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Pentax Q7: Design and Features

By Paul Nuttall



Our Score:


Pentax Q7: Design

One of the highlights of the camera’s design is the built-in flash. Not only does it feature a decent guide number of 4.7 at ISO 100, but it’s also spring-mounted; popping away from the body and at an angle to the lens so as to reduce red-eye in portrait shots.

If you’re in to customisation then the Q7 might be the camera for you. The Pentax website sports a colour chooser that lets you select from 6 different grip colours and some 20 body colours, while the model’s 8.5mm f/1.9 prime lens is also colour customisable.

Pentax Q7

As has been the case with previous Q series models, the adoption of a smaller, compact sized sensor means that both the Q7’s body and lens are amongst the smallest on the market. In fact, when the two are combined the resulting package is probably the only of any CSC that you can fit in to your pocket.

Despite its diminutive dimensions, the Q7 isn’t actually the smallest CSC body on the market, with that honour instead falling to the Nikon 1 J3 by just a few millimetres. The Pentax Q7 does, however, handle much better than the J3 thanks to a comfortable hand grip and a body that features a pleasing leatherette finish all over the camera’s body.

The Q7 also benefits from a good standard of build quality. The body itself is tough polycarbonate plastic. The various controls around the camera body are also pleasingly sturdy, offering just enough stiffness so that they won’t be readily knocked during the shooting process.

The only real issue with the camera’s build quality is the standard of the covers for the USB and HDMI sockets – these are comprised of poor-quality rubber and as a result there are doubts about their durability.

Pentax Q7 4

Pentax Q7: Performance

Pentax claims that the Q7 should manage around 260 shots on a full charge, and the good news is that the camera managed to actually exceed this figure.

Over the duration of the test the camera managed to capture around 300 shots on a single charge, with around 15 minutes of video capture and a fair amount of image review thrown in for good measure.

It’s also worth bearing in mind that this was with a brand new battery, and knowing li-ion units propensity for improvement after a few charges it wouldn’t be surprising if you managed more over the life of the camera.

Pentax Q7 1

The Q7’s start-up time is also about average for its class. The camera goes from dormant to ready to shoot in a little under two seconds, while the average shot to shot speed is also reasonable at around a second.

When shooting both Raw and JPEG files the shot-to-shot speed is a touch more variable, and is quite closely linked to the standard of memory card used.

With a Class 6 card the Q7 managed four frames before having to stop to clear its buffer – a process which took around five seconds. Utilise a Class 10 card, however, and the Q7 manages around 2 seconds between shots for an indefinite period of time.


September 17, 2013, 1:55 am

I don't get it, I read: virtually noisefree right up to 1600, usable up to 3200 ASA, it actually does well in resolving detail, it has impressive colour performance, auto white balance is reliable. The metering system is impressive, providing accurate exposures, dynamic range has improved and copes much better with highlights and shadows, and in extreme conditions......... What's not to like??

I do not read what is actually wrong with Image Quality. It has still a small sensor, so 1600 noisefree is quite good? Why 5/10 voor IQ?


September 17, 2013, 11:38 am

Very strange review - I think you need to have another look at what you wrote. 5/10 and image quality issues? What exactly are those issues?


September 17, 2013, 3:01 pm

I agree with above, 5/10 seems super harsh. I suspect this is a simple case of brand prejudice.


September 19, 2013, 8:37 am

I am sorry but I just got this camera yesterday and I can't even begin to remotely agree with the tragedy 5/10 represents. The camera does actually rather very well and packs quite a rich set of options that are not seen in other cameras in its and slightly above its class.

There are many, many tweaks Pentax did over the Q- it's better in 99% of it. Faster bootup. Better LCD (much more visible in daylight). Full electronic shutter option for complete silent shooting. I actually bought a Sony RX100 II and returned it within the hour (no, I am NOT making this up- if you read me around you know I have a long history so I am legit). The Sony was great in a few areas but it was very slow/annoying to use compared to the Q.

The Q and the Q7 represent a set of very flexible and creative options for the street photographer and the photographer who wants to push their creativity within the constraints imposed.

This is ISO 800 in reasonably low light at night. For a lot of web work, prints to 8x10 higher ISO's can work. Lower ISO's can easily print with reasonable quality to 11x14 if not more.



November 1, 2013, 8:51 am

This review does seem rather biased. How many dedicated lenses does the Nikon 1 system or the Canon M have, for example? All small sensor cameras have compromises, and one learns to work to their limitations - and advantages. I have an original Q, and am just about to buy a Q7: it's a great take anywhere camera. It accepts all my Pentax lenses with its adaptor, so lack of lenses is not a problem, either.

S.W. Anderson

November 4, 2013, 8:45 pm

I've seen reviews like this one from time to time over the years and they never cease to amaze me. The reviewer goes over a camera citing admirable strengths and great features one after another -- everything from great build quality and ergonomics to superior color rendition and battery life (this one even includes terrific image samples). But in the end, the reviewer gives the camera a lousy rating.

Notably absent from this review is any mention of one of the Q's greatest attributes: sheer fun. If the only thing that made a camera worth having was the highest achievable definition, photographers would be few, independently wealthy and armed only with highest-quality large-format cameras.

As for the lens range, what part of offering a fast excellent "normal" prime, two excellent zooms, a good fisheye, a macro and a couple of quirky "toy" lenses for those who like that sort of thing "restricted"? That statement is especially hard to fathom given the fact that with an inexpensive adapter one can make use of any of a huge range of K-mount, screw-mount or other lenses.

Even given the reviewer's lack of enthusiasm for the Q7's image quality, based on his own findings it seems to me he should've awarded this camera no less than 8.5 out of 10. For giving it a miserly and seemingly self-contradictory 5, I will award this review a rating of just 5. I think he should have ended the review with: "All in all a very good, very compact interchangeable lens camera with some fine capabilities and attributes. No doubt many will be pleased with the Q7's images and find it delightful to carry and shoot with. I'm just not one of them"

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