Pentax Optio 230 Review

By Movable Type Admin


Steve's Digicams

Pentax Optio 230


Record Screens & Menus



Pentax Optio 230

This is the screen display when in the Auto record mode with the shutter release half- pressed. The green AF target marks in the center indicate a good autofocus lock, they turn red when the auto focus fails. The shutter speed and aperture are displayed as well as the battery level icon.



Pentax Optio 230

In Auto record mode there is a brief page of recording options allowing you to change only the image resolution or quality.

    Resolution - 1600x1200, 1024x768 or 640x480

    Quality Level - TIFF uncompressed or JPEG compressed: Three (Best), Two (Better) or One (Good) "stars"





Pentax Optio 230

The FULL record mode screen looks pretty much the same, except we have selected the Spot AF focus mode. The recording menu is now full of option settings as seen in the next frame.



Pentax Optio 230

FULL record mode has three pages of recording options, two pages of settings that can be "memorized" and two pages of Setup options:

    Resolution - 1600x1200, 1024x768 or 640x480

    Quality Level - TIFF uncompressed or JPEG compressed: Three (Best), Two (Better) or One (Good) "stars"

    White Balance - Auto, Sunny, Shade, Incandescent, Fluorescent or Manual

    Focusing Area - Wide (default) or Spot

    Digital Zoom - On or Off

    AE Metering - Matrix, Center-weighted or Spot

    ISO Speed - Auto or fixed at 100 or 200

    Color - Full (normal color), B&W or Sepia

    Instant Review - 0.5, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 secs or Off

    Memory - Memorize settings between power on and off

    Exp.comp.memory - Remember exposure compensation setting

    Continuous shooting - Enable continuous drive mode

    Sharpness - Settings for minus, normal, plus

    Saturation - Settings for minus, normal, plus

    Contrast - Settings for minus, normal, plus





Pentax Optio 230

The FULL record mode's "Applied Functions" menu page has options to enable exposure and white balance bracketing or the 3D capture mode.



Pentax Optio 230

Auto Bracket takes a sequence of three frames and varies either the exposure value (+/-0.3, 0.7, 1.0, 1.3, 1.7, 2.0 EV increments) or the white balance settings (+/- 1, 2, 3, 4, 5) between each frame.



Pentax Optio 230

The 3D capture mode is rather unique. You select either the parallel or cross method and then capture your first image. Similar to a panorama assist mode, the LCD shows a "ghost" image outline of the edge of the first image which you use to line up the camera when you move it right for the second frame.


Pentax Optio 230

You take this side-by-side 3D image and print it out (4-5 inches wide) and view it with the supplied 3D stereographic viewing aid.



Pentax Optio 230

Press the Focus mode button 4 times to enter the Manual Focus mode. A sliding scale is shown on the LCD but no distance measurement id displayed. The center portion of the display is enlarged (and shown in monochrome) so you can visually "see" the focus change.



Pentax Optio 230

You can record up to a maximum of 30 seconds of 320 x 240 motion video at 15 fps. Movie clips are stored as standard Windows AVI format video files. There is no microphone so the movies are silent.



Pentax Optio 230

The Optio 230 has a very respectable macro focus range (0.33 to 1.64 ft.), the actual focus range is dependant on the setting of the zoom which is fully useable while in macro mode.



Pentax Optio 230

The 3x optical zoom can be further enhanced by a 2.5x digital zoom. This requires you to use the color LCD as the viewfinder which is now quite grainy looking and not all that useable outdoors. As with all digital zooms, it electronically crops the central portion of the image and enlarges it to create the picture. The Optio 230's "enlarged" image is slightly degraded but better quality than most digitally-zoomed images we've seen from other cameras. However, it's still preferable to just get closer to your subject (if possible) and use the optical zoom.



Pentax Optio 230

The Setup menu (same in Auto or Full record and play) lets you Format the CF card, set the date style, change the date and or time, set the camera to world time (GMT) and enable or disable the beep sounds when buttons are pushed.

Page two of the Setup menu lets you set the menu language, the video format (NTSC or PAL), set the Sleep timeout value (90s, 1m, 2m), Auto power off (3m, 5m or Off), color LCD brightness or Reset to factory defaults.







Go to
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