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Pentax Q-S1: all the details about the new super-compact CSC

Pentax Q-S1

The leaks this time were right. In the last few days news has been going around about the possible configuration of a new Pentax mirrorless camera with a compact design and a classic look that would afford users the manual controls normally found in an advanced camera. And the predictions have come to pass. On paper, the new Pentax Q-S1 appears to meet the expectations it has generated.

Inside, it has a state-of-the-art 1-by-1.7-inch CMOS BSI sensor and a Q Engine image processor that, according to the camera’s designers, offers great image quality and the necessary processing capacity to take as many as 5 photographs per second. But this is only the tip of the iceberg. Let’s take a more detailed look.

Pentax Q-S1, main specifications:


Backlit CMOS with a size of 1 / 1.7 "and 12 megapixels effective

Image processor Q Engine
Maximum ISO sensitivity 12.800
Control Dial Quick Dial
Image stabilizer Yes / Vibration Reduction by gyro
Video Recording Full HD (1080/30p)
Monitor 3-inch LCD with a resolution of 460,000 dots
Shooting Modes AE (P), AE (Av), AE (Tv) and manual
Sensor Cleaning Yes (DRII) / Using ultrasonic vibrations
Versions Available in five colors for the body and eight for the front (40 different combinations
Compatibility with Eye-Fi cards Yes
Continuous Shooting Up to 5 fps
Multi Exposure Yes (up to nine different exposures in one shot)
Digital Level Yes
Dimensions 105 x 58 x 34 mm
weight 203 g (including battery)

Sensor and Image Processor

Curiously, in the documentation that Ricoh sent us about the new Q-S1, there isn’t even a word about the resolution of this camera’s sensor, even though we’ve found out that has a 12-megapixel capture. What we do officially know is that it has a size of 1-by-1.7 inches and has a maximum ISO sensitivity of 12,800, which in principle should be enough for most of this camera’s potential users, if and when its noise level is reduced, something we’ll find out when we try out this camera first hand.

Pentax Q-S1

The image processor responsible for “guarding the back” of the sensor is a top-of-the-line Q Engine chip that, according to Ricoh, has been designed to execute an optimized algorithm that guarantees a rapid response in all the phases of image capture and, furthermore, allows the Q-S1 to be ready to shoot even when turned off in only 1 second. On paper, this looks pretty good.

Pentax Q-S1 

One interesting note. The Q-S1 incorporates a bokeh control that its designers say lets you easily achieve a beautiful, blurry, out-of-focus background. The control looks like it was made to allow even users with little photography experience to get the most value from it.

Screen and Creative Filters

The Q-S1’s LCD monitor has a size of 3 inches, typical of most current digital cameras, with a resolution is 460,000 dots and a 3:2 aspect ratio. But what’s most interesting is its anti-reflection coating that, according to its creators, allows for clear, brilliant images that look good even in surroundings with only ambient light. Without a doubt, this is the Achilles’ heel of not only many cameras but of other devices like smartphones and tablets.

Pentax Q-S1

The creators of this camera have placed a lot of emphasis on the creative possibilities afforded to its users by its new digital filter, which allows for the application of up to 17 visual effects directly from the camera, without having to retouch photos later on the computer. Without a doubt, this will especially interest users who like to upload their photos to social media.

Pentax Q-S1: Price and Availability

The new Q-S1 will be available in five colors for the body and eight for the face, for a total of 40 different combinations. It’s evident that Pentax, or rather Ricoh, has gone all out in offering a wide variety of aesthetic choices. We still don’t know the camera’s release date, but it’s likely to be available soon. What Ricoh has revealed is its price. The camera will cost 399 dollars , up to 499 dollars if we decide to buy a kit that incorporates an objective (probably the 5—15 mm f/2.8—4.5 featured in the images for this post.

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