Nov 12, 2014

Pentax Q-S1 Review


It's time for us to take a look at the Pentax Q-S1, the flashy new addition to Pentax's lineup of ultra-compact interchangeable lens mirrorless bodies.  The Q-S1 went on sale worldwide in fall, 2014 with a launch price of $399 for the body only and $499 / £379 for the standard zoom lens kit.

Despite being so small, this mirrorless camera delivers a host of advanced features also found in Pentax DSLRs, including the four basic shooting modes, RAW image capture, manual video controls, focus peaking, and extensive in-camera image processing facilities.

Pentax Q-S1 with 02 LensBlack Pentax Q-S1 with 02 Standard Zoom

Ricoh Imaging representatives made it clear to us at Photokina that the key selling point of this camera is its appearance. To that end, the Q-S1 has received several cosmetic improvements compared to its predecessor, the Pentax Q7.  In addition to a new body design that reminds us of a Leica, the front of the Q-S1 is lined with faux leather and it has received several finely machined control wheels.  A stylish knob has also been added around the front IR port for improved ergonomics.  The camera is available in four standard colors (black, white, gold, gunmetal/red) plus 36 additional special-order combinations with brand-new color options.

Pentax Q-S1 ColorsSome of the many special-order Q-S1 colors

At the heart of the Q-S1 is a stabilized 1/1.7" sensor with a resolution of 12 megapixels.  This makes the Pentax Q lineup unique, as it is the only mirrorless lineup to employ such a small sensor size.  The small sensor and lens mount are the secret to the Q-S1's tiny size: it is about three times lighter than a compact DSLR, and it's small enough to unobtrusively fit into your existing camera bag (or purse!) alongside your other gear.

On a technical level, the Q-S1 is virtually identical to the Q7: the two cameras share the same sensor, hardware, and firmware.  Therefore, many parts of this review will contain material from our Q7 review.

So, what is this tiny camera all about, and does it perform just as well as it looks?  Read on for our tests. PentaxForums @PentaxForums News | Reviews | Forum

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