And just when you thought the dust had settled on that particular crown, along comes the Pentax Q which those with long memories may see as a return to form along the lines of the Pentax System 10 SLR 110 film camera.
The Pentax Q not only lays claim to being the 'world’s smallest' compact system camera (CSC), its 12.4Mp, 1/2.3in CMOS sensor is a good deal smaller than the APS-C and micro four thirds formats on the Sony and Panasonic, respectively. Even so, the Pentax Q shoots in both RAW and JPG formats, captures 1080p video and includes a micro HDMI output.
Face on, its only marginally bigger than a credit card, but round the back it has room for a 3in, 460k dot screen. The magnesium alloy body ensures that, despite its size, this ultra compact system camera will take the knocks.
Looking slightly vulnerable though, is its levered pop-up flash arrangement. The camera also features a hotshoe to broaden the range of lighting options. This also holds the O-VF1 viewfinder option.
The Q system kit will feature a standard f1.9, 8.5mm lens (equivalent to 47mm on a 35mm camera). However, Pentax has plans to offer five Q-mount lenses when the camera is released in September 2011.
Apart from the prime 47mm standard lens there will be a 27.5 - 83mm zoom, a fish-eye (160-degree coverage), and two 'toy' lenses – wide (35mm) and telephoto (100mm) optics designed to retain their respective aberrations for emphasis and effect.
In the US the Pentax Q will cost $800, international prices have yet to be announced. ®