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Pentax Q10 review

The world's smallest, lightest CSC

The Pentax Q10, like its predecessor, is quite an interesting camera. With it being no bigger than many other advanced compact cameras, yet able to accept interchangeable lenses, it fills the gap between traditional advanced compact digital cameras and larger mirrorless camera systems well.

The price is reasonable too. At £379.99/US$529.99 (around AU$579) with the standard 5-15mm lens, it's competitively priced when compared to rivals, such as Canon's PowerShot S110.

The inclusion of a Pentax K-mount adaptor into the Q-series system is an added bonus for those with an existing collection of Pentax lenses, although the 5.5x crop factor will need to be taken into account.

However, those in pursuit of the best image quality for their money, while retaining the flexibility of interchangeable lenses, may be better served by a mirrorless camera with a larger sensor, such as the similarly priced Sony NEX-F3 or Panasonic Lumix GF5.

Although the Pentax Q10 performs well in lab tests, its shortcomings can be seen in real world images. Heavy-handed noise reduction can result in fine detail being lost at high sensitivities, and blown highlights can have an unnatural appearance as the camera struggles to capture detail in these areas.

We liked

The Pentax Q10 holds its own well against high-end compact cameras. It is well built, offers plenty of features and is reasonably priced too. As the Q-series lens lineup is growing, and a K-mount lens adaptor is available, having the flexibility of interchangeable lenses is a definite bonus.

We disliked

Real world image quality isn't up to that of similarly priced mirrorless cameras sporting larger sensors. Heavy-handed noise reduction can blur fine detail, and the output from the automatic HDR mode can look very unnatural.

Final verdict

When compared to advanced compact cameras, the Pentax Q10 has a lot going for it. Image quality falls short of cameras equipped with a larger sensor. This camera is better suited to those who value compactness above all else.

Those looking for a quirky alternative to the current crop of compact system cameras, with portability being their main concern, may be well served by the Pentax Q10, so long as you're well aware of its strengths, and its weaknesses.

Tech Specs

Product TypeMirrorless Camera
Battery Size SupportedProprietary Battery Size
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
TouchscreenNo
Effective Camera Resolution12.4 Megapixel
GPSNo
USBYes
Image StabilizationOptical
ColourSilver
Optical Zoom3x
Digital ZoomNo
Brand NamePentax
FeaturesSelf-timer, Continuous Shooting Mode, Live View, Time Lapse Function, External Flash Shoe, Face Detection
Screen Size7.6 cm (3")
Video FormatsMOV, MPEG-4 AVC
Weight (Approximate)180 g
Minimum Focus Distance299.72 mm
Maximum Image Resolution4000 x 3000
Maximum Frame Rate30 fps
Number of Batteries Supported1
Battery Built-inNo
Battery RechargeableYes
Battery IncludedYes
Display Screen TypeLCD
Image Sensor TypeCMOS
Total Camera Resolution12.8 Megapixel
HDMIYes
Camera AssemblyBody with Lens Kit
HD Movie ModeYes
Battery Model SupportedD-LI68
Memory Card SupportedSecure Digital (SD) Card, Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC), Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) Card
Height58.4 mm
Width101.6 mm
Depth33 mm
Autofocus Points25
Focal Length5 mm to 15 mm (Lens 1)
Image FormatsJPEG, RAW
Focus ModesAuto, Manual
ManufacturerRicoh Imaging Company, Ltd.
Product ModelQ10
Product NameQ10 Mirrorless Camera
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part Number12160
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.ricoh.co.uk
Marketing Information

COMPACT PORTABILITY, LIFE-SIZE CAPABILITY

Portability meets capability with the introduction of the Q10 to the world's smallest and lightest interchangeable lens system. Featuring exceptional image quality and an upgraded auto focus system and the Q10 will capture detailed, blur and dust free images all while comfortably fitting in your pocket. With the Q, you no longer need to sacrifice capability for portability.

Battery Life250 Shot
Package Contents
  • Q10 Mirrorless Camera
  • Pentax 02 Standard Zoom Lens
  • USB Cable I-USB7
  • Strap O-ST131
  • Rechargeable Lithium-ion Battery D-LI68
  • Battery Charger D-BC68P
  • Hot Shoe Cover FK
  • Body Mount Cover
  • Software (CD-ROM) S-SW115
Display Resolution460000 Pixel
Limited Warranty1 Year
Built-in DevicesSpeaker, Microphone