The Pentax Q10, barely larger than a deck of cards, is like its predecessor, the highly-regarded Pentax Q, which was introduced last year as one of the world's smallest interchangeable-lens digital cameras. The Pentax Q10 represents an expansion and refinement of this growing lineup of photographic tools. Those refinements include a new 12MP CMOS image sensor, improved performance and faster autofocus as well as a new lens and an adapter that allows Q users to mount any Pentax K-mount lens.
Pentax Q10 Key Features:
12.4MP 1/2.3-inch (6.4x4.8mm) back illuminated CMOS sensor
ISO range 100-6400
3-inch LCD monitor
Quick Dial accesses creative visual effects
Full 1080p HD H.264 format video at 30fps
Simplified defocus effect control
Shake Reduction reduces camera motion blur Auto Picture and 21 scene modes
Program, Shutter Priority, Aperture Priority and Manual metering
5fps burst rate
Let's take a closer look at the Pentax Q10's features.
Image quality, performance: The Pentax Q10's 12MP sensor offers the same resolution as its predecessor, but the imaging engine has bee souped up. Pentax claims improved overall image quality, and built-in HDR has been added. An upgraded AF algorithm means the Q10's autofocus operation should be much faster than before, even in dimly lit locations or with a telephoto lens. An AF Assist Light is provided on the camera body to optimize focusing accuracy in the dark, while the Face Recognition AF function automatically detects up to 12 faces and pinpoints the focus on a main subject.
Quick Dial: By assigning the creative Smart Effect function to the easy-to-access Quick Dial, positioned on the camera's front panel, the photographer can effortlessly add the desired finishing touch to an image, while previewing the effect on the camera's 3 inch LCD display. With four positions on the Quick Dial, the photographer can assign four of their favorite effects from the nine Smart Effect modes in advance. In order to customize the PENTAX Q10 to accommodate specific shooting styles and user preferences, the user can also assign other preferences - such as a custom image setting or a digital filter or an aspect ratio setting - to this dial.
In addition to Custom Image function the Q10 offers 19 Digital Filter functions (Eleven filters such as Toy Camera, Invert Color and Posterization can be applied even during the shooting of still images and movie clips, while the remaining eight are applicable only during playback.) The user can even apply different filters one after another to a single image to create more unique visual effects. The Smart Effect function is used for simple dial control of finishing touches to quickly and effortlessly add a desired finishing touch to an image, while previewing the effect on the camera's LCD monitor. From nine Smart Effect modes, including Brilliant Color, which provides a high saturation finish, and Cross Process, with its dramatic unique-toned finish, the user can preselect up to four favorites to the dial in advance.
Auto Picture Mode automatically selects the most appropriate shooting mode from such options as Portrait, Landscape and Macro for a given subject or scene, then optimizes all affecting parameters, such as shutter speed, aperture, white balance, saturation, contrast and sharpness. It also provides 21 Scene modes including Night Scene Portrait, Pet and Backlight Silhouette.
Video: The Pentax Q10 comes equipped with a Full HD video capture function employing the H.264 recording format, allowing the user to capture high quality, extended movie clips (1920 x 1080 pixels) at a frame rate of 30 frames per second. The user can also take advantage of the advanced image processing tools like the Smart Effect modes and other in-body movie editing tools during movie shooting.
Bokeh control: The Pentax Q10 offers a unique bokeh control function that allows the user to create images where their subject stands out by automatically assessing the relative distance between the in-focus subject and obtrusive objects in the field of view. This function simplifies the advanced, SLR-caliber technique of intentional defocusing.
Shake Reduction: Pentax's Shake Reduction mechanism automatically shifts the CMOS image sensor to offset camera shake detected by the camera's motion sensor.
Dust Removal: Since the Pentax Q10 is an interchangeable-lens camera, its sensor is prone to attracting distracting dust. The camera's DRII (Dust Removal II) mechanism is claimed to effectively prevent dust spots from degrading captured images after the user changes lenses out in the open. Its supersonic vibration mechanism vibrates the image sensor at high speed to shake the dust off its surface.
Built-in auto flash with pop-up mechanism: The PENTAX Q10 comes with a built-in pop-up flash with a modest guide number of 7 at ISO 200/m). The photographer can use it at the default position, or raise it to the pop-up position with to widen its discharge angle to cover a 28mm angle of view (in the 35mm format).
The tele function is unheard of. I use the Q 10 with a Leica Noctilux 1/50mm. Thanks to the crop factor of 5.54, I can work with 1/277mm. Sharpness...only depends on the lens. If you attach the world's sharpest lens at all, the Leica 50mm APO ASPH, you get a still very satisfying 2/277mm, and the shots are sharper than with any camera CaNikon has on offer. Sharpness does not depend of the sensor size, a common error in most "test" reports, written by people who know very little.
I use this for fun, really. Small, fun to shoot, fun to show, very easy to carry around. I do have big hands however, so the smallness is at times a tad, well, too small. But really great fun!
Amazing how Pentax was able to cram all its features into such a tiny package. The control layout and shooting setups are just like its full sized DLSRs. But the difference is you'll want to carry the Q10 with you at all times because not only its small enough to just grab and go but it is so much fun to shoot with. You don't need a bag - you can carry the entire system in your pocket. Wow!
Small, fun and looks great. Good ISO performance and great image quality that surprised me
This small camera is my perfect companion. It goes always with me, being so small, it perfectly fits in my bag. I've found that I really use it to take photos..... not to do techie pictures to analyze pixel by pixel, just photos. It's so easy to use, so handy, so unnoticeable, that I can use it everywhere.... and the quality is surprisingly high.