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- Pentax Q
- Pentax's petite interchangeable lens shooter, the Q, has finally made its way through our lab tests.
Pentax Q Mirrorless Digital Camera Review$799.00
The Pentax Q offers a physical shooting mode dial on the top shoulder of the camera. It has positions for shutter/aperture priority, full manual, blur control (applies a digital blur around your subject to enhance depth of field), program auto, full automatic, scene mode, and video capture. The mode dial is positioned just above where the shooter's index finger will usually rest, but it offers just enough resistance to prevent accidentally switching modes.
The Pentax Q utilizes a 25-point contrast detection autofocus through the lens, with a sensitivity of 1-18 EV at ISO 125. The focus is snappy, though it's not the fastest that we have seen. We found the Nikon J1 and the Olympus E-P3 were faster for mirrorless cameras, though the Pentax Q comes in very close behind those two. There are also focus options for face detection, subject tracking, and precise point selection, though all modes struggle a bit in very low light.
Even when placed in autofocus, the Q allows for quick manual focus override by twisting the focus ring on the kit lens' barrel. There are manual focus assist options in the menu as well, which will automatically employ a 2x or 4x digital zoom to bring the subject in closer for fine focus adjustments. There is no peaking option here, but the constant MF override is a nice touch and makes those minute adjustments simple for the user.
In its native 4:3 ratio the Q sensor is capable of shooting images of 12, nine, five, and three megapixels. The sensor can also take a cropped 3:2 ratio image at 10, eight, five, or two megapixels. Furthermore, the sensor can crop to a 1:1 shot, but further cropping yields a maximum of just nine megapixels, with options for six, four, and two-megapixel 1:1 shots.
The Pentax Q doesn't offer the same measure of custimzability that the company's full DSLRs offer, but it's not far off. The menu system is very similar, with only a few custom functions missing.
The function of the Q's "green" button can be set in the menu, though there are a limited amount of functions that it can assume. The button does have the capability to become a depth of field preview button, one-push file format change, auto exposure lock, or it can activate autofocus.