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Pentax Q7 Review

August 2013 | By Allison Johnson

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
robbo d
By robbo d (11 months ago)

Not so much negativity?
Perhaps it's the third version and no company would continue if it wasn't doing ok, especially in Japan,its small, colorful, matching with handbags, scarfs and Japanese painted dolls.

I love the general tone of the review:

Most people in the office Love it but
It doesn't fit into any kind of category we want to put it in
It takes pretty good photo's But
its not a compact zoom or a rangefinder or a M43 or a
it takes video
but it's not quite like a canon or panny or..
this is the third one: but
Not sure who wants one
Its got a few lenses;
but we forgot that people can buy the whole kit and putting adapters and using all sorts of lenses and having heaps of fun.

we're confused, we have to put it into a category and because we're gear heads, we've forgotten that most of the public just like having fun and taking photos and its colorful and fits easily into a pocket or bag.

Sorry, still Love you DPR, just remember life doesn't always fit into a box.

12 upvotes
Shamael
By Shamael (11 months ago)

I love this little camera, it's a gadget, a joke, but one that does real good shots. For the size and the toy it is, I did not await that good shots. But, as I said, it is a joke that has a high price too. In a 3 lens kit at 500$ i would say yes, but that price with one lens, specially of you compare to a latest NEX3 cameras, it's fairly overpriced. But as allways, you want that toy, pay the price.

2 upvotes
Andy Crowe
By Andy Crowe (11 months ago)

It scored 70%, which is more than 5 of the 22 cameras in the "Entry Level Interchangeable Lens Camera / DSLR" category.

1 upvote
Shamael
By Shamael (11 months ago)

The camera is an interesting gadget, a must have joke in some way. Only problem is the price, that's not a joke.

1 upvote
drummercam
By drummercam (11 months ago)

"A now-ubiquitous in-camera HDR feature is available in the Q7."

It would be nice if DPR exercised their corporate memory to say something like this:

"The now-ubiquitous in-camera HDR feature -- a feature first made available, BTW, by Pentax in their K-7 DSLR -- is also available in the Q7."

Which is to say, Pentax seldom gets due credit for its innovations.

3 upvotes
ET2
By ET2 (11 months ago)

Pentax implementation of HDR in K-7 was pretty bad. There was no auto-alignment, so it required the use of tripod for it work.

3 upvotes
drummercam
By drummercam (11 months ago)

No implementation of any feature from any camera maker is perfect at first issue. But that was not my point anyway. My point goes to DPR's approach to reviewing Pentax products.

2 upvotes
ET2
By ET2 (11 months ago)

Yes, and my point was that Pentax was not the first with properly working incamera hand-held HDR. The HDR in K-7 required use of tripod and was not useful at all.

And I do believe that some of the p&s cameras had hand-held HDR back in 2009 (or really close to that year).

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 3 minutes after posting
1 upvote
audiobomber
By audiobomber (11 months ago)

The Q7 is backfocussed in the IQ comparison shots. Check the queen's face at the rear of the scene for a different view than the medallions, especially at ISO 1600 in raw.

2 upvotes
Edgar Matias
By Edgar Matias (11 months ago)

Props to DPR for putting in the time and effort to review this interesting little camera. As a small-sensor deep-DOF enthusiast, I've had my eye on the Q system for a while.

My only real disappointment with the review was the lens section. They left out the most interesting and useful one... the Pentax 06 Telephoto 15-45mm F/2.8 -- which is 69-207mm-e (DOF-e/12.9) on the Q7.

You won't find a smaller lens that's as long and fast as this one, on any other system. Pair it with a Panasonic LX7 and you have a super-fast super-compact 2-camera system that covers a very wide range: 24-207mm.

There's also a macro lens on the roadmap. The deeper DOF macro capability a small sensor offers is really useful for shooting very small objects.

9 upvotes
ozturert
By ozturert (11 months ago)

Q series is even a worse joke than K-01. Go buy a real toy to play instead, and continue to take pictures with your phone.
Not much smaller than E-PM2 or a Nex with 16-50mm, but with a tiny tiny sensor.

3 upvotes
Couscousdelight
By Couscousdelight (11 months ago)

You just don't know what you are talking about...
Try to make raw files with your smartphone, or to mount a 200mm F2.8 lens, a flash system (with 1/2000 sync !)...
Try to change your camera phone aperture, speed, or iso settings..
Don't even try to compare Q7 and Iphone5 image quality, the iphone is far, far behind, the only smartphone than can compete with a camera is the Nokia Pureview, but i have to say, i've never meet one of those in the streets.

Or try to make a 6400 iso pic with your smartphone, like this one : http://www.flickr.com/photos/heniadis/9444520059/in/photostream/
Try to achieve such depht of field : http://www.flickr.com/photos/47543979@N08/9323806825/

9 upvotes
Stitzer23
By Stitzer23 (11 months ago)

I am puzzled (again) as to why DPR keeps leaving out sensor size in the specifications highlights bullet list. This very detail tells so much about the type of camera being reviewed. Isnt sensor size more important than pixel count? Read your own OMD review to see how to do it right.

0 upvotes
Marvol
By Marvol (11 months ago)

I have no axe to grind in this Q review, but after reading the posters below I agree that comparing it to "entry-level ILC" cameras completely misses the point of this camera. Even I can see that the camera is not aimed to compete against other ILCs. It actually makes a big effort to be quite different from these cameras.

8 upvotes
Marvol
By Marvol (11 months ago)

It's not just DPRreview that seems to be stuck in a mindset that only allows them to compare cameras that fall into the same, blunt and outdated, categories, predominantly defined by lens mount. This may have worked until recently but it's starting to hinder comparison.

Other examples I found wanting is comparing the Nikon Coolpix A and Ricoh GR only against each other - as if there are no APS-C sensor ILCs that can be fitted with a 28mm equivalent lens.

Also the Canon EOS 1 seems mostly to be compared to other DLSRs - when it scores really high "because it is such a small DSLR" - ignoring the fact that m4/3, Sony and Fuji all offer smaller packages with interchangable lenses that often have better image quality, too.

I'd really like DPReview et al to be more flexible and compare the same way a potential buyer would compare, not an engineer.

13 upvotes
JensR
By JensR (11 months ago)

> I'd really like DPReview et al to be more flexible and compare the same way a potential buyer would compare, not an engineer.

As an engineer, I politely object to that. That's not how an engineer worth their salt should operate.

3 upvotes
Revenant
By Revenant (11 months ago)

Generally, I'd tend to think that if you're looking to buy a system camera, then you won't be considering a compact with fixed lens, and vice versa. However, in the case of the Q system, I think that it's more fair to treat them as enthusiast compacts with interchangeable lenses as an added feature, rather than treating them as mirrorless ILCs.

1 upvote
wootpile
By wootpile (11 months ago)

Same mistake as Nikon 1. A funny, fan, good looking style accessory without any photographic value (certainly no better than your smartphone.. so why have it?). Style fades fast...

3 upvotes
Tan68
By Tan68 (11 months ago)

Image quality is certainly no better than a smartphone. No qualification so this must mean it is no better than any smartphone.

Where has all the smartphone camera hype come from, I wonder. I can't imagine it is the fluoride in the water.

4 upvotes
D1N0
By D1N0 (11 months ago)

I make equal/better pics with my phone may be true for nokia pureview but only a small minority use that. Most phone sensors are much smaller and only make acceptable quality pics in bright light. http://gizmodo.com/5926484/how-the-iphone-4s-camera-sensor-compares-with-a-point-and-shoot-and-full-frame-dslr

This argument is rapidly getting very old.

7 upvotes
ChristophBarthold
By ChristophBarthold (11 months ago)

I don't think you know what you are talking about. It's not style but capability and this little gem of a camera opens up possibilities in the tele- and macro areas that you would not believe (and be hard pressed to duplicate with your smartphone).

3 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (11 months ago)

wootpile:

There’s a smartphone camera which shoots raw and has interchangeable lenses? Look not even the good Nokia 1020+808 shoot raw, and neither of those cameras has an optical zoom and/or interchangeable lenses.

Speaking for myself: I don’t think there’s a market for this Pentax system, but until such time as smartphones shoot raw and have good interchangeable lenses, I don’t think that smartphones are going to come near the image quality of this camera. Simply tossing out 3/4s of the data from a picture file in a smartphone camera retards the IQ of smartphones massively.

In other not news at lower ISOs my late 2001 Canon G2 with a 4MP sensor has astoundingly good IQ–like next to flawless 12"X18" prints, even simply starting with a good jpeg.

The problem for Pentax is that most who’d look at this camera would also look at other mirrorless systems (in particular the Nikon 1s) and then also look at the Panasonic LX7, Canon S110, Samsung EXF2, Olympus XZ10, Sony RX100, etc.

4 upvotes
Jim in Hudson
By Jim in Hudson (11 months ago)

"The problem for Pentax is that most who’d look at this camera would also look at other mirrorless systems (in particular the Nikon 1s) and then also look at the Panasonic LX7, Canon S110, Samsung EXF2, Olympus XZ10, Sony RX100, etc."

... and a Pentax MX-1.

3 upvotes
wootpile
By wootpile (11 months ago)

"By ChristophBarthold (20 hours ago)
It's not style but capability and this little gem of a camera opens up possibilities in the tele- and macro areas... (and be hard pressed to duplicate with your smartphone)."

I never said choose a smartphone. Anyway, why would I take tele and macro shots with a system that lacks in IQ? Carrying a system with extra lenses it better deliver as much as possible.

The Q is a toy, not profitable. What will everyone do with it when Pentax terminates the Q? give it to the kids.

I agree with howaboutraw.
There are a lot of "old" compacts with excellent iq, certainly better than the "Q" (supposed to mimic a 007 gizmo.. you all get that right?)

Take A95 from 2004 better IQ at 5 mpix, fits in your shirt.
http://www.dpreview.com/galleries/reviewsamples/photos/90659/sample-16?inalbum=canon-powershot-a95-review-samples

I can see why people like the "Q"ute little cam but marketing hype is just hype.. and it shows in sales figures. Nikon is just as bad.

1 upvote
PON307G
By PON307G (11 months ago)

My wife has interest in this camera due to it's size, and colour combinations. She is looking for an upgrade to her Canon 'point & shoot', and we plan to stop by our local camera shop for a hands-on test.

Just curious, do any of the original 110 (film camera) lenses work with the "Q-series" camera's?

1 upvote
Katier
By Katier (11 months ago)

The 110 lenses CAN be mounted on the Q and the image circle is compatible. The 110 lenses, however, are slightly unusual in that the aperture elements were in the body - as such you get fixed aperture with them. (as I understand it)

Essentially any lens can be mounted on the Q because it's got the shortest film->flange distance. So if someone has a favourite lens, it will work on the Q family no problems - including crazy stuff like dropping a Pentax 6x7 lens on it.. or is that mounting a Q on a 6x7 lens?

2 upvotes
D1N0
By D1N0 (11 months ago)

There is an adapter for that. You can also get an adapter for C-mount (16mm film and security camera's)

2 upvotes
ChristophBarthold
By ChristophBarthold (11 months ago)

You probably would want to stay away from the Pentax 110 lenses as they have no built in iris.

1 upvote
qwertyasdf
By qwertyasdf (11 months ago)

If there is a score for looks, the Q would score high. With so many colour combinations, one would suit you.
Why don't the D4 and 1DX offer customization, after all they are premium products worthy of premium service.

6 upvotes
Tan68
By Tan68 (11 months ago)

I do have a question about the comparative pictures.

Is the lens barrel of the Pentax partially extended?

The zoom ring is set for about 7mm or so and there is a black t-shaped bit extending past the yellow housing.

2 upvotes
Allison Johnson
By Allison Johnson (11 months ago)

Yes, the lens is extended slightly. Between 10 and 15mm the front sits nearly flush with the housing.

1 upvote
peterpainter
By peterpainter (11 months ago)

Review seemed quite enthusiastic but score is very low. Rather strange.

4 upvotes
LaFonte
By LaFonte (11 months ago)

It has japan market written all over.

2 upvotes
D1N0
By D1N0 (11 months ago)

Really in the Entry level ILC's category? This really should have gone in the enthousiast compact category. Please rescore this camera.

3 upvotes
Andy Westlake
By Andy Westlake (11 months ago)

By definition, 'enthusiast compacts' have fixed lenses. The Q7 clearly has interchangeable lenses.

5 upvotes
D1N0
By D1N0 (11 months ago)

And a 1/1.7" sensor, like al those enthousiast compacts. I think that is a more decisive attribute. I would never consider a q for my main camera, but as an alternative to such a compact I would.

3 upvotes
Katier
By Katier (11 months ago)

It's one of those cameras that, IMHO, sits between categories'. It's clearly a MILC, but makes a great compact too. Drop the 8.5mm on and it's comparable to something like the MX-1 - but smaller.. drop the 'kit lens' and you've got a compact.. drop the 15-45mm on and keep the 8.5mm handy and you've got something that's probably better than all compacts.. in short.. I think D1NO is right, it's more an alternative to a compact, to competition to the larger sensor MILC's.

3 upvotes
Tan68
By Tan68 (11 months ago)

Yeah, I tend to think of it as a compact that can change lenses rather than a ILC that is compact.

A compact +
Rather than ILC -

It does look to have nice controls/buttons. Stuff like that. I couldn't find the second ctrl dial on the Canon. I see the mode dial, front dial, EC dial..?

2 upvotes
y0chang
By y0chang (11 months ago)

Yes, I was thinking about buying a Q, not to replace a mirrorless or DSLR but my panny LX3. Same sensor size, slower kit lens, but more flexibility to shoot different situations. All the other stuff like adapting old lenses is a bonus. I feel like when DPR makes an apple and oranges comparison, but Pentax has made a Pear.

0 upvotes
Katier
By Katier (11 months ago)

One other thing I realise is that they mention depth of field as a problem. Well for most photographs the depth of field is NOT a problem.. and in addition there is a 'blur control' option that simulates depth of field.

You don't get a pretty bockeh using it, BUT it is effective and useful - more than negates any DoF issues.

Also the standard (not the toy) lenses include a 2 stop ND filter which was incorporated because the standard lenses only go to F8 - so the ND filter allows effective f22 in terms of shutter speed.. but have the additional benefit that you can use it at any aperture and thus shoot wide open when the light is causing you to hit the max shutter speed.

Quick example of the lack of DoF problems - taken on the first Q

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7287/8715027174_54b15006a9_z.jpg

1 upvote
Tan68
By Tan68 (11 months ago)

Well, when I saw the blur control dial on the first Q, I thought it was a bit... much. I didn't really like the effects.

However, boca apps are really popular with the phone crowd. I suppose the bokeh dial is a useful thing for some people and Pentax wasn't off the mark in offering the feature.

I haven't read the article, yet. I wonder if the dial can be re-purposed for other things...

1 upvote
Katier
By Katier (11 months ago)

There isn't a blur control dial, it's a mode on the mode dial - if your thinking of the dial on the front, then that can be customised to allow quick shooting with different effects.

1 upvote
ChristophBarthold
By ChristophBarthold (11 months ago)

More DOF for you FOV :-)

0 upvotes
mehran langari
By mehran langari (11 months ago)

its expensive

3 upvotes
Raist3d
By Raist3d (11 months ago)

I really feel the review misses a lot of points in really understanding the value proposition of the Q line, but then they are in great company.

The Q is not only about a camera that can do much better as a canvas of light than people at first think (and I am also talking about the very first one- yeah, that one with the 1/2.3'' sensor)- but a camera that combines a DSLR class feature set in an impossibly small size, while keeping ergonomics that in some cases exceed that of bigger cameras.

It's a ton of potential in a little pocket. It allows for a lot of play and behaves reliably so. For many when you pick up a Q and compare the use of it, how you can zoom instantly with one of the other lenses, how much sense the interface and ergonomics make as a photographer's tool is when you realize you got something special in your hands, as it is capable. Unfortunately this is missed in this kind of review.

21 upvotes
Edgar Matias
By Edgar Matias (11 months ago)

I agree with this assessment -- though I can understand DPR's conclusion, given the target audience of the site.

If you're a DSLR shooter looking for a P&S, the Q7 should be the natural choice, on handling alone. In essence, it's the world's smallest DSLR (sans mirror).

4 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (11 months ago)

"but a camera that combines a DSLR class feature set in an impossibly small size"

You mean what DSLR class features? TTL viewfinder? No. Fast PDAF with tracking? No. Large sensor with good image quality? No. Large choice of lenses covering various needs? No (in fact a simple P&S superzoom is more versatile with Q with ALL its lenses). Dual control dials and multiple function buttons? No. Long battery life? No.
In fact Q has nothing in common with DSLRs except the nuisance and dusty-sensor-effect of lens changes.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
2 upvotes
Raist3d
By Raist3d (11 months ago)

"You mean what DSLR class features?" - complete manual controls. Shooting speeds up to 1/8000th shutter (a couple of years before m43rds had it btw). External sync flash to 1/250th (again, a couple of years before m43rds had it). Great customizability of user interface including custom dial for quick full camera state changes (which goes a LONG way btw for the ergonomics).
Better ergonomics than several other cameras (look at those "Canon powershot cameras" with the flimsy wheel in the back- I am talking here on some m43rds, Nikon 1).
Well thought out interface- pretty much the K-5's.
Your assessment of "a simple P&S zoom" is more versatile- complete nonsense- many of those simple P&S zooms lense are worse than the Q, and you can't throw he background anywhere near as much as the 06 *constant* F2.8 zoom for a portrait.

You are making a lot of claims on equipment you haven't used. I have used every single bit of what I mentioned.

4 upvotes
Raist3d
By Raist3d (11 months ago)

Forgot to add- intervalometer (and more flexible than the one even on the just released Pen5). Not all high end DSLRs have that but some do- and the Q has had this since day one.

2 upvotes
Zvonimir Tosic
By Zvonimir Tosic (11 months ago)

This above is "Enter the Dragon" Q-outfit. :)

0 upvotes
white shadow
By white shadow (11 months ago)

Don't you like one for Christmas from your girlfriend?

0 upvotes
white shadow
By white shadow (11 months ago)

Like a miniature motorbike, one cannot compare this camera just on "pure performance" basis. If one does, he would have missed the point. Yes, if one just want to buy a camera to take some family photos, you are definitely better off buying a compact camera like the Lumix LX7 or the Canon G15 for even less money.

It is made for cuteness and yet it is a functional little system camera. Its a conversational piece when carried around or just been displayed on the shelve of an office. In fact, I might just buy one for myself this Christmas. Remember those miniature Minox cameras. Many people like to have one if they have some spare cash.

The Q7 may just outlast the point and shoot cameras which are been rapidly made redundant by the smartphones.

For serious photography, one should stick to their full frame DSLRs and their prime lenses.

Definitely, a fun (and usable) piece to have. Isn't life still interesting?

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 9 minutes after posting
12 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (11 months ago)

"Yes, if one just want to buy a camera to take some family photos, you are definitely better off buying a compact camera like the Lumix LX7 or the Canon G15 for even less money.

It is made for cuteness"

So, it is not for taking pictures, it is for cuteness, i.e. a toy for children (a little pricy for that though).

1 upvote
vapentaxuser
By vapentaxuser (11 months ago)

It would be neat if they would release a weather sealed Q. That would really shake things up.

4 upvotes
Zvonimir Tosic
By Zvonimir Tosic (11 months ago)

There are whispers about a "pro Q"; magnesium body like original Q, tilt screen, external EVF option, faster processing, etc.

5 upvotes
Raist3d
By Raist3d (11 months ago)

a Pro Q would be awesome.

5 upvotes
Tan68
By Tan68 (11 months ago)

It could be called the Q-P.

Wouldn't it be just a doll of a camera ?

1 upvote
CyberAngel
By CyberAngel (11 months ago)

rather
Q-T "QuTie" Cutie!
<3

0 upvotes
RichRMA
By RichRMA (11 months ago)

They killed its uniqueness (ultra small sensor is now just small, so no more LONNGGG telephoto effect) and they cheaped-out on the body, replacing magnesium alloy with plastic. Bad move, Pentax.

Comment edited 18 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
AndrewG NY
By AndrewG NY (11 months ago)

The new sensor is just slightly bigger. There's still a large 'conversion factor' for ultra-tele with adapted lenses. There are still no alternatives that combine 1/1.7" sensor with interchangeable lenses.

I have also been a little concerned about the build materials change but those who have handled both have reported that the Q10 and Q7 still feel quite robust.

0 upvotes
ogl
By ogl (11 months ago)

Smaller sensor compared to other interchangeable lens systems.
DPREVIEW! It's P&S camera with interchangeable lenses. Please, compare with P&S cameras ONLY. I see that RAW result is very good for P&S camera.

3 upvotes
Zvonimir Tosic
By Zvonimir Tosic (11 months ago)

As said below, DPR's approach is a sledgehammer approach — no subtlety in it.
We live in times when cameras can be so specifically made that "one shoe fits all" review approach kills all the meaning and fun.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
meanwhile
By meanwhile (11 months ago)

You can change the compared cameras to any you like though, just choose another from the popups.

2 upvotes
Tan68
By Tan68 (11 months ago)

meanwhile, i figure he means compare it to compacts with respect to rating and whatall. not just the image quality comparison widget.

1 upvote
peevee1
By peevee1 (11 months ago)

In terms of handling, it is not a compact at all, 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.

1 upvote
Red Swan
By Red Swan (11 months ago)

While DPR is having difficult time categorizing this little gem, people will just buy and have fun with it. Me want one!

0 upvotes
Zvonimir Tosic
By Zvonimir Tosic (11 months ago)

Q is like Yoda — small package, before you know him you'll first make fun of him because he looks 'weird', but the Force is with him.
"The review" talks about a camera, but we are indeed talking about a system here, with two Q cameras preceding this one, and infinite number of ideas as your imagination can go wild with this system and its expandability.
As noted in another thread, the entire Q7 system — a Q7 camera and 7 lenses — weighs 499 grams only. I'll repeat: *499 grams only* for an 8 piece entire current system. And one of those lenses is 70-210mm / 2.8 equivalent zoom.
I've never heard before that one can take their entire camera system on all trips and feel very comfortable — but Q users can, and they do.

17 upvotes
ZhanMInG12
By ZhanMInG12 (11 months ago)

The good thing about this little camera is that you can attach a 200mm prime and have a roughly 800mm fov and usable pixel density.

Other than that, I can't see the reason not to at least go to M43 - A GX1 dual lens kit is not much heavier, as is the NEX-3N, 16-50 and 20mm pancake

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
6 upvotes
Silvarum
By Silvarum (11 months ago)

@ZhanMInG12: I have one reason: it comes in yellow :)

2 upvotes
Zvonimir Tosic
By Zvonimir Tosic (11 months ago)

A "Bruce Lee Training Suit" version .. :)

0 upvotes
lol101
By lol101 (11 months ago)

@ Zvonimir
I understand your infatuation with the Q system and quite like it myself, it's indeed something different than anything else but please, there is no "equivalent 70-210mm/f2.8" lens in the Q lineup, it's either a 15-45mm/f2.8 or an equivalent 70-210/f13 lens but you can't really "mix and match" to your likings...

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
Tan68
By Tan68 (11 months ago)

lol101, Well, the lens offers an equivalent field of view to 70-200 and it is reasonably bright. I figure this is the equivalence he meant. Many people really interested in depth of field control won't be looking for it here, I think.

However, you are right, '70-200/2.8 equivalent' is only partially correct.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
Katier
By Katier (11 months ago)

When people talk equivelances, I'm pretty sure the majority think of speed, not depth of field. As such saying 70-200/f2.8 equivelent means a lot more to someone than 70-200/f13 because, with the latter, they'd think it was a horrendously slow lens. It's not, of course, it's a damned quick lens, just due to the crop factor it's depth of field doesn't match a larger sensor.

0 upvotes
CameraLabTester
By CameraLabTester (11 months ago)

There must be a lucrative market for these cameras because Pentax just keep on churning them out with such gusto!

Well, whatever works for them and their profitability...

.

1 upvote
vapentaxuser
By vapentaxuser (11 months ago)

If you reformatted your first sentence by taking out the "There must be a lucrative market for these cameras because" and just left the rest...that would be a more accurate statement.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
1 upvote
audijam
By audijam (11 months ago)

that market is called - JAPAN

1 upvote
Joe Ogiba
By Joe Ogiba (11 months ago)

If you want to have fun stick a 105mm F2.8 1:1 macro like the old Kiron on the Q with low cost adapter.

5 upvotes
TacticDesigns
By TacticDesigns (11 months ago)

A low cost K to Q adapter is next on my list so I can get my Pentax-A 100mm f4 on my Q to try it out. Also have some extension tubes to see if that works too. :)

1 upvote
Dirtistasty2
By Dirtistasty2 (11 months ago)

While I do think compact sensor cameras in general will become extinct soon, I really want one. The Q system is tons of fun. Incredibly tiny, but with all the right controls in the right place. I would avoid the zoom lens. I'm waiting for them to offer the Q7 with 8.5mm lens as a kit! If the kit includes the OVF, it'd be awesome!

5 upvotes
Wallace Ross
By Wallace Ross (11 months ago)

As I sit here doing some scanning of 35mm film and reading the review and comments I have to wonder what exactly some people are doing with their images. What the Q and almost every other current camera gives are very good results when compared to anything from the past. I equate using the Q series of cameras to shooting with an Olympus Stylus Epic its enjoyable unobtrusive and takes good pictures. And it expands the boudaries of what you can do photographically I don't know any other system where you can go from a fisheye to a 550mm equivelent f2.8 macro. And as a final note it makes a great lightmeter

6 upvotes
ezradja
By ezradja (11 months ago)

decent/adequate IQ is on paper only, you have to use it to know why Q are fun to use!

5 upvotes
Richard Murdey
By Richard Murdey (11 months ago)

The appeal is very much bound up in the 'toy' lenses. The ability to switch in a tiny, cheap fisheye etc is unique. Either that's worth something to you, or you aren't going to be interested in the Q.

3 upvotes
Dale108
By Dale108 (11 months ago)

The Q's main market is Japan, where is seems to be quite popular. I have the original Q and find it fun to use. IQ is also quite good and I find DR better than other small compacts such as the LX7.

Dale

4 upvotes
John Koch
By John Koch (11 months ago)

What is your experience with the LX7? Your DR comparisons? Is the Q and its lenses worth the added expense? On the other hand, how is it a better value than a basic DLSR kit?

0 upvotes
ezradja
By ezradja (11 months ago)

yup, I noticed myself, the DR is quite wide for a smaller sensor like this. I have the original Q btw. the IQ with 8,5mm lens is very good, very sharp wide open.

2 upvotes
SW Anderson
By SW Anderson (11 months ago)

@John Koch, I'm not sure anyone said the Q is a better value than a basic DSLR kit. That judgment, like one regarding whether the Q and its lenses are worth "the added expense" is a subjective one you have to decide for yourself. What works for me might not for you.

With its welcome full review of the Q7, Dpreview has provided you with a wealth of information with which to make a judgment. That said, I have some reservations about whether those sample photos from early July accurately reflect the Q7's capabilities. Results from my 1st generation Q make me think the Q7 is capable of much better than the sample pix would lead one to believe.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 4 minutes after posting
4 upvotes
white shadow
By white shadow (11 months ago)

This is a "fun" camera and it is difficult to quantify fun. If it makes you happy, buy it.

If one have little money and just want to buy the best possible camera to shoot some photos, it will be much better to buy a discontinued DSLR (in a clearance sale) or even a used one for less than USD300.

As to the image quality from a 1/1.7" sensor, one can easily print up to A3 size without much problem. Obviously, the photo must be well taken ie. no camera shake, well exposed and taken at the lowest ISO possible, preferably not more than 200.

This Q7 is not meant for those people who are buying it as their primary camera. Obviously, some will.

Comment edited 11 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (11 months ago)

Given the price and the size and weight it just seems odd. at the end of the day it is neither cheaper or easier to carry around then m.43 or aps.c systemcamera. yet the results pale. why would anyone buy this

3 upvotes
Zvonimir Tosic
By Zvonimir Tosic (11 months ago)

I think you are incorrect. Did you check the facts first?
The entire Q7 system — a Q7 camera and 7 lenses — weighs 499 grams only. And one of those lenses is 70-210mm / 2.8 equivalent zoom.

11 upvotes
TacticDesigns
By TacticDesigns (11 months ago)

Having fun doesn't always have to make sense? <grin>

4 upvotes
Barry Pearson
By Barry Pearson (11 months ago)

I have a Q plus the 02 zoom (and the optical viewfinder and a spare battery). Since I like big bold sharp photos, (I use a K-5IIs and some good lenses), I don't know why I bought it.

And here I am, looking at this review, thinking that I want to upgrade to the Q7, and I don't know why! I suspect I will have one by the end of the year, and I still won't know why.

2 upvotes
white shadow
By white shadow (11 months ago)

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.

0 upvotes
RobertSigmund
By RobertSigmund (11 months ago)

I have never read a more enthusiastic review. Certainly Pentax has bribed the tester, particularly for all the recommendations which cameras are better! :-D

3 upvotes
ezradja
By ezradja (11 months ago)

really, bribery? that's a big accusation there! what's your prove?

0 upvotes
mcshan
By mcshan (11 months ago)

I just don't get having a system camera with this size sensor. The samples are not as good as the G15.

I know Pentax fans might like it and if it makes them happy good for them.

2 upvotes
Raist3d
By Raist3d (11 months ago)

Well first of all when the original Q came out with an 1/2.3" sensor it outclassed several bigger 1/1.7" sensored cameras in sensor performance.

Two- you get an interchangeable system that you can carry in very small space but most importantly

Third- the camera has a semi pro feature set in many ways in that impossibly small size with great ergonomics to acces it. 1/250th external flash sync. Full manual controls in an ergonomic set tht is just great to use. As a photographers tool it works better than many of the "P&S options."

This has nothing to do with being a "Pentax fan"- in fact many of the more recent Q owners have come wen from the skeptical side as price dropped and most importantly: tried one.

1 upvote
mcshan
By mcshan (11 months ago)

Raist, We don't agree and that is fine. Mostly Pentax fanboys here posting and the original Q was nothing special. I shot with one for the better part of a weekend and wasn't impressed. It was a point and shoot, nothing more. As I stated we don't agree and that is fine. I still am enjoying the discussion. Take care.

1 upvote
Raist3d
By Raist3d (11 months ago)

That's fine but keep in mind the Q7 sensor size is the same as the G15. Also the original Q sensor did outclass a few cameras with a bigger sensor. These two points are not up for argument - these two are facts. I politely agree to disagree with you on the rest.

0 upvotes
Gary Martin
By Gary Martin (11 months ago)

I think this system would make more sense if it had a better selection of tiny fixed-focal lenses, allowing the camera to be pocketable. If you can't fit it in your pocket, you might as well go a bit bigger for the big jump in IQ you'll get from a much bigger sensor. This is supposed to be a fun camera to use, however, and its owners seem to love it.

1 upvote
Katier
By Katier (11 months ago)

The selection isn't bad as the 'toy' lenses actually produce excellent images, but I agree a couple more primes would be nice. That said, as mentioned in another reply, the 8.5 + 15-45 does produce a very pocketable, fixed aperture, and significant focal length range.

1 upvote
Gary Martin
By Gary Martin (11 months ago)

If they release a small, fast wide prime (roughly 35mm equivalent) for less than $200, I would buy one. DPR may not have given it a particularly good review, but the picture above makes me want one!

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 3 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
ezradja
By ezradja (11 months ago)

those who has hold it in theirs hands would noticed the different sensation. I was sceptic myself before I used it.

4 upvotes
z9z9z9z9
By z9z9z9z9 (11 months ago)

It's odd that the MX-1 has better high-ISO image quality.

0 upvotes
rossdoyle
By rossdoyle (11 months ago)

Where have you seen a published test? Or do you mean using the dpr comparison tool?

Comment edited 39 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
rossdoyle
By rossdoyle (11 months ago)

Thanks for not overlooking this one, DPReview!!! I have played with Q and Q10 quite a number of times (every time I stopped by Yodobashi Camera or other large shop). Now with Q7 and enthusiast-size sensor, the system is starting to be irresistible. These cameras and lenses really are tiny and inconspicuous, smaller and lighter than m43 (which my wife shoots). I like the idea of carrying a whole kit on me all the time.

I am also interested in using K-mount lenses via an adaptor, using the large crop factor for telephoto effect. With sharp lenses, I've seen some nice results posted (the lenses must be very sharp due to the pixel size).

Comment edited 13 minutes after posting
5 upvotes
Jack Simpson
By Jack Simpson (11 months ago)

The one "con" I agree with is the lack of electronic viewfinder (to use with all lenses). But, having said that, ever since I learned that brightening the LCD screen improves seeing your subjects, the lack of a viewfinder ain't the big deal it used to be :)

As for the rest, you try it, you like it, you use it :)

Cheers,

Jack

5 upvotes
steelhead3
By steelhead3 (11 months ago)

I love how DP after panning the rx100, it is now the standard which other cameras are measured against.

0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (11 months ago)

We didn't pan the RX100 - we gave it a good score and our second-highest award.

In image quality terms, the RX100 /does/ set the standard for enthusiast compacts. The main criticisms we had of it relate to the shooting experience - which isn't relevant here.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
8 upvotes
Katier
By Katier (11 months ago)

I have to say I find the review surprising. I use a basic Q and find it's performance excellent. It's ultra-compact nature with the 1.9 is very useful and I find IQ to be very good.

OK it obviously starts to get limited, especially ( in the Q with the smaller sensor) past around 800 ISO, but considering it's got such a small sensor high ISO performance isn't what it's about.

That said, the fact it runs with a 1.9 lens means that it's at least a stop better than the MLC competition unless your willing to spend over $1000 for a lens.

You can also do crazy things like put a 50mm f1.7 lens on it via an adapter and get a 210mm f1.7 (approx Q7) or 275mm f1.7 (Q/Q10).

In short, due to having high speed lenses the limited ISO range problem is reduced.. plus the compact size is a huge strength. I should add that have large hands and have zero problems with it.

Currently the Q is my main camera due to a DSLR theft, but I really only miss a view finder when compared to the DSLR.

8 upvotes
Mikhail Tal
By Mikhail Tal (11 months ago)

Wrong, You can get the Olympus 45/1.8 lens for $330 and the Panasonic 20/1.7 lens for $300. Thanks for playing, please try again.

4 upvotes
Katier
By Katier (11 months ago)

OK I stand corrected on that point, but the fact is the advantages of the Q are size and crop-factor. It's not a system where you expect high ISO performance, but it is a system you can put in your pocket or use where you need to take advantage of the crop-factor.

That crop-factor is a HUGE plus enabling stupidly fast lenses at long reaches. Try finding another system with easy access to things like f2.8 1000mm equiv without spending massive amounts of money?

Quite a number of wildlife photographers use Q's for this very reason.

All the Q's also have access to a f2.8 constant aperture 15-45 lens (which isn't mentioned by the reviewer) which 80-250mm (approxx on Q/Q10) or 70-200 on Q7, giving a very capable system.

Don't get me wrong, it's got limitations and the lack of a ELV is disapointing, but it's certainly a lot better than the review makes out.

2 upvotes
ezradja
By ezradja (11 months ago)

The very good lens not mention here is the 15-45mm f/2.8.
I used a cheap magnetic viewfinder extender placed on the LCD when I needed it. Still not as good as OVF but at least it worked, on bright environment.

3 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (11 months ago)

"OK I stand corrected on that point, but the fact is the advantages of the Q are size and crop-factor."

True, but there are no lenses to take those advantages. Namely, to take advantage of the small sensor size, you need lenses which would be too big with bigger sensors, specifically large ratio fast zooms (lie 24x f/2.8 zoom in Panasonic FZ200), or extreme tele zooms, like 1000mm equivalent. And to take advantage of higher pixel density, you need a 1:1 macro which would allow Q to take pictures of smaller subjects than, say, m43 with its 2 (TWO!) native macros.
As it is now, the system has only terribly mediocre lenses and as such loses to EVERYBODY, even point-and-shoots (even tiny ones have more zoom than 2 Q zooms combined, no lens changes necessary).

0 upvotes
Raist3d
By Raist3d (11 months ago)

The Q doe snot have "terribly mediocre lenses"- stop making things up you haven't used.

1 upvote
fakuryu
By fakuryu (11 months ago)

If you hate this camera, probably you just don't understand it.

8 upvotes
ManuelVilardeMacedo
By ManuelVilardeMacedo (11 months ago)

What is there to understand?

7 upvotes
onlooker
By onlooker (11 months ago)

That's the line Pentax is probably going to use as their marketing slogan for Q7. :)

3 upvotes
Beat Traveller
By Beat Traveller (11 months ago)

Spoken like a true hipster.

4 upvotes
ezradja
By ezradja (11 months ago)

yup, I really don't understand, why you have to hate a camera, a thing, a non living thing, as if they are alive :) it's just a gadget. I still think Q system is good. I have the original Q, at first I don't really expected it to be so good. It's only different sensation when you hold it in your hand.

2 upvotes
CyberAngel
By CyberAngel (11 months ago)

I don't hate, but also I don't love

0 upvotes
mcshan
By mcshan (11 months ago)

Who said they "hate" the camera? Show me those posts please. Your "a non living thing" is the dumbest post on this thread. As shocking as it may seem this is a forum where folks discuss cameras. Posting you don't like a camera is not "hate". There will be those who like the Q and others that don't. I shot with the original Q and didn't come away a believer but that doesn't make me a hater. It is called a discussion. Have a good day.

2 upvotes
ezradja
By ezradja (11 months ago)

"IF" you hate ...
then, I would say: why hate...
it take a brain to decipher this logic though...

0 upvotes
Zvonimir Tosic
By Zvonimir Tosic (11 months ago)

When your only tool is a sledgehammer, everything you see is a big size nail. I wish DPR had more ideas and imagination when reviewing different cameras: very small, small, medium, large and very large, and not use same sledgehammer approach.

8 upvotes
Red5TX
By Red5TX (11 months ago)

Thanks for the quick turnaround on this review, DPR. Hope it sets a precedent.

1 upvote
techmine
By techmine (11 months ago)

Its not that small after all :-)

1 upvote
ezradja
By ezradja (11 months ago)

err, you probably never had it in your hand, don't you LOL I also thought it too, it was not very small after all, until I hold it in my hand, it really quite small, compared to my G11 and G1X, it's a tiny fun camera :)

2 upvotes
chj
By chj (11 months ago)

What a failed product. It's not small, it's not inexpensive, it doesn't have great IQ. Instead of a product that is the best of both worlds (camera size and image quality), Pentax decided to make a product that was the worst of both worlds. It's for someone that wants a toy to act like they have a "pro kit". Which would be fine for kids if it was cheap. But the same money could actually buy a good camera. So the market is for the kids of silly rich people?

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 10 minutes after posting
5 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (11 months ago)

Well, it is pretty small.

5 upvotes
ManuelVilardeMacedo
By ManuelVilardeMacedo (11 months ago)

At least it has garish colour schemes to make it stand out from the crowd... oh, wait, so does the competition.

0 upvotes
ezradja
By ezradja (11 months ago)

what a failed "popular" product, do you mean? It even beat the Nikon 1 system!

9 upvotes
JustDavid
By JustDavid (11 months ago)

chj, you really need to start taking pictures... oh, sorry, or is it not fun with your camera?? :)

PS: I bought the original Q for £99. I now feel silly rich! :) there are still some available... if you want to get in the silly rich club

3 upvotes
chj
By chj (11 months ago)

No thanks, I have a smaller camera, fits in any pocket, got it for less than half the price of the Q7 ($225), same size sensor, better zoom, better shooting performance and it's tons of fun. Of course I don't get to have the fun of carrying around lots of little lenses, switching them around, dropping $300 for each of them ... wait, that doesn't sound fun at all.

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 7 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
CyberAngel
By CyberAngel (11 months ago)

"By ezradja
what a failed "popular" product, do you mean? It even beat the Nikon 1 system!"
Nikon 1 is more fun...but that's just my opinion

0 upvotes
JustDavid
By JustDavid (11 months ago)

chj, just to open your eyes a bit, prices of Q lenses in Europe... (mind that European prices are stil much higher than US):

01 - £99
02 - £109
03 - £119
04 - £119
05 - £90
06 - £279

now it sounds like much more fun! and bring on your fish eye, please!:)

1 upvote
Couscousdelight
By Couscousdelight (11 months ago)

Chj, not really, Canon S100 is not smaller than Q7 :
http://j.mp/16zG8oZ#sthash.NvQdX5E1.dpuf
and no, Canon Zoom is not better than Q7's 5-15 or 15-45 f2.8 lenses...
Try again.

1 upvote
Total comments: 240
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