Summary: The Pentax Q already has divided opinion and is likely to continue to do so. It's a true mix of genius and insanity blended into one product that, therefore, makes it underwhelming. The Q's small sensor does mean lack of shallow depth of field control and despite Pentax's BC mode (pseudo bokeh background effect) making its way into the camera it just doesn't work.
Summary: No one can deny that the Pentax Q adds a little colour to the market. Its main talking points will always be its size, for reasons good and bad. The current ‘smallest interchangeable-lens camera' uses a much smaller sensor, but this is central to its being - compact size and compact lenses (and the consequent distortion and lack of control over depth of field).
Excerpt: Claimed to be the world’s lightest and smallest interchangeable lens camera, the Magnesium alloy Pentax Q comes with a tiny retro-styled body and a 12.4 megapixel CMOS image sensor that is designed to put the fun back into your photography. It’s no secret that I find Pentax one of the best camera makers around. I have been using Pentax digital cameras for my work now for the past five years and have never yearned for another brand.
Conclusion: Being as quick in its responses as a mid-range DSLR, the Pentax Q is more than a curio and we hope, with perhaps larger sensors in subsequent models, it will be the diminutive shape of things to come for compact system cameras.
Pros: Tiny body yet still sports a rugged-feel build; fun to use; fits conveniently in a pocket if the lens is removed; fast response times
Cons: Some may find the rear controls small and fiddly; battery life could be boosted; audio on video clips is mono only
Conclusion: Unique isn’t a word that should be used lightly, but the Pentax Q more than fits the bill. However, amid a competitive Compact System Camera market it fails to encapsulate true DSLR-like quality in a compact body. Images may be sharp, but other imaging issues and lack of depth of field control hold the Q back. While the camera certainly looks sweet enough, it just doesn’t have the inner guts to outperform its competitors.
Pros: It’s super-small, better than many high-end compact cameras
Cons: Small sensor limits depth of field control, stiff dials, awkward layout, expensive
Excerpt: The Pentax Q is an ultra compact mirrorless camera with interchangeable lenses, with a compact camera sized sensor. Pentax has announced 5 lenses to go with it, from fisheye to telephoto.
Pros: Smallest Interchangeable Lens Camera yet, Can save RAW file after you've taken a photo (from buffer), Good HDR Auto feature, 5fps continuous shooting (JPEG only), Excellent noise performance for a compact sensor, Good image quality and colour, Lots of customisable options, Low lens price
Cons: Not the cheapest mirrorless camera, Lacks panoramic mode (features everything else though!), Only 2/4x Manual focus zoom on screen, Screen blanks out in continuous shooting mode