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Pentax may have managed to create the world's smallest mirrorless camera with this $800 ILC, but if image quality is more important than body size, the Q is not for you.
- Incredibly compactOption to save last image as RAW
- Very expensiveShort battery lifeInconsistent image qualityMultiple issues with video capture
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- 65AVERAGE CRITIC SCORE8 ReviewsPC Mag60Pentax QThe Pentax Q is the most compact interchangeable lens camera you can buy. But a small sensor that limits fine detail in images, slow start up and processing performance, and a high sticker price hold this small shooter back.Engadget60Pentax Q interchangeable lens camera reviewPentax may have managed to create the world's smallest mirrorless camera with this $800 ILC, but if image quality is more important than body size, the Q is not for you.DC Resource60Pentax Q ReviewIts photo quality, performance, and feature set certainly don't justify the price premium, so you're really paying for whatever Pentax did to make the Q so small.Pocket-Lint70Pentax Q reviewWhile the camera certainly looks sweet enough, it just doesn’t have the inner guts to outperform its competitors. Plus the £600 asking price is more than most of its larger-sensor compadres.Imaging Resource70Pentax QFor the rest of us, though, while the Pentax Q certainly has a lot to offer, it's not a camera we can recommend at the current list price, and with the current lens lineup.TechRadar40Pentax Q reviewThe concept of the Pentax Q is a good idea, and with time and new lens additions the system could prove to be an interesting one. If the price came down to a more sensible level, it may even prove to be very interesting.Steve Huff Photo80The Pentax Q Digital Camera Review - A pocket fullHow much value do you put on the small size? Do you travel often? If so, this camera can be a valuable tool as when I traveled it was always in my pocket and ready to rock and roll.Photography Blog80Pentax Q ReviewIt's small enough to slip inside a coat pocket, yet flexible enough to offer a DSLR-like take on the world. Ultimately though we just can't recommend that you spend DSLR money on compact camera image quality.
- 85AVERAGE USER SCORE2 ReviewsEngadget Reader90July 24, 2013Feedback submitted!Unable to submit feedback!This camera was launched with a price that, in my opinion, was to high to test if it could deliver good results with a tiny sensor. As prices came down, I was able to try it and have been amazed with the results I got so far. For enthusiasts, this will probably not be their only camera. However, its size and capabilities are making me leave my E-M5 more and more at home lately!Engadget Reader80October 8, 2012Feedback submitted!Unable to submit feedback!Note: The Q has been discontinued and is being replaced by the subtly tweaked Q10 model. Luckily the Q10 will debut at a much lower price than the original Q. The Pentax Q is the tiniest interchangeable-lens camera (ILC) on the market. To reduce the size as much as they did, Pentax had to squeeze in a very small 1/2.3" sensor, which is definitely on the small size for a camera aimed at photography enthusiasts. The Q also offers a wealth of creative controls thanks to surprisingly solid ergonomics and UI. Image quality is excellent for a camera and sensor so tiny, comparable to a Canon G12 or Panasonic LX5. Noise is controlled well at ISO 125-800. Good photos can still be taken at ISO 1600, and even ISO 3200 can be used in a pinch, though plan to shoot RAW and post process. The Q does an admirable job when metering scenes. Tones and colors are pleasing and accurate. Like Pentax DSLRs the Q uses sensor-based shake reduction, so getting sharp handheld photos is possible even with longer exposures. Camera speed and responsiveness is pretty solid when shooting JPEG, with fast writes and short lag between shots. JPEGs can be shot at up to 5FPS. The contrast detect AF is speedy but not as fast as phase detect AF found in DSLRs. When shooting RAW, the Q is still responsive in operation, but write performance plummets, so expect no more than 1.5FPS. The Q really excels with control. I cannot believe how easy it is to manipulate settings on a camera this tiny. I can change most settings with the tap of a button or two and the flick of a dial, whether it's changing shutter speed and aperture, metering modes, AF area size and placement, white balance, toggling the neutral density filter, and more. The options available deeper in the menus are also impressive. Want to customize what effects are assigned to the user dial on the front? Want to decouple AF from the shutter release to maintain focus and improve shot-to-shot responsiveness? Want to go over settings line by line to determine which changes are memorized after power off? It's all customizable. The Q is also fun. This is a camera that encourages experimentation, with a significant number of useful effects and filters that can be applied while shooting. There's a staggering number of in-camera RAW development features that can be adjusted during playback too. And of course you can change lenses. My camera came with the excellent 8.5mm (47mm equivalent) f1.9 01 Standard Prime lens, but Pentax also sells a kit zoom and a few "toy lenses". A telephoto zoom and a wide prime are in the pipeline. I'm having fun experimenting with cheap, used manual C-mount lenses and adapters, and they seem almost tailor-made for the Q. Sony NEX and Micro Four Thirds enthusiasts are having fun with the C-mount lenses too, but with their bigger (and admittedly better) sensors they have to contend with vignetting and edge sharpness issues. When the Pentax Q debuted, it cost $800. That put it in stiff competition with bigger, more capable cameras. At current prices though (currently below $400), the Q is really appealing. If you're looking for a premium compact camera but don't want to give up fully manual operation and creative control, the Q is worth considering.
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