The idea of being able to swap out your lens for certain purposes had previously been restricted to people who rock the SLR. That changed with the arrival of the NEX series from Sony and the micro four-thirds cameras from Olympus and Panasonic. Now, Pentax is taking that philosophy and going even smaller with the Pentax Q.
The Pentax Q is realistically the same size as a regular point-and-shoot. The trouble is that it’s 1/2.3″ image sensor is about the same size as a point and shoot too. Yes, you get 12.4MP of resolution, but it’s the size of the sensor that matters when it comes to image quality. In this way, the Pentax Q offers some added flexibility, but you probably shouldn’t expect to get the same deal as you would with a SLR or even with a M4/3 or NEX.
Rounding out the specs are a magnesium alloy body, 3-inch 460k pixel LCD, no optical viewfinder, and pop-up flash. The kit lens is a 35mm F1.9, but other Q-mount lenses include a f2.8-f4.5 zoom lens and a 160-degree fisheye, as well as a couple of “toy” lenses for deliberate aberrations.
The biggest hurdle I think the Pentax Q will face? Price. It’s going to sell for around $800 when it ships this fall. For that money, you can get well on your way into NEX or M4/3, both of which can likely give you better image quality than the Q…. and the E-PL2 or GF2 is a tad bigger.