The Pentax Q7 is in a precarious predicament. Should it be compared to other ILCs due to its interchangeable lens system or to point and shoots due to its sensor size? My initial reaction is to compare it to other ILCs. In that case, I believe it rests pretty close to the middle of the group. I tend to prefer the fast AF of the Olympus Pen cameras over the Q7. That being said, the Pentax Q7 still beats out the Canon EOS M camera in many categories including having a dedicated flash and a hot shoe plate. If you compare the Q7 to point and shoot cameras, the Q7 has a lot of great features that most PNS cameras cannot compete with like a mode dial, adjustable settings click dial and a dedicated custom settings dial.
At the beginning of the review we aimed to answer one burning question. Is the Pentax Q7 "real fun" as their tagline states? Unfortunately, I didn't feel like the Q7 (as it was shipped to us with the kit lens) was real fun. My overall experience with the Q7 was lackluster. I am not a fan of the kit lens that comes shipped with the camera--the 5-15mm f/2.8-4.5 lens. Maybe a different lens would have rendered a better experience. Unfortunately this lens was not able to produce enough consistently sharp images to impress me. In the long run, the camera didn't make me want to pick it up and use it.
If you are already a Pentax Q owner and comparing the Q7 to the original Q or the Q10, the upgrades to the sensor will make this camera superior to its predecessors. I understand the concept for this camera and the desire to produce a photographic tool with an interchangeable lens that is as small as currently possible. Plus, with the ability to use a plethora of lenses due to Q-mount adaptors, the Q7 offers a huge range of focal lengths and photographic styles. For those looking to make the most of Pentax's sensor combined with a 300mm lens, telephoto heaven is within arm's reach as the image produced from this combo will have an outrageous 1650mm focal length. Pentax's toy lenses also have quite a bit of appeal amongst their circle of users. Those that are not familiar with them may not quite understand the draw.
Unfortunately I can't wholeheartedly recommend the Q series cameras to those debating on choosing an ILC system. The Q7 just isn't consistent at giving the user a high quality image straight out of camera. With the Olympus E-PM2 being $50 less than the Pentax Q7 it makes more sense for the average ILC user to choose the Olympus unless a smaller camera with more physical buttons trumps image quality and AF speed.
Design/Ease of Use
* Ratings averaged to produce final score
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