Pentax Q-S1 Camera Review: Compact Size, High-Quality Images

In this blog, we will be reviewing the Pentax Q-S1 camera. This compact camera packs a punch with its impressive image quality and features. We will be exploring its design, performance, and overall value, and providing our honest opinion on whether this camera is worth the investment.

Written by Victor Chan | Updated: Mon May 01 2023

Pentax Q-S1 article cover photo

Key Features

Aug 04 2014


12 megapixels


Sensor Type1/1.7'

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Overview of the Q-S1

If you're in the market for a compact camera that delivers high-quality images, then the Pentax Q-S1 is definitely worth considering. This camera may be small in size, but it offers a lot of impressive features that rival some of the larger cameras on the market. In this blog post, we will be diving into the design, performance, and value of the Pentax Q-S1 camera. By the end of this article, you will have a clear understanding of whether this camera is right for you and your photography needs. So, let's dive in!

Pentax Q-S1 Pros and Cons

Now, we will look more closely at our review of the Pentax Q-S1 camera. We will see what it can do and compare it to other cameras like it. We will tell you what's good about it and what's not so good. This way, you'll know if it's the camera for you!


Compact size
Interchangeable lenses
12.4 megapixel resolution
Classic design
Built-in flash
Image stabilization
Full HD video recording
Affordable price


Small sensor size
Limited lens options
Limited battery life
Slow autofocus
No external microphone input
No built-in Wi-Fi
No touchscreen
No viewfinder

Build and Construction

Body and dimensions

Pentax Q-S1

Weather sealed
Dimensions105 x 58 x 34mm

Weather Sealing

The Pentax Q-S1 is not sealed against water and dust, so it's important to be careful when using it in such conditions. If you often shoot in environments with water or dust, it's recommended to check out another camera with weather sealing.

Design and Handling

Main design features

View FinderNone
Screen TypeFixed Type
Screen Resolution460k dots
Body typeRangefinder-style mirrorless

Suitable for:

PhotographyAbove Avg.
VideographyAbove Avg.
TravelAbove Avg.

LCD Screen

This camera has a fixed type 3.00" screen, with a display resolution of 460k dots. This makes the Pentax Q-S1 not as suitable for those looking for a vlogging camera as you cannot view yourself while shooting selfies easily. Unfortunately, the camera does not have a touch screen, which may make it less user-friendly.


Pentax Q-S1 does not include a viewfinder. The lack of a viewfinder on the Q-S1 camera may make it less suitable for outdoor photography in bright conditions.

Image Quality

Pentax Q-S1 has a 12MP sized BSI-CMOS sensor. You can shoot at maximum resolution of 12 pixels. Pentax Q-S1 has a native ISO range of 100 - 12800 which can be boosted to null - null. It can also save files in RAW format which gives you a wider room for post processing.

Key Features

Aug 04 2014


100 - 12800

ISO Range

Extended ISOnull - null
Max resolution4000 x 3000 pixels

DXO Sensor Scores


not tested

Color Depth

not tested

Dynamic Range

not tested

Low Light ISO

not tested

DXO mark sensor scores

The DXOmark rankings indicate that the Pentax Q-S1 camera has excellent color depth performance, which refers to the number of colors the sensor can distinguish. Additionally, its dynamic range is also excellent, allowing it to retain high amounts of details in both bright and dark areas of a scene. The camera's low light ISO performance is excellent, which is an important factor to consider if you plan to use it in dimly lit indoor environments or at night. Overall the image quality of the Q-S1 is excellent

Crop Factor

Camera crop factor (or focal length multiplier) refers to how a camera's sensor size affects the apparent field of view of a lens. Crop factor is determined by comparing the size of a camera's sensor to that of a full-frame sensor, which is a standard reference size for camera sensors.

Size comparison

Medium FormatFull FrameAPS-C (Sony, Nikon)

Crop factor calculator

Crop factor


Full frame equivalent


This camera: 1/1.7'



Connectivity, storage, battery

StorageSD/SDHC/SDXC card
Battery Life250 shots
Battery ModelD-LI68
Wireless Connectivity


The Pentax Q-S1 supports SD/SDHC/SDXC card with 1 slots for storage. This may suffice for everyday use. However, for professional applications such as wedding photography, it is not recommended as a memory card malfunction could lead to the loss of all footage.


The Pentax Q-S1 uses the D-LI68 model of battery pack. This is rated for 250 shots shots which is high. If you intend to take photos or record videos for an extended period, it might be a good idea to bring along additional batteries.

Photography Features


The Pentax Q-S1 has built in flash which is great for event photography and in low light situations. It also offers a flash shoe that allows you to attach external flashes. This provides more versatility in your lighting choices.


The Pentax Q-S1 boasts a maximum mechanical shutter speed of 1/8000s, which is ideal for shooting fast-moving subjects in bright environments, such as in sports photography. Faster shutter speeds enable you to freeze the action and capture every detail, making it easier to get the perfect shot.

With a continuous mechanical shutter speed of n/a or an electronic shutter speed of n/a, this camera is not capable of capturing the perfect moment more easily, making it not as suited for wedding, sports, and wildlife photography. Higher shutter speeds make it easier to capture fast-paced action, ensuring that you never miss the perfect shot.


The Pentax Q-S1 includes contrast detection autofocus (AF), with null number of focus points.

While contrast detection is generally more accurate and precise, phase detection autofocus is faster and more effective in most situations, particularly when photographing moving subjects.

Phase detection autofocus works by dividing the incoming light into pairs and then analyzing how they intersect on the camera's sensor. This method allows the camera to determine not only if a subject is in focus but also the direction and distance needed to adjust the focus to achieve perfect sharpness.

On the other hand, contrast detection autofocus works by analyzing the contrast of an image and adjusting the focus until the highest contrast is detected. While this method is very accurate, it can be slow, especially in low light conditions or when photographing moving subjects.

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What is the sensor size of the Pentax Q-S1?

The Pentax Q-S1 features a BSI-CMOS sensor

Is the Pentax Q-S1 weather sealed?

No the Q-S1 does not have weather sealing.

When was the Pentax Q-S1 announced?

The Pentax Q-S1 was announced on Aug 04 2014

Does the Pentax Q-S1 have in-body image stabilization?

Yes the Q-S1 does have in-body image stabilization that can compensate for camera shake, making it easier to shoot handheld in low light conditions.

What is the ISO range of the Pentax Q-S1?

The Q-S1 has a native ISO range of 100-12800, which can be expanded to ISO null-null for even greater sensitivity in low light conditions.

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