Record Screens & Menus
When choosing an exposure mode, most users will likely use the Q's Auto picture mode. This is fully automatic exposure program that is also intelligent. On top of analyzing the scene being framed to choose the best suited exposure settings, the camera also chooses a specific scene mode to best fit the scene; if one is detected. This helps you capture more pleasing images in various situations by producing a final image that matches that of photos taken with a certain parameter set to get a specific look; like sunsets for example.
In Auto mode, Face detection AF is the default option, which quickly finds and locks onto faces within the frame. Above you can see that even the print of my Wife's face was detected, and the camera chose to lock onto it. Unlike most camera that offer a Smart or Intelligent Auto setting with limited access to camera settings, the Pentax Q gives you access to most of the same settings one would find in Program AE mode, such as ISO, metering, etc. White balance, and focus two of the exceptions to this.
On screen information is plentiful in all exposure modes, with the camera showing Exposure mode, flash statues, drive mode, White balance, Custom Image settings, Metering, Shake reduction, Battery level, shutter speed, aperture, ISO, and the number of frames available. You also have options for Grid Lines, a Histogram, and Bright/Dark Area warning under the "LCD View Options" setting in the menu.
When you Half-press the shutter release, the camera will set the exposure (1/25 / f1.9), lock the focus, charge the flash is needed, choose the ISO, and if in Auto mode choose the scene (like Portrait above). If autofocus is successful, the AF mark rectangle will turn green over the intended area of focus. If it fails, the rectangle will turn red.
Pressing the Info button that sits below the 4-way controller gives you access to the Q's short cut menu. Here you have access to various options, depending on the exposure mode you are using. Above we can see the options available in Auto mode, which include Digital Filters, HDR mode, Highlight Correction, Shadow Correction, Metering, ND Filter, Shake Reduction, Aspect Ratio, Still Image mode, Still image Size, Still Image quality.
You use the 4-way controller to navigate the menu, and rotate the control dial once you land on an option to alter the setting. This makes for quick changes once you memorized the menu layout.
In Tv or Shutter Priority mode, you now have complete control over the shutter speed (1/2000 - 30 seconds) and the camera will select the corresponding aperture setting for the shot at hand. This allows you to freeze action with faster speeds, or show movement with slower settings; like the flow of a waterfall for example.
Aperture Priority or Av mode is the exact opposite of Tv. Here you select the aperture setting to control depth of field (aka range of focus), as well as how much light is available to the sensor. A larger aperture (smaller f/number) gives you more light and a shallower depth of field, while a smaller aperture (larger f/number) reduces the amount of light but increases the depth of field.
Full manual mode gives you the most control over the camera. Here you select both the aperture and shutter speed to dial in the exposure you want. You rotate the control dial to change the shutter speed or aperture, and use the Av button to switch between the settings. Along the bottom of the screen, just above the exposure setting icons, you can see an EV (exposure) scale to help you dial in the exposure.
Custom Function options:
- AE-L with AF Locked - On or Off
- Link AE to AF Point - On or Off
- Auto Bracketing Order - Choose: 0 - +, - 0 +, + 0 -, 0 + -
- Shake Reduction Options - Mode 1 or Mode 2
- WB When Using Flash - Auto White Balance, Unchanged, or Flash
- AWB in Tungsten Light - Subtle Correction or Strong Correction
- AF Release Options - Focus-priority or Release-priority
- AF Assist Light - On or Off
- AF with Remote Control - Off or On
- Flash When Retracted - Discharge Flash or Do Not Discharge Flash
- Release While Charging - Off or On
- Save Menu Location - Reset or Save menu location
- Electronic Shutter - Disable or Enable
- Reset Custom Functions - Resets all options to factory settings
Like any point-n-shoot, the Q offers various Scene mode settings that are accessed via the SCN position on the mode dial. These modes are designed to help you acquire optimal results in various shooting situations.
The available options include: Portrait, Landscape, Macro, Moving Object, Night Scene Portrait, Sunset, Blue sky, Night scene, Night scene HDR, Night Snap, Food, Quick Macro, Pet, Kids, Forest, Surf & snow, HDR, Backlight silhouette, Candlelight, Stage lighting, and Museum.
The Pentax Q offers a HDR mode for those who like this type of photography, but don't quite understand the process of capturing bracketed shots and combining them in a photo editor. The camera will automatically fire three shots at different settings once you press the shutter release, then combine them in-camera for the HDR effect. You can enter HDR mode by selecting the SCN setting, or via the short cut menu. There are three options: Auto, Mode 1, and Mode 2.
Blur Control mode is a unique setting that allows you to create photos with a very shallow depth of field by capturing multiple shots with one press of the shutter, then combining them in-camera. This is accomplished by the camera snapping several shots, each using a different focus point, then the camera merges the frames together into a single photo. Just remember that in both HDR and Blur Control modes, you will notice increased processing times due to the camera handling multiple frames and merging them together.
Record menu options:
- Custom Image - Bright,
Natural, Portrait, Landscape, Vibrant, Radiant, Muted, Bleach Bypass, Reveral Film, Monochrome, Cross Processing
- Digital Filter - None, Toy Camera, High Contrast, Shading, Slim, HDR, Invert Color, Extract Color, Color, Water Color, Posterization, Fish-eye
- Image Capture Settings - Aspect Ratio (16:9, 3:2, 4:3, 1:1); File Format (JPEG, RAW, RAW+); JPEG Recorded Pixels (12M, 9M, 5M, 3M); JPEG Quality (Three Stars (Best), Two (Better) or One (Good)); Color Space (sRGB or AdobeRGB)
- Focus Settings - Focus Method (AF or MF); Autofocus Method (AF Select 25-point, Face Detection, Tracking, Select, Spot); MF Assist (Off, x2, x4)
- AE Metering - Multi, Center-weighted, Spot
- ND Filter - On or Off
- HDR Capture - Off, Auto, Mode 1 or Mode 2
- Multi-Capture - Choose the number of shots; Auto EV Adjustment (On or Off)
- D-Range Setting - Highlight Correction (Auto, On, or Off) and Shadow Correction (Auto, On, or Off)
- High ISO NR (Noise Reduction) - Auto, Low, or High
- Distortion Correction - On or Off
- Quick Dial - Choose the option that the Quick Dial located on the front of the camera controls; Smart Effect, Custom Image, Digital Filter, Aspect Ratio
- Green Button - Choose the function of the Green Button
- LCD View Options - Show Grid; Histogram (On or Off); Bright/Dark Area (On or Off)
- Instant Review - Display Time (Off, 1-5 seconds); Enlarge Instant Review (On or Off); Histogram (On or Off); Bright/Dark Area (On or Off)
- Memory - Memorize settings between power on and off
- Shake Reduction - On or Off
The Pentax Q offers Full 1080p (1920x1080) HD video capture, as well as lower resolution settings of 720p (1280x720) HD and VGA (640x480). The frame rate is fixed at 30fps, and stereo sound is recorded thanks to left and right microphones mounted on the front of the camera under the lens. Files are saved using the MPEG-4 (AVC h.264) format, and saved with the .MP4 file extension. You have additional settings for Sound, Exposure, and Shake Reduction; which can be seen below in the Movie menu.
Movie Menu Options:
- Recorded Pixels - Full HD (1920x1080, 30fps), HD (1280x720, 30fps), and VGA (640x480, 30fps)
- Sound - On or Off
- Exposure Setting - Auto or Manual
- Movie SR - On or Off
- Interval Movie - Allows the camera to capture video on a set interval or a set period of time (time-lapse videography)
Visitors of Steves can visit the stores below for real-time pricing and availability. You can also find hot, soon to expire online offers on a variety of cameras and accessories at our very own Camera Deals page.