Pentax Q7 Review
The Pentax Q7 records 1080p video at 30, 25 or 24 fps with h.264 compression and optional electronic image stabilization only. Clip length is limited to a max of 25 minutes provided your SD card has enough space, and audio is recorded via a single microphone. Many of the Q7's Digital Filters can be applied to movies, and manual exposure controls are available in video mode. There's no dedicated video start/stop button; video recording is accessed via the mode dial.
Clips tended to appear somewhat 'wobbly,' probably thanks to the electronic image stabilization used in video mode. The sample videos you see here are handheld with reasonable steadiness. Fast moving subjects look jerky rather than fluid, perhaps due in part to some rolling shutter effect, and there's a distracting wobble across the whole image. Sound quality isn't bad, but it's about what you'd expect from a compact camera with a single microphone. When playing back video clips, there's a brief one-to-two second silence before the audio kicks in.
Overall, video capture in the Q7 is a bit of a letdown. It's good enough to capture the moment, and the digital filters add a level of fun. However, the pause before audio playback is distracting, and without a video stop/start button there's no quick way to begin recording clips. Electronic stabilization is doing the Q7's video clips no favors by introducing more shaking. Many other mirrorless cameras record better video.
Sample 1 - Good Light With Tripod
|1920 x 1080, 30p, 21.1 MB, 12 secs Click here to download original video|
This clip was recorded with the Q7 mounted on a tripod and image stabilization turned off. Panning from a very bright area to the shade, the Q7 adjusts exposure smoothly. There's some noise in the darker parts of the image, as expected, but overall the scene is rendered nicely.
Sample 2 - Good Light Handheld
|1920 x 1080, 30p, 22.3 MB, 13 secs Click here to download original video|
With digital SR enabled, this clip shows the 'wobbling' that can occur in video clips. Details in the rocks appear jittery as the Q7's stabilization system attempts to compensate for the movement created by a somewhat unsteady hand. Motion in the waves appears jerky at times rather than fluid.
Sample 3 - Low Light
|1920 x 1080, 30p, 15.3 MB, 9 secs Click here to download original video|
Again with SR enabled, this handheld clip displays some unusual jittering, especially noticeable out toward the edges of the frame. Despite this, the camera has exposed the dark arcade game well to capture the color and detail in the blinking icons. There's more noise in the frame, especially in the darkest parts, but no more than we'd expect from a camera of this class.
Sample 4 - Digital Filter
|1920 x 1080, 30p, 17.2 MB, 10 secs Click here to download original video|
The Q7 allows you to apply digital filters to video clips as they're being recorded. For this sample, we used the Extract Color option. As in stills mode, two colors can be selected for extraction and the range of tones selected by the camera can be modified. This clip uses no image stabilization. The trade-off is more noticeable shaking from the camera operator, but it's perhaps more natural looking than the wobbling effect produced by the digital stabilization.