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Pentax announces new Q system

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Pentax has officially announced the long-rumoured mirrorless Q camera, sporting a 1/2.3-inch type 12.4-megapixel back-illuminated CMOS sensor (a compact-camera size sensor) complete with a range of interchangeable lenses.
Key features other than the small size include;
Magnesium alloy body with built-in IS and anti-shake,
1/8000 sec electronic shutter option,
max 5fps (JPEG),
ISO 125-6400,
3.0 inch (460k dot) screen
Full HD video (1920x 1080, 30fps).
HD video can be recorded for up to 25 minutes.
No price has been released but the camera is expected to be available mid-September.
For more information please see the press release below:
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PENTAX Q
A pocket-size, go-anywhere digital interchangeable lens system camera: featuring the world’s lightest and smallest body* made possible by a brand-new PENTAX original imaging system

PENTAX Imaging Systems is pleased to announce the launch of the PENTAX Q digital interchangeable lens system camera. Thanks to its innovative, PENTAX developed imaging system, this new model has an astonishingly compact and lightweight body. The user can more easily and actively enjoy the high-quality images and wide range of visual effects that are only available with digital interchangeable lens cameras.

The PENTAX Q was designed and developed in response to user requests for a more compact, manoeuverable digital interchangeable-lens camera than those available in the existing PENTAX line-up — a camera that could go anywhere and be used in all kinds of occasion more easily and freely. Starting with a high-resolution back illuminated 1/2.3-inch CMOS image sensor, the PENTAX Q offers a full range of advanced features, including the newly developed, super-compact Q-mount lenses perfectly proportioned to the compact CMOS image sensor, and an innovative optical construction free of an optical finder and a mirror. These features are the key to the creation of the world’s smallest and lightest digital interchangeable-lens camera system.*

The camera also delivers solid, dependable performance, thanks to such features as: approximately 12.4 effective megapixels to deliver high-quality, high-resolution still images and Full HD movies; high speed continuous shooting at a maximum speed of five images per second; high sensitivity of ISO 6400; and a magnesium-alloy body. It even offers such functional, user-friendly features as a multi-mode exposure system including the Aperture-Priority AE mode and a custom image function to give the most appropriate finishing touch to each image. Just as for conventional digital SLR models, the PENTAX Q is equipped with a set of dependable devices — an in-body SR (Shake Reduction) mechanism and a DRII (Dust Removal II) anti-dust mechanism — so that even beginners can effortlessly capture beautiful, brilliant images free of blurring or spots. The PENTAX Q also offers the latest image-processing tools, including a bokeh control function to adjust the intensity of the out-of-focus effect around the subject to a desired level, and a creative Smart Effect function to produce highly artistic images with distinctive touches, like those produced by cross processing film.

By adding the new Q mount to existing K and 645 medium-format mounts, PENTAX now offers three different lens mounts to further enhance the creativity and versatility of its digital interchangeable-lens camera systems.

* The world’s smallest and lightest digital interchangeable lens system camera, as of June 15, 2011 (based on PENTAX’s research).
Major features
1. The world’s smallest, lightest camera body, featuring newly developed Q mount system
The PENTAX Q features the newly developed Q lens mount, with an outer diameter approximately six millimetres shorter than that of the conventional K mount. This was made possible by reducing the flange back (the distance from the lens mount surface to the image sensor surface) to nearly one-fifth of that of the K mount, as well as by optimizing the size of image circle of its lenses to be proportioned to the size of the compact image sensor. The Q mount system also eliminates an optical finder, mirror box, focusing plate and AF sensor, making the PENTAX Q’s body the smallest and lightest in its class. The body has been made of magnesium-alloy, which gives an elegant, high-quality texture to the compact, lightweight camera body while improving its durability. The PENTAX Q is available in white or black.

2. Exceptional image quality delivered by digital interchangeable lens system camera
The PENTAX Q comes equipped with back illuminated 1/2.3-inch CMOS image sensor, which delivers beautiful, high-resolution images with approximately 12.4 effective megapixels. This is made possible by its high efficient light gathering optical construction that assures excellent high sensitivity and low noise characteristics and high speed readout of image data signals. The PENTAX Q also features a new generation imaging engine integrating the best of PENTAX’s state-of-the-art digital imaging technologies, developed and accumulated over many years of digital SLR camera development. By coupling this imaging engine with exclusively designed high performance Q mount lenses, the PENTAX Q delivers clear, high contrast images rich in gradation and texture, even at edges. With high sensitivity noise minimized, the photographer can use the entire sensitivity range — from ISO 125 to the highest ISO 6400 — without worrying about annoying digital noise. By taking advantage of the HDR (High Dynamic Range) function that produces one composite photo from multiple images, it’s easy to create beautiful images with an extra wide dynamic range and free of white-washed and blacked-out areas.
3. Innovative creative tool to add personal touches to images with ease
The PENTAX Q offers a totally new style of photo shooting. By coupling the new Smart Effect function offering nine distinctive visual effects via the easy access Quick-Dial positioned on the camera’s front panel, the photographer can effortlessly add a desired finishing touch to an image, while previewing the effect on the LCD monitor. The Quick-Dial has four positions, to which four favourite Smart Effect modes can be assigned in advance. The ever-popular Custom Image and Digital Filter functions have been further enhanced to provide an even greater range of image processing tools. In order to customize the PENTAX Q to accommodate specific shooting styles and user preferences, the user can also assign other options such as a custom image setting, a digital filter or an aspect ratio setting to the Quick-Dial.

<Smart Effect modes>
•    Brilliant Colour: Creates a lively effect by raising the saturation level almost to the point of colour saturation.
•    Funicular Bold: Creates an extremely high contrast image that retains one particular colour in the image.
•    Vintage Colour: Produces a toy-camera-like effect, with a choice of several different finishing touches.
•    Cross Processing: Produces a unique image with unusual colors, as if treated with the cross processing** used in film photography.
•    Warm Fade: Creates a low contrast image with the white balance slightly shifted to pink shades.
•    Tone Expansion: Produces a dramatic image with an artistic finishing touch, close to an intensified HDR (High Dynamic Range) effect.
•    Bold Monochrome: Produces a low-key, high contrast image with enhanced sharpness.
•    Water Colour: Creates a watercolour-like finishing touch.
•    Vibrant Colour Enhance: Creates a flowery atmosphere with slightly enhanced contrast.
•    USER: Used to enter a user-selected combination of custom image mode and a digital filter.

** A film development technique that uses an unconventional film developer to create a distinctive finishing touch with dramatic colours.
4. High quality, Full HD movie recording
The PENTAX Q comes equipped with a Full HD movie recording function employing the H.264 recording format, allowing the user to capture high quality, extended movie clips (1920 x 1080 pixels) at a frame rate of 30 frames per second. The user can also take advantage of interchangeable Q-mount lenses to produce distinctive perspectives, or make effective use of the Smart Effect modes*** and other in-body movie editing tools to produce creative, dramatic visual effects with great ease, even during movie recording. The PENTAX Q also provides a micro-HDMI terminal (type D), which allows the user to simultaneously output both Full HD movie clips and sound to external devices via a single terminal.
*** The frame rate may vary when a selected Smart Effect mode requires non-standard image processing.
5. Effortless Bokeh control
The PENTAX Q comes equipped with newly developed bokeh control function, which allows user to capture the image with obtrusive objects in the field of view optimally defocused. With this function, the camera will automatically judge the focused subject as well as the relative distance of each object from the camera in the field of view to apply optimal defocus effect to each object to ensure stand-out of the main subject(s). This function will allow even a first-time digital photographer to easily capture the images with such effects as background defocus or foreground defocus that would otherwise require a certain degree of photographic experience.

6. SR mechanism for sharp, blur-free images
The PENTAX Q incorporates the PENTAX-developed SR (Shake Reduction) mechanism, which automatically shifts the CMOS image sensor to offset camera shake detected by the camera’s motion sensor. As a result, the PENTAX Q produces sharp, blur-free images even under demanding conditions that are prone to camera shake, such as when using a telephoto lens, shooting in the dark without flash illumination, or capturing landscapes in the twilight.

7. Dependable features available only with digital interchangeable lens cameras
The PENTAX Q offers a host of user-friendly, functional features available only with digital interchangeable-lens cameras. Its top shutter speed of 1/2000 second freezes the decisive moment of the subject’s action. To accommodate user preferences and varying photographic applications, it also offers a choice of four different exposure modes: the user-friendly Programmed AE (P) mode that automatically selects an optimum combination of aperture and shutter speed; the Aperture-Priority AE (AV) and Shutter-Priority AE (TV) modes that allow the photographer to faithfully reproduce specific creative intentions on resulting images; and the Metered Manual (M) mode.
It even allows the photographer to instantly switch from the P mode to the AV or TV mode with a simple turn of an electronic dial.
8. Large, wide view LCD monitor
The PENTAX Q features a large, easy-to-view, high resolution 3.0-inch colour LCD monitor with approximately 460,000 dots. Its wide view design assures a clear view of the monitor from approximately 170 degrees horizontally and vertically, making it particularly useful in low and high angle shooting.

9. Dependable DRII mechanism for effective dust removal
The PENTAX Q’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 PENTAX’s K-5 and 645D digital SLR cameras, it incorporates highly effective supersonic vibration mechanism, which vibrates the image sensor at high speed to shake the dust off its surface.

10. High speed continuous shooting at approximately five images per second
The PENTAX Q’s high speed burst shooting mode allows the photographer to record up to five images (in JPEG recording format) in a single sequence, at a maximum speed of approximately five images per second. This mode comes in handy when trying to preserve the action of fast-moving subjects in a series of images.

11. Built-in auto flash with pop-up mechanism
The PENTAX Q comes with a built-in auto flash (guide number 7 at ISO 200/m). The photographer can either use it at the default position, or raise it to the pop-up position with simple operation to widen its discharge angle to cover a 28mm angle of view (in the 35mm format).

12. Other features
1)            TTL image-sensor metering, with a choice of multi-segment, centre-weighted and spot modes
2)            Contrast-detection autofocus system, with a face recognition function and 25 selectable focus        points
3)            CTE white-balance control mode to emphasize the predominant colour of a particular scene,           such as the sunset
4)            Auto Picture mode for effortless shooting
5)            21 scene modes, including new Forest and Stage Lighting options
6)            A choice of image size (4:3, 3:2, 16:9 or 1:1) to accommodate different subjects and applications
7)            Multi-exposure mode (up to nine exposures on a single image), with an auto exposure      compensation function
8)            Interval shooting mode, convenient for recording transition of landscapes and flowers/plants          from the exact same location and angle
9)            HDR mode to produce photo with an extra wide dynamic range composite photo from three           images of               varying exposures
10)          A choice of data storage medium: SD, SDHC and the new-standard SDXC**** memory cards
11)          SILKY Developer Studio 3 for PENTAX RAW-data development software (developed by Ichikawa      Soft Laboratory) included; in-camera RAW-data development also available
**** Not compatible with UHS Speed Class transfer rate.
Optional accessories
External Viewfinder O-VF1
Launched together with the PENTAX Q, this optical viewfinder is designed for exclusive use with the new “PENTAX-01 STANDARD PRIME” unifocal standard lens. It offers a clear view of the subject even in bright sunshine. It also assures image viewing of the subject with no time lag — an important feature in snapshot and portrait photography where the timing of the shutter release is crucial.
Camera Case O-CC115
Exclusively designed for the PENTAX Q, this camera case has two strap lugs on the sides to keep the camera suspended in a level position, so that the photographer can quickly respond to unexpected shutter opportunities. With the camera inside, this high-grade case looks even more elegant, in a choice of colours: white, black and red.

Additional images

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More infomation can be found at www.pentax.co.uk/photo

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