Pentax is an unusually smart camera manufacturer. While, the other manufacturers tend to put higher pixel count sensors in their new cameras, Pentax has made an unusual move and put a larger sensor in the latest addition to its Q series of compact system cameras (CSCs).
Sounds intriguing, Let’s find out more about the Pentax Q7 camera.
As the innovation goes, the Pentax Q series applied a new approach to the Compact System Camera (CSC) market. Pentax was on a mission to make the Q range as small as possible. To do so, small sensors were being used that competed directly with other CSC’s. The Pentax Q7 boasts a 1/1.7-inch sensor that is larger than other Q series sensors.
The sensor is also backside illuminated and as such should handle noise better at higher ISO settings. Albeit the size of resolution Pentax Q7 disappoints us with the 12.4 MP resolution that could have been higher. The Q7 benefits from a new and improved ‘Q Engine’ image processor that the manufacturer claims will result in around a 10% improvement in performance. It also features a new and improved sensor-shift image stabilization system. The image stabilization system should allow for around a three-stop advantage on equivalent cameras without the stabilization system. The Q7 also has yet another notable feature, the front-mount Quick Dial. The dial is retained from the Q-system predecessors. Apart from these prominent features, the camera offers instant access to a host of functionality options. An impressive functionality option is the ND filter and various Smart Effects.
Albeit its 1/1.7-inch sensor, the Pentax Q7 cannot create a shallow depth of field as some of its competitors. Despite the lacking feature, Pentax resorted to a more interesting mean. The Bokeh Control shooting mode is rather an interesting addition for Bokeh enthusiasts. The camera creates artificial bokeh effects of the combination of a larger sensor and wider maximum aperture that the Q7 is missing.
The Q7 has a maximum shutter speed of 1/8000 second, which is not impressive. However, to make up for this, the Q7 features the bokeh shot functions. The 1/1.7-inch sensor is usually around 9.5 × 7.6mm. By increasing the size of the sensor while keeping the pixel count the same as before and improving the image quality is what the Q7 is all about. The camera generates less noise and has a greater dynamic range. The Pentax Q7 is designed for amateur as well as enthusiastic photographers. The camera has the generally followed pattern of the program, shutter priority, aperture priority and manual exposure modes, in addition to an automatic option and 21 scene modes.
The ISO range of the Q7 is up to 12800 and Pentax has paid attention to the shooting speed as well as the start up time of the camera. The camera performs well in low light conditions too. The Pentax Q7 is capable of recording raw and JPEG files, and there are 11 Custom Image options - namely Bright, Natural, Portrait, Landscape, Vibrant, Radiant, Muted, Bleach Bypass, Reversal Film, Monochrome and Cross Processing - to give JPEG files a particular look. It also includes various digital filter effects such as; Toy Camera, High Contrast, Shading, Slim, HDR, Invert Colour, Extract Colour, Water colour, Posterization and Fisheye.
The maximum continuous shooting speed of the camera is 5 fps. The camera supports Eye-Fi SD card. The camera also includes a three-image HDR mode, a multiple-exposure mode, remote control receptors on the front and back panels and a digital level that indicates when the horizon is correctly aligned.
Build Quality and Design:
The small and friendly Q7 is a decent camera. However, it does not have any sealing against dust or moisture. The engineering plastic construction makes it feel pretty durable.
The camera has a dial on the top of the camera and gives the user access to exposure modes. The camera has a dial on the front that provides access to five different functions. There is a focus method; focus peaking as well as an ND filter provision too. The scrolling dial is in easy reach of the thumb based on the exposure mode you use. The camera also has a traditional four-way navigational pad on the backside. The key settings can be accessed from the rear end of the camera too.
The Q7 does not have a touch screen display but using various functions is pretty simple. This camera lacks a viewfinder but has an LCD display. The 3-inch TFT LCD screen composes great images. However, you have to be prepared for harsh sunlight and glares on the Q7’s screen, as your camera does not support this.
Despite the size of the camera, it supports full sized SD card slots. The Pentax Q7 comes in 20 different body colours, you can choose between different grip colours too.
This is one camera that has a very vibrant and cheerfully colourful looking body.
Despite its small and cuteness factor, the pentax Q7 leaves a little bit of disappointment too. When a camera features interchangeable lenses, despite the fact that the sensor is only as large as a compact camera, you expect a much higher degree of image quality - sadly this isn't the case with the Q7. You might notice that when composing a particular shot, the image would appear very crisp and brilliantly exposed. But, when you press the shutter button, the details vanish away. This is mostly noticeable when you try close up photos.
Thankfully, this camera shoots files in DNG format, which is useful as a universal file format for tweaking straight in your photo editing software of choice without having to rely on proprietary software. So that’s a bit of relief. The Q7’s all-purpose metering system produces accurate exposures and is a good performer. Although the Q7 is not a speedy camera which, takes around 1.5 seconds to start and take the first shot, it boasts 1.5 frames per second for Jpeg files on continuous lo and 5 fps on continuous hi.
The Pentax Q7 is powered by a D-LI68 lithium-ion rechargeable battery pack. This is the same camera that powers other Pentax Q series cameras. The battery shoots around 250 images on a single charge. You can charge this battery with an out of camera charger.
The Pentax Q7 is quite a portable and vibrant camera. Its impressive build quality will definitely attract you. Also, a good handling makes this camera desirable. However, you might face problems with the image quality that isn’t the best. The camera delivers a poor performance overall. There are plenty of Pentax camera’s available in the market if you are specific about Pentax. This camera is a cute compact, but it is not the best for photography enthusiasts.
Pentax Q7 Rivals:
Nikon 1 J1
Nikon 1 V1
Canon EOS M
At the time of writing this article, the best available price for Pentax Q7 in India is Rs.26596/-. The price will be updated regularly in this page.