Pentax Q10 pictures and hands-on

The Pentax Q is an ultra-small interchangeable lens camera, and it's just about to get an update in the form of the Pentax Q10.

Shown on the Pentax stand at Photokina 2012 - here snapped in a dashing red colour finish - the first thing that struck us about the Q10 is that it's bigger than its predecessor. So the smallest compact system camera just got slightly larger. How odd. 

It seems that Pentax has learnt a lesson from the original Q though, as the Q10's £379 asking price is a *lot* less than the original's £600 price. For the money it's almost fighting for space in the high-end compact camera market rather than the compact system camera bracket. As much as it looks fun, or cute even, we're still not convinced that it's the first place to head for the optimum image quality experience.

Saying that, the 12.4-megapixel 1/2.3-inch sensor - the same as found in the original Q - does deliver good centre sharpness that's above and beyond what standard compacts offer.

In the brief use we had with the Q10 it's clear that the camera has been souped up compared to its predecessor too: the autofocus is now considerably faster, which was an easy test as the original Q was also sitting on the Pentax stand.

Otherwise there's not much new. The layout, despite the slight increase in body size, has remained the very same as its predecessor. Despite its teeny size, the controls sit well in the hand, which seems surprising at this scale.

The best thing about the Q is its build quality. This hunk of metal definitely feels sturdy and well made, but we can't say the same about the majority of the Q-mount lenses unfortunately.

Like we say, it's cute, kind of "Japanese cute", but we're still confused about where to place this camera. At the price it could be a fun alternative to a high-end compact, but as a compact system camera it's a bit baffling in our minds.