Pentax Q7 Review

4.0
October 4, 2013 | Gavin Stoker |

Image Quality


All of the sample images in this review were taken using the 12 megapixel Best JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 3.5Mb.

OK, whilst inevitably the 1/1.7-inch sensor at the heart of the Q7 isn’t a direct replacement for the performance of an APS-C sensor in a DSLR or a CSC such as the Canon M, and its lens can’t hope to match a physically larger piece of glass, the Q7’s imaging performance largely falls into line with what we expected of a camera that plugs the gap between pocket snapshot and full-blown DSLR.

In other words, whilst at worst images can resemble common or garden snaps, get some good light and an interesting subject and it’s clear plenty of detail is capable of being captured throughout the frame. Added to this the f/2.8 maximum aperture of the kit lens isn’t bad for a zoom and still allowed us to achieve some shallow depth of field effects. Plus, used diligently and sparingly, there’s the advantage to ‘dial in’ a bit more contrast and colour via the knob on the front of the Q7 if it would suit scene and subject, which provides both the fun and visual punch otherwise missing.

For indoor photography utilising natural light, the Pentax Q7’s manually selectable ISO options stretch from ISO 100 to ISO 12800. Noticeably the results at the two top settings of ISO 6400 and ISO 12800 are increasingly noisy in appearance, with colours visibly wandering. However at ISO 3200 and below we were much happier with what we got; thankfully too the camera’s ISO settings can be limited to operate within the parameters of ISO 100-3200, so you can avoid the camera stretching its capabilities further than you might be happy with.

Noise

There are 7 ISO settings available on the Pentax Q7. Here are some 100% crops which show the noise levels for each ISO setting, with JPEG on the left and the RAW equivalent on the right:

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 6400 (100% Crop)

ISO 12800 (100% Crop)

Sharpening

Here are two 100% crops which have been Saved as Web - Quality 50 in Photoshop. The right-hand image has had some sharpening applied in Photoshop. The out-of-the camera images are soft at the default sharpening setting and benefit from some further sharpening in a program like Adobe Photoshop. You can also change the in-camera sharpening level to suit your tastes.

Original (100% Crop)

Sharpened (100% Crop)

   

Flash

The flash modes include Auto, Auto + Red-eye Reduction, Flash On, Flash On + Red-eye Reduction, Slow-speed Sync, Slow-speed Sync + Red-eye Reduction, Trailing Curtain Sync, and Flash Off. These shots of a white wall were taken at a distance of 1.5 metres.

Flash Off - Wide Angle (27mm)

Flash On - Wide Angle (27mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64
   

Flash Off - Wide Angle (84mm)

Flash On - Wide Angle (84mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

And here are some portrait shots. As you can see, neither the Flash On setting or the Red-eye Reduction option caused any amount of red-eye.

Flash On

Flash On (100% Crop)
   

Red-eye Reduction

Red-eye Reduction (100% Crop)

Night

The Pentax Q7 lets you dial in shutter speeds of up to 30 seconds and has a Bulb mode as well, which is very good news if you are seriously interested in night photography. The shot below was taken using a shutter speed of 0.6 second at ISO 1600.

Night

Night (100% Crop)

Entry Tags

hd video, hd, 3 inch LCD, review, 1080p, 12 megapixel, compact system camera, mirrorless, csc, RAW, pentax, CMOS, 5fps, evil, interchangeable lens, Q7, pentax q7, Pentax Q7 Review