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Pentax Ricoh introduces Q10 small-sensor mirrorless camera

By dpreview staff on Sep 10, 2012 at 22:00 GMT

Photokina 2012: Pentax Ricoh has expanded its Q system with the addition of the Q10 body and adapter allowing the use of K-mount lenses. The Q10 features a slightly redesigned body and updated 12.4MP 1/2.3" back-lit CMOS sensor. Improvements include faster operation and autofocus performance, the company says. There is also a 15-45mm F2.8 fast 80-250mm equivalent telephoto zoom, the Pentax 06 Telephoto Zoom lens. There's also an adapter for mounting and manuallty focusing K-mount lenses on Q-mount bodies - where the Qs' compact-camera-sized sensors will give a roughly 5.5x crop factor, meaning a 28mm lens will give a 154mm equivalent field of view. The Q10 will cost around $700 with the 02 Standard kit zoom, with the fast zoom costing around $300 and the K-mount adapter roughly $250.

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Press Release:

PENTAX Expands the Q-system with New Q10 Digital Camera and Accessories

Super-compact, ultra-lightweight interchangeable lens camera (ILC), new Q- Mount telephoto zoom and K-Mount adapter added to the Q family of products

DENVER, CO (September 10, 2012) PENTAX RICOH IMAGING AMERICAS CORPORATION (PENTAX), today expands on the innovative Q-system with the new 12.4 megapixel PENTAX Q10 interchangeable lens camera, new Q-Mount PENTAX 06 15-45mm F2.8 telephoto zoom lens and Adapter Q for PENTAX K-mount lenses, expanding its family of compact Q series products.

The super-compact and ultra-lightweight PENTAX Q10, barely larger than a deck of cards, offers digital-SLR-quality photography for photographers of all levels. Based on the popular PENTAX Q (launched in August 2011) – the world’s smallest, lightest digital interchangeable lens camera* – the Q10 features a newly adopted CMOS image sensor and an upgraded algorithm to provide users with improved performance, including higher quality images and faster autofocus (AF) operation.

* For a digital interchangeable lens camera, as of August 31, 2012 (based on PENTAX research).

In addition, the new Q10 retains all the creative features of its predecessor – including the bokeh control function to create a defocused effect typical of an SLR camera, and the Smart Effect modes to apply various built-in filters with a simple turn of the dial – allowing photographers to easily express their creativity. While its overall exterior design closely resembles the PENTAX Q, which was designed as a miniature version of a full-scale digital SLR camera, the PENTAX Q10 provides several upgrades in its body design, such as an improved grip for a more stable hold of the camera and attractive color options.

“Not only does the new PENTAX Q10 have a tiny footprint but it packs a powerful punch when it comes to picture taking, especially when compared to any smart phone or digital point-and-shoot camera,” explains John Carlson, Sr. Manager of Sales and Marketing, PENTAX.  “With the availability of a K-Mount adapter for the PENTAX Q-series of cameras, we have extended this camera category to fulfill endless photographic possibilities for Q users, who can now use any one of 25 million PENTAX K-mount lenses with their Q system**.”

**Only manual focusing is available with K-mount lenses.

Introduced along with the Q10 is the new super-compact and lightweight Q-Mount PENTAX 06 Telephoto Zoom lens. This high performance, interchangeable zoom lens features an F2.8 maximum aperture throughout its entire 15-45mm zoom range and is designed for exclusive use with the PENTAX Q-Mount line of digital cameras. When mounted on a PENTAX Q-mount digital camera body, it covers focal lengths from 83mm medium telephoto to 249mm telephoto (equivalent 35mm format) ideal for portraits, sports events and landscape photography.

Also available is the new Adapter Q for K-mount lenses – a lens mount adapter that makes it possible to use PENTAX K-mount lenses on PENTAX Q series cameras. By using this adapter to attach any K-mount lens onto a PENTAX Q series camera, the focal length of the lens is extended by approximately 5.5 times in the 35mm format. For example, the extension in focal length results in the ability to use the smc PENTAX-DA* 300mm F4 ED[IF] SDM telephoto lens as a 1650mm super-telephoto lens, (35mm equivalent) making it ideal for photographing celestial bodies and very distant scenery.

A mechanical shutter has been incorporated in this adapter to prevent “rolling shutter distortion” – a problem that results in distorted images of the subject due to the camera shake caused by photographing fast moving subjects and/or by using a super-telephoto lens. An optional tripod bracket is available to securely stabilize the camera system when longer lenses are attached.

PENTAX Q10 Features

Exceptional image quality
Thanks to the incorporation of a newly designed back-illuminated CMOS image sensor with outstanding high sensitivity and low-noise characteristics, the PENTAX Q10 delivers high resolution images with approximately 12.4 effective megapixels, and a top sensitivity of ISO 6400. The combination of a high-performance imaging engine, and exclusively designed, high performance Q-mount lenses, enables  the PENTAX Q10 to provide clear, high contrast images rich in gradation and texture, even at the edges. With high sensitivity noise minimized, the photographer can use the entire sensitivity range from ISO 100 to the highest ISO 6400 for sharp, clear images. The photographer can even take advantage of the built-in HDR (High Dynamic Range) function, which produces one composite photo from multiple images, to create beautiful, finely detailed images free of whitewashed highlights and blacked out shadows.

Upgraded AF performance
Thanks to the new high sensitivity image sensor and an upgraded AF algorithm, the PENTAX Q10’s autofocus operation is much faster than before, even in dimly lit locations or with a telephoto lens. An AF Assist Light is provided on the camera body to optimize focusing accuracy in the dark, while the Face Recognition AF function automatically detects up to 12 faces and pinpoints the focus on a main subject.

Quick Dial for creative visual effects
By assigning the creative Smart Effect function to the easy-to-access Quick Dial positioned on the camera’s front panel, the photographer can effortlessly add the desired finishing touch to an image, while previewing the effect on the camera’s 3 inch LCD display. With four positions on the Quick Dial, the photographer can assign four of their favorite effects from the nine Smart Effect modes in advance. In order to customize the PENTAX Q10 to accommodate specific shooting styles and user preferences, the user can also assign other preferences – such as a custom image setting or a digital filter or an aspect ratio setting – to this dial.

A selection of image-processing tools to create personalized images

  • Custom Image function to add distinctive finishing touches.
  • Digital Filter function for artistic visual effects – a total of 19 built-in digital filters are available. Eleven filters such as Toy Camera, Invert Color and Posterization can be applied even during the shooting of still images and movie clips, while the remaining eight are applicable only during playback. The user can even apply different filters one after another to a single image to create more unique visual effects.
  • Smart Effect function for simple dial control of finishing touches to quickly and effortlessly add a desired finishing touch to an image, while previewing the effect on the camera’s LCD monitor. From nine Smart Effect modes, including Brilliant Color, which provides a high saturation finish, and Cross Process, with its dramatic unique-toned finish, the user can preselect up to four favorites to the dial in advance.

High quality, Full HD movie recording of extended movie clips
The PENTAX Q10 comes equipped with a Full HD video capture function employing the H.264 recording format, allowing the user to capture high quality, extended movie clips (1920 x 1080 pixels) at a frame rate of 30 frames per second. The user can also take advantage of the advanced image processing tools like the Smart Effect modes*** and other in-body movie editing tools during movie shooting. With a push of a button, the PENTAX Q10 even offers autofocus operation during movie shooting. The PENTAX Q10 also provides a micro-HDMI terminal (type D), which allows the user to simultaneously output both Full HD movie clips and sound to external devices via a single terminal.

*** The frame rate may vary when a selected Smart Effect mode requires nonstandard image processing.

Effortless Bokeh control
The PENTAX Q10’s unique bokeh control function allows the user to create images where their subject stands out by automatically assessing the relative distance between the in-focus subject and obtrusive objects in the field of view. Since this function simplifies the advanced, SLR-caliber technique of intentional defocusing, even a first time digital photographer can effortlessly capture high quality images with the beautifully defocused foreground and/or background.

SR mechanism for sharp, blur-free images
The PENTAX Q10 incorporates the PENTAX-developed SR (Shake Reduction) mechanism, which automatically shifts the CMOS image sensor to offset camera shake detected by the camera’s motion sensor. As a result, the PENTAX Q10 produces sharp, blur-free images even under demanding conditions that are prone to camera shake, such as when using a telephoto lens, shooting in the dark without flash illumination, or capturing landscapes in the twilight.

Simple, user-friendly Auto Picture and Scene modes
The PENTAX Q10 features the PENTAX-original Auto Picture mode, which automatically selects the most appropriate shooting mode from such options as Portrait, Landscape and Macro for a given subject or scene, then optimizes all affecting parameters, such as shutter speed, aperture, white balance, saturation, contrast and sharpness. It also provides 21 Scene modes including Night Scene Portrait, Pet and Backlight Silhouette, allowing even an inexperienced digital photographer to choose the best exposure mode for a complicated scene by simply choosing an appropriate icon on the LCD monitor.

Dependable, flexible exposure system available only with digital ILC systems
The PENTAX Q10’s comprehensive exposure system assures all the advantages and flexibility of a digital interchangeable lens camera system. To accommodate user preferences and varying photographic applications, it offers a choice of four different exposure modes: the all-purpose Programmed AE (P) mode, which automatically selects an optimum combination of aperture and shutter speed; the Shutter Priority AE (Tv) and Aperture Priority AE (Av) modes, which allow the photographer to accurately reproduce specific creative intentions on resulting images; and the Metered Manual (M) mode. The photographer can even instantly switch the exposure mode from P mode to Av or Tv with a simple turn of a control dial.

High speed continuous shooting at approximately five images per second
The PENTAX Q10’s high speed continuous shooting mode allows the photographer to capture up to five images (in JPEG recording format) in a single sequence, at a maximum speed of approximately five images per second. This mode comes in handy when trying to preserve the action of fast moving subjects in a series of images.

Dependable DRII mechanism for effective dust removal
The PENTAX Q10’s DRII (Dust Removal II) mechanism effectively prevents dust spots from degrading captured images after the user changes lenses out in the open. Like the PENTAX K-5 II and 645D SLR cameras, the Q10 incorporates a highly effective supersonic vibration mechanism, which vibrates the image sensor at high speed to shake the dust off its surface.

Built-in auto flash with pop-up mechanism
The PENTAX Q10 comes with a built-in auto flash (guide number 7 at ISO 200/m). The photographer is able to use it at the default position, or raise it to the pop-up position with simple operation to widen its discharge angle to cover a 28mm angle of view (in the 35mm format).

Pricing and Availability
The new PENTAX Q10 will be available at retail outlets nationwide and online in October 2012. It will be offered in a Red or Silver kit including the 02 zoom lens at a suggested retail price of $599.95. The PENTAX-06 Telephoto Zoom lens will be available at retail outlets and online in October 2012 with a suggested retail price of $299.95. Finally, Adapter Q for K-mount lenses will be available in 2012 with a suggested retail price of $249.95.

Additional information including product specifications is available here: and product images are available here:

Designs and specifications are subjects to change without notice.
♦ Q and Q10 are trademarks of PENTAX RICOH IMAGING COMPANY, LTD.

Pentax Q10 specifications

MSRPWith 5-15mm: £379.99, With 5-15mm + 15-45mm: £539.99
Body type
Body typeRangefinder-style mirrorless
Max resolution4000 x 3000
Other resolutions4000 x 2664, 4000 x 2248, 3456 x 2595, 3456 x 2304, 3456 x 1944, 2992 x 2992, 2688 x 2016, 2688 x 1792, 2688 x 1512, 2016 x 2016, 1920 x 1440, 1920 x 1280, 1440 x 1440
Image ratio w:h1:1, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9
Effective pixels12 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors13 megapixels
Sensor size1/2.3" (6.17 x 4.55 mm)
Sensor typeCMOS
Color spacesRGB, Adobe RGB
Color filter arrayPrimary Color filter
ISOAuto, 100, 160, 200, 250, 320, 400, 500, 640, 800, 1000, 1250, 1600, 2000, 2500, 3200, 4000, 5000, 6400
White balance presets9
Custom white balanceYes (1)
Image stabilizationSensor-shift
Uncompressed formatRAW
JPEG quality levelsBest, Better, Good
File format
  • RAW (DNG)
  • JPEG (Exif 2.3)
  • DCF2.0
Optics & Focus
  • Contrast Detect (sensor)
  • Multi-area
  • Selective single-point
  • Tracking
  • Single
  • Continuous
  • Face Detection
Autofocus assist lampYes
Digital zoomNo
Manual focusYes
Number of focus points25
Lens mountPentax Q
Focal length multiplier5.53×
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCDFixed
Screen size3
Screen dots460,000
Touch screenNo
Screen typeTFT Color LCD
Live viewYes
Viewfinder typeOptical (optional)
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed30 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/8000 sec
Exposure modes
  • Standard
  • Portrait
  • Landscape
  • Macro
  • Night Scene Portrait
  • Night Scene
  • Blue Sky
  • Forest
  • Scene
  • Program
  • Shutter Priority
  • Aperture Priority
  • Manual
  • Bulb
  • Blur control
Scene modes
  • Portrait
  • Landscape
  • Macro
  • Moving Object
  • Night Scene Portrait
  • Sunset
  • Blue sky
  • Night scene
  • Night scene HDR
  • Night Snap
  • Food
  • Quick Macro
  • Pet, Kids
  • Forest
  • Surf & snow
  • HDR
  • Backlight silhouette
  • Candlelight
  • Stage lighting
  • Museum
Built-in flashYes (Pop-up)
Flash range7.00 m
External flashYes (Hot-shoe)
Flash modesAuto, On, Off, Red-Eye, Slow Sync, Trailing-curtain sync
Drive modes
  • Single frame
  • Continuous (Hi, Lo)
  • Self-timer (12s, 2s)
  • Remote control (0 sec. 3 sec. continuous)
  • Auto Bracketing (3 frames, remote control)
Continuous drive5 fps
Self-timerYes (2 or 12 sec)
Metering modes
  • Multi
  • Center-weighted
  • Spot
Exposure compensation±3 (at 1/3 EV steps)
AE Bracketing (3 frames )
WB BracketingNo
Videography features
Resolutions1920 x 1080 (30 fps), 1280 x 720p (30 fps), 640 x 480 (30 fps), 320 x 240 (30 fps)
FormatMPEG-4, H.264
Storage typesSD/SDHC/SDXC
Storage includedNone
USB USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMIYes (mini HDMI Type C)
Remote controlYes (Optional)
Environmentally sealedNo
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionLithium-Ion D-LI68 rechargeable battery & charger
Battery Life (CIPA)270
Weight (inc. batteries)200 g (0.44 lb / 7.05 oz)
Dimensions102 x 58 x 34 mm (4.02 x 2.28 x 1.34)
Other features
Timelapse recordingYes (up to 999 images)

Additional images

Pentax Q10  
Pentax Q10 with 02 Standard Zoom Pentax 06 Telephoto Zoom lens
Pentax K-Q mount adapter Pentax K-Q mount adapter
I own it
I want it
I had it
Discuss in the forums


Total comments: 187
By tbcass (Sep 10, 2012)

Why would anybody want to invest in an IC lens system with a tiny 1/2.3" sensor? Makes no sense to me.

By FTW (Sep 10, 2012)

Look around you, all this fools running around like Mr Gadget. That is the only reason. Buy this to ow it and say it is mini, makes pictures one can use for a reason or another, and that's it. There is so many useless stuff being produced and it sells. I doubt that Pentax made this for any serious matter, it's just a "have ye seen me" gadget. So consider it as such and do not search any serious reason for it. How many people had Minox cameras that made bad pictures, but they had it just for the purpose to ow a James Bond gadget.

Comment edited 56 seconds after posting
By donaldxr (Sep 10, 2012)

I thought Nikon was making a mistake with such a small sensor, but they're not so bad. But this just seems like a complete waste of money.

By tkbslc (Sep 11, 2012)

NIkon sensor is smaller, but at least it is a whole step up from most $100 compacts and it focuses as fast as a DSLR. There's some reason to own it.

By onlooker (Sep 10, 2012)

This is cracking me up. ;)

By Mssimo (Sep 10, 2012)

Yes it has a tiny sensor but at least it costs a lot less than its competitors.....Ohh wait a sec...nevermind

By FTW (Sep 10, 2012)

a lot less than it's competitors, ya jokin' 600$ for that? You should look around ye. Adorama sells you a Pana GX1 with lens and 16 gig, carrying case included for 499$ in a bundle. Now, compare what you get for a 100 less and then you forget this gadget. Just to say and show people you ow a camera as a key hanger, it's much too expensive. At 400 $ for the base package it could be ok, but even then, it needs a correct IQ, specially being a ICL camera. Making this is gambling, there is nothing serious behind this design, simply a waste of time. It's a toy for fools, but since the world flows over with that race of humans, it might sell.

Comment edited 33 seconds after posting
By tkbslc (Sep 11, 2012)

Totally missing the point "FTW". Pun intended.

By mgm2 (Sep 10, 2012)

This is a great system. The availability of the adapter puts it head and shoulders above the RX100.

By danaceb (Sep 10, 2012)

You know absolutely nothing about cameras do you? First off the Image quality is absolutely garbage next to the RX100 regardless of lens quality, and seconly at K mount lenses would be ultra tele's useless to almost all who could even be bothered with this thing.

By tbcass (Sep 10, 2012)

mgm2, Do you realize how poor the IQ of a 1/2.3" sensor is compared to the 1" sensor of the RX100 and Nikon V1-J1?

Dimitri Khoz
By Dimitri Khoz (Sep 11, 2012)

At ISO100-400 there will be no much difference for med size prints.
But there will be huge difference in the zoom range in favour of this tiny beast from Pentax.

1 upvote
By tkbslc (Sep 11, 2012)

Most DSLR lenses were never intended to resolve at such pixel density over a such a small area. You will likely get soft results.

1 upvote
By DStudio (Sep 11, 2012)

I don't know about head and shoulders above, although it should be interesting.

tbcass - I want to be sure we're talking about the same camera. You mean the RX100 with a 3-stop variance in the minimum aperture? The f/4.9 lens at 100mm equiv.? Compared to 80-250mm equiv., all at f/2.8?

But honestly, you need to use a prime to get better quality on the Q, which shows that the sensor's not the limiting factor. You can see for yourself here:

Comment edited 7 minutes after posting
1 upvote
By mgm2 (Sep 11, 2012)

To Danaceb and Dimitri, please define garbage and reference the data that states this sensor is so bad compared to the 1"?

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
1 upvote
By FTW (Sep 10, 2012)

Nice gadget with low IQ and very high priced. This camera is really a waste of time. An improvement had been a new 1/2 sensor. I have seen pictures of the first Q and commenting the IQ is a waste of tiime, same as buying this camera. With a good sensor and IQ and a reasonable pricing, it could make a hit. I doubt that this new BSI sensor they use now will make much better than the one of the previous model. Only sensor size improvement could do it.

Comment edited 9 minutes after posting
Nicolas Isaksson
By Nicolas Isaksson (Sep 10, 2012)

What is the difference with the sensor on the original Q? I really hope that DPReview does a proper review finally on the Q. It is a great little camera.

cs hauser
By cs hauser (Sep 10, 2012)

An interchangeable lens camera with a tiny sensor smaller than the one inside some cell phones.

Whose brilliant idea was that, anyway?

By Mirfak (Sep 10, 2012)

My guess would be Pentax :)

By SteveNunez (Sep 10, 2012)

Love it....wish it had Focus Peaking and "mic in" for serious compact HD recording....very nice camera.

Justin Francis
By Justin Francis (Sep 10, 2012)

Complete waste of time unless Pentax can come up with super fast f1.0 primes for this camera.

By tutejszy (Sep 10, 2012)

even this won't help much...

By deleted-13120401 (Sep 11, 2012)

yeah the advantage of the lx7/xz-1/grd etc. is you can cram on a fast lens (prime or otherwise) that's smaller and cheaper. I'd be interested in that I think, particularly if it goes as low (or lower) than f1.0. f1.4 is the minimum.

By Albino_BlacMan (Sep 10, 2012)

From the press release it sounds like the lens is actually 15-45mm f2.8 (not 15-45mm 2.8 equivalent) which make it 83-249mm equiv.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Sep 11, 2012)

Sorry, pre-coffee slip. I've corrected it.

Edgar Matias
By Edgar Matias (Sep 11, 2012)

Mr. Butler, any chance of a preview video or article for this?

I know the Q is the mount people love to hate around here -- certainly, I don't think Pentax has positioned it properly, or made enough good lenses for it.

The f/2.8 constant aperture 15-45mm zoom is interesting, and surprisingly inexpensive at $299.95. While not exactly comparable, the Panasonic 12-35 f/2.8 is more than 4x this cost -- $1,300.

If Pentax could make some really fast primes with a comparable price differential, I think there'd be a lot more interest in this camera.

By rube39 (Sep 11, 2012)

The Red version looks absolutely great. Check it out.

By danaceb (Sep 10, 2012)

It was a misjudgment back when the original Q came out as the price plunge showed, now its just laughable with the RX100. Whats the point of swapping lenses is the IQ is substandard nomatter what? Back in the 110 film days manufacturers understood this, and 110 stood up vastly better to 35mm than 1/2.3 bsi does to anything larger than 2/3"

Zvonimir Tosic
By Zvonimir Tosic (Sep 11, 2012)

Compared with Q, RX100 is very much crippled and inflexible, despite being a cute package in itself. However you have to use the Q to actually understand it. If you were into sincere photography making instead of snobbish spec-sheet-gear-fetish, maybe you'd get it.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
By danaceb (Sep 11, 2012)

@ I'd get it at a reasonable price, it makes no sense and I don't care about your biased rambling about how I should pay $500+ for $250~ image quality. This thing is just a glorified key dongle for suckers like you who buy buy gadgets for their gimmick value, not their picture taking ability.

Total comments: 187