(Pocket-lint) - Pentax has announced a new mirrorless compact system camera, to expand its Q series range. The Pentax Q10 is described as super-compact and ultra-lightweight and sports an updated CMOS sensor over its predecessor, the Pentax Q.

Subject of a leak earlier today, the Q10 comes with a 12.4-megapixel back-illuminated sensor and an ISO range of 100 - 6400. There's High Dynamic Range (HDR) functionality, which produces one "best-of" photo from a composite of others, and the tidy body can be coupled with any number of Q-mount lenses.

As well as the sensor, Pentax claims to have upgraded the autofocus system, making it faster than before. And a Face Recognition AF system can pinpoint and focus on up to 12 faces in one frame. An AF assist light is housed on the body of the camera to aid focusing in the dark.

The body also houses a programmable quick dial that can choose one of nine image presets or modes in order to add different effects to photographs, with a preview being shown on the rear LCD panel.

The back display itself is a 3-inch colour LCD monitor with approximately 460,000 dots, while battery life is extended through the use of more energy efficient components.

Video can be recorded in Full HD (1920 x 1080 at 30fps) using the H.264 file format, and Smart Effect image processing modes can be applied to footage as well as stills. There are also movie editing tools built into the camera, and autofocus works while capturing moving images.

Pentax has included its own bokeh control function on the Pentax Q10, and there is a proprietary Shake Reduction mechanism built into the camera itself (rather than the lenses). It shifts the CMOS image sensor to offset camera shake when detected by an internal motion sensor.

A burst mode that can capture up to five frames per second is also included and Pentax has utilised its DRII (Dust Removal II) mechanism which shakes dust from the sensor by vibrating it automatically. It's a feature found on a few DSLRs, including the company's own K-5 and 645D cameras.

A pop-up flash is part of the Q10 (guide number seven at ISO 200/m) and it also comes with a shoe for expansion. Connectivity includes mini HDMI and a memory card slot that is flexible enough to allow for SD, SDHC and SDXC cards.

Because it can also shoot RAW files, Pentax has included software in the guise of Silky Developer Studio 3 for Pentax.

The Pentax Q10 will be available in the UK from early October in white, red and black. It'll cost £379.99 for the Q10 and a 5-15mm lens, while a 15-45mm lens is also included in a larger pack for £549.99.

Writing by Rik Henderson.