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Pentax Q7 Review

August 2013 | By Allison Johnson
Buy on Amazon.com From $219.99

12.4MP | 1/1.7" BSI CMOS | $499/£399 (MSRP, 5-15mm lens kit)

Long gone are the days when digital camera shoppers were made to choose between a small camera body and the ability to change lenses. These days, there are plenty of small interchangeable lens cameras on the market, from all of the current major manufacturers. But the smallest of all are Pentax's Q-series. The Pentax Q7's arrival was announced almost exactly two years after its original predecessor, the Pentax Q, was unveiled. The Q was the smallest interchangeable lens camera on the market, barely bigger than a point-and-shoot compact, and was announced alongside set of equally diminutive lenses. Though the Q7 (and its immediate predecessor, the Q10) has picked up a few millimeters in size, it remains one of the smallest interchangeable lens cameras you can buy.

Pentax engineers have been pushing the limits of size in interchangeable lens cameras for some time. The Pentax Auto 110 debuted in 1978 as the smallest SLR with interchangeable lenses to accept tiny 110 film cartridges. An advertising campaign from the time claimed "Now, you can be a great photographer any minute of the day," touting the portability of the ultra-miniature system. Decades later, Pentax is still selling small cameras with small lenses for the exact same reasons.

Pentax's first Q-series cameras attracted a cult following, but critics disliked their small 1/2.3" sensors and high MSRPs. In the Q7, both of these complaints have been addressed. It introduces a 1/1.7" type BSI CMOS, a standard in the enthusiast compact category, and at the time of its announcement, comes with a more reasonable price: $499 including 5-15mm (23-69mm equivalent) kit zoom. Note that existing Q lenses are fully compatible with the Q7 despite its larger sensor size, so it appears that Pentax designed the system around the larger sensor format all along.

Specification Highlights

  • 12.4 effective megapixel BSI-CMOS sensor
  • 3.0 inch LCD with 460,000 dot resolution
  • Manual exposure modes
  • 5 fps burst shooting (5 frames, JPEG)
  • Full 1080 HD video
  • ISO 100-12800
  • Sensor-shift image stabilization
  • Raw and raw + JPEG shooting

To say the Q7's appearance can be customized is a bit of an understatement. With six different grip colors and twenty body colors to choose from, there are a grand total of 120 different combinations in which the Q7 is available. Potential buyers be aware though, you should plan to add an extra week until delivery if you order a Q7 in custom colors. Our test unit boasts a sporty yellow body and black grip, paired with an ever-so-slightly lighter yellow zoom lens.

Pentax's Q-series cameras use a unique Q-mount, and thus far selection is limited to seven lenses, only three of which are traditional AF lenses:

  Focal Length Q7 Equivalent Focal Length Maximum Aperture MSRP (US)
01 Standard Prime 8.5mm 39mm F1.9 $200
02 Standard Zoom 5-15mm 23-69mm F2.8-4.5 $300 (also included with Q7 kit)
06 Telephoto Zoom 15-45mm 69-207mm F2.8 $300

The 03 Fish-Eye, 04 Toy Lens Wide, 05 Toy Lens Telephoto and 07 'Mount Shield' (with a single element) are all manual-focus-only with fixed apertures. The Q7 will use an electronic shutter with these lenses as they don't include a built-in shutter (the 01, 02 and 06 lenses do). One real advantage of this approach is that the camera is extremely quiet in operation.

An adapter is available ($250) for use of K-mount lenses with Q camera bodies. Focus and aperture will need to be set manually when using the adapter, and with the Q7's 4.65x crop factor, every lens coupled with it effectively becomes a telephoto. Powering the Q7 is a rechargeable Lithium-ion battery rated to 250 shots.

The Q7 has many features you'd expect from a system camera, including manual exposure modes, raw shooting, 1080p HD video, in-camera art filters and a fairly quick burst rate of 5 fps. In fact, you can find these features in just about every other mirrorless system. But unlike most other interchangeable lens cameras, the Q7 can nearly slip into your pocket, and it's available in a (very) wide variety of colors. Pentax is hoping these two features will make the Q7 attractive to those ready to step into the world of interchangeable lens cameras.

Compared to Olympus E-PM2

Side by side with the Olympus E-PM2, the Q7 body itself isn't much smaller than Olympus' smallest system camera, despite the disparity in their sensor sizes. With a prime attached (not shown here) the Q7 is pretty pocketable, but this advantage is reduced when the chunkier kit zoom is mounted.

Compared to Canon PowerShot G15

Canon's flagship compact, the PowerShot G15, uses a same-sized 1/1.7" sensor as the Q7 but is obviously much larger than the Pentax. Part of the height difference comes from the G15's built-in optical viewfinder, but it also has twin command dials, plus a dedicated dial for exposure compensation and a complex built-in zoom lens, all of which adds bulk.

So does the Q7's advantage of a smaller footprint than other mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras outweigh the potential negatives of a smaller sensor? Would its prospective buyers be better served by something like an Olympus E-PM2? Or is it the ideal enthusiast compact point-and-shoot - namely, one with the ability to change lenses? Read our full analysis.


If you're new to digital photography you may wish to read the Digital Photography Glossary before diving into this article (it may help you understand some of the terms used).

Conclusion / Recommendation / Ratings are based on the opinion of the reviewer, you should read the ENTIRE review before coming to your own conclusions.

Images which can be viewed at a larger size have a small magnifying glass icon in the bottom right corner of the image, clicking on the image will display a larger (typically VGA) image in a new window.

To navigate the review simply use the next / previous page buttons, to jump to a particular section either pick the section from the drop down or select it from the navigation bar at the top.

DPReview calibrate their monitors using Color Vision OptiCal at the (fairly well accepted) PC normal gamma 2.2, this means that on our monitors we can make out the difference between all of the (computer generated) grayscale blocks below. We recommend to make the most of this review you should be able to see the difference (at least) between X,Y and Z and ideally A,B and C.

This article is Copyright 2013 and may NOT in part or in whole be reproduced in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from the author.

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Comments

Total comments: 240
12
DStudio

Now that we have the 08 wide and the 06 lenses it puts a little different perspective on this camera. The IQ is very good on both of these, as it is with the 01 prime. This shows (once again) the strength of an ILC, and the camera covers the whole range with nice IQ. These give it an advantage over most of the cameras mentioned as comparisons in the review, and over all of them (and any other smallish ILCs I can think of) in the wide area.

So while the compared cameras may have looked better at the time of the review, over time the Q reveals itself to be a system which keeps getting better.

BTW, DPR, could you please re-do the Studio Scenes with the 01 lens? It (as well as the 06 and 08) are SO much better in IQ than the 02 zoom (especially considering the level of detail people will look at with the studio shots)!

1 upvote
Under The Sun

This is the kind of camera that does poorly on paper but works wonderfully in practice. Just borrowed a unit from a friend and was impressed with all the fun stuff you could do with it.

6 upvotes
TacticDesigns

+1

Got my Q + 01 lens over my shoulder right now, about to go for a stroll. :)

Comment edited 15 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
gipas

I have the original Q and it's a lot of fun shooting with it to an extent that I'm thinking to upgrade to the Q7, even though I have more capable cameras on paper specs: having the 01,02 and 06 I like the idea to put in a very small bag my three lenses which are able to covers the FL 23-207 without breaking my my back. The IQ is reasonably good, and certainly adequate for casual shooters like me.

0 upvotes
michael345

The Panasonic GM1 and 12-32mm lens is available since Nov 2013. Basically, there almost no reason to buy the Q7 any longer (except that its a little cheaper).

The GM1 is

- smaller
Camera size is almost equal, but Panasonic lens is smaller.
Angle of view of the lenses is also very similar (24-64 vs. 23-69mm eqivalent). See also this:
http://j.mp/J5muuC (shortlink to camerasize)

- the gm1 has much (!) better image quality

- Prices do not differ very much (ca. 450€ Q7 vs. 670€ for GM1 are the cheapest I could find in Germany, both with lens)

- MFT System offers many more lenses, if you want to change it

Comment edited 58 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
DrugaRunda

Just compared today, and you can use comparometer here, while GM1 has a better sensor - the difference is about a stop, not more... Actually Q7 is the about the same as old gen M4/3's sensor in terms of low light performance if not slightly better.

Try GM1 with Pana 20mm f1.7 prime, while small - it is not exactly pocketable or comparable to Q7 with 01 prime. Put a lens that will go from 70-200mm f2.8 eq. on GM1 and 06 lens on the Q7... tell me again which one is easier to use... you may just as well use E-M1, and all that for a stop of better sensor performance. 08 lens released for Q7 is 17-27mm eq, and still impressively small, for sure you cannot have that with GM1.

So in short, if you want small - Q7 is small with lens coverage from 17mm to 200mm eq, and in body IS, not to mention a lot better ergonomics which are remarkable for this size camera.

Small body does not a small system make, as you would like to infer in your post.

4 upvotes
tinetz

I have the original Q and enjoy it a lot for over a year now.
I had a look at the GM1, but can't come to a favorable conlusion.
What the Q offers:
- great ergonomics; the button layout of an (entry) DSLR is phantastic, the front quick dial is so much fun
- built in ND filter; in desert or in snow, this helps a lot
- leaf shutter lenses; not a big deal, but I have the impression this boosts the bokeh significantly to beeing more pleasing; while the DOF is still high, this renders the OOF-area smoother, I like that
- still, smaller lenses - just how it is
- fun! I just can't help, I like taking pictures with it, and many people can not believe I got some of "these" images with this cam.

However, many who are in the market for a new cam ask me for this model and despite the fun and joy from this cam, I rarely recommend it, many are probably better off with a quality compact, others probably really with m4/3. But for those who know what they get and how to use it - there is no alternative

1 upvote
chj

@DrugaRunda It's MUCH more than a single stop difference. What ISO can you realistically use with a 1/1.7 sensor? I've never used a Q7, but the review mentions quality starts dropping considerably at ISO 800, which was about the same with my S100, also a 1/1.7 sensor.

The GM1 with its m4/3rds sensor can easily go to 1600. At ISO 2500-3200 your Q7 looks like TOTAL CRAP, admit it. M4/3rds will be fine.

0 upvotes
Raist3d

To whoever is reading this and is curious about the Q7- don't go by the mindless fauxtographers that are reading paper specs and have not even tried the camera. The Q7 gives you DSLR class alike pro controls in an impossible small size. A very rich feature set for a camera you can pretty much "wear" along with you.

For the street photographer this camera brings quite a bit to the table. Do yourself a favor and see one in person and check it out if you are really interested.

Some of my latest shots with it:

http://raist3d.typepad.com/files/diefdiec.jpg
http://raist3d.typepad.com/files/imgp9630.jpg
http://raist3d.typepad.com/files/readingcollage.jpg
http://raist3d.typepad.com/files/crossingsilouhette.jpg
http://raist3d.typepad.com/files/imgp8896.jpg
http://raist3d.typepad.com/files/intheshadows.jpg
http://raist3d.typepad.com/files/veryamerican.jpg

15 upvotes
A Beer Dry On

Pentax Q7 is really 1 cool and fun camera to use. In my trips to Italy/UK, I almost always used it instead of the other more capable camera (GR). 1 of the best compacts I ever used!

4 upvotes
TMSecrets

Case leather is luxurious, fashionable colors, for the young :)

0 upvotes
SulfurousBeast

Nice, cute, way too small sensor. Waiting for Lumix to launch their next iteration of FZ200 with 1/1.7 size sensor with 24x zoom and 2.8 aperture.

0 upvotes
DenWil

Too bad it isn't a FF 24MP rangefinder. 35, 75 and 150mm lenses all 2.8 to start with. Along the lines of a Mamiya 7. In that great yellow I'd buy it in a heartbeat.

This is a useless toy. Awful cute though. It would almost be worth picking one up as a joke or to use as a prop.

1 upvote
Raist3d

Here's the photographs I am getting with the so called by you useless toy.

http://raist3d.typepad.com/files/imgp9630.jpg

(ISO 1600)
http://raist3d.typepad.com/files/readingcollage.jpg

http://raist3d.typepad.com/files/diefdiec.jpg

Of course, many people go by a paper spec rather than understanding what this camera really brings to the table, at least for the street photographer.

6 upvotes
austere

the high ISO ones have a lot of noise. Sorry but it just can't compete with much better options, like the NEX-6 which is a good compromise between size and IQ.

Comment edited 10 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
AndrewG NY

In a sense, Pentax has done themselves and Q-system shooters a disservice by not coming up with a better standard zoom -- the 02 is not terrible but it's not that small and its specs compare somewhat poorly against those built into advanced compacts (including their own MX-1). This said, much smaller wouldn't be very useable with manual zoom and focus rings -- so if the lens has to be as large as this, I would have liked at least to get a little more speed and range.

I do think Pentax deserves a bit more credit for this though -- having manual zoom and a proper manual focus ring (a pretty decent focus-by-wire) is pretty nice compared to most advanced compacts.

2 upvotes
AndrewG NY

I think the reviewer has done potential Q-system shooters a disservice by not putting more emphasis on the 03 Fisheye and 06 tele zoom, as these better differentiate the system -- no advanced compact has a f/2.8 telezoom or fisheye available, and these lenses for larger interchangeable systems are considerably larger/heavier and/or more expensive.

1 upvote
AndrewG NY

"The Q7's helpful auto magnification function (available when manual focusing the 01 and 02 Standard lenses) is not available with these toy lenses. "

Not sure if reviewer is aware that magnification is still available when manually focusing by simply clicking the 'OK' button. The only thing that doesn't work is that camera doesn't detect that you're trying to use the manual focus ring.

0 upvotes
domina

I'd never buy a camera with a BSI sensor... FSI is so much better. I don't care about megapixels as long as the resolution is at least 6-8mp..

1 upvote
Matt1645f4

DPR needs to stop going on about video you seem to mark products down heavily for poor video recording options?quality i for one never use my camera for this i use my phone or a compact. It should be scored as a photographic tool a video tool and a combined score.

4 upvotes
waxwaine

It´s the only way to keep Canon stuffs over 70points "photographic" gear rating, curious ah?.

1 upvote
micahmedia

If there were no GX7, this might have been interesting. The only way I'd lean back towards this is if they'd seen fit to build in an EVF.

Since they don't even offer one as an option (on any mirrorless camera they make in fact), it's a dead horse that they appear to continue beating.

1 upvote
AndrewG NY

The GX7 is very cool but much larger and more expensive. I agree that Pentax's reluctance to embrace the EVF (even as an option) is unfortunate. I find myself hoping that Pentax will release a slightly upscaled Q-body with built-in (retractable?) EVF and enough room for another button or two. Should also increase the LCD resolution to at least 920K. Not sure about tilt LCD (a feature Pentax has also been reluctant to include in most of their models) but an argument could be made for that as well.

0 upvotes
john m flores

DPR needs to add another scale to their chart - Fun. Pentax Q would rock that.

Loosen up peeps. Have some fun.

29 upvotes
PON307G

John,
Agree with your "fun" factor comment, and will be testing one when they are available locally.

1 upvote
NotSteve

oops, double post...

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
BeaniePic

Oh dear and they actually think this is a good idea for a high quality imaging capture product. Well some one will fall for it I'm sure...

0 upvotes
sfracerdaniel

Never used one for more then a few minutes at best, huh?

4 upvotes
NotSteve

Oh c'mon BeanieBaby, I mean if that's the best trolling you can muster why even bother, especially if you're this late to the party? Honestly, a spambot could do better.

At least your buddy downthread, PetPeeve/PeevishPete or whatever he's called, gets marks for effort.

Maybe quote something from the review out of context, make an outrageous comment, brag about your full frame rig, or your phone or whatever. Give people something to work with.

Comment edited 53 seconds after posting
17 upvotes
CyberAngel

the troll filter keeps on missing in the dpreview

4 upvotes
ambercool

Just ordered one to try it out.

Comment edited 10 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
peterpainter

It would be nice if there were the original Q and Q10 studio samples to compare with - actually, it would be nice to know what differences if any, other than the sensor, exist between this and the earlier Qs but I'm sure that's available somewhere on the internet.
All in all, though, after reading it more carefully this time I have to say that it's a very interesting review (and a very interesting little camera)...thanks, folks!

Comment edited 28 seconds after posting
7 upvotes
pinholecam01

The CATEGORY placement is wrong!

DPR -please rethink and revert.

While other cameras are allowed as a unique offering by itself, the Q is thrown to the sharks by placing it with entry level ILCs.
It should be in its own category or with high end pns.

The Q was not meant to compete with entry ILCs.
And doing so has given the Q7 a 70% wrt wrong competition.
Its as good as placing FZ200 and even GX15 with entry ILCs because they look like DSLRs or RF and have the focal length range of a complete system.

THIS is what the Q7 is able to cover in real life/ real world shooting :
http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/reviews/1292695-tokyo-story-pentax-q7-real-world-review-new-post.html

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
18 upvotes
Camerabrain

Excellent link. Thanks.

1 upvote
micahmedia

Huh? In the real world, these are the options that the camera is compared to. And it's not all that much smaller than my GX1. That's my opinion having handled the original Q and owning two GX1s. There's actually a smaller zoom option of m43, and there aren't any ultra wide angle options for the Q series. (I know, I tried some CCTV lenses, but it turns out they have odd apertures and none wider than 5mm are rectilinear.)

Comment edited 25 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Tom Caldwell

I have the original Q. Love the camera as a breath of fresh air among other choices which are just "cameras".
Two things have to be addressed - the cost of accessories; and for such a versatile manual lens capable camera the 460,000 lcd that is it's mainstay framing device does not have a high enough resolution to properly use the focus peaking assist that is the mainstay of Manual Focusing lenses. FPA works but they need to at least double the screen pixels for the resolution to be good enough.
As a few other brand have also noticed.

1 upvote
LarryLatchkey

Btw., since when do you use this hand model with long finger nails wearing bright red varnish? ;) Is that to say sth about the camera?

0 upvotes
waxwaine

Front focused picture on the comparison page. See the text below on the test shot.

0 upvotes
peevee1

If DPR were not politically correct, the conclusion should have been clear:

It is a compact system camera, closest competitors in terms of price, handling, size and looks being Nikon J1/2/3 and S1, Oly E-PM1/2 and Panasonic GF3/5, and even NEX-3n. Of course all of those destroy any Q in any possible way, image quality, lens choice, autofocus, shooting speed, even size with a kit zoom given how small Nikon 1 11-27.5 and Panasonic 14-42 X PZ are (even NEX 16-50 is shorter than Q 5-15).
Q is only good if you want to buy the worst possible camera, with all the disadvantages of changing lenses and none of the advantages.

4 upvotes
ChristophBarthold

peevee1, perhaps you approach this camera in the wrong spirit. That tiny sensor is not a bug, it's a feature! And thus the larger sensor introduced on the Q7 is actually a step back from the original Q and the Q10. Most users have other - usually bigger - cameras if they want all that good stuff like stellar iq, low noise, high dr, narrow dof, wide assortment of lenses, flash system etc. etc.
But when you want to carry (and I mean carry) the fov-equivalent of a 300mm f/1.4, where are you going to turn to find it?
Just think of the Q as a digital back that gives you a lot of new possibilities with the lenses you already have. Slap on an adapter, go out and have fun!

2 upvotes
Raist3d

Said like someone who hasn't used those cameras or a Q. Handling of a Q completely crushes handling of the first Nikon 1 system. Particularly that J1. And of course, there is complete ignorance of the 06 telephoto lens in this comparison which for size and range completely beats the other options you mentioned.

But it's a lost case.

8 upvotes
supeyugin1

Total bullsh!t! Q is the highest end compact ILC as you can get, and much more fun than any Nikon, Oly/Pana or NEX.

4 upvotes
ntsan

Slap on the 06 lens, and you will see the advantage (3X lighter, 2X smaller and 4X cheaper than Panasonic 35-100mm F2.8).

Comment edited 39 seconds after posting
3 upvotes
sfracerdaniel

Flipping the bozo bit...

2 upvotes
waxwaine

Most impressive effect Q has is that it can be a real DSLR serial killer. Mine is boring on the desk while my Q is almost always with me, ready to give great IQ and excelent exposure, with sometimes faster AF than my DSLR.
So peevee1, you are just spreading ignorance here.

3 upvotes
miles green

And since we're at it, the Q 02 zoom completely crushes the IQ of the Nikon 1 kit zoom...

0 upvotes
zodiacfml

It is still a good effort from Pentax, and according to some comments, it doesn't have an AA filter which shows nice detail in the RAW files beating the LX7 slightly and the LX7 with probably slightly inferior 1/1.7 sensor.

The body and lenses are cute and with competent image quality is pretty much compelling. In contrast, their Ricoh GR is completely serious, purposeful compact. I would agree that Pentax Q has value for its uniqueness yet useful.

1 upvote
fakuryu

I have both the 1st Q and the LX7, I can honestly assure you in real world shooting, my Q with the 01 prime is sharper than my LX7. I bought the 2 for kicks and now I just the LX7 to my mom and loves it.

4 upvotes
supeyugin1

Allison doesn't understand the point of this camera. This camera is about fun, size, weight and price. The most useful lenses for the camera are 01, 03 and 06. Those lenses are extremely small, light and inexpensive. The camera is customizable much more than any compact camera, including Sony RX100, and is on par with DSLRs. None of the MILCs come even close in fun, size, weight and customization department. This is the most enthusiast MILC bar none!

3 upvotes
peevee1

The camera is not even nearly "customizable much more" than Oly m43s which have available OVF (useful one) and 3 (THREE!) EVFs, a lot of flashes, replaceable grips, replaceable skins, many more lenses, bluetooth adapter, macro, fish-eye and WA convertors for kit lens, external microphone, some even battery grips. Of course Q toy lenses are not even cheap compared to m43 and Nikon 1 toy lenses made out of C-mount lenses - dime a dozen. Size and weight of Oly E-PM+14-42 II, Pana GF 3/5 +14-42PZ, Nikon 1 S1+11-27.5, even NEX-3n with 16-50 are about as small or smaller as this Q7 and previous Q10.

3 upvotes
supeyugin1

I meant customizable firmware. Regarding the flashes, all Pentax flashes are compatible. There is a fisheye lens, which costs $97. As well as you can adapt almost any lens and converter available. The same C-mount lenses can be mounted as well. The weight of Q lenses is less than any Oly or Nex lens. The whole system with all 7 lenses weights just 499 gramm!

5 upvotes
Raist3d

@peeve A lot of the cameras you mention don't even flash sync to 1/250, let alone 1/2000 which the entire Q line can do. The ergonomics in a lot of the models you cite are sub par- Use them before you write this stuff.

Comment edited 22 seconds after posting
4 upvotes
Fingel

D-mount lenses can be used as well. To my knowledge this is the only camera system that I can mount my old Bolex 8mm lenses to and cover the frame.

0 upvotes
daveinla

I have the original Q and 02 lens (got it on the fire sale for around $200). In that configuration, it's competent (and yes, the kit zoom is the tiniest bit faster than the kit I have with my Oly E PL-1).

I also have a ton of old legacy primes, and 3rd-party adapters for both the Q and the Oly, and that's where this review doesn't quite get the Q: this camera/system is a true joy to shoot with old lenses if you like telephoto. In raw, the image quality is still good, and you simply gain access to zoom capability you otherwise could only dream of. Note- the K mount adapter is "official"; but you can get any available mount at around $30 max. I use Minolta MC/MD with Rokkor lenses, and they work great.

0 upvotes
Zvonimir Tosic

Well, DPR cares about user's input and insights same as about yesteryear's snow. Even if evidence is showed, and common sense asked to testify.

It seems there is no way DPR could think of a possibility that, perhaps, by some chance, their boundaries are too rigid and dated, and that in fact, as such, they are an impediment for better quality reviews in the future.

But what future will bring — especially in tough economic times like nowadays — is even more borderline cameras like the Q, cameras that challenge old norms and struggle to preserve the idea of fun and quality of a true photographic experience in the smartphone dominated and saturated market. Yet they'll be wrongly assessed and misunderstood.

In a way, DPR is helping cameras die sooner than they deserve.

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
5 upvotes
pedroboe100

I want one. I don't know why.

14 upvotes
fakuryu

Don't try one, you might buy one. Same thing happened to me.

Comment edited 12 seconds after posting
9 upvotes
sfracerdaniel

The Q system is fantastic. Other cameras have higher IQ, but they are so damn boring in comparison.

Disclaimer: I bought a Q for 300 bucks, and have a Q7 on order.

4 upvotes
white shadow

If I can only only carry one camera body with one lens with me, I would still carry my Canon 5D MkII with a Zeiss 35mm f/2.0 or a 50mm f2.0 macro but when I have some spare cash, I would still buy this baby.

It has character no other camera has.

Pentax has a way to make our life more interesting.

Comment edited 6 minutes after posting
4 upvotes
LarryLatchkey

Pentax I love you for making things others don't, and for making them available in metal green with pink hand grips and yellow lense :))

8 upvotes
peevee1

OK, I know why you did the review while so many more interesting cameras await theirs. You have to fill your quote of reviews which don't give any awards. :) Very refreshing sight. :)

0 upvotes
RFC1925

"Pentax offers two 'toy lenses' for the Q-mount - the 04 Toy Lens Wide and the 05 Toy Lens Telephoto."

How about the Fisheye Toy Lens?

Also the 06 zoom is practically ommitted in the Lenses and Accessories page.

For me those two are the most interesting lenses in the lineup with the standard prime.

3 upvotes
Allison Johnson

Thanks for spotting re the toy lenses - thought we'd made that correction to 3 at some point but obviously not! We did also mention the 06 telezoom on the design and handling page.

1 upvote
Raist3d

Allison- the 06 telephoto lens is one of *THE* lenses that show the potential of the system. IN all your size comparisons, that lens compared to any of the other cameras longer range zoom lenses would have beaten them by a mile.

7 upvotes
ThePhilips

Page 1 has totally ruined the review reading session.

Can't get past the size comparison to E-PM2...

2 upvotes
peevee1

Allison wrote: "The 02 Standard Kit zoom is comparable in weight to Micro Four Thirds kit zooms, but the Q lens has a slight edge in terms of overall compactness. "

You obviously haven't seen Panasonic 14-42 X PZ - it is smaller than Q 02 and even a little liter despite including powerzoom motor and mechanics.

0 upvotes
supeyugin1

You forgot to mention that it's about 2/3 stop slower, and the price of that lens. You also forgot to mention something comparable in size and weight to Q 06 telephoto zoom. How much comparable Pana lens costs and weights?

2 upvotes
Reilly Diefenbach

Danger, Will Robinson!

1 upvote
marike6

Note to DPR, you should if possible have your programmers turn off HTML Entities as all HTML tags are showing in the comments.

Anyway, glad to see a new review that I'm going to dig into this evening. Thanks.

0 upvotes
Richard Butler

I think that's a side-effect of something that's being worked on. It's not visible to admins, so we didn't spot it. Should be fixed soon - thanks for bringing it to our attention.

1 upvote
CyberAngel

Always have an older PC (Mac/Linux) logged in as a "user"?

0 upvotes
toomanycanons

Little point and shoot with no viewfinder. Next!

3 upvotes
white shadow

That's call "LOVE" and love don't have to be logical or quantifiable.

In photography, one needs a lot of PASSION too otherwise one won't get the shots. Standing for hours at an air show to shoot your favourite planes flying or waking up at 4am to climb a hill for some sunrise photos.

Few have it but many don't.

3 upvotes
zeyno44

You are right white shadow. I've been trying to tell this to all my friends. An expensive camera does not make you a better photographer. Nor certain equipment does not take "better" pictures. People do!!!

0 upvotes
peevee1

Q7 is short for IQ<70.

0 upvotes
peevee1

This system would have had some sense with a macro, a superzoom (for example 24x f/2.8 a-la FZ200) and some superteles (up to maybe 2000mm equivalent). Incidentally, none of those are available, so the system does not make any sense whatsoever.

1 upvote
Jim in Hudson

That's one of the hidden beauties of this little camera. You can do all of those things with the K to Q adapter and that ultimately makes it more versatile than anything else out there it competes with.

8 upvotes
peevee1

No autofocus, no aperture control, lenses made for much less pixel density (i.e. not enough sharpness in the center) while being unncecessary huge... fail, try again.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
1 upvote
Jim in Hudson

peevee1, sounds like you're mostly describing the long end of most of those 50X or whatever superzoom P&S's.

1 upvote
peevee1

Not really, a dedicated up to 1200mm 2x-3x zoom for Q could be faster and better than f/6.3 long ends in Canon SX50 etc, actually useable.
Macro could have longer working distance.
And superzoom lens could match the one in FZ200 when you need only one zoom.

These are all very real potential advantages of a smaller sensor, but neither Pentax nor Nikon took them when designing lenses for their mirrorless systems, and as such both systems have only disadvantages left compared to, say, m43.

2 upvotes
Raist3d

It's "only all disadvantages to m43rds" because you selectively ommit things that stand out for the Q. The Q has better ergonomics that several m43rds models and the 06 telephoto zoom is a pretty unique lens. The Q as a system is still much smaller. You also get things like 1/250th and 1/2000 flash sync which m43rds doesnt have.

You keep pointing out to the "man y lens options of m43rds" ignoring that many of those are revs and copies of each other and the fact that a photographer does not necessarily need that many options at all. It's like you are going by just numbers and saying "ok this has more therefore much better" - that all depends. Someone may not even care one bit about it since the lenses they need are covered.

2 upvotes
SeeRoy

The fat mode dial is nice.

1 upvote
Jimmy jang Boo

Gearheads are so pretentious.

11 upvotes
CyberAngel

Stop calling me gearhead
>:-(

0 upvotes
rossdoyle

Is the DPR studio scene front focused? It looks like the fine print on the papers at the bottom of the scene are significantly sharper than anything else in the scene.

0 upvotes
Infared

Did I misplace my Lego again??????

1 upvote
fakuryu

I guess only a few knows that the Q7 does not have an AA filter, like the old Q. That's why even with a small sensor then paired with 01 or 06 lenses makes sharp photos.

3 upvotes
Revenant

I have no idea if it's true, but I've been told that most small-sensor cameras lack an AA filter, because diffraction blur makes it unnecessary to blur the image even more. Maybe there are some sensor experts here, who could enlighten us?

2 upvotes
Chris2210

These comments astonish me at times. If this were not a camera calling it a compact would be analogous to racism? Seriously?

I imagine that for the vast majority of people the principal determinent of a compact camera is that it's compact. If that isn't too simplistic.

This system may have its attractions, but when overall sizes are similar to m4/3 camera systems it seems pretty logical to me to make direct comparisons between the two. That being the case, personally the Q doesn't make a lot of sense. But note the 'personally' - I don't mind in the least if you want to spend your money on it. In fact although I don't own one I think Pentax make some very good cameras and wouldn't want the company to fail, so I hope they do find a market.

Why do people have to get so defensive about these things? You'd think their mothers had been insulted.

2 upvotes
oeriies

I bought the original Q. Loved everything about it except the image quality and the lack of a viewfinder. Sold it because of the things I didn't like. This review seems on target to me. The Q is great if you want a very small system camera with prosumer controls and excellent ergonomics, and if P&S-level image quality is good enough for your purposes.

3 upvotes
Jimmy jang Boo

Shoot raw, turn up the screen brightness, problems solved.

4 upvotes
oeriies

Doing what you suggest might solve the problems for you, but I shot raw, turned up the screen brightness to the highest possible level, and used the Q with an adapter and very sharp K-mount primes, along with the kit zoom. The images were okay but didn't come close to satisfying me. They were not, by comparison, as good as those from the Canon S100 I owned previously, much less the SONY RX100 that replaced my Q. Further, no matter how bright the LCD, it was still difficult to see in the glare from bright sunlight and it provided a miserable framing experience when I was using a heavier lens with the K-mount adapter -- under those circumstances it really helps to be able to brace a camera against your face while using the viewfinder.

To each his own.

0 upvotes
DDWD10

There's no denying the fun factor of shooting with the Q. I've had the original Q since March and I've taken some of my best shots with it. The feature set is broader even than my X-Pro1 and offers tons of customization.

6 upvotes
Optimal Prime

Er... Isn't there a more recent Q10 announced almost a year ago...? Why is DPR only receiving the Q7 at this late stage? Strange...

0 upvotes
Simon Joinson

No, the Q7 is much more recent.

4 upvotes
Patco

Er... no
Q - June 2011
Q10 - Sept. 2012
Q7 - June 2013

1 upvote
Optimal Prime

Even stranger model numbering, then.

1 upvote
Najinsky

And even stranger still, that people love commenting on the internet with no idea what they're talking about. Makes it such a useful place for getting information.

3 upvotes
peterpainter

Interesting review of the original Q:
http://www.seriouscompacts.com/f90/pentax-q-real-world-user-review-11773/

4 upvotes
Mike Hiran

this review was one of the main reasons I bought the Q - large DOF for candids, very fast AF after the firmware updates, and the option of using my existing glass as extreme telephotos or excellent for macros. Very glad I bought the Q - it's a fun camera that is small enough for me to carry all the time (except now since it's sitting on my desk at home waiting to have pics uploaded).

0 upvotes
mpgxsvcd

Great Review. I really didn't even know this camera existed until I saw the review. I love the fact that the camera and lenses are small and both really are not that expensive.

Then I compared the image quality to the LX7. When you factor in how fast the LX7's lens is and the fact that it can be had for less than $300 it isn't even a contest.

That is without even considering the Sony RX100 II. The Pentax is an awesome camera and great design. However, it just simply can't compete when Panasonic has been practically giving the LX7 away.

1 upvote
audiobomber

It seems that you're just comparing the Q7 with standard zoom vs. the LX7 and RX100. The Q system is far more versatile than any advanced compact camera. The 01 normal prime is fast and very sharp. The 06 zoom, 70-200mm equivalent is f2.8 constant aperture, longer than either compact and faster than the RX100, which eats up the larger sensor's noise advantage. More lenses are on the way.

I don't even have an 02 zoom. I use the 01 prime, 03 fisheye and 06 telezoom. I have a $25 Petri OVF that matches the 01 prime perfectly. I also use the Q with an adapter and 100mm f2.8 macro. For supertele, you can mount a 135mm 2.8 on a Q7 for 600mm equivalent FOV, and shoot handheld. Or go with a tripod and a 300mm f4 for 1380mm FOV.

The Q system costs more than a compact but is far more capable.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
6 upvotes
Erik Magnuson

The RX100 and LX7 have lenses that are just as fast or faster than the 01 prime. The 06 zoom takes the camera well out of the pocketable range. If you want a narrow FOV on a tripod, attach a camera to a spotting scope. The Q niche is smaller than the camera.

1 upvote
Raist3d

The 06 doesn't take the camera out of pocketable believe it or not. And you get that very long zoom range that allows for portraiture with good bokeh control you won't get even on the rx100. I am not saying the Q system is perfect but this is short hanging it

I felt the review was very unfair comparing the camera sizes. They should also have compared with the 01 an the 06. With the 06 there is simply nothing like it- log zoom and constant f2.8.

7 upvotes
waxwaine

Thanks for the review,
but...
IMHO wrongly clasificated, then wrongly evaluated.
At least you should had evaluate it and compare it to the first Q and Q10.

1 upvote
Total comments: 240
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