Pentax Q7 First Shots: Does the mirrorless camera’s bigger sensor finally deliver the image quality we’ve been waiting for?


posted Tuesday, July 23, 2013 at 11:43 AM EDT


At Imaging Resource, we've always been intrigued about Pentax's Q-series of tiny mirrorless cameras, but unfortunately they've never delivered the image quality we'd expect from an interchangeable lens system. However, about a month ago, we got a sneak peek at the latest model in the series, and published our thoughts about it in our first impressions Pentax Q7 review. We were very glad to see that Pentax had attempted to address its predecessors' biggest flaw. But would it be a big step up in image quality over the Q10? Would it finally be the Q model we've been waiting for?

Well, we've got the camera in the IR Lab, and we invite you to take a look for yourself at our First Shots taken with the Pentax Q7. (Note that these initial IR Lab still life images were taken with the Pentax 01 Standard Prime 8.5mm f/1.9 lens for Q-series cameras as we think it's much sharper than the Pentax 02 Standard Zoom 5-15mm f/2.8-4.5 lens.)

For those not familiar with the camera, though it's cute and small -- available in 120 colors and weighing just 7.1 ounces -- the Pentax Q7 is no mere toy. While it shares some features with its predecessor, it upgrades many others, most notably a new, larger, 1/1.7-inch, back-illuminated CMOS sensor that bodes well for its imaging capabilities. The Pentax Q7 also has an enhanced Q Engine processor that's noticeably faster than the Q10, starting up quickly and moving adeptly from shot to shot. The mirrorless camera comes packed with advanced and automated features including nearly two dozen smart effects, filters and simulated lenses to provide more image tweaks than Instagram and Hipstamatic combined.

Of course, for us, a camera's true worth almost always boils down to its image quality and real-world performance. While we still have lots of testing left to do on the Pentax Q7, for now you can pit sample photos taken with it directly against those from the original Pentax Q -- or any other camera we've tested -- side by side in our image quality Comparometer™.

See First Shots taken with the Pentax Q7 here. And be sure to read our first impressions Pentax Q7 review for a detailed look at the mirrorless camera's new features. We've even posted a handful of real-world gallery shots for your pixel-peeping pleasure. Stay tuned for our full Pentax Q7 review in the coming weeks.