Pentax Q Mirrorless Digital Camera Review$799.00
Speed and Timing
The Pentax Q is a compact shooter that offers decent speed with the 8mm kit lens. The Q's uses an electronic shutter, though some Q lenses, including the kit lens, offer a mechanical shutter located in the lens. All of the camera's various drive and timers modes, including remote activation and exposure bracketing, are accessed by the timer menu, which is brought up by pressing the right key on the camera's four-way control pad on the back of the camera.
There are no resolution limitations with the Q in terms of bust shooting, though we did find that the capacity for shooting at the highest speed was very limited. Most mirrorless cameras we have tested offer at least 10-20 frames of burst shooting before wearing through their internal buffers, with the Q managing just six shots. The high speed burst shooting is also not available when capturing RAW images, though continuous low speed is available for both RAW and RAW+JPEG shooting.
Pentax rates the Q at approximately five frames per second when utilizing a lens with a lens shutter (such as the 8mm kit lens), with a maximum capacity of just five JPEG images at the highest speed. We found that the Q was actually able to pull in 5.45 frames per second in that mode, with a capacity of six burst images before capture slowed to about one frame per second. At the lower speed Pentax rates the Q as pulling in 1.5 frames per second, but with a capacity of 100 JPEGs at a time.
The Q offers self-timer options with a delay of either 12 or two seconds, as well as remote shooting that, when activated, will shoot a single image immediately, a single image after a three-second delay, or continuously shoot as long as the button is held down. There is also an option for interval shooting in the menu, which allows for great timelapse work. The interval shooting option allows for a delay between shots of as little as one second, or as long as 24 hours. The camera can then take up to 999 images (depending on power and storage ability), with the interval beginning immediately or set to begin at a specific time of day.
The Pentax Q utilizes a 25-point contrast detection autofocus through the lens, with a sensitivity of 1-18 EV at ISO 125. The focus is snappy, though it's not the fastest that we have seen. We found the Nikon J1 and the Olympus E-P3 were faster for mirrorless cameras, though the Pentax Q comes in very close behind those two. There are also focus options for face detection, subject tracking, and precise point selection, though all modes struggle a bit in very low light.
Even when placed in autofocus, the Q allows for quick manual focus override by twisting the focus ring on the kit lens' barrel. There are manual focus assist options in the menu as well, which will automatically employ a 2x or 4x digital zoom to bring the subject in closer for fine focus adjustments. There is no peaking option here, but the constant MF override is a nice touch and makes those minute adjustments simple for the user.