The Q is a compact size interchangeable lens camera introduced by Pentax in 2011. Many websites are calling it a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera (MILC), which I guess is technically correct as the Q lacks a mirror, but that term usually refers to cameras with DSLR-sized sensors such as the Sony NEX series or the Micro 4/3rds system of cameras from Panasonic or Olympus. Pentax themselves call the Q a Hybrid camera, and this category also includes another camera more similar to those other MILC, being the Pentax K-01 which uses an APS-C sensor.
|Pentax Q with Pentax-01 Prime Lens (8.5mm F/1.9, equivalent to approx 47mm on full frame)|
|The Pentax Q compared to a Nikon D600.|
The Pentax Q claims to be the smallest interchangeable lens camera, and I'd believe that (not counting some exceptions like spy cameras or obvious toys with no quality). It has a sensor size of 1/2.3", which is a typical size used in many compact cameras. This is approximately 5.5x smaller in area than a full-frame DSLR. The image quality is decent for what the camera is, but should not by any means be compared to DSLR images.
Check out some sample images from the Q below. All images taken with the Pentax-01 Prime lens.
|Indoor shot, window lighting. ISO 640 and shutter speed of 1/60. Shot in RAW and converted by Adobe Lightroom. There's a bit of noise, but this is still fairly good performance by a compact camera sensor.|
|Close-up shot under shade in outdoor light. Good detail, impressive for a compact camera. Check the next image for a 100% crop.|
|100% crop of the photo above. Decent detail in the individual strands, with a bit of graininess visible in other areas.|
|100% crop of a Coke bottle at ISO 1000. Lots of noise and grain, but pretty good for 100|
This isn't a full review, but more of a first impressions post. I won't conclude whether the Q is a great camera or not, but it definitely is a fun toy. The construction and materials are excellent quality. I wouldn't treat it as a serious camera, and as such don't expect absolutely top image quality.