Pentax Q: New firmware improves stability, sharpening


posted Wednesday, November 2, 2011 at 11:08 PM EDT

PentaxqPentax Ricoh Imaging Co. has released new firmware for its Pentax Q compact system camera, as well as for two of its Q-mount lens models.

Announced back in June, the Pentax Q is the world's smallest interchangeable-lens digital camera, and like other compact system camera models, forgoes the requirement for a bulky reflex mirror box by forgoing a through-the-lens optical viewfinder. The Q is based around 1/2.3"-type CMOS image sensor that's much smaller than the Micro Four Thirds and APS-C sized sensors in competing models from the likes of Olympus, Panasonic, Samsung, and Sony, but which has also allowed Pentax to make the camera body and lenses significantly smaller than those from its competition. As well as the sensor and the new Q lens mount, other features include in-body image stabilization, piezoelectric dust reduction, five frames-per-second burst shooting, a 3.0-inch LCD panel, and both a built-in popup flash and hot shoe for external strobes. Power comes from a proprietary lithium ion battery pack, and images are written to SD, SDHC, or SDXC cards in either DNG raw or JPEG file formats. In addition, the Pentax Q can record high-def 1080p movies at 30 frames per second, with H.264 AVC compression.

The new Pentax Q firmware v1.01 is said to improve resolution when the camera is set to the Fine Sharpness mode. It also improves general stability, although no specific changes are described.

Alongside the new camera body firmware, the company has also released firmware v1.01 for the 01 STANDARD PRIME and 02 STANDARD ZOOM lenses. The new lens firmware again is said to improve general stability, but the company hasn't disclosed precisely what this entails.

The firmware updates--along with instructions for their application--can be found on the Pentax Download Service website.

The Pentax Q compact system camera. Photo provided by Pentax Imaging Co. Click for a bigger picture!

The Pentax Q compact system camera.
Photo provided by Pentax Imaging Co.