It's telling that, at the press briefing for the Q7, the presenter blew past the specs and highlighted the Q7's 120 possible color combinations. He clearly didn't want to bore all the lifestyle media and nonphotographer consumers that are the real target for its tiny interchangeable-lens Q series.
For the photo-minded, the big-ish news is the sensor-size increase to 1/1.7-inch from the 1/2.3-inch of its predecessor, the less-than-a-year-old Q10. That brings it into line with the older and similarly priced enthusiast compacts -- models like the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7 and Samsung EX2F.
Here are some other interchangeable-lens cameras you can get for the same money:
|Nikon 1 S1||Pentax Q7||Pentax Q10||Sony Alpha NEX-3N|
|Sensor (effective resolution)||10.1MP CMOS||12.4MP BSI CMOS||12.4mp BSI CMOS||16.1MP Exmor HD CMOS|
|13.2mm x 8.8mm||1/1.7-inch||1/2.3-inch||23.5 x 15.6mm|
|Sensitivity range||ISO 100 - ISO 6400||ISO 100 - ISO 12800||ISO 100 - ISO 6400||ISO 200 - ISO 16000|
(60fps or 30fps with fixed AF)
5 raw/9 JPEG
|Viewfinder||None||Optional optical for prime lens||Optional optical for prime lens||None|
phase detection, 135-area contrast AF
|25-point contrast AF||25-point contrast AF||25-area contrast AF|
|AF sensitivity range||n/a||0 - 18 EV||1-18 EV||0 - 20 EV|
|Shutter speed||30 - 1/16000; 1/60 x-sync||30 - 1/8,000 sec.; bulb||30-1/8,000 sec.; bulb; 1/2,000 or 1/13 sec. sync||30-1/4,000 sec.; bulb; 1/160 sec. x-sync|
|Metering range||n/a||1-17 EV||1-18||0 - 20 EV|
|Image stabilization||Optical||Sensor shift||Sensor shift||Optical|
|Video||1080/60i/30p, 720/60p H.264 MPEG-4 QuickTime MOV||1080/30p/ 25p/24p H.264 QuickTime MOV||1080/30p H.264 QuickTime MOV||AVCHD |
1080/60i @ 24, 17Mbps, 1080/24p @ 24, 17Mbps; H.264 MPEG-4 1,440x1,080/30p @ 12Mbps
|Audio||n/a||Mono||Mono||Stereo; mic input|
|LCD size||3-inch fixed 920,000 dots||3-inch fixed 460,000 dots||3-inch fixed 460,000 dots||3-inch tilting
|Wireless connection||Optional |
(via WU-1b Wireless Mobile Adapter)
|Battery life (CIPA rating)||220 shots||250 shots||250 shots||480 shots|
|Dimensions (inches, WHD)||4 x 2.4 x 1.2||4.0 x 2.3 x 1.3||4.0 x 2.3 x 1.3||4.3 x 2.4 x 1.4|
|Body operating weight (ounces)||7.2 (est.)||7 (est.)||7 (est.)||7.4 (est.)|
|$499.95 (with 11-27.5mm lens)||$499.95 (with 27.5-83.0mm equivalent lens)||$499.95 (with 27.5-83.0mm equivalent lens)||$499.99 (with 16-50mm PZ lens)|
|$749.95 (with 11-27.5mm and 30-110mm lenses)||n/a||n/a||n/a|
|Ship date||February 2013||September 2013||October 2012||April 2013|
Pentax also made a point of emphasizing that it's "committed to Q as a category," though that category seems to consist of people who don't mind point-and-shoot quality photos as long as the camera's small and cute and can be outfitted with toy lenses.
On the other hand, at its price, it's not a bad deal compared to the more traditional enthusiast compact cameras previously mentioned, though Pentax really needs a few more fast primes to make the Q more attractive; as of now, there's only a single 47mm-equivalent f1.9 falling into that category. Pentax did announce a new Mount Shield lens, a 53mm-equivalent f9 body cap lens that will cost $79.