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The best Pentax cameras for beginners are the basic point and shoot with relatively simple and less features. The below listed top-rated cameras are also the rugged and ultra-compact cameras with life proof features. These cameras can capture images of over 14 Megapixel resolution and HD videos - these cameras support ease of use and are affordable under the $300 price range.

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Pentax QS-1

Pentax QS-1


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Pentax QS-1
Pentax Q7
Pentax WG-10
Pentax Optio WG-2
Pentax Optio VS20
Pentax QS-1
Pentax Q7 12.4MP Compact System Camera
Pentax WG-10 Digital Camera
Pentax Optio WG-2 Light Field Camera
Pentax Optio VS20 Light Field Camera
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Release Date
Dec 2014
Jun 2013
Apr 2013
Mar 2012
Mar 2012
Weight
0.45 lb.
0.44 lb.
0.36 lb.
0.42 lb.
0.52 lb.
Camera Type
Rangefinder-style mirrorless
Compact System Camera, Rangefinder-style mirrorless
Compact
Light Field Camera, Compact
Light Field Camera, Compact
Resolution
12.0 Megapixel
12.0 Megapixel
14.0 Megapixel
16.0 Megapixel
16.0 Megapixel
Image Sensor Type
BSI-CMOS
BSI-CMOS
CCD
BSI-CMOS
CCD
LCD Screen Size
3.0 in.
3.0 in.
2.7 in.
3.0 in.
3.0 in.
Image Sensor Size
1.97 mm
1.97 mm
2.5 mm
7.7 mm
7.7 mm

  • The compact system camera market is very crowded at the moment, and the area which has a lot of competition in particular is the very small, pocket friendly cameras with lots of companies vying for attention as “world’s smallest”.
    Although Pentax has created a very small camera here in the shape of the QS-1, as a trade off, the sensor is very small - the same size as the majority of compact cameras.
    By comparison, other very small compact cameras, such as the Samsung NX Mini and the Nikon 1 range have one-inch sensors, while the Panasonic GM5, which isn’t a great deal bigger, has a Four Thirds sensor.


  • Although it's the world's smallest interchangeable lens camera, it doesn't offer a huge amount aside from that. Image quality is decent, but not amazing. Consider the fantastic Panasonic GM5 instead which is a little more expensive but gives you much more flexibility.


  • The Pentax Q-S1 boasts slightly improved speed and picture quality over its predecessor, but there's still something rustic about it. If you're looking for a small, modern, responsive, large-sensor interchangeable-lens camera, then the Q-S1's rivals have more going for them. Between the Nikon 1, the Samsung NX Mini and the Panasonic GM1 and GM5, there's a world of choice... Unless you're just a Pentax fanatic with a bunch of K lenses looking for a home, in which case, we say go for it!.


  • The impressively small Pentax Q7 mirrorless camera features an image sensor that is 50 percent larger than previous models, but its shutter lag is a drawback.


  • In conclusion if you equate small with beautiful then the retro-styled Pentax Q7 is worth further investigation. This may also mean you'll take it out with you more and achieve shots you might not otherwise have attempted. Yet whilst it looks great and is a lot of fun, predictably there are still better compromises between image quality and smaller form factor to be found elsewhere.


  • Unfortunately I can't wholeheartedly recommend the Q series cameras to those debating on choosing an ILC system. The Q7 just isn't consistent at giving the user a high quality image straight out of camera. With the Olympus E-PM2 being $50 less than the Pentax Q7 it makes more sense for the average ILC user to choose the Olympus unless a smaller camera with more physical buttons trumps image quality and AF speed.


  • The Pentax WG-10 offers decent picture quality at a reasonable price a waterproof camera. There are better waterproof cameras available, but if you're on a limited budget, or the camera is for a child, you can't go wrong. You can create unique pictures with the Digital Microscope mode, as well has the range of digital filters available for editing pictures in playback.


  • The Pentax Optio WG-2 is a very good rugged camera with few trade-offs for its durability.


  • The GPS-equipped Pentax Optio WG-2 GPS features a striking design that avoids the standard rugged camera look and feel. It can keep image noise under control at higher ISOs, but is hampered by a lens that isn't as sharp as others in its class.


  • The Pentax Optio WG-2 is an impressive adventure-cam that simply doesn't shy away from its rugged persona. Its design may not be pretty, and Pentax definitely has some work to do on its button layout and menu interface, but the camera succeeds where it counts. When we first checked out the WG-2, we were disappointed by the lack of innovation and new features compared to last year's WG-1 from Pentax.


  • Despite looking enticingly flashy in the press shots with its broader than average zoom lens extended, when placed before you the Pentax Optio VS20 is a bit of a lump compared with travel zooms costing a little more, such as the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ20 and other Panasonic TZ series cameras.


  • While £199 for a 20x zoom camera suggests good value, the VS20's performance is inconsistent, while dual shutter release buttons come across as more gimmicky than essential.


  • The Pentax Optio VS20 offers a lot of zoom as well as a unique dual shutter and zoom control feature, that is normally reserved for professional Digital SLRs. Another unique is the second tripod socket found on the side. However, we tend to find most tripods have a built in ability to rotate to portrait shooting, so we suspect the portrait shot mode will be used without a tripod. Apart from this, the camera is quite large in comparison to other pocket zoom cameras.