Pentax Q

Pentax Q front
  • 12MP - 1/2.3" Sensor
  • 3" Fixed Screen
  • ISO 125 - 6400
  • Sensor based Image Stabilization
  • 1920 x 1080 video
  • Pentax Q Mount
  • 180g - 98 x 57 x 31mm
  • Introduced June 2011
  • Refreshed by Pentax Q10
  • Read full specs
  • Alternatives
  • Lenses
  • Size Comparison
  • FAQ

Pentax Q overview

Pentax Q is Pentax's Entry-Level Mirrorless digital camera originally launched on June of 2011. It uses a 12 MegaPixel, CMOS 1/2.3" sized sensor and has a maximum resolution of 4000 x 3000.

Pentax introduced the more recent Pentax Q10 (Read Full Comparison) as a way to improve this model.

The Q is positioned #117 out of 117 in Entry-Level Mirrorless cameras and all around #714 out of 1465 for cameras in our collection. Remember to use our Advanced camera filter to get camera ratings based on your personalized criteria.

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Below is a chart of specific criteria used in the scoring system.

Pentax Q history

The Pentax Q comes with a history of related cameras. Down below, you can discover all previous and more recent models as well as main features.

ModelVisualizeResolutionSensor SizeMax fpsReleased
Pentax-Q7 front thumbnailPentax Q7
Q vs Q7
12MP1/1.7"5.0 fps2013
Pentax-Q10 front thumbnailPentax Q10
Q vs Q10
12MP1/2.3"5.0 fps2012
Sora from OpenAI releases its first ever music video
Pentax-Q front thumbnailPentax Q12MP1/2.3"2.0 fps2011

Pentax Q Pros and Cons

Below is a list of benefits and drawbacks of the Pentax Q based on things that are often viewed as important in a digital camera.

built-in flash
change lenses (Pentax Q mount)
features tracking autofocus
great flash sync speed (1/2,000s)
great video quality (1920 x 1080 pxls)
has image stabilization (Sensor based)
includes HDMI socket
lighter than competition in class (180 grams)
nice screen size (3 inch)
saves RAW formats
you can focus manually
bad battery (230 CIPA)
doesn't have phase detect auto focus
doesn't offer selfie friendly screen
megapixel count low (12MP)
no articulating screen
no external microphone socket
no headphone socket
no Timelapse function
pixelated screen (460 k dots)
slow frames per second (2.0 frames per second)
small sensor (1/2.3")
Photography Glossary

Pentax Q Sensor info

The measurement of the sensor on the Pentax Q is 6.17mm x 4.55mm (1/2.3"). The 28 mm² sensor has the ability to resolve 4000 x 3000 pixels and aspect ratios of 1:1, 4:3, 3:2 and 16:9. The camera has got Image Stabilization (Sensor based). In body stabilization is preferable than digital stabilization since the latter may lead to cropping.

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The CMOS sensor boasts 12MP and supports a standard ISO range of 125 to 6400. RAW format is supported therefore the user has wider margin for error.

The graphic below displays the Q's sensor dimensions when compared to other popular sizes. The Q sensor comes with a crop factor of 5.8 and is outlined in green.

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To get an idea of specific aspect ratios, you should refer to the graphic below.

Camera sensor aspect ratios

Pentax Q dimensions

Pentax Q has a weight of 0.40 lbs (180 grams or 6.35 ounces) and the measurement of the camera is 98mm x 57mm x 31mm (3.9" x 2.2" x 1.2"). The weight of normal Entry-Level Mirrorless camera is 329 grams and the Pentax Q is lighter when compared to various competitors.

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Below is a pic of the Pentax Q with a soft drink to help you have a sense of its scale.

Pentax Q dimensions scale

The top view directly below will illustrate the button arrangement on the Q.

Pentax Q topview buttons dials

Pentax Q Lens info

The Q works with the Pentax Q mount and has 8 lenses available. Below is some of the lenses we have in our collection which will work with the Q.

ModelVisualizeFocal LengthApertureStabilizedWeight
Pentax-05-Toy-Lens-Telephoto lensPentax 05 Toy Lens Telephoto18mmf/8.0 18g
Pentax-08-Wide-Zoom lensPentax 08 Wide Zoom4-6mmf/3.7-4.0 75g
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Pentax-03-Fish-Eye lensPentax 03 Fish-Eye3mmf/5.6 29g
Pentax-02-Standard-Zoom lensPentax 02 Standard Zoom5-15mmf/2.8-4.5 96g
Pentax-01-Standard-Prime lensPentax 01 Standard Prime9mmf/1.9 37g
Pentax-06-Telephoto-15-45mm lensPentax 06 Telephoto 15-45mm15-45mmf/2.8 90g
Samsung Releases Faster Versions of EVO MicroSD Cards
Pentax-04-Toy-Lens-Wide lensPentax 04 Toy Lens Wide6mmf/7.1 21g
Apple Innovates by Creating Next-Level Optical Stabilization for iPhone

Pentax Q Connectivity

The Q has the following connectivity:

  • USB Yes
  • HDMI Yes

Cameras that contain NFC and / or Bluetooth connectivity can be used wirelessly through smartphones. You can easily transfer images and usually alter camera settings without the hassle of connecting straight to the camera.

Certain applications even give a Liveview and click the shutter when you aren't near the camera. If the camera contains a HDMI out, it can be attached to an external display. The majority of cameras will allow you to recharge the battery using the USB port.

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Pentax Q Video info

The maximum video resolution on the Pentax Q is 1920 x 1080 and it can shoot in MPEG-4 and H.264 file format. 1080p resolution offers a decent balance in video quality vs file sizes but FULL HD is not going to leave you with much room to downsample. The camera doesn't feature a mic and / or headphone port which means that you have little control over your sound. It is perhaps a better idea to shop for another camera in case you require decent sound in your videos.

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Pentax Q Weather Sealing

There is no weather sealing on the Pentax Q so you need to be cautious in rainy and dusty situations.

Pentax Q Screen and Viewfinder

The Pentax Q houses a 3" fixed display supporting a resolution of 460k dots.

Sadly the display isn't a touch screen.

Pentax Q screen and viewfinder Snapchat Adds Watermarks to AI-Created Images

The View Finder details regarding Pentax Q are as follows:

  • ViewFinder None

In those bright outdoor situations which make the camera screens washed out and hard to view, viewfinders are rather valuable.

Pentax Q Shutter info

Pentax Q continuous shooting speed is 2.0 frames per second. The maximum shutter speed is 1/2000 sec.

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Pentax Q Flash and Hot shoe info

Pentax Q has got both built-in flash and also external flash ability. The maximum flash sync speed is 1/2000 sec.

Pentax Q Autofocusing info

Pentax Q has got just Contrast Based Auto Focus and doesn't have Phase Detect Auto Focus. Phase Detection focusing is a lot quicker and precise when compared to Contrast Based focusing.

It boasts 25 focus points to select from. It also has Tracking Auto Focus for things on the move. Pentax Q includes manual focusing when needed in low light or you want to have more accurate control on focusing.

Photography Glossary

Pentax Q Battery life

The battery (D-LI68) on the Pentax Q is built to last for 230 photos as per the CIPA benchmarks making it lower when compared to its rivals. The general Entry-Level Mirrorless camera battery life is 343. Fujifilm X-S20 has the highest possible (750) battery life in this range of cameras.

Following is a listing of Entry-Level Mirrorless cameras having the highest battery life:

Pentax Q for varying types of photography

The following graph provides a summation of the Pentax Q for varying types of photography. To learn more, scroll to the specific paragraph below.

Pentax Q as a Portrait photography camera

The Pentax Q has a score of 45 which is really bad, and means the camera is not suitable to use for portrait photography. Shooting portrait photos leans greatly towards sensor dimensions, support for RAW photos plus the flexibility to work with external lighting.

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focusing manually
high flash sync speed (1/2,000s)
delivers RAW files
megapixel count low (12MP)
sensor is small (1/2.3")

Pentax Q Street photography advice

Having a very good points total of 69, the Pentax Q is a fine pick for street photography. A decent street photography camera comes with a perfect balance of image quality and portability.

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has image stabilization (Sensor based)
saves RAW files
lighter than others (180 grams)
no moving screen
sensor is small (1/2.3")

Pentax Q Sports photography details

A really bad sports photography points tally of 32 suggests the Pentax Q is not suitable for photographing sports. A camera needs to have very good tracking and shutter speeds for sports photography.

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built in image stabilization (Sensor based)
supports tracking autofocus
low frames per second (2.0 frames per second)
low resolution sensor (12MP)
small sensor (1/2.3")
low battery life (230 per charge)
lack of phase detect AF

Pentax Q Travel photography factors

Size is very crucial in buying a travel camera. All things considered, the Pentax Q gets a average 57 for a travelling camera which makes it relatively adequate for your journeys.

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lighter than average (180 grams)
flash built-in
does not have Timelapse recording
bad battery power (230 per charge)
low megapixels (12 megapixels)
display isn't selfie friendly

Pentax Q Landscape photography details

When you are planning to buy a digital camera for landscape photography, the most significant factor is going to be image quality. The Pentax Q at it's decent grade of 51 for a landscape camera is fairly acceptable compared to its competitors.

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focusing manually
swap lenses (Pentax Q mount)
nice screen size (3")
image stabilization (Sensor based)
saves RAW files
low megapixels (12MP)
sensor size is very small (1/2.3")
not so great battery (230 per charge)
does not have Timelapse function

Pentax Q Vlogging advice

A vlogging camera preferably should offer a articulating display screen, mic input and ideally image stabilization. Taking everything in to account, the Pentax Q is not suitable for vlogging as it gets a really bad score of 34.

Cutting-edge AI developed by Apple deciphers subtle nuances in pixels
image stabilization (Sensor based)
high res video (1920 x 1080 pixels)
lighter than competition in class (180g)
does not posses selfie friendly display
missing external mic socket

Pentax Q Alternatives

If you are in the market for alternatives to the Q, below is a selection of the top placed cameras that fall in to the category of Entry-Level Mirrorless.

The line graph here provides you an overview of the Q compared to it's highest ranking rivals shown above.

These are various other cameras you may look at as alternatives. To look at a thorough comparison, visit the "compare" link.

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General Information
Model type
Pentax Q
Entry-Level Mirrorless
Physical type
Rangefinder-style mirrorless
Sensor Information
Sensor type
Sensor size
Sensor measurements
6.17 x 4.55mm
Sensor area
Sensor resolution
12 megapixels
Anti alias filter
Aspect ratio
1:1, 4:3, 3:2 and 16:9
Full resolution
4000 x 3000
RAW images
Max native ISO
Min native ISO
Manual focusing
AF touch
AF continuous
AF single
AF tracking
Selective AF
AF center weighted
Multi area AF
AF live view
Face detection AF
Contract detection AF
Phase detection AF
Total focus points
Lens mount type
Pentax Q
Number of lenses
Focal length multiplier
Type of screen
Fixed Type
Screen size
3 inch
Screen resolution
460k dots
Selfie friendly
Touch friendly
Screen tech
Viewfinder Information
Viewfinder type
DXO scores
DXO All around rating
DXO Color Depth rating
DXO Dynamic range rating
DXO Low light rating
Slowest shutter speed
Maximum shutter speed
Continuous shooting rate
2.0 frames per sec
Shutter priority
Aperture priority
Manual mode
Exposure compensation
Set WB
Image stabilization
Inbuilt flash
Flash distance
5.60 m
Flash modes
Auto, On, Off, Red-Eye, Slow Sync, Trailing-curtain sync
Hot shoe
WB bracketing
Maximum flash synchronize
AF area
Center weighted
Video features
Supported video resolutions
1920 x 1080 (30 fps), 1280 x 720p (30 fps), 640 x 480 (30 fps), 320 x 240 (30 fps)
Max video resolution
Video format
MPEG-4, H.264
Microphone port
Headphone port
USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
Environmental sealing
Water proofing
Dust proofing
Shock proofing
Crush proofing
Freeze proofing
180 gr (0.40 pounds)
98 x 57 x 31mm (3.9" x 2.2" x 1.2")
Battery life
230 images
Battery type
Battery Pack
Battery ID
Self timer
Yes (2 or 12 sec)
Time lapse shooting
Storage type
Card slots
Launch price