Icon – Pentax Q

A teeny interchangeable lens compact that's big on retro styling

Yet another retro cam? Yawn.

Yep. And you’d better close your mouth, or someone might pop a Pentax Q right in there. Retro-styles it may be, but compared with Fujifilm’s X100 rangefinder or the Olympus Pen (yes, even the new mini one), the Pentax Q is positively Lilliputian. In fact, it’s the world’s smallest and lightest interchangeable lens camera.

Until the next one comes along.

Records are made to be broken – although the Q might hold this one for a while yet. The reason it’s so small is that this isn’t a Micro Four Thirds or Sony NEX-style DSLR-in-a-compact-body. The sensor inside it is the same size as that of a compact camera – it’s a rather tiny 12MP CMOS, with all of the compromises that entails.

I suddenly feel like yawning again…

Ah, but you won’t find any normal compact with interchangeable lenses, and that means the Q is the most versatile snapper of its size. There’ll be a choice of five lenses at launch, including a 5-15mm zoom, a 160º fish-eye and two ‘toy’ lenses that produce Lomo-style snaps. Pentax has shortened the mount to accommodate them, which means there’s no space for an optical viewfinder. You can attach one if you want, but that’ll practically double the Q’s size.


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