Pentax Optio 33L Review
By Movable Type Admin
Record Screens & Menus
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
You can enable a realtime histogram display in record mode.
Record menu - page 1 of 3:
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
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
Sharpness - Settings for minus, normal, plus
Saturation - Settings for minus, normal, plus
Contrast - Settings for minus, normal, plus
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.
The Picture Modes are pre-programmed scene modes and include:
Landscape, Flower (Closeup), Portrait, Self-Portrait, Soft Focus, Surf & Snow,
Sunset and Illustration.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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