Pentax Q Review

 
Camera Reviews / Pentax Cameras / Pentax SLR i Review

Pentax Q Performance


Timing and Performance

Generally slow performance for a compact system camera, though good JPEG burst speed.

Startup/Shutdown

Power on
to first shot

~3.7 seconds

Time it takes to turn on and capture a shot.

Shutdown

~0.3 second

How long it takes camera to turn off before you can remove the memory card.

Buffer clearing time
7 seconds after 6 large/fine JPEGs*
Worst case buffer clearing time. -- This is the delay after a set of shots before you can remove the card.
10 seconds after 6 RAW files*
10 seconds after 4 RAW + LF JPEG files*
*Note: Buffer clearing times measured with a SanDisk Extreme Pro 45MB/sec UHS-I SDHC card. Slower cards will produce correspondingly slower clearing times. Slow cards may also limit length of bursts in continuous mode. ISO sensitivity and noise reduction settings can also affect cycle times and burst mode performance.

Startup was very slow at 3.7 seconds, though shutdown was fast. With a fast SDHC card, the Pentax Q's buffer clearing times were a little sluggish, especially considering the shallow buffers.


Mode Switching

Play to Record,
first shot

~1.0 second
Time until first shot is captured. (The Pentax Q required two presses of the shutter button.)

Record to Play

~2.6 seconds
Time to display a large/fine JPEG file immediately after capture.

Display
recorded image

~0.4 second
Time to display a large/fine JPEG file already on the memory card.

Play to Record mode switching was not bad, but Record to Play mode was slow, though displaying a captured image was reasonably fast.


Shutter Response (Lag Time)
Full Autofocus,
Single-area AF mode
0.706 second
Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, with the lens already at the proper focal distance setting. (All AF timing performed with 8.5mm f/1.9 01 Standard Prime kit lens)
Full Autofocus,
Multi-area AF mode
0.735 second
Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, with the lens already at the proper focal distance setting.
Full Autofocus,
Single-area AF mode
Auto Flash Enabled
1.164 seconds
Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, with the lens already at the proper focal distance setting, TTL Auto flash enabled.
Continuous AF
N/A
This mode usually shows no speed increase with our static subject; we have no way to measure performance with moving subjects.
Manual Focus
0.274 second
For most cameras, shutter lag is less in manual focus than autofocus, but usually not as fast as when the camera is "prefocused".

Prefocused

0.082 second
Time to capture, after half-pressing and holding shutter button.

The Pentax Q's autofocus speeds were quite slow for a current compact system camera, and even slower than most point & shoots these days. Manual focus lag was better, but still slow. Prefocused shutter lag was about average for a CSC, but still slower than most point & shoots.

To minimize the effect of different lens' focusing speed, we test AF-active shutter lag with the lens already set to the correct focal distance.


Cycle Time (shot to shot)

Single Shot mode
Large/Fine JPEG

1.39 seconds

Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots, 2 seconds to clear*.

Single Shot mode
RAW

1.72 seconds

Time per shot, averaged over 3 shots, 4 seconds to clear*.

Single Shot mode
RAW + LF JPEG
1.80 seconds

Time per shot, averaged over 3 shots, 7 seconds to clear*.

Early shutter
penalty?

No

Some cameras don't snap another shot if you release and press the shutter too quickly in Single Shot mode, making "No" the preferred answer.

Continuous High Mode
Large/Fine JPEG

0.19 second (5.32 frames per second);
6 frames total;
7 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over 6 shots, then slows to an average of about 0.93s or 1.07 fps when buffer is full, with about 47% variation.

Continuous Mode
RAW

0.86 second (1.16 frames per second);
6 frames total;
10 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length of 6 frames, then slows to an average of about 2.27s or 0.44 fps when buffer is full, with about 52% variation.

Continuous Mode
RAW + LF JPEG

0.85 second (1.18 frames per second);
4 frames total;
10 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length of 4 frames, then slows to 2.95s or 0.34 fps when buffer is full, with about 6% variation.

Flash Recycling

3.1 seconds

Flash at maximum output.

*Note: Buffer clearing times measured with a SanDisk Extreme Pro 45MB/sec UHS-I SDHC card. Slower cards will produce correspondingly slower clearing times. Slow cards may also limit length of bursts in continuous mode. ISO sensitivity and noise reduction settings can also affect cycle times and burst mode performance.

Single-shot cycle times were sluggish, ranging from 1.39 seconds for large/fine JPEGs to 1.80 seconds for RAW + large/fine JPEG frames. Continuous High mode was however pretty good at 5.32 frames per second, though that's only available when shooting JPEGs. When RAW files were captured, continuous mode speed was only about 1.2 frames per second. Buffer depths are quite shallow as well, at only 6 large/fine JPEGs or RAW files, and 4 RAW + large/fine JPEGs. Note that our test target for this was designed to be difficult to compress, so JPEG burst lengths should be longer with typical subjects. Flash recycle time was pretty good, though, at 3.1 seconds after a full power discharge.


Download Speed

Windows Computer, USB 2.0

3,700 KBytes/sec

Typical Values:
Less than 600=USB 1.1;
600-769=USB 2.0 Low;
Above 770=USB 2.0 High

Downloads speeds via USB 2.0 were slower than average. (Tested with a SanDisk Extreme Pro 45MB/sec UHS-I SDHC card.)


Bottom line, the Pentax Q's performance is generally pretty slow when compared to most other cameras including CSCs and digicams, though Continuous High burst mode would be considered fast for its class. Unfortunately, only JPEGs are supported in that mode, and buffer depth is quite shallow.

Battery

Battery Life
Below average battery life for a CSC.

Operating Mode Number of Shots
Still Capture,
(CIPA standard)
230

The Pentax Q uses a custom rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack for power, and comes with both a single battery and charger. The rated 230 shots per charge is below average for a compact system camera, but perhaps understandable given its diminutive size. We recommend getting a second battery for your Q if you plan any extended outings.

The table above shows the number of shots the camera is capable of (on a fully-charged rechargeable battery), based on CIPA battery-life and/or manufacturer standard test conditions.

(Interested readers can find an English translation of the CIPA DC-002 standards document here. (180K PDF document))

 

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Note: For details, test results, and analysis of the many tests done with this camera, please click on the tabs at the beginning of the review or below.

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