PENTAX Q Digital Cameras
Introduced in 2010, the Pentax Q was the smallest digital interchangeable lens camera on the market. For many photographers, the biggest issue with a compact camera was that you only got one lens, which limited your flexibility. Interchangeable lenses like the ones found on SLR cameras offered much higher image quality than point and shoot cameras because you could match your lens to the situation.
What's the Difference Between the Pentax Q and DSLR Cameras?
The Pentax Q is a mirrorless camera, which is one of the things that allows it to have such a compact form factor. While both types of camera feature removable lenses, they each present a different set of tradeoffs when it comes to regular use:
- Size: Because it doesn't need a mirror assembly, the Pentax Q can be much smaller than a DSLR, something Pentax took full advantage of in its design.
- Video: DSLRs have to move the mirror out of the way to take video, mirrorless cameras don't have to so they can use the same system for video or still photography.
- Simplicity: Again due to the lack of a mirror assembly, these Pentax cameras are simpler which makes them both more reliable and less expensive to produce.
How is the Pentax Q to Use?
While it's an effective camera for many kinds of photography, the design of the Pentax Q does affect the way it takes photos. Thanks to its DSLR-like design, you have to attach the lens before you can take pictures; using the Pentax Ricoh Q-mount system. Once that's done you just point, focus, and shoot. There are some things to consider:
- Crop Size: The Q uses a much smaller CMOS sensor than the 35 mm film size standard. This it captures a smaller portion of the image from the lens on the sensor. The effect is to make it look like you're using a longer zoom lens than you are.
- Lens Accessibility: Not only can it use its own Q lens series, the camera can also be fitted with a K-mount adapter which lets you use a wider range of lenses on your existing camera body, although the small sensor size is significant when compared to full frame.
Evolution of the Q
All models feature a weather-sealed magnesium-alloy body with a rubber coating on the front for easy grip. The initial Q preceded the Pentax Q10 and Pentax Q7, with the final model being the Q-S1. All four used the same basic mirrorless design although Pentax used a larger image sensor on the Q7 and Q-S1. Despite its small size the 12 MP sensor gave Pentax good image quality and excellent overall performance.
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