Pentax Q-S1 mirrorless camera officially announced

The rumored Pentax Q-S1 mirrorless camera is now officially announced in several different colors and lens options (the prices vary, click on the links below for additional information):

Sample images taken with the new camera can be found here. Here are the Q-S1 main features, additional pictures and the press release:

1. Classic, high-grade design

The Q-S1 sports a classic design, with meticulous attention paid even to the texture of the finest details, making it a perfect everyday camera to carry around under all kinds of situations. Its Quick Dial and grip are made of high-grade aluminum for an exclusive look, and are symmetrically positioned for holding comfort and visual attractiveness. For the first time in the Q series, synthetic leather has been used for the front panel, to improve the texture and appearance.

2.12.4 megapixel image sensor to deliver high-quality images

Due to its 12.4 megapixel, back-illuminated CMOS image sensor, the Q-S1 delivers high-quality and high-resolution images. Coupled with the state-of-the-art high-speed engine name “Q ENGINE”, it also minimizes annoying noises effectively at all ISO sensitivity levels to deliver rich-gradation, fine-texture images, even in high-sensitivity shooting using a top sensitivity of ISO 12800. It also offers outstanding autofocus accuracy during low-illumination shooting, since it assures pinpoint focus on the subject even at the faintest light level of EV 0.

3. Outstanding operability

Thanks to the incorporation of the Q ENGINE with an optimized algorithm, the Q-S1 assures quick, flawless response at all phases of shooting operation, including a short start-up time of approximately one second. The Quick Dial also lets the user assign as many as four favorite functions, including Smart Effect, aspect ratio, AF/MF switching, focus assist ON/OFF and ND filter ON/OFF, for instant mode switching during shooting.

4. Dependable SR mechanism

The Q-S1’s advanced SR (Shake Reduction) mechanism features a state-of-the-art gyro sensor to effectively compensate for annoying camera shake. It produces sharp, blur-free images even under shooting conditions prone to camera shake, such as when using a telephoto lens, shooting in the dark without flash illumination, or capturing landscapes in the twilight.

5. Full HD movie recording, even during high-sensitivity shooting

The Q-S1 captures beautiful Full HD movie clips (1920 x 1080 pixels, at 30 frames per second, in the H.264 recording format) with minimal noise. It also provides an interval HD movie recording function to add more creativity to visual expression. The user can also take advantage of advanced image-processing tools like the Smart Effect modes* and an array of in-body movie editing tools. The Continuous AF (AF-C) mode** has been newly added to these creative options, allowing the user to capture a moving subject in sharp focus during movie recording.

* The frame rate may vary when a selected Smart Effect mode requires nonstandard image processing.
** This mode is not compatible with the UNIQUE LENS-series lenses and the 06 TELEPHOTO ZOOM lens.

6. Large, high-resolution 3.0-inch LCD monitor

The Q-S1 features a high-resolution 3.0-inch 3:2-proportion LCD monitor with approximately 460,000 dots. This monitor is treated with AR (Anti-Reflection) coating to produce sharp, bright images even under bright sunshine by effectively minimizing glare and reflection on the screen. Since its wide-view design makes it possible to view the image from 170 degrees horizontally and vertically, the user has a clear view of the on-screen image even when facing the monitor from an angle.

7. An array of image-processing tools to create personalized images

(1) Custom Image function to add distinctive finishing touches
The Custom Image function adds a distinctive finishing touch to an image, faithfully expressing the photographer’s creative intention or reproducing the ambience of a specific scene. The user has a choice of 11 Custom Image modes, including Bleach Bypass, which produces a dramatic, movie-like finish.
(2) Digital filter function to apply artistic visual effects
The digital filter function lets the photographer apply a variety of visual effects without requiring a computer. Of 17 total options, 11 filters including Toy Camera, Invert Color and Posterization can be applied even during the shooting of still images and movie clips, while the remaining six can be applied only during image editing. The user can even apply multiple filters to a single image to produce more inventive visual effects.
(3) Smart Effect function for simple dial control of finishing touches
Using the Quick Dial positioned on the camera’s front panel, the user can quickly and effortlessly add a desired finishing touch to an image, while previewing the applied effect on the LCD monitor. From nine Smart Effect modes — including Antique for a nostalgic atmosphere and Fade Color for a chic, faded-color finish — the user can assign four favorite modes to the dial in advance.

8. Effortless bokeh control

The Q-S1’s unique bokeh control function allows the user to make the subject stand out by automatically assessing the relative distance between the in-focus subject and obtrusive objects in the field of view. Since this function simplifies the advanced, SLR-caliber technique of intentional defocusing, even a first-time digital camera user can effortlessly capture high-quality images with beautifully defocused foregrounds and backgrounds.

9. Simple, user-friendly Auto Picture and Scene modes

The Q-S1 features the PENTAX-original Auto Picture mode, which automatically selects the most appropriate shooting mode from an range of options including Portrait, Landscape and Macro for a given scene or subject. Since the camera optimizes all affecting parameters, such as shutter speed, aperture, white balance, saturation, contrast and sharpness, the user can concentrate on the image composition and shutter opportunity. The Q-S1 also provides 21 Scene modes including Night Scene Portrait, Pet and Backlight Silhouette, allowing even an entry-level digital photographer to choose the best exposure settings for a complicated scene or subject with the simple choice of an icon on the LCD monitor.

10. Digital SLR-caliber exposure system

The Q-S1’s comprehensive exposure system assures all the advantages and flexibility of a lens-interchangeable digital camera system. In addition to the all-purpose Programmed AE (P) mode, which automatically selects an optimum combination of aperture and shutter speed, it also provides the Aperture-Priority AE (Av) and Shutter-Priority AE (Tv) modes for manual setting of a desired aperture or shutter speed, as well as Metered Manual (M) mode for complete user control over exposure settings.

11. DRII mechanism for effective dust removal

The Q-S1’s DRII (Dust Removal II) mechanism effectively prevents annoying dust spots from spoiling captured images, even after the user changes lenses out in the open. Like the PENTAX K-3 and 645Z digital SLR cameras, it employs a highly efficient supersonic vibration mechanism, which vibrates the image sensor at high speed to shake dust off its surface.

12. Other features

・Compatibility with Eye-Fi wireless LAN SD memory cards
・High-speed continuous shooting of up to five images per second
・HDR mode to composite three images of varying exposures into one photo with extra-wide dynamic range
・CTE white-balance control mode to emphasize the predominant color of a particular scene, such as the sunset
・Multi-exposure mode (up to nine exposures on a single image), with an auto exposure compensation function
・Remote control receptors on front and back panels
・Digital level function to check the camera’s horizontal/vertical inclination
・Digital Camera Utility 5 software (latest version) included


Optional Accessories

O-CC151 Camera Case
A camera case exclusively designed for the Q-S1, with two strap lugs at the sides to keep the camera suspended at a level position for delay-free shooting. It not only protects the camera from dust and scratches, but adds a sense of elegance and style to the camera. Made of synthetic leather, with a choice of black, cream or gray color.
Usable model: PENTAX Q-S1

O-CC1512 Camera Case (with front cover)
A camera case exclusively designed for the Q-S1, with two strap lugs at the sides to keep the camera suspended at a level position for delay-free shooting. Comes with a front cover to protect the lens surface from dust and scratches. Made of synthetic leather, with a choice of black, cream or red color.
Usable model: PENTAX Q-S1
O-CC1513 Holster Case
A camera case designed to fasten on a belt for quick removal of the camera. The main holster holds the camera with a lens attached, while two neighboring compartments hold the 06 and 02 lenses, respectively. Made of brown-colored synthetic leather, with a ring to attach a strap. A hand strap is also included.
Usable model: PENTAX Q-S1, Q7, Q10 and Q

O-CC1516 Lens Case for 02/06
A lens case for exclusive use with the 02 or 06 lens, with internal padding to protect the lens from dust and scratches. Made of black-colored synthetic leather, with a ring to attach a strap.

O-ST151 Three-way Strap
A versatile three-way camera strap, providing three different functions — diagonal suspension, neck strap or hand strap — by varying the arrangement of its two parts. Made of synthetic leather, with a choice of black or cream color.
Usable model: PENTAX Q-S1, Q7, Q10 and Q


Press release:

PENTAX Q-S1 Digital Camera: Providing endless artistic expression; all in a fashionable compact design complete with interchangeable lenses

Denver, Colorado August 4, 2014 RICOH IMAGING AMERICAS CORPORATION is proud to introduce the new PENTAX Q-S1, one of the world’s smallest and lightest digital cameras with interchangeable lenses. With a new refined look, Smart Affect mode for creative photo enhancing, and color variations from today’s hottest fashion trends, The Q-S1 is an ideal everyday camera for style-minded individuals looking for the portability of a compact and added benefits of interchangeable lenses.

Along with its stylish, petite body, this new model offers impressive specifications and a fashionable design with precision details. The PENTAX Q-S1 is an ideal everyday camera for photographers of all levels, complete with an entire system of lenses designed for on-the-go fun.

The PENTAX Q-S1 is the latest addition to the popular PENTAX Q series of compact-sized, interchangeable-lens digital cameras, which are fashionable and user-friendly. The Q-S1 comes equipped with a wide range of features to make photography more enjoyable, including a 12.4 megapixel, back-illuminated CMOS image sensor to deliver high-quality images, high-sensitivity shooting to a top sensitivity of ISO 12800, and a reliable shake-reduction system using a state-of-the-art gyro sensor. It also provides a variety of creative tools, such as bokeh control and Smart Effect to add the desired filters with just a simple turn of a dial. The PENTAX Q-S1 creates more personalized, creative images easily and beautifully.

In addition, RICOH IMAGING is pleased to announce the launch of a color order service for the new PENTAX Q-S1 digital camera.

This unprecedented service, (originally launched with the Q7 in July 2013), has been popularly accepted by many users as a new, fashionable way of expressing one’s personal taste and style.

Four brilliant color combinations come available as standard, while the remaining 36 colors consisting of body colors and grip colors taken straight from the runway, such as champagne, khaki green, and charcoal black, can be ordered through the color order service. The PENTAX-01 STANDARD PRIME lens color can also be chosen from five different options to make the entire imaging system even more desirable and eye-catching.

Pricing and Availability

The Q-S1 will be available at retailers nationwide and at in August 2014 for a suggested retail price of $499.95. Ordering for the custom colors will be available in August 2014

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  • Spy Black

    It’s a shame this thing doesn’t have an EVF. It’s amazing to me manufacturers still don’t realize the importance of having one in a product like this.

    Pretty adventurous to have an interchangeable lens system on a sensor this size.

    • TinusVerdino

      well the q has been around for a while you know….

      • Mr.Black

        There is no evf in any Pentax/Ricoh camera ever made. They simply don’t know how to make it. That will be a huge problem for them in a mirrorless future.

        • Cynog

          I think you’ll find that the X-5 and XG-1 cameras have an EVF (albeit not a great one).

        • Arn
        • TinusVerdino

          No need to. dslrs don’t need them. They can buy them from sony anyway.

        • Les

          “They simply don’t know how to make it.”

          That’s funny because every company buys their EVFs from Epson. You’ve got this big theory about what company is dumb or smart, but you don’t know what you are talking about. I repeat, you are the one who doesn’t know stuff.

          More to the point: this is the smallest useable interchangeable lens camera, but people want to attach things to it. If you do that, it won’t be small anymore! You may as well get a bigger camera that already comes with all that.

          • Mr.Black

            There are many Pentax/Ricoh cameras which could benefit a lot from internal or external evf. K-01, Q, GR, MX-1…but I’m pretty sure that we won’t see any of the replacement models or any other new cameras with internal or external evf. In a few years that would become big deal breaker for non-dslr Pentax/Ricoh cameras.

            p.s. I didn’t mention words “dumb” or “smart”, I just won’t too say that they don’t have any serious solution for implementing evfs and that is bad for their sales.

          • 57thStIncident

            You did say ‘don’t know how’ which suggests that they are somehow unable to. I agree though that Pentax and Ricoh should have more EVF options for this sort of camera. I feel like a second Q model with built-in EVF and another couple of control points like second e-dial would be welcome.

        • SJH

          If you knew how to use google, you would know that Ricoh actually had an evf for their GXR cameras. Do your research before you jump to conclusions!

      • ThePatriotMuckraker

        I have an original Q and love it. The reason why the Q line is going to fail though eventually is because the lack of an EVF option, and at a REASONABLE price. I despise my Q when it is sunny out. The mount is crippled without this option/feature. If they added an EVF it would be a fantastic inconspicuous street camera. I was really hoping this would have it.

        • Cynog

          I agree with you about wanting an EVF to go with the Q system. However, many small cameras, such as the Panasonic GM-1, doesn’t have provision for an EVF either, and it doesn’t even have a hot shoe. At least the Q has an optical finder to match its 01 standard prime, though it is a tad expensive.

    • Greg

      Connected aside – why has nobody (Pentax in particular) made a MIRRORED small sensor camera? The Pentax 110 was tiny but a “proper” slr and used 110 film (13 x 17mm) So I don’t see why it wouldn’t be possible to build a Q SLR?

      • Cynog

        The viewing screen would be mighty small. I don’t know if that could be overcome using a magnifying lens.

        • Spy Black

          Well what about the 110?

          • Cynog

            I did think of that, but 110 film was a massive 17 mm x 13 mm, while a 1/1.7 sensor is a mere 7.6 mm x 5.7 mm – that’s only a fifth of the area. It would need a heap more magnification to get a decent sized viewfinder. I’m not saying it couldn’t be done, though.

          • Spy Black

            The size of the sensor doesn’t have anything to do with it. The size and resolution of the EVF is what matters.

          • Zos Xavius

            The original poster was asking why they couldn’t make a Q with a mirror. If you have a mirror you cannot have an EVF.

          • Spy Black

            Sorry, my mistake, you’re correct. It would make no sense to do that in this day and age of EVFs however.

  • Ms.KrystalMeth

    Pentax…Really? How many buttons did you place on this camera? 19? 19 Buttons…U couldn’t give me 20?

  • Funduro

    Lego camera looks better. SMH that’s a fugly camera.

    • Skepticboy

      Probably looks better than your photography…..

  • Andrew Reid

    Pity the VIDEO features don’t seem appealing! On the Q7 the rolling shutter is a disgrace and the POOR bitrate for video is shocking!!!

    • Skepticboy

      and why would anyone use this for broadcast video? I you don’t want “rolling shutter” get a fucking Arri Alexa or Red Epic Dragon. God you fauxtographers want everything for nothing.

      • ThePatriotMuckraker

        Agreed, it is absurd what people expect. I have an original Q and love it. The reason why the Q line is going to fail though is because the lack of an EVF option, and at a REASONABLE price. I despise my Q when it is sunny out. The mount is crippled without this option/feature. If they added an EVF it would be a fantastic inconspicuous street camera.

  • Queso

    i was about to buy the q7im going to buy it when it comes out. For me is the perfect camera *-*

  • Kevin

    Darn it! No built in wifi? After watching blunty’s videos, I really wanted to try this little camera system. Especially with the ultra wide zoom and 24mm 2.8 equivalent wide-ended kit lens. I wanted a camera that I can stealthily stick next to a birds nest and beehive in my back yard and trigger remotely on my ipad. Does anyone know if it is compatible with the flu card? I also think the “dimple dials” are kinda cute. I would never buy a $400-500 camera in 2014 which has no wifi control though.

    • Rob S

      toss in an EyeFi card. They work great and when standards change (like from 802.11n to you get a new card. The Pentax approach to wifi saves you money and battery life since all you need to do is swap the card to have it shut off.

  • Carlos

    what is better with this Q that I can’t get with an original Q or the current Q? the sensor size? the CPU? video? Can’t find anything of value. It’s all about style variation to offer a new camera at a list-price level (margin game).

    • 57thStIncident

      You’re probably right, the differences vs. the current Q7 appear mostly cosmetic. The Q and Q10 had a smaller 1/2.33″ sensor and were a bit slower though. Many of the features added later also appeared in firmware updates to the original Q and Q10.

  • Say What?


  • BP2012

    Does anybody knows what is that black button/knob on the right side (opposite to quick dial with 1234 marks)? On previous Q models there was a grip with remote sensor and nothing else on that side. Now we don’t have a grip and also there is no remote sensor but we have one big mystical knob instead of that.

    • 57thStIncident

      Text says there’s still dual IR sensors. I think that knob is just a grip.

      • BP2012

        Maybe there is a sensor on it but it looks more like a dial. Rotation grip with a sensor which is also a dial button? That’s too innovative, even for Pentax 🙂

  • Rob S

    Mark my words this is going to be a hot camera with the ultra trendy set. Sure they will show them more than use them but this is going to be a “style” thing for a brief time.

  • Gordon Milcham

    12.4 megapixel = Joke

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