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Pentax Q System Camera - In Detail

We look at the new Pentax Q System in more detail - The Pentax Q is a compact camera system with interchangeable lenses, and a compact sized sensor.

| Pentax Pentax Q in Mirrorless Cameras
Pentax Q System Camera - In Detail: Pentax Q System Sensor Exposed 
Pentax exposes the compact camera sensor for all to see: Pentax' new Q System based on the 1/2.33inch sensor used in other compact cameras, exposes the small sensor for everyone to see. When this hits the shops you'll be able to see with your own eyes the size of the sensor used in all compact cameras, and be able to compare directly the size of the mirrorless sensor cameras. Making it clear to you what you get when you choose smaller camera systems, and perhaps backing up the reason why many people choose mirrorless or DSLR cameras. We've highlighted the size of the Pentax Q sensor (and the size of sensor used in most compacts) in the image below:

Sensor Size

Aimed at the advanced point and shoot photographer who wants more control, but doesn't want to be limited to a fixed lens, the Pentax Q system gives RAW support, manual controls, custom functions, and magnesium alloy body / chassis (shown below).

Pentax Q System Camera - In Detail:

Five new lenses available: The new range of lenses gives the camera a wide range from 17.5mm equivalent to 100mm equivalent (in 35mm terms), and the choice of 5 lenses is an improvement on the choice of lenses available with other compact system cameras, such as the Samsung NX system (3 lenses currently available to buy), and Sony's NEX system (3 lenses currently available to buy). However compared to the well established Micro-Four-Thirds system, the choice seems a little limited, with nowhere near the same telephoto reach, although the range of lenses is expected to increase. It would be nice to see a dedicated macro lens, and a telephoto zoom lens.

Pentax Q System Camera - In Detail: Pentax Q System Leather Case

Size of the camera: Compared to the serious compact camera, such as the Canon Powershot S95, and Panasonic Lumix LX5, the Pentax Q sits somewhere in the middle, very similar in size to the S95, and smaller than the Panasonic Lumix LX5, making it the smallest compact digital camera available with a flash hot-shoe. However, it also has a slightly smaller sensor than these "serious compacts" as they feature 1/1.8inch sensors.

  Canon Powershot S95 Pentax Q (exc lens) Panasonic Lumix LX5
Width mm 99.8 98.0 109.7
Height mm 58.4 57.7 65.5
Depth mm 29.5 31.0 43.0
Weight 193g (inc SD,battery) 200g (inc SD,battery)* 271g (inc SD,battery)

* Lenses available weigh 37g for the Standard Prime, 96g for the Standard Zoom, 29g for the Fish-eye, 21g for the Toy Wide, 18g for the Toy Telephoto Pancake lens.

Pentax Q System Camera - In Detail: Pentax Q Size Comparison
Pentax Q - Sony NEX C3 - Panasonic Lumix GF3 - Olympus EPL1 - Image: Pentax - Click to enlarge.

Compared to current mirrorless systems: Comparing the size of the Pentax Q system camera to current mirrorless systems, including the new Sony NEX C3, and Panasonic Lumix GF3, both of them being the "smallest" at the time of their announcements, and the Olympus PEN E-PL1, it's clear to see the Pentax Q camera is much smaller, as the picture above demonstrates.

Price: The expected price is €700 (£625 GBP converted at current exchange rates - the UK price is not yet available) with standard prime lens, although it's expected the camera will be available bundled with a variety of lenses, so that you can choose a package that suits you. The reaction online to the price seems mixed, with some loving the concept, but others pointing out that similar sized compact cameras, such as the Canon Powershot S95, Panasonic Lumix LX5, and Olympus XZ-1 are around £300 - £350. This also prices the Pentax Q significantly higher than current mirrorless systems from Olympus, Panasonic, Samsung, and Sony, all with larger sensors (and therefore higher image quality), as these cameras are often available for £299 with kit lens. Another benefit of the mirrorless systems (and Digital SLRs) is the wide availability of converters to enable the use of older lenses.

Read the full Pentax Q System Announcement here.
Read the full Pentax Q Lenses Announcement

Price tba
Lens Mount Q-Mount
Resolution 12.4 million
Sensor size 1/2.3-type / 12.4 Total Megapixels
Sensor type Backlit CMOS
Max. Image size 12M 4000 x 3000
Monitor 3.0in TFT LCD monitor, 460000 dots
Shutter speed Lens shutter: 1/2000 - 30 seconds, (1/3EV step, 1/8000 - 30 seconds when Electronic Shutter setting is enabled), Bulb *Shooting at 1/8000 - 2 seconds with Electronic Shutter and Bulb shooting are not available when using a lens that has no lens shutter.
Focusing system Contrast Detect AF
Focusing modes Face Detection, Tracking, AF Select (25 Points), Select, Spot, Dedicated LED AF assist light.
File types RAW (12bit): DNG, JPEG: ★★★ (Best), ★★ (Better), ★ (Good), RAW and JPEG simultaneously recordable, Video: MPEG–4 AVC/H.264
ISO sensitivity ISO 125 - 6400
Metering system TTL image sensor metering
Metering modes Segment metering, centre-weighted metering, and spot metering
Exposure compensation EV1.3 - 17 (ISO 125, F1.9 lens), +2EV using the Electronic Shutter setting or using the ND filter
Continuous Approx. 5 fps, JPEG (12M / ★★★ / Continuous Hi): up to 5 frames,
Approx. 1.5 fps, JPEG (12M / ★★★ / Continuous Lo): up to 100 frames
Image stabilisation Yes, Sensor shift Shake Reduction
Movie mode Full HD (1920x1080, 16:9, 30fps), HD (1280x720, 16:9, 30fps), VGA (640x480, 4:3, 30fps)
Media type SD, SDHC, and SDXC Memory Card
Interface USB 2.0 (high-speed compatible) / AV output terminal, HDMI output terminal (Type D), USB: MSC/PTP, Video output: NTSC/PAL
Power Rechargeable Lithium-ion Battery D-LI68, AC Adapter Kit K-AC115 (optional)
Box Contents Pentax Q Camera, USB Cable I-USB7, Strap O-ST115, Rechargeable Lithium-ion Battery D-LI68, Battery Charger D-BC68P, Software (CDROM) S-SW115 <Mounted on the camera> Hot shoe cover FK, Body mount cover, Software: SILKYPIX Developer Studio 3.0 for PENTAX
Size Approx. 98.0mm (W) x 57.5mm (H) x 31.0mm (D) (excluding the operation parts and protrusion)
Weight Approx. 200g (loaded and ready with the dedicated battery and SD Memory Card), Approx. 180 g (body only)
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Jacobite Avatar
Would have liked to have seen a better viewfinder, even one like the X100's would have made this a 'must-have' camera for me; as it is, although it looks great, I won't be buying one.
Carrera_c Avatar
Carrera_c 14 273 3 United Kingdom
Would like to see test shots from this camera, I expect they will be quite disappointing when compared to its competitors. Seems overpriced with a needlessly small sensor.
syysyy Avatar
the photo of Lumix GF2 is wrong, the photo is GF1
joshwa Avatar
joshwa Plus
13 927 1 United Kingdom

Quote:The photo of Lumix GF2 is wrong, the photo is GF1

Thanks I've updated it, it should have said GF3.
douglas1438 Avatar
As a big Pentax fan and wanting to get a mirrorless system as a backup to my DSLR I had been waiting for news from Pentax and expecting to be able to use my K-mount lenses. What a shame, seems Pentax have missed the point. Looks like I'll be investing in the superior Sony NEX-5D.
Jacobite Avatar
I think I'll stick to my Pentax DSLRs and see what Leica's new system will be like.
Rees Avatar
Rees 15 14 Wales
I do not know what Pentax logic is, small sensor, two of the lenses have Plastic, yes Plastic lens mounts. I shall not be purchasing this poor effort of a new camera system.

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