Pentax announces Q7 with larger 12MP BSI CMOS sensor


Pentax Ricoh has announced the Q7 – its latest Q-mount camera and the first to feature a larger, 1/1.7″ type sensor. The 7.44 x 5.58mm, 12MP BSI CMOS sensor is the same size as the one used in many enthusiast compacts, with the company claiming a 60% improvement in S/N ratio over the existing Q10. This improvement also allows the camera to focus faster in low light. The Q7 will cost around $500 with the ’02’ 5-15mm zoom lens and can be custom-ordered in any of 120 color combinations. The company has also introduced a body-cap ‘Mount Shield’ lens for the Q system – the 11.5mm F9 lens will cost around $80.

The move to a 1/1.7″ type sensor changes the ‘crop factor’ of the Q7, and its effect on the equivalent focal lengths of the existing Q lenses is interesting:

Noticeably, the Standard Prime lens suddenly gives a ‘normal’ 39mm equivalent focal length, while the Standard Zoom and Telephoto zooms give very similar field-of-view ranges to traditional 24-70mm and 70-200mm lenses. This, and the fact that all of them offer an image circle large enough to illuminate the larger sensor, strongly supports the theory that the Q system was always designed for this sensor format – a move that makes it much more directly comparable with existing enthusiast compacts.

This move, combined with the more realistic recommended sales price, could make the Q system considerably more interesting than it has seemed, up until now.

Jump to:

Press Release:

PENTAX RICOH IMAGING Expands Commitment to Q-mount Camera System

Available in 120 color combinations, the Q7 ensures there is a camera for every taste and style along with features and settings to match

Denver, CO (June 12, 2013) —PENTAX RICOH IMAGING AMERICAS CORPORATION today announced the fun and highly capable Q7 compact system camera. Available for order in 120 eye-catching color combinations through PENTAX’s Color To Order™ system, the Q7 gives creative control to the consumer with a complete system of interchangeable lenses, filters, viewfinders, and fun smart effects and digital filters enable truly limitless creativity.

Setting a new standard in the imaging industry, the Q7 incorporates a growing trend among consumer products: customization. With an expertly architected supply chain management system designed around Color To Order, consumers are empowered to integrate individual style, personality and taste into their camera sparking the creative process even as their order is placed. Joining the already successful Q10, the Q7 features an upgraded 1/1.7 inch, back-illuminated CMOS image sensor, high sensitivity shooting up to ISO 12800 and enhanced Q ENGINE with faster response time during start-up and shooting time, the creativity continues as beautiful, sharp images are captured.

“Don’t be fooled by the Q7’s small size and 120 color combinations,” said Jim Malcolm, executive vice president, PENTAX RICOH IMAGING. “As the smallest and lightest compact system camera in the world, this tiny gem is packed with serious specs and capabilities including a number of digital filters and smart effects.”

Weighing in a just 7 ounces, the Q7’s compact body enables easily poket-able portability while the fun filters and assorted lens variety inspire the casual photographer to elevate their creativity. With 19 smart effects and filters and seven lenses, a retro look and feel can easily be applied in-camera with the ability to layer different effects for greater expression and better image quality than cell phones ever dreamt of. Additionally, with the Q7’s enhanced Eye Fi SD card compatibility and built-in menus, users can now edit, re-size and share photos instantly.

Also introduced today is the 07 Mount Shield lens. As the seventh member of the Q-family lens mount, the 07 lens produces a truly unique and timeless visual effect, comparable to the original pin-hole camera—with a fixed aperture of F9 and a focal length of 11.5 mm (or 53mm in 35mm format), for an extra-ordinary image with distinctively velvety edges. Featuring a focusing range of approximately 0.7-2m, still life shots and macro photography are given a beautiful dream-like look and feel. Weighing a mere 8 grams, the 07 Mount Shield lens is extremely small, resembling a tiny Q series body cap  making it an ideal lens for pocket-able fun, and travel photography.

Pricing and Availability

The Q7 kit with 02 zoom lens is available to order today in a choice of 120 color combinations at and retail outlets nationwide in August 2013 with a suggested retail price of $499.95. The 07 Mount Shield lens will be available for purchase online and at retail outlets nationwide in July 2013with a suggested retail price of $79.95.

Pentax Q7 specifications

MSRP $499 inc 02 5-15mm lens
Body type
Body type Rangefinder-style mirrorless
Max resolution 4000 x 3000
Other resolutions 4000 x 2664, 4000 x 2248, 3072 x 2304, 3072 x 2048, 3072 x 1728, 2992 x 2992, 2304 x 2304, 1920 x 1440, 1920 x 1280, 1920 x 1080, 1440 x 1440
Image ratio w:h 1:1, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9
Effective pixels 12.4 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors 12.8 megapixels
Sensor size 1/1.7″ (7.44 x 5.58 mm)
Sensor type BSI-CMOS
White balance presets 9
Custom white balance Yes
Image stabilization Sensor-shift
Uncompressed format RAW
JPEG quality levels Good, Better, Best
File format
  • RAW (12bit): DNG, JPEG
Optics & Focus
  • Contrast Detect (sensor)
  • Selective single-point
  • Tracking
  • Single
  • Face Detection
  • Live View
Lens mount Pentax Q
Focal length multiplier 4.7×
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCD Fixed
Screen size 3
Screen dots 460,000
Touch screen No
Screen type TFT color LCD monitor, wide angle viewing, AR coating
Live view Yes
Viewfinder type Optical (optional)
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed 30 sec
Maximum shutter speed 1/2000 sec
Exposure modes
  • Program Auto Exposure, Shutter Priority, Aperture Priority, Manual Exposure, Bulb, Blur Control (JPEG only) Standard, Portrait, Landscape, Macro, Night Scene Portrait, Night Scene, Blue Sky, Forest
Scene modes
  • Auto Modes: Standard, Portrait, Landscape, Macro, Night Scene Portrait, Night Scene, Blue Sky, Forest
  • Scene Modes: Portrait, Landscape, Macro, Moving Object, Night Scene Portrait, Sunset, Blue Sky, Forest, Night Scene, Night Scene HDR, Night Snap, HDR*, Quick Macro, Food, Pet, Kids, Surf&Snow, Backlight Silhouette, Candlelight, Stage Lighting, Museum
  • Custom Image: Bright, Natural, Portrait, Landscape, Vibrant, Radiant, Muted, Bleach Bypass, Reversal Film, Monochrome, Cross Processing, Digital Filter (capture): Toy Camera, High Contrast, Shading, Slim, HDR, Invert Color, Extract Color, Color, Water Color, Posterization, Fish-eye, HDR Capture: Auto, HDR 1, HDR 2
  • Smart Effect: Brilliant Color, Unicolor Bold, Vintage Color, Cross Processing, Warm Fade, Tone Expansion, Bold Monochrome, Water Color, Vibrant Color Enhance, USER 1 to 3
Built-in flash Yes (Built-in retractable P-TTL flash)
Flash range 4.9 m (ISO100/m)
External flash Yes
Flash modes P-TTL, Red-eye Reduction, Slow-speed Sync, Trailing Curtain Sync
Flash X sync speed 1/2000 sec
Drive modes
  • Single frame, Continuous (Hi, Lo), Self-timer (12s, 2s), Remote Control (0 sec., 3 sec., continuous), Exposure Bracketing (3 frames, remote control), Multi-exposure (0 sec., Self-time, remote control), Interval Shooting
Self-timer Yes (12 sec, 2 sec)
Metering modes
  • Multi
  • Center-weighted
  • Spot
Exposure compensation ±3 (at 1/3 EV steps)
AE Bracketing (3 frames at 1/3 EV steps)
Videography features
  • MPEG-4
  • H.264
Microphone Mono
Speaker Mono
Resolutions FullHD(1920×1080, 30fps/25fps/24fps), HD(1280×720,16:9,30fps/25fps/24fps), VGA(640×480,4:3,30fps/25fps/24fps)
Videography notes MOV MPEG–4 AVC/H.264 (.mov)
Storage types SD, SDHC, SDXC and Eye-Fi Card
USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMI Yes (HDMI output terminal (Type D))
Wireless Eye-Fi Connected
Remote control Yes (Remote Control O-RC1, Remote F)
Battery Battery Pack
Battery description Rechargeable Lithium-ion Battery D-LI68
Battery Life (CIPA) 250
Weight (inc. batteries) 200 g (0.44 lb / 7.05 oz)
Dimensions 102 x 58 x 34 mm (4.02 x 2.28 x 1.34)
Other features
Timelapse recording Yes (3 sec. to 24 hr., Start Interval setting: immediately from the set time. Number of shots: up to 999 images)
GPS None

Additional images



Shutter speed needs to a bit faster at 1/3200, but otherwise this looks to be a pretty good upgrade.


i have to admit it looks pretty good in yello!


Even at a lower price, the only significant market for this camera is Japan, it’s not likely to gain traction anywhere else. There is no market anymore for these $500 toys in the rest of the world. Pentax and fanboys can argue that the IQ is excellent, but in the end it’s the size and the color combinations that matter for the Japanese market. For the rest of the world, this camera just doesn’t cut it at this price level, as it has to compete with many other compact and mirrorless cameras with better IQ and better feature sets. A NEX-F3 will spank this Q7 in terms of IQ at any ISO for the same $500, whereas the LX7 for half the price will easily provide more flexibility and more features in a slightly larger package.
Conclusion: nice but FAIL.


If you gave me the choice between an LX7, NEX-F3 or Q7 for $500 and I had to pick one I would pick the Q7 …and I don’t live in Japan. Huh, imagine that.


The original Q with kit lens had $800 MSRP, now selling for $250. Imagine the anguish to those bought it at MSRP. Knowing that, who would buy the Q7 at $500 MSRP, only to see a huge price drop later?

Pentax has no idea how to price a camera. If they priced it at $250 originally, the system might’ve caught on. If $250 wasn’t enough to turn a profit, then the Q isn’t a viable product after all.

Here’s a report on the Q sales:


It’s probably the same sensor as in the MX-1, which is a great performer. My only wish is that they had found a way to upgrade the 460 K LCD. Viewfinder-less cameras absolutely should have the best LCD panels possible.

As far as the lenses, I’m wondering did they purposely design the Q lenses with a large enough image circle to cover a 1/1.7″ sensor? If so, why didn’t they just build the original Q with this sensor?


I think at the time they design the Q, they only have 1/2.3″ sensor available.

Zvonimir Tosic

At the time of Q’s introduction in 2011, 1/1.7″ sensors were not as good as their 1/2.3″ counterparts. That is why Q has outperformed many 1/1.7″ cameras at that time. Now the sensor tech has caught up and there’s no reason to keep with the 1/2.3″.
If I remember correctly, people from Pentax commented once that Q lenses are made to work well on 1/1.6″ sensors as well.
And that may also be the reason Q lenses were numbered like 01, 02, 03 … instead of assigning them equivalent 135 format values.


I like it! looks good and as i already had the Q before. this one with bigger sensor is going to (hopefully) have better IQ.


Imagine if Pentax used this size sensor the first time, ok whatever, its here now and a huge improvement. Now the Q gets the attention it really should have got in the first place. Solid announcement from Pentax, bravo.


Exactly. I’m hopeful for this new Q model. Looks great, bigger sensor and best of all, it looks to retain the tiny little form factor…would love to test this out when I’m traveling.


Still ugly as heck! Also with the teeny tiny pea shooter sensor I don’t see a need for this at all.

Michael de Ruijter

[Starting gun goes off]

Let the bashing begin!


It’s an ideal little ILC now with a sensor size more matching body size. At street prices soon becoming a few 100 bucks (I guess).

However, the Q10 still is a better value as tele enlarger being the ILC with the smallest pixel pitch. I wished the Q7 had more pixels (~16MP) to retain this unique selling point.


A no sense buy. G15 canon, panasonic lx7, Olympus xz-2, nikon p7700 all has faster lenses, same or better range or both them.
On the same sensor. With smaller body.

Until pentax make ultra wide angle or extreme telephoto…. Dou you believe in it?


Superzoom lenses cannot beat individual prime in IQ.


“Superzoom lenses cannot beat individual prime in IQ.” is a mantra you can repeat over and over, that it kind of hides the fact that it’s false, under many circumstances. Put this Q7 against an LX7 and compare the output at various focal lengths, you may be surprised. And of course the LX7 costs half as much and you don’t have to carry many lenses…


If superzoom is as good as you said, they should have 18-125(200)(250)mm X100s, GR, Coolpix A, RX1

Cailean Gallimore

Looks nice. What’s it used for?

Michael de Ruijter

Go Pentax!!!


Wow, I’m waiting for the Q69 which should have a FF sensor at this rate of increase in sensor size.

More seriously, it’s a shame we’ve waited until it’s almost too late to release ILC in this segment. 4 years ago I would have been all over this for a small companion camera for my DSLR. But now these tiny sensors have less than zero interest for me. I’d consider the 1″ Sony sensor the minimum nowadays. Heck the 1/1.7″ sensor should be the sensor used in the entry level P&S and dithc the pathetic 1/2.3″ sensors, which should be what phones should be targetting and moving away from 1/3.2-1/3″ sensors.

Gary Martin

Offer a wide prime and I’m interested.

Zvonimir Tosic

The 04 lens, which was 35mm equivalent on the original Q, now becomes 28mm. But it’s marketed as a Toy Lens with fixed aperture.
I agree with you that a fast prime lens, in 21-25 mm range for this new Q would be more than welcome.


If they do, it would have to be much wider than 28mm. Because Ricoh already offers 2 compacts w/ 28mm. Ricoh also offers an adapter that will give you 21mm.

I seriously doubt they will offer any add’l lenses for Q anytime soon.


Nice! I like! :)

Halogram One

After the announcement of the Sony RX100, all these 1/1.6″, 1/1.7″, or 2/3″ sensors should be the new mid-range.


>120 eye-catching color combinations
When this selling point tops the list on a press release, it makes one wonder…

Source Article from

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Pin on PinterestShare on TumblrShare on RedditShare on StumbleUponShare on LinkedInEmail this to someone