New Pentax Q Interchangeable Lens Camera System

Featured Lenses Mirrorless News Pentax

New Pentax Q Interchangeable Lens Camera SystemPentax is now part of the compact system / mirrorless camera movement. Yesterday, they announced their own take on the compact system camera along with 5 lenses for the new system. The 12.4-megapixel Pentax Q takes “compact” a step further than other compact system cameras with a smaller, 1/2.3-inch backlit CMOS image sensor, making it the smallest interchangeable lens camera currently available. The Olympus E-PL2 Micro Four Thirds camera is half-an-inch wider and half-an-inch taller. Even the just-announced Sony NEX C3 mirrorless camera is half-an-inch wider as well as slightly taller and thicker. The Pentax Q is even smaller than the Canon PowerShot G12 and Panasonic Lumix LX5 premium compacts!

New Pentax Q compact, mirrorless, interchangeable lens camera system

This is an impressive announcement from Pentax. The new Pentax Q camera harkens back to the old Pentax half-frame 35mm SLR. And like the half-frame SLR, there is a cost – image quality. Instead of the larger Four Thirds or APS-C sensors that the Olympus, Panasonic, Sony and Samsung mirrorless, interchangeable lens cameras use, the Pentax Q’s 1/2.3-inch sensor is considerably smaller – the same size used on many consumer-level point-and-shoot cameras. So don’t expect the same image quality you’d get from one of the Sony NEX or Panasonic Micro Four Thirds cameras. On the other hand, the Pentax Q is significantly smaller than even high-end compact cameras. I’m sure there will be plenty of photographers willing to trade some image quality to have the world’s smallest interchangeable lens camera.

Pentax Q Key Features & Specs:

  • New PENTAX Q-mount lens system
  • 12.4-megapixel, 1/2.3-inch backlit CMOS sensor
  • Sensor-shift Shake Reduction system
  • 12-bit DNG RAW as well as JPEG images
  • 1080p HD video at 30 frames-per-second
  • Five frames-per-second burst
  • Magnesium body
  • Full manual, P, S, A, scene modes and PENTAX Auto Picture
  • Smart Effects in-camera filters
  • In-camera HDR mode
  • Bokeh Control filter
  • Built-in pop-up flash
  • Five new Q-mount lenses, including a 47mm f/1.9 Standard Prime kit lens
  • Optional shoe-mount optical viewfinder (External Viewfinder O-VF1)
  • Dimensions: 3.9 x 2.3 x 1.2 inches (99 x 58.4 x 30.5 mm)

The new Q camera is a bold move on the part of Pentax. Using a point-and-shoot sensor to make the camera even smaller carves out new territory in the interchangeable lens camera space. Right now, no other camera maker has a camera even close to the size of the Pentax Q. I’m really curious to see if any other manufacturer will follow them with another point-and-shoot sensor interchangeable lens camera. And conversely, how well will the new camera sell with the smaller sensor? This is a very interesting announcement!

The Pentax Q should be available this fall (2011). It is expected to sell for about $800 with the 47mm kit lens. The optional shoe-mount viewfinder will be available at the same time for $249.95.

Pentax Q Camera Press Release >>
Pentax Q System Lenses Press Release >>


Related Content:
Pentax Camera Gear User Reviews
Pentax Cameras Forum
EVIL & Micro Four Thirds Cameras Forum
Pentax SLR Cameras Web Site

Pentax Q - black and white cameras

New Pentax Q camera and lenses

About the author: Photo-John

Photo-John, a.k.a. John Shafer, is the managing editor of and has been since the site launched back in 1999. He's an avid outdoor enthusiast and spends as much time as possible on his mountain bike, hiking or skiing in the mountains. He's been taking pictures for ever and ever, and never goes anywhere without a camera.

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  • megan says:

    Interesting indeed! Will you get a chance to test it?

  • Gary Heller says:

    Seems people love their point & shoots for the simple reason that they can always have it along with them. The “problem” with having a point & shoot was mainly being stuck with the usually limted focal lengths. Now, with this offering one can basically have the point & shoot and whatever choice of lens they would like to go along with it, and the reasonable price tag. Sounds like a logical move and direction here.. Interested in seeing the test results and how it goes over on the market.

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