Image: Hugh Threlfall
November 21 2011
What unsatisfiable creatures we gadget heads are. A couple of years ago, before Olympus launched its mirrorless Pen cameras, there was no such thing as a pocketable, interchangeable-lens camera with DSLR photo quality. Now there are hordes of them. Olympus is still on great form, but there’s also Panasonic, Sony, Samsung and Nikon, with Canon due to give birth too. The trouble is that they don’t seem to be that pocketable any more. It’s not that pockets have shrunk, but expectations have changed.
So now Pentax, which amazed compact-camera fans with its Spotmatic in the 1960s and Auto 110 SLR in the 1970s, has shown that it can still surprise with this perfect seasonal gift. The Q is the smallest mirrorless yet. The body measures 98mm x 57.5mm x 31mm and weighs 200g (including batteries), and the lenses stick out less than in the next smallest competitor, the Sony Nex range.
There’s a price to pay: although the Q has a fantastic specification, lens choice is small, and the sensor is tiny. This means that the photo quality is very good indeed, rather than superb. It still might suit your needs perfectly – especially if Pentax goes on to make equally pocketable longer telephoto lenses.