Pentax QS-1 Brief Review



  • 12.4 megapixel 1/1.7” Backlit CMOS Sensor
  • RAW and JPEG
  • Contrast detection autofocus with face detection, tracking, multi-point auto, select and spot
  • Manual focus
  • Focus peaking
  • Manual modes
  • Multiple automatic modes and image control
  • Digital filters including HDR
  • Sensor shift shake reduction
  • Iso 100 to 12800
  • Shutter speed up to 1/2000 (1/8000 with 1/3 EV steps)
  • 5 fps continuous shooting
  • 3” LCD screen
  • 1080p HD videos at 30 fps
  • Lithium-ion battery rated at 250 shots
  • Weighs 7.16 ounces
  • Release Date: 2014-08-15
  • Final Grade: 83 4.15 Star Rating: Recommended

Pentax QS-1 Review: Ricoh introduces tiny, colorful mirorless shooter
Ricoh adds to the little yet colorful mirrorless line with the new Pentax QS-1.
By Hillary Grigonis, Last updated on: 9/9/2014

The Pentax Q line is one of the smallest, most colorful mirrorless lines on the market today. That line is expanding with the QS-1, a little reto-inspired shooter with a variety of creative modes and filters.

The Pentax Q line has the smallest interchangeable lens cameras available, but they also have the smallest sensors to accomodate such a tiny body. The QS-1 has a 1/1.7" sensor, while Nikon uses 1" sensors and other manufacturers use either Micro Four Thirds or the APS-C size found in entry-level DSLRs. That smaller sensor means a smaller resolution compared to competing models, making this camera more for the average consumer that wants a little more versatility than photography enthusiasts.

Along those same lines, the QS-1 is full of different creative modes for easily making your pictures stand out. The new Boekh Control feature will allow users without any photography background to achieve that soft, out-of-focus look in the background of their images. Different scene modes allow for shooting in a variety of different conditions and still achieving solid results. The Pentax QS-1 is also equipped with features like high dynamic range shooting, and digital filters for effects like toy camera and fish eye.

Of course, the QS-1 does include manual modes, for those who prefer to fine tune their images with a bit of photography knowledge. Interestingly, the QS-1 is also equipped with RAW, but still overall appears to be more of a consumer's camera than an enthusiast's.

And in keeping with the history of the Q line, the QS-1 is available in a variety of different colors, with four standard options plus 36 more when you order directly through the manufacturer's website.

The Pentax QS-1 is designed for the consumer who wants an easy to use camera that's also versatile and stylish. Because of the smaller sensor that isn't compensated for in another aspect like speed, we reccomend enthusiasts look elsewhere, but average users may find a lot to like about the QS-1.

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Pentax/Ricoh Reviews

Pentax, who just recently merged with Ricoh, has long been a sort of underdog—but not necessarily in performance or quality. Pentax/Ricoh offers some quirky cameras, but for the most part, we've found that to be a good thing.

The Pentax/Ricoh DSLR’s are mostly weather-sealed, giving them a unique advantage over competing manufacturers that don't offer anything similar. When we tried out models like the K-50, we were quite impressed with the image quality. The autofocus was a bit noisier than a Nikon, but the weather-sealing and often better price is hard to resist when the image quality is so good. Pentax continued to add in innovations by adding an anti-aliasing filter that can be turned on and off to the 2013 K-3.

Pentax hasn't jumped into the mirrorless battle too much, but they do offer the tiny and colorful Q7. With a smaller sensor and a smaller price point, the Q7 and similar models are more of a consumer mirrorless than one for the enthusiasts, but it's an extremely small camera with a whole lot of color options.

Pentax has a few solid compact models out too. The Pentax MX-1 earned our Best Budget Advanced Compact for 2013 for its advanced features yet small price tag. They offer a waterproof line that includes macro ring lights built in, something unique to the WG cameras.

Pentax/Ricoh may be a bit quirky, but many of their cameras are well worth a look and offer excellent image quality for the price.

We here at Digital Camera HQ offer unbiased, informative reviews and recommendations to guide you to the right camera. We're not an actual store; we're just here to help you find the perfect camera at the best price possible by using our camera grades. Let us know if you have any problems or questions, we're happy to help.