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Pentax Q10

Build Quality 
User Interface 
Image Quality 
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5 36,253 Wed September 14, 2016
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
80% of reviewers $286.40 7.00
Pentax Q10

Pentax Q10
Pentax Q10
Pentax Q10
Pentax Q10
Pentax Q10
Pentax Q10

The Pentax Q10 was announced in September 2012 and is the second Q-mount ultra-compact mirrorless interchangeable lens camera from Pentax. The Q10 replaces the Q.

The Q10 has a new sensor with better low light performance and Pentax claims that it overall produces higher image quality than the Q. Other improvements are: Faster autofocus, longer battery life.

The exterior was redesigned and the Q10 got a small grip that provides for a more stable hold of the camera.

Like on the Q the image sensor is a 12.4-megapixel, 1/2.33 inch backlit-CMOS unit. The camera is capable of recording full-HD (1080p) video at 30 frames per second, and its maximum photo framer ate is 5 FPS, with a buffer for up to 5 images at 5 FPS and 100 images at 1.5 FPS, at 12 megapixels and maximum quality.

The Pentax Q10 shares several features with Pentax DSLRs, including a sensor-shift Shake Reduction system, the super sonic Dust Removal II system, built-in auto pop-up flash, HDR mode, and a variety of shooting modes such as P, Tv, Av, M, and SCENE. It also has a number of software functions designed to enhance image appearance, such as "Smart Effect modes", "Bokeh control", and "Electronic shutter".

Since the Q10 is an upgrade to the Q our review of the Q is for the most part also relevant for the Q10 except for the low-light tests:

Our In-Depth Pentax Q review

Complete specifications:

Type Lens-interchangeable digital-still camera
Lens Mount PENTAX bayonet Q-mount
Compatible Lens Q-mount lenses

Image Sensor Type: CMOS sensor with a primary color filter, Size: 1/2.3-inch
Effective Pixels Approx. 12.4 megapixels
Total Pixels Approx. 12.76 megapixels
Dust Removal Image sensor cleaning using ultrasonic vibrations "DR II"
Sensitivity AUTO: ISO 100 to 6400 (1/3 EV steps), Bulb mode: up to ISO 1600
Image Stabilizer Sensor shift Shake Reduction

File Formats
File Format RAW (DNG), JPEG (Exif 2.3), DCF2.0 compliant
Recorded Pixels <JPEG>
[4:3] 12M (4000x3000), 9M (3456x2592), 5M (2688x2016), 3M (1920x1440)
[3:2] 10M (4000x2664), 8M (3456x2304), 5M (2688x1792), 2M (1920x1280)
[16:9] 9M (4000x2248), 6M (3456x1944), 4M (2688x1512), 2M(1920x1080)
[1:1] 9M (2992x2992), 6M (2592x2592), 4M (2016x2016), 2M (1440x1440)

<RAW>[4:3] 12M (4000x3000)
Quality Level RAW (12bit): DNG
JPEG: (Best), (Better), (Good)
RAW and JPEG simultaneously recordable
Color Space sRGB, AdobeRGB
Storage Medium SD, SDHC, and SDXC Memory Card
Storage Folder Date (100_1018, 100_1019...)/PENTX (100PENTX, 101PENTX...)

LCD Monitor
Type TFT color LCD monitor, wide angle viewing
Size 3.0 inches
Pixels Approx. 460,000
Adjustment Brightness and colors adjustable
Display Field of View: approx. 100%, Grid display (4x4 Grid, Golden Section, Scale display), Bright/dark area warning, Histogram

White Balance
Auto TTL by CMOS image sensor
Preset Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Fluorescent Light (D: Daylight Color, N: Daylight White, W: Cool White, L:Warm White), Tungsten, Flash, CTE, Manual
Manual Configuration on monitor
Fine Adjustment Adjustable ±7 steps on A-B axis or G-M axis

Autofocus System
Type Contrast detection AF
Brightness Range EV1 to 18 (ISO120)
Focus Method AF/MF switching
Autofocus Method Face Detection, Tracking, AF Select (25 Points), Select, Spot
AF Assist Light Dedicated LED AF assist light
MF Assist OFF/×2/×4

Type TTL image sensor metering, segment metering, centerweighted metering, and spot metering
Exposure Compensation EV1 - 17 (ISO 100, F1.9 lens): +2EV using the Electronic Shutter setting or using the ND filter
Exposure Modes <Auto Picture mode>
Standard, Portrait, Landscape, Macro, Night Scene Portrait, Night Scene, Blue Sky, Forest

<Scene Mode>
Portrait, Landscape, Macro, Moving Object, Night Scene Portrait, Sunset, Blue Sky, Night Scene, Night Scene HDR*, Night Snap, Food, Quick Macro*, Pet, Kids, Forest, Surf & Snow, HDR*, Backlight Silhouette, Candlelight, Stage Lighting, Museum, Program, Shutter Priority, Aperture Priority, Manual, Bulb, Blur Control*

*JPEG only
EV Compensation ± 3EV (1/3EV step)
AE Lock Can be assigned to the green/delete button from the menu. Continuous as long as the shutter release button is pressed halfway.
Shutter Lens shutter: 1/2000 - 30 seconds
(1/3EV step, 1/8000 - 30 seconds when Electronic Shutter setting is enabled), Bulb
*Shooting at 1/8000 - 2 seconds with Electronic Shutter and Bulb shooting are not available when using a lens that has no lens shutter.
Aperture From wide open to F8 *Not available when using a lens that has no lens shutter.
ND Filter Off/On *Not available when using a lens that has no lens shutter.

Drive Modes
Mode Selection Single frame, Continuous (Hi, Lo), Self-timer (12s, 2s), Remote Control (0 sec., 3 sec., continuous), Auto Bracketing (3 frames, remote control)
Continuous Shooting Approx. 5 fps, JPEG (12M Continuous Hi): up to 5 frames
Approx. 1.5 fps, JPEG (12M Continuous Lo): up to 100 frames

Built-in Flash
Built-in Flash Built-in retractable P-TTL flash
Guide number approx. 4.9 (ISO100/m) / approx. 7 (ISO200/m)
Angle of view coverage: wide angle-lens, equivalent to 28mm in 35mm format
Flash Modes P-TTL, Red-eye Reduction, Slow-speed Sync, Trailing Curtain Sync
Sync Speed Lens shutter: 1/2000 seconds, Electronic shutter: 1/13 seconds
Flash Exposure Compensation –2.0 to +1.0 EV

Capture Functions
Custom Image Bright, Natural, Portrait, Landscape, Vibrant, Radiant, Muted, Bleach Bypass, Reversal Film, Monochrome, Cross Processing
Noise Reduction High-ISO NR
Dynamic Range Setting Highlight Correction, Shadow Correction
Lens Correction Distortion Correction
Digital Filter Toy Camera, High Contrast, Shading, Slim, HDR, Invert Color, Extract Color, Color, Water Color, Posterization, Fish-eye
HDR Capture Auto, HDR 1, HDR 2
Multi-exposure Number of shots: 2-9, Exposure adjusted automatically.
Interval Shooting Shooting interval: 1 sec. to 24 hr., Start Interval setting: immediately from the set time
Number of shots: up to 999 images
Smart Effect Brilliant Color, Unicolor Bold, Vintage Color, Cross Processing, Warm Fade, Tone Expansion, Bold Monochrome, Water Color, Vibrant Color Enhance, USER 1 to 3

File Format MPEG–4 AVC/H.264
Recorded Pixels Full HD (1920x1080, 16:9, 30fps), HD (1280x720, 16:9, 30fps), VGA (640x480, 4:3, 30fps)
Quality Level (Best), (Better), (Good)
Sound Built-in monaural microphone
Recording Time Up to 25 minutes; automatically stops recording if the internal temperature of the camera becomes high.
Custom Image Bright, Natural, Portrait, Landscape, Vibrant, Radiant, Muted, Bleach Bypass, Reversal Film, Monochrome, Cross Processing
Digital Filter Toy Camera, High Contrast, Shading, Slim, HDR, Invert Color, Extract Color, Color, Water Color, Posterization, Fish-eye
Interval Movie Recording interval: 1 sec., 5 sec., 10 sec., 30 sec., 1 min., 5 min., 10 min., 30 min., 1 hr., Recording time: 5 sec. to 99 hr. Start Interval setting: immediately, from the set time

Playback Functions
Playback View Single frame, image comparison, multi-image display (4, 9, 20, 42, 90 segmentation), display magnification (up to 16x, scrolling and quick magnification available), rotating, histogram (Y histogram, RGB histogram), bright/dark area warning, detailed information display, folder display, calendar display, slideshow
Delete Delete single image, delete all images, select & delete, delete folder, delete instant review image
Digital Filter Monochrome, Toy Camera, High Contrast, Shading, Slim, HDR, Invert Color, Extract Color, Color, Water Color, Posterization, Fish-eye, Retro, Soft, Sketch Filter, Miniature, Frame Composite, Starburst, Base Parameter Adjustment
RAW Development File Format (JPEG), Aspect Ratio, Color Space, Custom Image, White Balance, Sensitivity, High-ISO NR, Shadow Correction, Distortion Correction
Edit Resize, Cropping (aspect ratio adjustment available), Index, Movie Editing (divide or delete selected frames), Capturing a JPEG still picture from a movie, Red-eye Edit, Saving buffer as a RAW file

Custom Functions 13 items
Mode Memory 12 items
Button/Dial Customization Green/Delete button: Green Button, Preview, One Push File Format, AE Lock, Enable AF
Quick Dial: Smart Effect, Custom Image, Digital Filter, Aspect Ratio
World Time World Time settings for 75 cities (28 time zones)
Language English, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Dutch, Danish, Swedish, Finnish, Polish, Czech, Hungarian, Turkish, Greek, Russian, Korean, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, and Japanese

Power Supply
Battery Type Rechargeable Lithium-ion Battery D-LI68
AC Adapter AC Adapter Kit K-AC115 (optional)
Battery Life Number of recordable images: approx. 250 images (with 50% flash usage)
approx. 270 images (without flash usage)
Playback time: approx. 160 minutes

Connection Port USB 2.0 (high-speed compatible) / AV output terminal, HDMI output terminal (Type D)
USB Connection MSC/PTP
Video Output Format NTSC/PAL

Dimensions and Weight
Dimensions Approx. 102.0mm (W) x 58mm (H) x 33.5mm (D) (excluding the operation parts and protrusion)
Weight Approx. 200g (loaded and ready with the dedicated battery and SD Memory Card)
Approx. 180 g (body only)

Package Contents USB Cable I-USB7, Strap O-ST115, Rechargeable Lithium-ion Battery D-LI68, Battery Charger D-BC68P, Software (CDROM) S-SW115, Hot shoe cover FK, Body mount cover
FirmwareLink to Latest Firmware
Software SILKYPIX Developer Studio 3.0 for PENTAX
Megapixels: 12.4
ISO Range: 100 - 6,400
Weight: 200 g loaded
FPS: 5
LCD: 3.0 inch
In Production: Buy the Pentax Q10

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Registered: June, 2010
Location: North Zealand, Denmark
Posts: 1,516

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: September 14, 2016 I can recommend the Pentax Q10: Yes | Price: $270.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Extremely portable yet very versatile camera system, fine IQ for a 1/2.3" sensor
Cons: LCD reolution too low, useless Bulb-function, no optical viewfinder

One very negative review out for four reviews below makes the Q10 stand out as the black sheep of the Q-family, which I don't find "fair" as this has mostly to do with disappointment over the form factor, common to all Q-system cameras and the lack of availability of lenses plus poor quality of the kit lens (02 standard zoom?), also common to all.

I bought my Q10 used, but like new, together with the 02 standard zoom - mostly to explore the usability of a sensor with such tiny pixels (0.00154mm) in the filed of macro- and astrophotography using adapted lenses and telescopes. But I soon discovered that the Q10 + 02 Standard zoom would be the basis for an excellent walk-around system and I just had to get the 06 Telephoto Zoom right away. Today this system together with a few extra batteries and a couple of close-up lenses have found a permanent place in my briefcase. I have it with me every day and I use it almost every day.

Image quality is good, in fact to me surprisingly good for a 1/2.3" sensor system, and I don't find any major noise issues that cannot be addressed in post-processing up to ISO 1600 or even 3200 although I prefer to stay below ISO 800. Of course, dynamic range and noise handling are better with my Pentax DSLRs - but that's not the point. The Q is a supplement, not a replacement to my DSLRs.

Add to that the advanced setting options of this small camera (including for example flash synchronization to 1/2000 sec.) , the versatility for use with all sorts and brands of other lenses (D-mount Super 8, C-mount CTV and 16mm, Pentax K-mount, Telescopes....) and you have a truly unique and very versatile system, that I can wholeheartedly recommend. You can still find as well used as new, unboxed Q10 on eBay and elsewhere.

But, certainly there are few

Things that I don't like:
First of all I miss an optical viewfinder (or a detachable electronic viewfinder). In harsh daylight, the LCD image is almost impossible to see, and third party hoods or LCD-loupes add to the bulk of the system.

Secondly, the LCD resolution is too low for immediate quality control. I am oftentimes in doubt whether I got the focus right and if the quality is otherwise acceptable. Only when I see my images on my PC will I then get the answer.

Thirdly, there are certain flaws in certain features that I just don't understand. The worst is that the Bulb-function requires one to hold down the release button and keep pressing the button during the entire exposure. Bulb cannot be used together with the IR-remote, nor is there an option to open the shutter
upon the first click and close it upon the second.

My Verdict:
From a strictly technical point of view, I think the Q10 deserves an 8, but adding the versatility of this system and the "fun-factor" of working with this little gem, I end up with an 8.5+
New Member

Registered: February, 2013
Posts: 18
Review Date: December 8, 2014 I can recommend the Pentax Q10: Yes | Price: $212.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Small, light. Easy to grab and take with you
Cons: Battery life not great
Ergonomics: 8    Build Quality: 9    User Interface: 9    Autofocus: 10    Features: 10    Value: 9    Image Quality: 9    Noise: 9    New or Used: New   

This camera gets a bad rap because folks like the metal original Q or the larger sensor in the Q7 and Q-S1. But the fact is that it's a really nice camera. I'm consistently amazed by the image quality of the Q10, and as so many others have said, there's just something fun about using a Q-series camera.
Veteran Member

Registered: September, 2013
Location: Sydney
Posts: 844
Review Date: November 13, 2014 I can recommend the Pentax Q10: No | Price: $150.00 | Rating: 1 

Pros: None.
Cons: The only lens that makes this system viable, is the one you can't buy.
Ergonomics: 6    Build Quality: 6    User Interface: 5    Autofocus: 5    Features: 1    Value: 1    Image Quality: 1    Noise: 1    New or Used: New   

So I tried to like the q system, I really did, but it has no redeemining qualities what so ever. It's small, but the kit lens is terrible, as is the noise at ISO 100. I wanted something pocketable, but sadly the kit lens prevents that. I had this crazy notion that I'd buy the q10, and then pick up the 01 prime to go with it. Sadly after 3 months, the only lens that makes sense on the q, is the one lens you cannot buy anywhere. If that lens ever appears for sale again, I may change my opinion. Without it, the q system is pointless in my eyes.
Site Supporter

Registered: December, 2007
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Posts: 200

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: October 14, 2013 I can recommend the Pentax Q10: Yes | Price: $300.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Small size, Good quality
Cons: it is not easy to bokeh
Ergonomics: 7    Build Quality: 9    User Interface: 8    Autofocus: 7    Features: 7    Value: 8    Image Quality: 7    Noise: 6    New or Used: Used   

This small camera is my perfect companion. It goes always with me, being so small, it perfectly fits in my bag.

I've found that I really use it to take photos..... not to do techie pictures to analyze pixel by pixel, just photos.

It's so easy to use, so handy, so unnoticeable, that I can use it everywhere.... and the quality is surprisingly high.

Registered: March, 2009
Location: Lithuania
Posts: 1,203

4 users found this helpful
Review Date: December 3, 2012 I can recommend the Pentax Q10: Yes | Price: $500.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Small, solid build, good AF.
Cons: bleached colors, slow write SD speed.
Ergonomics: 9    Build Quality: 10    User Interface: 8    Autofocus: 8    Features: 9    Value: 8    Image Quality: 8    Noise: 8    New or Used: New   

I'm using Q10 for 1,5 weeks with Prime 01 and love it.
Ok features in Q10 is identical to Q, so, if you want, you can go and read about smart filters in Q review.
Lets talk about low light hi iso IQ. It's good in for such small sensor, but it's all because of image porcesreing done inside Q10. JPG out of Q10 is sharper and less nosier than RAW. You can safely put ISO up to 2000 when shooting JPG to get useable shots. All this get only one major minus in putting all porcesreing power of camera to noise reduction, you cannot change any settings; aperture, white balance, smart filter, etc., until picture is saved on SD, Q10 just won't respond to any button. Still you can shoot continuously begging for JPG 5fps drooping down, when full buffer, to 2.5fps and 3fps for RAW.
AF is accurate and snappy even i low light. Reminds me K-01 after firmware update.
I would recommend not to trust AWB in Q10, have gray card or use presets, especially in tungsten lighting situation. Q10 bleaching colors in JPG so set custom image preset on Radian as default to get natural colors.
Q10 is not for beginners who what to jump from P&S to MILC(K-01 is perfect for that), it is camera for enthusiast and pros who know how to work around minuses of such small sensor, doesn't like shoot with a smartphone and everyday cary around a DSLR, but still want to have DSLR like feature in pocketable size for convenient amount of money.
I remembered one more thing, Q10 sometimes don't work with Metz 58 AF-1 flash, hope for firmware update.
P.S. i will update this review with some samples.

RAW ISO 2000 with out edit

in cam JPG


in cam JPG
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