PetaPixel

Pentax Q is the World’s First “Point-and-Shoot” with Interchangeable Lenses

Pentax has just announced the Q, the world’s smallest interchangeable lens camera (ILC). Unlike existing ILC cameras, which have large sensors despite their tiny bodies, the Q has a tiny 1/2.3-inch sensor that’s more comparable to the sensors in point-and-shoot cameras. Thus, the Pentax Q can be considered the world’s first interchangeable lens point-and-shoot camera, though it is packed with the features and manual controls found on ILCs and DSLRs.

The camera shoots 12.4MP JPEG or raw stills at up to 5fps, records 1080p video at 30fps, and offers the traditional shooting modes found on DSLRs (i.e. P, Av, Tv, M). ISO goes up to 6400, there’s a 3-inch LCD on the back, and a funky onboard flash pops up in a strange way to help illuminate your photos.

One good thing about the camera is that it doesn’t try and appeal to newbies by shoving all the controls into a touchscreen:

The camera will use new Q-mount lenses, with the kit lens being a 47mm f/1.9. Also available will be 35mm and 100mm “toy lenses” for $80 each, a 27.5-83mm zoom lens for $300, and a 160-degree fish eye lens that costs $130.

Given the small sensor size, the Pentax Q seems like it would be a fun toy camera or a convenient carry-around camera to replace point-and-shoots, but most P&S users probably wouldn’t be willing to shell out the $800 it’ll cost when it arrives in Fall 2011. It’ll be interesting to see whether Pentax will be able to carve out yet another niche between point-and-shoot and ILC cameras.


 
  • Anonymous

    If it was $200 and less ugly it would be fun just because you can use ANY c-mount lenses, but as it is and at $800… FAIL.

  • Anonymous

    I actually really like the design but yeah, $800 for this? The compactness is great but I can pick up a PEN or Lumix WITH a lens for that much.

  • Anonymous

    This is indeed cool , but at the price point it totally fails to entice me. It probably ought to have no more than 10 MP to balance signal/noise issues with a small sensor… hmm. Got to see it perform. 5fps is pretty sweet though.

  • Graysmith

    Although it’s always nice to see different concepts and ideas pop up, this just seems like something that needed to arrive before the likes of the micro four-thirds to have a shot at being successful. Why would you pick this camera over a $500 Olympus Pen? It’s also questionable if it’s worth having interchangeable lenses with such a small sensor since it will never be able to produce photos as high quality as larger sensors can. This is kind of like putting a lawnmower engine in a Ford Mustang.

  • Graysmith

    Although it’s always nice to see different concepts and ideas pop up, this just seems like something that needed to arrive before the likes of the micro four-thirds to have a shot at being successful. Why would you pick this camera over a $500 Olympus Pen? It’s also questionable if it’s worth having interchangeable lenses with such a small sensor since it will never be able to produce photos as high quality as larger sensors can. This is kind of like putting a lawnmower engine in a Ford Mustang.

  • Anonymous

    I’m not seeing it either.  If you’re going to price it in the range of a APS-C / u4/3 camera, they shouldn’t have skimped on the sensor.  dpreview’s side-by-side with an e-mount Sony shows how comically small the sensor is, and how negligible the size reduction is.  The thing has 1/13th the sensor size and only about a 20% reduction in camera volume.  The “toy lenses” is a nice touch, but it’s silly when it needs an $800 camera.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_PQ54IG5P6I73FWHYGC4LVDZQYI Michael

    Why?

  • C.K. Lee

    Yeah, y’know… I’m with everyone else here. I thought it was great until I saw the price point. 

  • Norules747

    About 1980, Pentax came out with a small film point-and-shoot camera with interchangeable lenses.  There was no reason for that camera, also.

  • pentax user

    late 1970s (’78?) Pentax came out with the 110 film camera with several interchangeable lenses. it was a bit expensive. can’t remember what it retailed for. The Q would go on a collectible shelf along with the 110 IMO.

  • http://photocontestinformation.com/ Photo contest

    Pentax Q with small sensor priced at $800+ whereas Sony NEX C3 with bigger APS-C sensor price $649 only why??

  • http://photocontestinformation.com/ Photo contest

    Pentax Q with small sensor priced at $800+ whereas Sony NEX C3 with bigger APS-C sensor price $649 only why??

  • http://rommy.gha.ly rommy

    I’m trying to figure out who the audience is for an interchangeable lens P&S camera. Point & shooters want simplicity. Mirrorless is for casual enthusiasts who appreciate features and functionality. SLR is for passionates and professionals.