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Pentax Q7 is all about the colors

The Pentax Q7 has a slightly larger sensor than its predecessor's. But look -- pretty colors!

Lori Grunin Senior Editor / Advice
I've been reviewing hardware and software, devising testing methodology and handed out buying advice for what seems like forever; I'm currently absorbed by computers and gaming hardware, but previously spent many years concentrating on cameras. I've also volunteered with a cat rescue for over 15 years doing adoptions, designing marketing materials, managing volunteers and, of course, photographing cats.
Expertise Photography | PCs and laptops | Gaming and gaming accessories
Lori Grunin
3 min read
The smallest interchangeable-lens camera gets a slightly larger sensor.

It's telling that, at the press briefing for the Q7, the presenter blew past the specs and highlighted the Q7's 120 possible color combinations. He clearly didn't want to bore all the lifestyle media and nonphotographer consumers that are the real target for its tiny interchangeable-lens Q series.

Pentax Q7 photos and photo samples

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For the photo-minded, the big-ish news is the sensor-size increase to 1/1.7-inch from the 1/2.3-inch of its predecessor, the less-than-a-year-old Q10. That brings it into line with the older and similarly priced enthusiast compacts -- models like the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7 and Samsung EX2F.

Shop for Pentax Q7 (Body Only, Silver)

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Here are some other interchangeable-lens cameras you can get for the same money:

Nikon 1 S1 Pentax Q7 Pentax Q10 Sony Alpha NEX-3N
Sensor (effective resolution) 10.1MP CMOS 12.4MP BSI CMOS 12.4mp BSI CMOS 16.1MP Exmor HD CMOS
13.2mm x 8.8mm 1/1.7-inch 1/2.3-inch 23.5 x 15.6mm
Focal-length multiplier 2.7x 4.6x 5.5x 1.5x
Sensitivity range ISO 100 - ISO 6400 ISO 100 - ISO 12800 ISO 100 - ISO 6400 ISO 200 - ISO 16000
Continuous shooting 15fps
15 JPEG/n/a
(60fps or 30fps with fixed AF)
100 JPEG
5 JPEG/n/a
(1.5fps raw)
5 raw/9 JPEG
Viewfinder None Optional optical for prime lens Optional optical for prime lens None
Autofocus 73-point
phase detection, 135-area contrast AF
25-point contrast AF 25-point contrast AF 25-area contrast AF
AF sensitivity range n/a 0 - 18 EV 1-18 EV 0 - 20 EV
Shutter speed 30 - 1/16000; 1/60 x-sync 30 - 1/8,000 sec.; bulb 30-1/8,000 sec.; bulb; 1/2,000 or 1/13 sec. sync 30-1/4,000 sec.; bulb; 1/160 sec. x-sync
Metering n/a n/a n/a 1,200 zone
Metering range n/a 1-17 EV 1-18 0 - 20 EV
Flash Yes Yes Yes Yes
Image stabilization Optical Sensor shift Sensor shift Optical
Video 1080/60i/30p, 720/60p H.264 MPEG-4 QuickTime MOV 1080/30p/ 25p/24p H.264 QuickTime MOV 1080/30p H.264 QuickTime MOV AVCHD
1080/60i @ 24, 17Mbps, 1080/24p @ 24, 17Mbps; H.264 MPEG-4 1,440x1,080/30p @ 12Mbps
Audio n/a Mono Mono Stereo; mic input
LCD size 3-inch fixed 920,000 dots 3-inch fixed 460,000 dots 3-inch fixed 460,000 dots 3-inch tilting
460,800 dots
Wireless connection Optional
(via WU-1b Wireless Mobile Adapter)
None None None
Battery life (CIPA rating) 220 shots 250 shots 250 shots 480 shots
Dimensions (inches, WHD) 4 x 2.4 x 1.2 4.0 x 2.3 x 1.3 4.0 x 2.3 x 1.3 4.3 x 2.4 x 1.4
Body operating weight (ounces) 7.2 (est.) 7 (est.) 7 (est.) 7.4 (est.)
Mfr. price n/a n/a n/a n/a
$499.95 (with 11-27.5mm lens) $499.95 (with 27.5-83.0mm equivalent lens) $499.95 (with 27.5-83.0mm equivalent lens) $499.99 (with 16-50mm PZ lens)
$749.95 (with 11-27.5mm and 30-110mm lenses) n/a n/a n/a
Ship date February 2013 September 2013 October 2012 April 2013

Pentax also made a point of emphasizing that it's "committed to Q as a category," though that category seems to consist of people who don't mind point-and-shoot quality photos as long as the camera's small and cute and can be outfitted with toy lenses.

On the other hand, at its price, it's not a bad deal compared to the more traditional enthusiast compact cameras previously mentioned, though Pentax really needs a few more fast primes to make the Q more attractive; as of now, there's only a single 47mm-equivalent f1.9 falling into that category. Pentax did announce a new Mount Shield lens, a 53mm-equivalent f9 body cap lens that will cost $79.