Pentax Optio 330 Review

By Movable Type Admin


Steve's Digicams

Pentax Optio 330


Record Screens & Menus



Pentax Optio 330

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 are red if the AF fails. The shutter speed and aperture are displayed as well as the battery level icon which must be watched closely as this camera is quite hard on the battery when the LCD is used.



Pentax Optio 330

Pressing the DISPLAY button toggles the realtime histogram display which also shows the image size, quality level, white balance, metering mode and ISO speed.



Pentax Optio 330

When in the Manual record mode the shutter speed and aperture are displayed constantly as is the exposure value which acts as your meter to indicate over- or under-exposure. You change the shutter speed and/or aperture value to obtain a correct exposure.



Pentax Optio 330

Press the Focus mode button 3 times to enter the Manual Focus mode. A sliding scale is displayed on the LCD but no distance measurement and the display is not enlarged as with other recent digicams. You can visually "see" the focus change but it isn't what I would call optimal to make use of a manual focus feature.



Pentax Optio 330

You can record up to 30 seconds of 320 x 240 motion video per clip. There is no microphone so the movies are silent.



Pentax Optio 330

The Multi-Exposure mode creates images by overlapping one picture on top of another. The animated frame above shows the process. You select a base image, the base image is then seen transparently on the live LCD record image, you can choose the amount of transparency desired and then take your next shot. These images are merged inside of the camera and the newly created picture is then shown on the LCD. You can use this as a base image and shoot another shoot and so on or stop anytime you're satisfied with the results.

This mode works best with contrasty images or by placing your main subject against a neutral background. It takes some practice to master this mode but it can yield some interesting images.



Pentax Optio 330

In Auto or Manual record mode there are three pages of recording options, two pages of settings that can be "memorized" between power on and off and two pages of general Setup options:

    Resolution - 2048x1536, 1024x768 or 640x480

    Quality Level - Three (Best), Two (Better) or One (Good) "stars"

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

    Focusing Area - Wide (default), Spot or Free (you select focus point)

    Digital Zoom - On or Off





Pentax Optio 330

    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

    Sharpness - Normal, Hard, or Soft





Pentax Optio 330

    Saturation - Normal, High or Low

    Contrast - Normal, High or Low





Pentax Optio 330

Page one of the Memory options lets you remember or forget the setting of the Flash, White Balance, Focusing Area, Digital Zoom and the AE memtering.



Pentax Optio 330

Page two of the Memory options lets you remember or forget the setting of the ISO Speed, Manual Focus, Display mode and sequential file numbering.



Pentax Optio 330

The Setup menu (same in 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.



Pentax Optio 330

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), Reset to factory defaults.





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