Pentax Q10 review

January 26, 2013

Overall Rating:


Pentax Q10

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Price as Reviewed:


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 – Lenses

There are currently six lenses available for the Pentax Q system. Three of these are what Pentax calls standard lenses, which are optics built to a good standard and include autofocus. A -2EV neutral density filter is also built into the standard lenses, which, given that the lenses don’t have especially small aperture settings, will help to increase exposure times.

Complementing these standard lenses are three toy lenses. These are built to a lower specification and are manual focus only with plastic lens mounts. While the standard lenses are aimed at enthusiast photographers, the toy lenses are designed more with fun and creativity in mind than high quality.

Overall, there is a nice selection of lenses for the camera. The standard ones feel just like smaller versions of optics you would expect to see from any other compact system camera, although the toy lenses are far lighter and cheaper, and the image quality generally isn’t as good. That said, they are interesting to use, particularly when combined with the creative image styles on offer in the Pentax Q cameras. They give the Q10 the sort of creative effects that one is more used to seeing from plastic toy or mobile phone cameras, and this is clearly the audience at which Pentax is aiming.

Of much more interest to many enthusiast photographers will be the Pentax K-mount adapter. This allows Pentax K-mount lenses to be used on the Pentax Q, although the smaller sensor will significantly reduce the angle of view. A 100mm lens used on the Pentax Q10 becomes the 35mm equivalent of a 550mm lens. This may have some appeal for macro photographers, as the minimum focus distance would remain the same, but the image would effectively be a 12.4-million-pixel, 5.5x magnification crop of what it would be on a full-frame camera. This will also be of use to those interested in telephoto photography, particularly of wildlife.

However, there is a catch. As well as the actual scene being magnified, so will any faults of the lens. Thankfully, as it is the image at the centre of the lens that is being used, vignetting and curvilinear distortions should not be an issue, although chromatic aberrations and purple fringing may present a problem, depending on the quality of the lens.

  • Tested as: Entry-level CSC

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