ISO 800”

            • The shot is not perfect but it works. The color was what emerged naturally playing with the contrast curves (i.e. no particular color filters or stuff).

              “I’m not trying to say that the Q series *cannot* take good pictures, it’s just that with a sensor that small it will be inherently noisier in challenging environments, much more so than the other CSCs in the list”

              That sounds like a different statement from the one you were making. For the record- I am not pretending a Q doesn’t have limits, it does, but it allows to do far more photography than many people think, which is what I wanted to point out given your original statements on it.

              “I also mention the Q10 since it’s the one that’s on the best seller list, not the Q7.”

              All three Q’s are on the best seller list. The Q7 is below the Q10 but it’s also on the top 20 list. BTW, on preference- I don’t want to come across like I would pick only the Q for everything- I would not. And yes, it’s a matter of pros and cons and picking accordingly. My only point is, as a photographer’s tool, the Q passes the test and it does indeed have enough canvas of light if you will to create compelling photography under many conditions, including lower light.

              The comparison with the other Pen is beyond the point because I am not pretending the Q sensor will match the Pen, all I am saying is what I just said in the paragraph above. Add to that the key ergonomics, usability and small. The EPL-3 with that dial wheel in the back has one point of horrible and the UI also adds another point of horrible.

              Use a Q on that to see what I mean. I still think Olympus going super control panel *and* Canon PowerShot interface was a bad idea (I am talking about the new UI they introduced with the first Pen back then). They should have evolved the super control panel and stick to it.

  • peevee

    Who still bought E-PL3 in 2013?!?!?!?! And GF5? And EOS M? And Pentax Q, and Nikon 1 systems as a whole? Hell Japanese are stupid.

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