Pentax Optio 33L Review

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Pentax Optio 33L


Record Screens & Menus



Pentax Optio 33L

This is the screen display when in the Program 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 33L

You can enable a realtime histogram display in record mode.





Pentax Optio 33L

Record menu - page 1 of 3:

    Resolution - 2048x1536, 1600x1200, 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) or Spot
    AE Metering - Matrix, Center-weighted or Spot
    ISO Speed - Auto or fixed at 100, 200, 400

    Digital Zoom - On or Off
    Instant Review - 0.5, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 secs or Off
    Soft Setting - Amount of image softness (-, normal, +) for the SOFT function
    Exp. Bracket Step - 0.3, 0.7, 1.0, 1.3, 1.7, 2.0
    WB Bracket Step - +/-1,2,3,4,5
    3D Mode - Parallel or Cross mode

    Memory - Memorize settings between power on and off
    Sharpness - Settings for minus, normal, plus
    Saturation - Settings for minus, normal, plus
    Contrast - Settings for minus, normal, plus




Pentax Optio 33L

Pressing the 4-way controller "Down" brings up this onscreen virtual Mode Dial where you choose from: Program, Picture mode, Night Scene, Movie, Panorama Assist, 3D image, Digital Filter and Auto Bracket.



Pentax Optio 33L

The Picture Modes are pre-programmed scene modes and include: Landscape, Flower (Closeup), Portrait, Self-Portrait, Soft Focus, Surf & Snow, Sunset and Illustration.



Pentax Optio 33L

The Auto Bracket modes has options for: Normal exposure bracketing, white balance bracketing, saturation bracketing, sharpness bracketing and contrast bracketing. The camera takes three sequential shots and varies each to give you a choice later, one of them is bound to be "just right" and you can delete the others.



Pentax Optio 33L

The Digital Filter mode gives you access to color creative modes that include: Black & White, Sepia, Red, Green, Blue, B&W+Red, B&W+Green and B&W+Blue. See the sample pictures page for examples of these filters, they really do work.



Pentax Optio 33L

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 33L

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 33L

Press the Focus mode button 3 times to enter the Manual Focus mode. A sliding scale is shown on the LCD but no distance measurement is displayed. While you are adjusting the distance the display is enlarged so you can visually "see" the focus change.



Pentax Optio 33L

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 33L

The Optio 33L 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 33L

The 3x optical zoom can be further enhanced by a 3x digital zoom. As with all digital zooms, it electronically crops the central portion of the image and enlarges it to create the picture. The Optio 33L'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 33L

The Setup menu (same in record and play) lets you format the CF card, enable or disable the beep sounds when buttons are pushed, set the date style, change the date and or time, set the world time zone, change the menu language and change the display mode to: information (normal), no information, live histogram or add a grid.

Page two of the Setup menu lets you set screen effects, the video format (NTSC or PAL), background color, set the Sleep timeout value (90s, 1m, 2m), LCD brightness or Reset to factory defaults.





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