Leica S1 Contax Camera Comparison
APO-Telyt Module Vivitar Exif data
A potelyt.com – Photography & Imaging Resources
ad
PW

Panasonic GF1 vs Pentax Q

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1 and the Pentax Q are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in September 2009 and June 2011. Both the GF1 and the Pentax Q are mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras that are based on a Four Thirds (GF1) and a 1/2.3-inch (Pentax Q) sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 12 megapixels.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Panasonic GF1 versus Pentax Q
Panasonic GF1 Pentax Q
Mirrorless system camera Mirrorless system camera
Micro Four Thirds lenses Pentax Q mount lenses
12 MP, Four Thirds Sensor 12 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor
720/30p Video 1080/30p Video
ISO 100-3,200 ISO 125-6,400
Viewfinder optional Viewfinder optional
3.0 LCD, 460k dots 3.0 LCD, 460k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
3 shutter flaps per second 1.5 shutter flaps per second
Lens stabilization onlyIn-body stabilization
380 shots per battery charge230 shots per battery charge
119 x 71 x 36 mm, 385 g 98 x 57 x 31 mm, 180 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1 and the Pentax Q? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Panasonic GF1 and the Pentax Q is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The Pentax Q can be obtained in two different colors (black, white), while the GF1 is only available in black.

Size Panasonic GF1 vs Pentax Q
Compare GF1 versus Pentax Q top
Comparison GF1 or Pentax Q rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Pentax Q is considerably smaller (34 percent) than the Panasonic GF1. Moreover, the Pentax Q is substantially lighter (53 percent) than the GF1. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the GF1 nor the Pentax Q are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. Hence, you might want to study and compare the specifications of available lenses in order to get the full picture of the size and weight of the two camera systems.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, you can navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from a broad list of cameras there.

scroll hint
Body Specifications
    Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Panasonic GF1 119 mm 71 mm 36 mm 385 g 380 n Sep 2009 749 i
2.
 
Pentax Q 98 mm 57 mm 31 mm 180 g 230 n Jun 2011 649 i
3.
 
Olympus XZ-2 113 mm 65 mm 48 mm 346 g 340 n Sep 2012 599 i
4.
 
Olympus E-PL2 114 mm 72 mm 42 mm 362 g 280 n Jan 2011 599 i
5.
 
Olympus E-PL3 110 mm 64 mm 37 mm 313 g 300 n Jun 2011 599 i
6.
 
Olympus E-PL1 115 mm 72 mm 42 mm 334 g 290 n Feb 2010 599 i
7.
 
Olympus E-620 130 mm 94 mm 60 mm 521 g 500 n Feb 2009 699 i
8.
 
Olympus E-P1 121 mm 70 mm 36 mm 355 g 300 n Jun 2009 799 i
9.
 
Olympus E-P2 121 mm 70 mm 36 mm 355 g 300 n Nov 2009 799 i
10.
 
Panasonic LX100 115 mm 66 mm 55 mm 393 g 300 n Sep 2014 899 i
11.
 
Panasonic GX1 116 mm 68 mm 39 mm 318 g 320 n Nov 2011 699 i
12.
 
Panasonic G10 124 mm 84 mm 74 mm 388 g 380 n Mar 2010 499 i
13.
 
Panasonic G2 124 mm 84 mm 74 mm 428 g 360 n Mar 2010 599 i
14.
 
Panasonic GF2 113 mm 68 mm 33 mm 310 g 300 n Nov 2010 549 i
15.
 
Panasonic GH2 124 mm 90 mm 76 mm 442 g 330 n Sep 2010 899 i
16.
 
Panasonic GH1 124 mm 90 mm 45 mm 385 g 300 n Mar 2009 899 i
17.
 
Panasonic G1 124 mm 84 mm 45 mm 360 g 410 n Sep 2008 599 i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The Pentax Q was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 13 percent) than the GF1, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

ad

Sensor comparison

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Panasonic GF1 features a Four Thirds sensor and the Pentax Q a 1/2.3-inch sensor. The sensor area in the Pentax Q is 88 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 2.0 and 5.6. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3.

Panasonic GF1 and Pentax Q sensor measures

Even though the GF1 has a larger sensor, both cameras offer the same resolution of 12 megapixels. This implies that the GF1 has a lower pixel density and larger individual pixels (with a pixel pitch of 4.33μm versus 1.53μm for the Pentax Q), which gives it a potential advantage in terms of light gathering capacity. It should, however, be noted that the Pentax Q is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 9 months) than the GF1, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that at least partly compensate for the smaller pixel size.

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 3200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Pentax Q are ISO 125 to ISO 6400 (no boost).

GF1 versus Pentax Q MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). Of the two cameras under review, the GF1 has a notably higher overall DXO score than the Pentax Q (overall score 7 points higher), which gives it an advantage in terms of imaging quality. This advantage is based on 1 bits higher color depth, 0.8 EV of lower dynamic range, and 1.4 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.

scroll hint
Sensor Characteristics
    Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
1.
 
Panasonic GF1 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000720/30p21.210.3513 54
2.
 
Pentax Q 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/30p20.211.1189 47
3.
 
Olympus XZ-2 1/1.7 11.8 3968 29761080/30p20.411.3216 49
4.
 
Olympus E-PL2 Four Thirds 12.2 4032 3024720/30p21.410.2573 55
5.
 
Olympus E-PL3 Four Thirds 12.2 4032 30241080/60i20.910.3499 52
6.
 
Olympus E-PL1 Four Thirds 12.2 4032 3024720/30p21.510.1487 54
7.
 
Olympus E-620 Four Thirds 12.2 4032 3024none21.310.3536 55
8.
 
Olympus E-P1 Four Thirds 12.2 4032 3024720/30p21.410.4536 55
9.
 
Olympus E-P2 Four Thirds 12.2 4032 3024720/30p21.510.4505 56
10.
 
Panasonic LX100 Four Thirds 12.7 4112 30884K/30p22.312.5553 67
11.
 
Panasonic GX1 Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60p20.810.6703 55
12.
 
Panasonic G10 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000720/30p21.210.1411 52
13.
 
Panasonic G2 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000720/30p21.210.3493 53
14.
 
Panasonic GF2 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 30001080/60i21.210.3506 54
15.
 
Panasonic GH2 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60i21.211.3655 60
16.
 
Panasonic GH1 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 30001080/24p21.611.6772 64
17.
 
Panasonic G1 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000none21.110.3463 53

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the Pentax Q provides a better video resolution than the GF1. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/30p, while the Panasonic is limited to 720/30p.

ad

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The GF1 and the Pentax Q are similar in the sense that neither of the two has a viewfinder. The images are, thus, framed using live view on the rear LCD. However, optional viewfinders – the DMW-LVF1 for the GF1 and the O-VF1 for the Pentax Q – are available as accessories. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Panasonic GF1 and Pentax Q along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

scroll hint
Core Features
    Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
(000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
1.
 
Panasonic GF1optional n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
2.
 
Pentax Qoptional n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/2000s 1.5 Y Y
3.
 
Olympus XZ-2optional n 3.0 920 tilting Y 1/2000s 5.0 Y Y
4.
 
Olympus E-PL2optional n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y Y
5.
 
Olympus E-PL3optional n 3.0 460 tilting n 1/4000s 5.5 n Y
6.
 
Olympus E-PL1optional n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/2000s 3.0 Y Y
7.
 
Olympus E-620optical n 2.7 230 swivel n 1/4000s 4.0 Y Y
8.
 
Olympus E-P1none n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 n Y
9.
 
Olympus E-P2optional n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 n Y
10.
 
Panasonic LX1002764 n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 11.0 n Y
11.
 
Panasonic GX1optional n 3.0 460 fixed Y 1/4000s 4.2 Y n
12.
 
Panasonic G10202 n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 2.6 Y n
13.
 
Panasonic G21440 n 3.0 460 swivel Y 1/4000s 2.6 Y n
14.
 
Panasonic GF2optional n 3.0 460 fixed Y 1/4000s 2.6 Y n
15.
 
Panasonic GH21534 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
16.
 
Panasonic GH11440 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
17.
 
Panasonic G11440 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n

One feature that differentiates the Pentax Q and the GF1 is in-body image stabilization (IBIS). The Pentax Q reduces the risk of handshake-induced blur with all attached lenses, while the GF1 offers no blur reduction with lenses that themselves do not provide optical image stabilization.

The Pentax Q has an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.

The GF1 writes its imaging data to SDHC cards, while the Pentax Q uses SDXC cards.

ad

Connectivity comparison

For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1 and Pentax Q and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

scroll hint
Input-Output Connections
    Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Panasonic GF1Ymonomono--mini2.0---
2.
 
Pentax QYmonomono--mini2.0---
3.
 
Olympus XZ-2Ystereomono--mini2.0---
4.
 
Olympus E-PL2Ystereo---mini2.0---
5.
 
Olympus E-PL3Ystereo---mini2.0---
6.
 
Olympus E-PL1Ystereo---mini2.0---
7.
 
Olympus E-620Y-----2.0---
8.
 
Olympus E-P1Ystereo---mini2.0---
9.
 
Olympus E-P2Ystereo---mini2.0---
10.
 
Panasonic LX100Ystereomono--micro2.0YY-
11.
 
Panasonic GX1Ystereomono--mini2.0---
12.
 
Panasonic G10Ymono---mini2.0---
13.
 
Panasonic G2Ystereomono--mini2.0---
14.
 
Panasonic GF2Ystereomono--mini2.0---
15.
 
Panasonic GH2YstereomonoY-mini2.0---
16.
 
Panasonic GH1Ystereo-Y-mini2.0---
17.
 
Panasonic G1Y----mini2.0---

Both the GF1 and the Pentax Q have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The GF1 was replaced by the Panasonic DMC-GF2, while the Pentax Q was followed by the Pentax Q10. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Panasonic and Pentax websites.

ad

Review summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is the Panasonic GF1 better than the Pentax Q or vice versa? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

ilogo

Advantages of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1:

  • Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (7 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (1.4 stops ISO advantage).
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (3 vs 1.5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (380 versus 230) on a single battery charge.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in September 2009).

ilogo

Arguments in favor of the Pentax Q:

  • More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (0.8 EV of extra DR).
  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (1080/30p vs 720/30p).
  • Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
  • More compact: Is smaller (98x57mm vs 119x71mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 205g or 53 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
  • More affordable: Was released into a lower priced segment (13 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (1 year and 9 months) more recently.

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the Pentax Q emerges as the winner of the match-up (8 : 6 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera. A professional wedding photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a travel photog, and a person interested in cityscapes has distinct needs from a macro shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

GF1 06:08 Pentax Q

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Panasonic GF1 and the Pentax Q place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera listing whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.

In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the GF1 or the Pentax Q perform in practice. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate.

Expert reviews

This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.

scroll hint
Expert Camera Reviews
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Panasonic GF1..85/10069/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2009 749 i
2.
 
Pentax Q3/5....4/53.5/5 Jun 2011 649 i
3.
 
Olympus XZ-24/5+..4.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 599 i
4.
 
Olympus E-PL23/583/10071/1004.5/54.5/5 Jan 2011 599 i
5.
 
Olympus E-PL33/5+ +72/1004.5/54/5 Jun 2011 599 i
6.
 
Olympus E-PL1..86/10069/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2010 599 i
7.
 
Olympus E-6203/588/10072/1004.5/55/5 Feb 2009 699 i
8.
 
Olympus E-P1..+66/1004/54.5/5 Jun 2009 799 i
9.
 
Olympus E-P23/5+69/1004/54.5/5 Nov 2009 799 i
10.
 
Panasonic LX1005/5+ +85/1005/55/5 Sep 2014 899 i
11.
 
Panasonic GX13/5+77/1004.5/54.5/5 Nov 2011 699 i
12.
 
Panasonic G103/5..70/1004/54/5 Mar 2010 499 i
13.
 
Panasonic G2....72/1004/54.5/5 Mar 2010 599 i
14.
 
Panasonic GF23/582/10070/1004.5/54.5/5 Nov 2010 549 i
15.
 
Panasonic GH25/5+ +79/1004.5/55/5 Sep 2010 899 i
16.
 
Panasonic GH1..+ +72/1004.5/54.5/5 Mar 2009 899 i
17.
 
Panasonic G1..+ +70/1004/54.5/5 Sep 2008 599 i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

Panasonic GF1:
Check Ebay offers
Pentax Q:
Check Ebay offers

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just use the search menu below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.

~
    loader

    Specifications: Panasonic GF1 vs Pentax Q

    Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.

    Camera Specifications
    Camera Model Panasonic GF1 Pentax Q
    Camera Type Mirrorless system camera Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens Micro Four Thirds lenses Pentax Q mount lenses
    Launch Date September 2009 June 2011
    Launch Price USD 749 USD 649
    Sensor Specs Panasonic GF1 Pentax Q
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format Four Thirds Sensor 1/2.3" Sensor
    Sensor Size 17.3 x 13.0 mm 6.17 x 4.55 mm
    Sensor Area 224.9 mm2 28.0735 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 21.6 mm 7.7 mm
    Crop Factor 2.0x 5.6x
    Sensor Resolution 12 Megapixels 12 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4000 x 3000 pixels 4000 x 3000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 4.33 μm 1.53 μm
    Pixel Density 5.34 MP/cm2 42.74 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 720/30p Video 1080/30p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 3,200 ISO 125 - 6,400 ISO
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 54 47
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 21.2 20.2
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 10.3 11.1
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 513 189
    Screen Specs Panasonic GF1 Pentax Q
    Viewfinder Type Viewfinder optional Viewfinder optional
    Viewfinder Magnification
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 460k dots 460k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Panasonic GF1 Pentax Q
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 3 shutter flaps/s 1.5 shutter flaps/s
    Time-Lapse Photographyno IntervalometerIntervalometer built-in
    Image StabilizationLens stabilization onlyIn-body stabilization
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDHC cards SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support no no
    Connectivity Specs Panasonic GF1 Pentax Q
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI mini HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Panasonic GF1 Pentax Q
    Battery Type DMW-BLB13 D-LI68
    Battery Life (CIPA)380 shots per charge230 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 119 x 71 x 36 mm
    (4.7 x 2.8 x 1.4 in)
    98 x 57 x 31 mm
    (3.9 x 2.2 x 1.2 in)
    Camera Weight 385 g (13.6 oz) 180 g (6.3 oz)

    Did you notice an error on this page? If so, please get in touch, so that we can correct the information.

    You are here Home  »  CAM-parator  »  Panasonic GF1 vs Pentax Q

    Thanks for your vote!

    You rated this page 4 out of 5.


    Rating

    Any additional comment or suggestion for improvement would be welcome.


    If you like it, make sure you share it:

    • Mention this page to your Facebook friends and Twitter followers.
    • Bookmark it in your browser for future reference by pressing "Crtl" + "D".
    • Create a hyperlink by copying the text below into your web-project or discussion forum entry.

    Once again, thanks for taking the time to provide feedback. I appreciate it.