Pentax Optio 550 Review
Click to take a QuickTime tour of the Optio 550
The Optio 550 and 450 excel at image recording quality with 5.0 and 4.0 effective megapixels respectively so each model will produce high quality, artistic images. Despite the compact size, both cameras feature a high performance 5X optical zoom lens with 4X digital for an impressive 20X combined zoom. Both cameras are capable of recording up to 10 minutes of video with sound at 15 frames per second with 320 x 240 recorded pixels. They also record audio, 30 second voice memos can be attached to still images or they can be used as standalone voice recorders.
A high-resolution 1.5-inch low-temperature polysilicon TFT color LCD monitor offers 100% view of the frame, which helps ensure easier, more accurate image composition and allows you to double-check recent shots. Both the Optio 550 and 450 are equipped with a diopter adjustment viewfinder offering actual image zoom to help conserve power when the LCD monitor is off.
Interval shooting lets you set the start time, the duration of the interval between shots, and the number of frames, and capture events that take place over an extended period of time such as a flower blooming. Multiple exposure function allows surreal creativity such as double images in the same shot. Macro shooting modes allows shots from as close as 5.9 inches (.15m) and super macro mode as close as .79 inches (.02m).
The digital filter mode gives you the freedom to influence the overall tone of your shot. With choices of black & white, sepia and other tones (red, pink, yellow, green, blue and purple), the digital filter mode lets you add mood to a sunset or tone down subjects that are too bright. The soft filter provides for a soft focus effect. For even greater control over the image, the Optio 550 and 450 allow sharpness, saturation and contrast to be set manually with a choice of three settings for each.
The Optio 550 includes the following: 16MB SD card, USB cable, audio-video cable, ACDSee™ software, Stereo Viewer, neck strap, rechargeable lithium battery and AC charger.
Pentax Optio 550 and the super-compact Optio S
Pentax Optio 550 and a standard CD for size comparison
Pentax Optio 550 Specifications
Specifications as represented by the manufacturer
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