It’s not hard to see Pentax (now owned by Ricoh) as one of the “quirky”, bold camera companies, and mirrorless Pentax Q system is a great testimony to such a claim. While Sony, Olympus and other manufacturers busied themselves launching extremely competitive and, in a way, predictable compact system cameras, Pentax decided to take a risk and released the original Q back in 2011. A camera that was essentially an unconventional-looking compact point-and-shoot with interchangeable lenses never really caught on. Even so, Pentax today announced the latest member of the compact system – the Q7.
Pentax Q7 Specifications
I’ll go ahead and say it – I was never a big fan of Pentax Q and thought it to be too expensive for what it was. But I also don’t think it’s a bad system as long as you realize that intended competition is advanced point-and-shoot cameras, such as Nikon P7700. With that in mind, Pentax has a few fun things on offer with the system. For example, the Q7 can be ordered in any of the 120 color combinations. That’s right. One hundred and twenty. With a bit of effort, one can turn this into a very handsome camera, or a very ridiculous one.
On a more serious note, previous Q cameras – the original Q and the still-recent Q10 – featured tiny 1/2.3″ sensors. What makes the Q7 different is a slightly larger 1/1.7″ sensor. As before, it is a 12 megapixel backside illuminated CMOS unit which offers ISO sensitivity of up to 12800. What’s more interesting is that all current Pentax Q lenses support the larger sensor and provide slightly wider field of view when compared to older cameras. A rather strange body-cap styled lens has alo been announced with the camera. It has an equivalent focal length close to 50mm (being a 11.5mm lens) and a very slow aperture of f/9. The lens will set you back less than $80.
Here is a short list of Pentax Q7 key specifications:
- 1/1.7″ BSI CMOS sensor with approx. 12 megapixel resolution
- ISO sensitivity of up to 12800
- 3″ screen with approx. 461k dots
- 5 frames per second continuous shooting
- RAW support
- Shutter speed of up to 1/2000
- Extremely small
- Weighs just 200g (0.44lb / 7.05oz)
- In-camera sensor-based image stabilization
- 1080p30 Full HD video recording
Official Press Release
Here is the official press release for the new Pentax Q7:
PENTAX RICOH IMAGING Expands Commitment to Q-mount Camera System
Available in 120 color combinations, the Q7 ensures there is a camera for every taste and style along with features and settings to match
Denver, CO (June 12, 2013) —PENTAX RICOH IMAGING AMERICAS CORPORATION today announced the fun and highly capable Q7 compact system camera. Available for order in 120 eye-catching color combinations through PENTAX’s Color To Order™ system, the Q7 gives creative control to the consumer with a complete system of interchangeable lenses, filters, viewfinders, and fun smart effects and digital filters enable truly limitless creativity.
Setting a new standard in the imaging industry, the Q7 incorporates a growing trend among consumer products: customization. With an expertly architected supply chain management system designed around Color To Order, consumers are empowered to integrate individual style, personality and taste into their camera sparking the creative process even as their order is placed. Joining the already successful Q10, the Q7 features an upgraded 1/1.7 inch, back-illuminated CMOS image sensor, high sensitivity shooting up to ISO 12800 and enhanced Q ENGINE with faster response time during start-up and shooting time, the creativity continues as beautiful, sharp images are captured.
“Don’t be fooled by the Q7’s small size and 120 color combinations,” said Jim Malcolm, executive vice president, PENTAX RICOH IMAGING. “As the smallest and lightest compact system camera in the world, this tiny gem is packed with serious specs and capabilities including a number of digital filters and smart effects.”
Weighing in a just 7 ounces, the Q7’s compact body enables easily poket-able portability while the fun filters and assorted lens variety inspire the casual photographer to elevate their creativity. With 19 smart effects and filters and seven lenses, a retro look and feel can easily be applied in-camera with the ability to layer different effects for greater expression and better image quality than cell phones ever dreamt of. Additionally, with the Q7’s enhanced Eye Fi SD card compatibility and built-in menus, users can now edit, re-size and share photos instantly.
Also introduced today is the 07 Mount Shield lens. As the seventh member of the Q-family lens mount, the 07 lens produces a truly unique and timeless visual effect, comparable to the original pin-hole camera—with a fixed aperture of F9 and a focal length of 11.5 mm (or 53mm in 35mm format), for an extra-ordinary image with distinctively velvety edges. Featuring a focusing range of approximately 0.7-2m, still life shots and macro photography are given a beautiful dream-like look and feel. Weighing a mere 8 grams, the 07 Mount Shield lens is extremely small, resembling a tiny Q series body cap making it an ideal lens for pocket-able fun, and travel photography.
Pricing and Availability
The Q7 kit with 02 zoom lens is available to order today in a choice of 120 color combinations at pentaximaging.com and retail outlets nationwide in August 2013 with a suggested retail price of $499.95. The 07 Mount Shield lens will be available for purchase online and at retail outlets nationwide in July of 2013 with a suggested retail price of $79.95.
It’s hard to say if Pentax Q7 will be a big hit, but it is sure to attract attention of those photographers wanting not just a small, but also characterful camera system. If you’re one of such people and are thinking of which color combination to choose, you can pre-order the Q7 from our most trusted reseller, B&H, by following this link.