Pentax Q Review

General Image Quality

The tests of image quality were performed with the 01 Standard Prime Lens (47 mm equivalent on 24x36) and the 02 Standard Zoom Lens (28 - 85 mm eqv.). For photos taken with the other lenses see the previous page. Camera and lens firmware were all version 1.00

Where we compare with the Olympus we used the only lens we had available, namely the M.Zuiko Digital 17mm 1:2.8 (34 mm equivalent on 24x36). The field of view of the Pentax 01 lens and the Olympus lens are unfortunately different, so for the depth of field/bokeh test we used a Pentax K-7 14.6 MP camera with an FA 31mm F1.8 Limited lens instead of the Olympus. The 31mm lens on a K-7 has the same field of view as the Pentax Q 01 lens.

Overall Image Quality

The image quality of the Q is impressive considering the small sensor as this image of our test scene confirms. Pentax Q with the 01 Standard Prime at F4, ISO 200. The original was shot as a DNG Raw file and processed in Photoshop CS5.

Test sceneClick on the image for the full size image (8 MB)

The same image as a JPG straight from the camera, with Custom Image set to Bright and all other settings at their default values:

The scene straight from the cameraClick on the image for the full size original (7 MB)

The result directly out of the camera is fine although we'd prefer some more contrast. Since the Pentax Q has a wide range of image settings and adjustments for shooting JPG, a more contrasty look can easily have been achieved. To illustrate some of the variations possible we developed the above image from RAW to JPG in the camera with various settings of Custom Image and parameters:

Landscape
default settings
Reversal
default settings
Portrait
contrast +2
sharpness +1
Bright
contrast +2
hue +1

Custom Image Landscape

Custom Image Reversal Custom Image Portrait Custom Image Bright adj
Click on a thumbnail for a larger version

General Scene - Q Compared to Olympus

We shot scene 1 below from two different camera positions so as to fill the frame approximately the same way with the two cameras despite the difference in field of view of the lenses. We used the 01 Standard Prime on the Pentax, ISO 125 F5.6. The Olympus was set to ISO 200, F5.6.

For scene 2 we used the 02 Standard Zoom set at 6 millimeter focal length to match the lens on the Olympus. Pentax ISO 125 F4, Olympus ISO 200 F5.6.

The drop downs below the images allow you to compare reduced size (for fast down load) as well as the original full size images (4 to 7 MB files) from the Pentax and the Olympus. The full size images have not been post processed but are JPEGs straight out of the cameras. The Pentax Q had lens distortion correction enabled (the default setting). The Olympus had warm white balance adjustment enabled (default). The images were taken at the lowest ISO available.

Scene 1 PentaxScene 1 (Pentax Q with 01 Standard Prime, ISO 125, F5.6)

Scene 1 OlympusScene 2 (Pentax Q with 02 Standard Zoom at 6 mm (34mm eqv.))

All-round Image Comparison

Click on an image to enlarge to 100%

The Olympus has the better resolution, but the  Pentax Q holds up pretty well in these types of shots despite its small sensor.


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