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Pentax Q10 review

January 26, 2013

Overall Rating:

3

Pentax Q10


  • Features:
  • AWB Colour:
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  • LCD viewfinder:
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  • Autofocus:
  • Noise/resolution:
  • Metering:

Manufacturer:

Manufacturer:

Price as Reviewed:

£379.00

It’s a tiny, 12.4-million-pixel compact system camera with a range of six lenses, but what advantage does this offer the enthusiast photographer? Read the Pentax Q10...

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Pentax Q10 review – Image quality

These images show 72ppi (100% on a computer screen) sections of images of a resolution chart, captured using the Pentax 5-15mm lens set to around a 50mm equivalent focal length. We show the section of the resolution chart where the camera starts to fail to reproduce the lines separately. The higher the number visible in these images, the better the camera’s detail resolution at the specified sensitivity setting.

As one would expect from a 1/2.3in sensor, the images produced by the Q10 are comparable with those from a compact camera. The camera’s sensitivity range starts at ISO 100 and peaks at ISO 6400, which is sensible given the sensor size. As is fairly typical of most compact cameras, noise is well controlled at ISO 100 and 200, although its effects and those of noise reduction start to appear at ISO 400.

At the highest ISO 3200 and 6400 sensitivities, a lot of detail is lost through the blurring effect of luminance noise reduction, while slight purple and green bruising is noticeable in patches of images. I would suggest that for most photographers the usable range runs from ISO 100-400, pushing to ISO 800 if necessary, but avoiding the two higher settings completely. Again, this is hardly surprising – in fact, it is to be expected with a compact camera.

The advantage that the Q10 has over compact cameras with the same-sized sensor is the ability to capture, and even edit and convert, raw images in-camera. The DNG raw files can be opened in almost any raw-conversion software, and I found that I could dramatically reduce the colour noise in Adobe Lightroom. Luminance noise could be reduced, although at higher sensitivities I opted to keep the reduction to a fairly low level to retain as much detail as possible.

Colour rendition in the Pentax Q is very similar to the company’s DSLRs, which is good. All the colour settings from the DSLR range are available, and the menu interface to manually adjust the brightness, contrast, saturation and sharpness of each colour style is also identical. The default natural setting works as expected, although at times it can look a little too natural, but in those situations the vivid setting is on hand to add some punch. Similarly, there is a range of white balance settings, including an option in the custom menu to set a natural or neutral tungsten white balance.

  • Tested as: Entry-level CSC

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