Pentax Q7 Review
The Q7 has the ability to shoot JPEG + Raw or just Raw, outputting DNG files - Adobe's universal Raw format (which we love, and wish more manufacturers used). Like other small-sensor cameras, the Q7 showed a tendency to clip highlights and shadows in high contrast scenes in JPEG mode. Raw files retain much more data, and produce better results when manipulated to try to revive a portion of a scene. Shooting Raw also provides greater control over sharpening, white balance and noise reduction. Though the camera's JPEGs are very good for this class, shooting Raw will provide many more post-processing options.
Sharpness and Detail
The shot below was taken with the 02 Standard Zoom, and here we're showing the default JPEG alongside a carefully-processed Raw file to give you an idea of how much potential the Q7's files have for adjustment.
|With default sharpness applied in-camera to this JPEG, the Q7 reproduces the landscape nicely. At 100% though, it's evident that some fine detail is being rather smudged. The Raw file has been adjusted in ACR to taste (boosting the amount and radius of sharpening), giving some definition to the long grass on the shore, and revealing some delicate green foliage inside what was just a hazy blur in the JPEG.|
DNG adjusted (100%)
Exposure and color
As mentioned before, the Q7 often gets it 'right' when it comes to exposure. However, it has its limits and very high contrast scenes will be a challenge to this essentially compact camera. The Q7's Raw files contain a much wider tonal range than JPEGs, making it possible to pull back a lot of tonal information in clipped highlight areas. You simply don't have this sort of flexibility with JPEGs because tone curve adjustments have already been 'baked in' and there's less data to work with.
In the image below, shot in matrix metering mode, the Q7 has done its best to expose for our mostly shadow scene, but has significantly clipped highlight tone and detail in the buildings behind the sculptures. Attempting to rescue them from the JPEG file won't recover much tone from the sand-colored walls. The Raw file, however, retained a good amount of tone, restoring the buildings (and sky) to a more accurate color and recovering some detail that was lost completely in the JPEG rendering. The Raw image adjusted below in ACR by bringing exposure down and recovering some shadow tone by boosting fill light.
Raw file adjusted in ACR
JPEG adjusted in ACR
There are other options for JPEG shooters thanks to the Q7's Highlight Correction and Shadow Correction tools. Highlight Correction does a good job of saving some of the tone that would otherwise be clipped - for analysis of this feature, jump to the Dynamic Range page.
Noise-reduction and white balance
The strength of the Q7's Auto Noise Reduction for JPEGs can be adjusted, though there are gains to be made by applying your own noise reduction in post-processing software to the camera's Raw files. The Q7 was set to Auto Noise Reduction in the JPEG below, and the result is a final image with most of the fine detail smoothed out. Applying noise reduction manually to the original Raw file in ACR didn't recover much in the way of fine detail, but it did reduce some of the color noise that the Q7's in-camera noise reduction missed.
|JPEG - ISO 12800, f/2.0, 1/125sec||100% crop|
|DNG adjusted in ACR to taste (Luminance and Color noise reduced)||100% crop|
Auto white balanced 'misses' are rare from the Q7, but the best way to avoid an auto white balance mishap is to shoot Raw. The scone and the brown paper pastry bag took on a cool, almost green tint with the Q7 set to auto white balance. Correcting the Raw image to the shade white balance preset restores a warmer and more appetizing tone to the subject. This is easily done in-camera as well as in post-processing software, so long as the Raw data is intact.
Raw file adjusted in ACR
|The Engineer by EXX|
from Steam Trains
|Madrid subway by MAGMATCICO62|
from Your City - Public Transport
|Incandescent Bulb by Kukla|
from Illuminate- Macro only
|Curiousity by PERCY2|
from Macro - Your Best Macro Ever
|Hoar Frosted Trees by sabishiT3T|
It's been twenty years since Jeff Keller founded the Digital Camera Resource Page, one of the first websites dedicated to digital photography. Jeff, who has been at DPReview for nearly five years, looks back at the rise and fall of consumer digital cameras and his website.
We're counting down our top 10 most popular sample galleries of 2017. At #2 we have another staff favorite – the Sony Alpha a9.
Rotolight has released the Anova Pro 2 circular LED for stills and video, boasting a 70% increase in brightness and what the company describes as "unrivaled battery performance."
Designer Vinicius Araújo has imagined what he believes the perfect Adobe software keyboard might look like. From customizable touch pads, to a scroll wheel, to a little display that shows the tool in use, his design is pretty compelling.
Peak Design has teamed up with Leica to release a limited-edition backpack made special for fans of the Red Dot.
A portrait of an android woman has beaten over 5,700 pictures of humans to take third place in this year’s prestigious Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize. The judges were not told the subject was an 'android' until after the winning images were chosen.
Hauling around C-Stands just got a whole lot less annoying thanks to these new Matthews shoulder and roller bags, which can hold two or three C-stand (respectively) plus accessories.
Neal Preston has shot timeless photos of everyone from Led Zeppelin, to Whitney Houston, to Michael Jackson. In this interview, he offers insights into his craft to up-and-comer Elijah Dominique.
Future prosumer Canon DSLRs might feature light-up buttons, if this newly published patent is any indication of the camera company's plans.
Sony's a7R Mark III shoots 42.4MP files at 10fps and incorporates a robust video feature set, large battery, refined ergonomics and more. It certainly looks impressive, but what is it like to use, and how does it stack up against the rest of the market? Find out in our full review.
We're counting down our top 10 most popular sample galleries of 2017 – the Fujifilm X100F takes the bronze and the #3 spot.
There's never been a better time to shop for a new camera, but the number of options available can be overwhelming. In this series of buying guides we've provided customized recommendations for several use cases, from shooting landscapes to buying a first camera for a student photographer.
Shopping for a camera with a set budget? No problem! We've rounded up our favorite cameras, broken them into price brackets and picked the best of the bunch.
Looking for a lightweight compact camera that's easy to bring with you anywhere? Or maybe you're smartphone-shopping and want the one that takes the best picture. And what if you want to shoot from above? In these buyers guides we have recommendations for the best compact cameras, smartphones and drones.
Despite reports to the contrary, analysis of DPReview images by our friend Jim Kasson confirms a disappointing fact: Sony a7R III is still a Star Eater. But there may be some improvements.
As the saying goes: A photo is worth a thousand words. And if you're sending that photo through Facebook Messenger, your thousand words now look twice as nice after today's update to 4K resolution.
Get to know the new Leica CL in short order by giving our 90 second 'First look' video a watch.
Leica has just released the CL, the forth in its series of APS-C L-mount cameras. Despite sharing a name with a camera released in the mid-70s, the new CL is a thoroughly modern ILC, with a 24MP sensor and built-in electronic viewfinder.
The Leica CL is a 24MP rangefinder-style mirrorless camera, which sits alongside the TL2 in the company's APS-C lineup. We've been using one for a few days – check out our gallery of images.
While it shares a name with one of Leica's most popular and affordable cameras of the 1970s, the new CL is separated from its namesake by more than just years. We've been using one for a few days - click through for a detailed first-impressions report.
We're counting down our top 10 most popular sample galleries of 2017, and the #4 ranking goes to the Leica M10.
Sigma is discounting 13 different high-performance 'Art' series lenses from today until November 30th. The company is calling it an 'unprecedented' sale.
See DJI's 'AeroScope' drone-tracking technology in action. This is the system that DJI says can help law enforcement and airport (among others) track and identify rogue drones.
iPhone X owners can already accessorize their new phone with high-quality smartphone photography lenses courtesy of Moment's new lineup.
Considering buying Sigma's exciting new 16mm F1.4 DC DN Contemporary lens for crop-sensor E-Mount and M43? Check out these official full-res samples first!
Vimeo has just added support for 8K HDR 10-bit content, making it possible to show up to 75% of the colors the human eye can perceive vs the usual 35%. Take THAT YouTube.
The holidays are coming, but your gear isn't cutting it? It's time to treat yourself!
We're counting down our top 10 most popular sample galleries of 2017, and sitting pretty at #5 is the Fujifilm X-T20.
See some of the most iconic black-and-white photographs throughout history brought to life by a community of colorization enthusiasts and professional retouchers in the new book Retrographic.
Shopping for a photographer? Whether you are one yourself or not, chances are you could use some ideas. From stocking stuffers on up, we've got some photography gift suggestions for every budget.