Announced in June 2013, the Pentax Q7 is the flagship model in the Q series. It has a larger image sensor and there are a choice of 20 body colours and six grip colours giving 120 possible colour combinations. The Q7 is due to be launched in September 2013 with an RRP of £369.99 body only and £399.99 with the 5-15mm kit lens.
Pentax Q7 Features
The Pentax Q7 has the largest sensor of any of the cameras in the Q range, a 1/1.7-inch, 12.4 megapixel back-illuminated CMOS sensor. To illustrate the sensor size difference, we've shown the Q10 sensor to scale overlaid below:
With a larger sensor, it has a magnification factor of 4.6x compared to the Q and Q10 magnification factor of 5.5x, this gives a wider view when using the Pentax Q lenses on the Q7, for example the 5-15mm standard zoom lens, which is the equivalent of 27.5-83mm on the Q and Q10 becomes 23-69mm equivalent on the Q7. An example can be seen below, at 5mm, showing the difference between the cameras:
To keep images as sharp as possible there is a sensor shift shake reduction, which features a gyro sensor. You can use any of the Pentax Q mount lens as well as K mount lenses if you purchase the Adapter Q for K-mount lens adapter.
The Q7 has an auto mode, full manual controls and a number of scene modes which include HDR. You can get creative with your picture taking using the Custom Image modes and Smart Effects. You can even apply a digital filter to your pictures after shooting via the edit option in playback. The Q7 also introduces a dual axis electronic level, Eye-Fi compatibility, and HDR interval movie timelapse function.
Videos are recorded in full 1080p HD at 30 fps and you can also use the Smart Effects during recording.
The Pentax Q7 has an extremely small body and is rubberised on the front either side of the lens to help give good grip. There are also three dots on the rear for your right thumb. Despite its small body, there are an ample amount of buttons. On the top is a mode dial and another for changing settings such as shutter speed and aperture. Other buttons on the top are the shutter release, on / off, playback and a switch which releases the pop-up flash.
On the rear are buttons to set the ISO and white balance as well as flash mode and self-timer. In the middle of these buttons is an OK button, all of which act as a d-pad for cycling through the menus. There are also exposure compensation, info, menu and green buttons - the green button can be used for different settings. The Q7 also has a dial on the front which has 4 options and can also be changed to the users preference such as aspect ratio, focus method etc.
Pentax have managed to pack a 3.0 inch screen on the Q7 which has a decent 460k dot resolution and has been treated with an anti-reflection coating. The menu system is split into 5 sections with sub-sections in each - it can take a little time to go through all the available options.
Battery life is rated at 250 shots according to CIPA test results, which should be enough for a day of shooting. We took a number of shots to test the camera's responsiveness, from switch on to first photo, shot to shot, focusing speed etc. We take a number of shots and then use the average to ensure accurate and consistent tests, making it easy to compare with other cameras.
Wide - Focus / Shutter Response
Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response
Switch on Time to Taking a Photo
Shot to Shot without Flash
Shot to Shot with Flash
Continuous Shooting - Lo (RAW + JPEG) slows after 3 shots
Continuous Shooting - Lo (RAW + JPEG) with flash
Continuous Shooting - Hi (JPEG only) slows after 5 shots
Continuous Shooting - Hi (JPEG only) with flash
All off the continuous shooting modes record in full resolution.
Pentax Q7 Performance
Additional sample photos and product shots are available in the Equipment Database, where you can add your own review, photos and product ratings.
Pentax Q7 Sample Photos
Sample Photos - Images are well exposed with excellent colour reproduction. Portraits have good skin tones and are free of red-eye when shooting with the flash. To extend the dynamic range you can use the HDR mode, or adjust D-Range settings where there are options for highlight or shadow correction.
Pentax Q7 Lens test images
Lens Performance - Image detail is good throughout the images at both ends of the lens, except in the shadows where detail is non-existent. Purple fringing is well controlled in contrasting areas. The 5-15mm isn't ideal for macro shots as you can't focus close enough, even when zooming in.
Pentax Q7 ISO test images
ISO Noise Performance - Noise is low at ISO 100 and remains low, with sharp images produced right up to ISO 800. Images are soft in places at ISO 1600 with detail lost in places at ISO 3200. Lots of detail is lost at ISO 6400, with poor image quality at ISO 12800. Images at ISO 1600 and above, when compared to the Pentax Q10 (with smaller sensor) show slightly lower noise, with ISO 6400 images showing much lower noise. ISO12800 is not available on the Q10.
Pentax Q7 White-balance test images
White Balance Performance - Under the incandescent lights the Auto White Balance (AWB) takes an image with an orange cast, with the incandescent preset taking a much better picture. The AWB fares a little better under the fluorescent lights. There are four different fluorescent presets, all of which produced images with colour casts.
Pentax Q7 Digital filters
Digital Filters - Above we've included examples of the custom image modes and digital filters available. The last three are examples using the three different HDR options. The colour options can be adjusted, letting you alter saturation, hue, high/low key adjust, contrast, and sharpness.
Video - Below is a video recorded in full 1080p HD. Quality is good, there is a video using the zoom during recording over on the ePHOTOzine Youtube page.
If you're a fan of small gadgets, the Pentax Q7 is going to appeal to you, particularly with the range of colours it is available in. It's extremely small, yet packs all the features you'd expect to see on a DSLR, including the ability to change lenses. You've full manual controls, RAW shooting and 5 fps continuous shooting. The screen size and resolution hasn't been compromised and the body and 5-15mm lens have plenty of rubberised grip.
Image quality is good, with excellent colour reproduction, but detail in darker areas of the images is poor, although could be improved using HDR or D-Range settings. The Q7 also comes with custom image modes and a range of digital filters so you can take creative pictures.
The Pentax Q7 is extremely small and comes in a range of colours. Ideal for gadget fans!
Pentax Q7 Pros
Extremely small body
Good sized screen with decent resolution
Full manual controls and RAW shooting
Dual axis electronic level
Lots of filters
Available in lots of colours
Pentax Q7 Cons
AWB struggles under our studio lighting
Not good for macro shots
Image detail is poor in the shadows