Pentax Q Photos

September 2, 2011 | Mark Goldstein | 32 Comments | |
Pentax Q Photos Image

We had a brief opportunity to try out the new Pentax Q camera yesterday. Here are 72 sample JPEG photos, 27 RAW images, and a Full HD movie taken with the tiny new Pentax Q interchangeable lens camera.

There's also a full ISO range from 125 to 6400 so that you can see exactly what the Pentax Q's 12 megapixel 1/2.3" back-illuminated CMOS sensor is capable of.

The Pentax Q is currently the world’s lightest and smallest compact system camera, with a lens system which has an outer diameter six millimetres shorter than that of Pentax’s conventional K mount, as used on their DSLRs.

Pentax Q JPEG Images

Pentax Q RAW Images

The Pentax Q enables users to capture RAW and JPEG format files. We've provided some Pentax Q RAW (DNG) samples for you to download (thumbnail images shown below are not 100% representative).

1/60s · f/4 · 47mm · ISO 125
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1/100s · f/4 · 47mm · ISO 200
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1/200s · f/4 · 47mm · ISO 400
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1/400s · f/4 · 47mm · ISO 800
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1/800s · f/4 · 47mm · ISO 1600
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1/1600s · f/4 · 47mm · ISO 3200
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1/2000s · f/4 · 47mm · ISO 6400
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1/60s · f/8 · 47mm · ISO 800
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1/60s · f/2.8 · 47mm · ISO 400
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1/2000s · f/2.8 · 47mm · ISO 125
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1/400s · f/8 · 47mm · ISO 125
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1/1250s · f/4 · 47mm · ISO 250
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1/800s · f/4 · 47mm · ISO 125
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1/2000s · f/1.9 · 47mm · ISO 125
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1/2000s · f/4 · 47mm · ISO 250
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1/640s · f/4 · 47mm · ISO 125
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1/640s · f/3.2 · 47mm · ISO 125
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1/400s · f/3.5 · 47mm · ISO 250
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1/800s · f/2.8 · 47mm · ISO 250
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1/2000s · f/2.2 · 47mm · ISO 125
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1/800s · f/2.8 · 47mm · ISO 250
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1/250s · f/2.8 · 47mm · ISO 250
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1/400s · f/2.8 · 47mm · ISO 125
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1/800s · f/1.9 · 47mm · ISO 250
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1/1000s · f/2.8 · 47mm · ISO 125
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1/160s · f/5.6 · 47mm · ISO 125
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1/1600s · f/4 · 47mm · ISO 125
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Pentax Q Movie

This is a sample movie at the quality setting of 1920x1080 at 30 frames per second. Please note that this 14 second movie is 24.5Mb in size.

Entry Tags

samples,photos,compact,images,lens,jpeg,compact system camera,movie,12 megapixel,camera,photo,raw,sample,pentax,image,CMOS,mov,interchangeable,BSI,pentax q,12.3",q

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Your Comments

32 Comments | Newest Oldest First | Post a Comment

#1 danaceb

I hate to sound repetitious but;

If you want this exact image quality for less just get an Canon 230 HS for one third the price. It even has that ever so slightly washed out contrast. The prime lenses do give the Q a slight edge, but its not worth the money and the sensor is not worth the trouble of having razer sharp primes. Raw did more for the washy 550EXR.

9:15 am - Friday, September 2, 2011

#2 M.

What surprised me was not noise, which was to be expected, but the appalling levels of barrel distortion. My Olympus E-P1 has in-camera distortion correction; how hard would it have been to implement it in this camera (especially considering it high price)?
Also, some images seem washed-out, with poor levels of definition and detail, closer to the photos I used to obtain with my former Canon 3150 point-and-shoot than those taken with the E-P1. Sorry, Pentax - you just missed the point!

10:03 am - Friday, September 2, 2011

#3 raven

Very impress with the noise control for such a tiny sensor….

10:58 am - Friday, September 2, 2011

#4 zebarnabe

+1 at M. comment.

11:32 am - Friday, September 2, 2011

#5 Theimer

Among these, there are easily the most impressive high ISO samples ever seen - from a compact (compare with the company’s own X90!). Why the hell are Pentax bothering with such a TSC (don’t know this? it’s for Tiny Sytem Camera), instead of implementing this stunning sensor / processing combination in an X90-like body?

12:53 pm - Friday, September 2, 2011

#6 emptyspaces

The barrel distortion is to be expected from an undeveloped RAW file. Correcting for that is part of the process. Once there’s a profile for the lens in Lightroom/Aperture, the distortion goes away (or you just make your own profile in the meantime). If you shoot jpeg, the jpeg engine takes care of it.

1:29 pm - Friday, September 2, 2011

#7 fiatlux

Distortion does not seem to be corrected by the JPEG engine (see thumbnails).

JPEG samples show limited DR (burnt highlights), but maybe there is more to suck from the DNGs.

I am rather positively impressed by the high ISO samples, and the pixel-level details of low ISO samples. But, at the announced price, I still miss the point of the camera.

4:28 pm - Friday, September 2, 2011

#8 Berg

These shots are great for such tiny camera ! If the price drops under 550-600$, it will be mine.

5:00 pm - Friday, September 2, 2011

#9 darelle

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7:22 pm - Friday, September 2, 2011

#10 frank

this would be an awesome cam to take anywhere and everywhere all the time.  Never miss a shot because its always with you.  Images look great.

6:14 am - Saturday, September 3, 2011

#11 zebarnabe

Berg, get a SX230 HS for under 300$ ... or a HX9V for under 400$ ... similar quality

I prefer the SX220 HS for under 250$

Check in PB for their reviews ... and once the little Pentax Q gets reviewed you can see for yourself why it is way over priced…

8:04 am - Saturday, September 3, 2011

#12 Luke

I suspect diffraction is causing problem in some shots. there are many shots with f/8 - those shots have very poor details. such as picture 19 with clock and redbrick walls. can’t see much details on the clock.

I think f/4 is about the limit for diffraction.

12:57 pm - Saturday, September 3, 2011

#13 kai

yeah, the IQ is impressive for such tiny sensor…but still no point using it for interchangble lens…we would be much pleased to see it is implmented in compact camera

2:31 pm - Saturday, September 3, 2011

#14 Warren Lyons

Once again we have the photographic equivalent of the Bose Wave Radio, a tabletop FM/AM radio selling in the USA for around $500.00 Sounded great considering its size, but lousy, considering its price.  The same could be said of the Pentax Q.  Its images are great for a pocketable camera with a 1/2.3 sensor, but bad for its $800.00 price

3:03 pm - Saturday, September 3, 2011

#15 M.

I concur with Warren Lyons. I also have to say this photo collection is more than a little bit condescendent to this camera: high ISO photos were taken under benevolent lighting conditions, photos taken outside never exceed the comfort zone of ISO 250, and shadowy areas have been carefully avoided. How clever.
I can’t see to whom this camera will appeal: experienced photographers will find it risible, point-and-shoot purchasers can’t be bothered with changing lenses. Only brainless gadget enthusiasts will buy it. Pentax, however, must have made a lot of research to conclude there are many of them…

6:33 pm - Saturday, September 3, 2011

#16 Vladimir

I’m sure there will be people who will buy this camera, but the question is will sales justify R&D budget. With new NEX7 and Samsung NX200 (or NEXC3)to choose from I cannot find any reason for myself why should I buy Pentax.

11:31 pm - Sunday, September 4, 2011

#17 Canada Photo Books

ya very interesting one

7:34 am - Monday, September 5, 2011

#18 Winter Hats

Looks like a nice little camera to me and maybe just what I need!

1:51 pm - Monday, September 5, 2011

#19 Dugong

hmmm.. not really that impressive. my IXUS 220HS can do quite the same as well :) oh well, it will be quite a nice collection though *if u’r a collector*

2:25 am - Tuesday, September 6, 2011

#20 Boudoir Photogtapher Sydney

Not the best camera around but great review. Thanks for ur hard work.

10:11 am - Tuesday, September 6, 2011

#21 Luke

Techradar report blows me away - what’s inside Pentax Q is a very high performing sensor. despite the size 1/2.33, the performance of this sensor outperform Canon G12 by a huge margin. It delivers stellar SN ratio in RAW file. G12 has the best sensor in 1/1.7 format, but twice the size of pentax Q.

Dynamic range in RAW is also very good, outperform even the new micro four thirds. the performance gap is very close to nex c3. Unbelievable given a tiny sensor.

Maybe 1/2.33 sensor got a really bad name - people associate it with poor image quality. Cheap consumer lens is partly to blame, also sony is too ambitious to cram 16m pixels. But once people realize the performance, they will change that perception.

With such amazing sensor, I think pentax didn’t use 1/1.7 is a right decision, it outperform 1/1.7 in almost every way, given half the size. It enable pentax to build smaller lenses in the future.

10:16 am - Wednesday, September 7, 2011

#22 Linda

I travel a lot in brilliant sunshine. I’m looking for a small camera with an optical viewfinder. I don’t want the baggage of a Dslr. I have a GF1 which I’m using with the f1.7 20mm in Italy right now. I’d love something other than LCD for outside shots but the EVF for it is terrible. I’m interested in this…

5:13 pm - Wednesday, September 7, 2011

#23 Berg

“...Berg, get a SX230 HS for under 300$ ... or a HX9V for under 400$ ... similar quality

I prefer the SX220 HS for under 250$

Check in PB for their reviews ... and once the little Pentax Q gets reviewed you can see for yourself why it is way over priced… ...”
No thank you, i want different lenses, and, the Q image quality looks far better. Just check the RAW, i’ve never seen such quality for a tiny camera like this.

9:04 am - Friday, September 9, 2011

#24 zebarnabe

CHDK is available to SX220 HS, it gives one access to RAW files… sure ... it’s not an official feature, but you can compare the sensors and see that the biggest advantage that Pentax Q has is the access to exotic glass with brighter apertures, extreme macro lens, wider lens or longer telephoto ... that will cost twice the price of the camera, each. When the 28-392mm (35mm equiv), F/3.1-5.9 of the SX220 are more than enough for most of the needs.

Please don’t confuse IXUS 220 with Powershot SX220 HS… they are not the same camera (one in a slim compact other a travel zoom).

I leave a link to one of the earliest comparisons between CHDK RAW and in camera jpeg:

Problem with CHDK RAW is that no one really tests it in laboratory conditions.

But sure, the camera is not bad, just overpriced… for the sensor size it performs really, REALLY well, having lens swappable is great, but not everybody is willing to spend so much when a Pentax K-x is cheaper, even with a dual lens kit.

I would love to see this camera priced at 250€ body with prime lens (50mm equivalent with f/1.8) costing 150€ ... that would make it a lot more competitive.

11:43 am - Friday, September 9, 2011

#25 Luke

Pentax Q is very over-priced. 250€ already can get a GF1 body.
350€ Lens and Body combo would be a sweet spot. You can get a LX5 or XZ-1 for 350€, or a Pentax Q, where you can keep the lens for the future. Q would be making more appealing.

Don’t forget that given 400€, you already can get a NEX C3 with kit lens.

Would be interesting to see what Ricoh is doing with Pentax Q. I think they probably release a Pentax Q for GXR module in the future. Maybe there will be a 28mm prime Q lens to replace GDR III.

I think those consumers mega zoom camera Canon or Sony released never really on the same level as Q with prime lens. They are the best in their class, but can’t compete with a prime lens.

Long zoom range always sacrifice image quality. you get high CA, corner problems, softness.

The best image quality from small sensor so far is Ricoh GDR III. which use a 28mm prime lens. GDR III is still very popular in Japan today. The market for Q is definitely there, the price will need to make more sense before it is taking off.

4:41 pm - Friday, September 9, 2011

#26 Ricardo

You guys need to see what this camera can do at higher ISO, in real low light conditions. It’s quite remarkable:

As for the JPEG engine correcting barrel distortion- yes, it can but you have to set the option for it. Just like the K- DSLR series, the setting is there. You can see it in the Pentax manual or any review that shows all the options.

ISO 6400 shot, F1.9, 1/10th of a second. That’s *very* low light:

2:50 am - Monday, September 12, 2011

#27 arnold

Just wait, in six months it will have a plastic body and you will find it on e bay for $99.00 ...
For Pentax, it really shows determination on using a cheap sensor and build a castle around it ...
I would like to see some sunset pictures to see how it handles lens flaring ..... I can shoot straight to the sun with my Fujifilm Z37 and get beautiful
sunsets ... the lens coatings are the best ...tried and tested in Huatulco, Cancun, Yalta, Salinas-Ecuador, Puerto Vallarta ... hows thatfor a little inexpensive camera?....

1:08 pm - Thursday, October 6, 2011

#28 arnold

Good practice…( 10 years ago this would had been great ) Now, try with a 24 MP sensor!....It would be wonderful…

1:47 pm - Thursday, October 6, 2011

#29 arnold

The logic is that the CMOS sensor quacks like a Samsung sensor (they are not that bad for a modest camera of around $150.00) and to get the most out of it you have to skimp on the lens coatings to make the most resolution out of it and those sensors
dynamic range is limited ( or less than others )...
we can find that out by shooting straight to the sun and see if it flares (lens)....
If I go shopping for a sensor I want the widest dynamic range, over 20 Mega pixels, ISO 50 capability, superior lens coatings with no flaring in any condition, 500 pics battery life
... less than 1% lens distortion ..........
It’s O.K. to use the 2.33” sensor if you can deliver the quality .... If I get the pick of sensors I would get a Fujifilm CCD SR ( preferably a 1” one )... and a Zeiss lens with Tessar coatings .....( Don’t just look at target price .... deliver quality )

12:54 am - Friday, October 7, 2011

#30 jean joseph

Great sample of pics. The IQ in these pics has taken me by surprise. I have previously used so called high end compact cameras but none have come near the IQ shown here, so, I got rid of them. This would appear to be DLSR quality but with limitations on picture size. I can understand why for others there might be disappointment in choice of sensor size but for fulfilment of such aspirations there is always the Pentax 645D.

1:57 am - Sunday, December 4, 2011

#31 Kouta

I got this for 250 €...
Needless to say, its the best thing ever, loads of fun. But that’s in 2013.

Also i tried printing these.
results are tolerable, sometimes quite stunning.

4:56 pm - Thursday, January 17, 2013

#32 RM

I considered the Q10 before eventually buying one of the PEN series. The Q10 images on FLICKR were what put me off - terrible colour with a very unrealistic cold neon cast. I can’t believe the plaudits the camera gets here.

10:59 pm - Wednesday, October 23, 2013