Pentax Optio M20 Review

By Movable Type Admin



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Review posted 2/09/2007

Click to take a QuickTime VR tour of the Optio M20
Click on the Optio M20 to take a 360° QuickTime VR tour


The Pentax Optio M20 is a well-balanced compact digital camera with a wide range of basic features. In addition offering extended battery life from only two AA batteries, this model features a new Blur Reduction mode, which allows you take sharper photos without camera shake or subject blurring, as well as an upgrade to 7.0 effective megapixels. Using easily-available. As it uses only AA batteries, the Optio M20 lets you can take photos with high quality photos with the Optio M20 anytime anywhere, while on trips and for everyday snapshots.

The Auto Picture mode lets the camera automatically determine the shooting conditions for Landscape, Portrait, Night Scene, and Program modes and choose the optimum settings for each subject. This easy to use function is great for new users since it eliminates the necessity of making a number of individual settings. Need to have a stranger take your picture? Auto Picture will make sure its turns out right.

The Optio M20 captures movies at 30 fps (frames per second) at resolutions up to 640 x 480 pixels and with an image quality rivaling that of camcorders. Camera shake while filming can be corrected automatically using the movie anti-shake function. Using the movie anti-shake function results in a narrower field of view than that during normal recording.

Despite the slim body, the Optio M20 manages to fit in a large 2.5 inch LCD monitor with the clarity of approximately 115,000 pixels which displays subjects' movement with very little time delay (60 fps).. With its easy to view, large monitor and menu display the M20 makes operation, setting, monitoring, and playback comfortable and easy.The monitor is easy to see even in bright locations because of its backlight and low-reflection type. All of this means it is easier to navigate menus, make settings, and compose shots as well as to display crisper, more beautiful images.

Since the M20 uses standard AA batteries, either Alkaline or rechargeable NiMH or Lithium, you'll never get caught with a dead battery. Images and Movies can be easily transferred to PC and Mac computers with the camera's USB data port. Display your pictures and movies on your TV with the audio-visual output capability.


Optio M20 Features:

  • Ultra compact 3.7 x 2.4 x 0.9 in, weighs just 4.6 ounces
  • 7.0 megapixel CCD imager
  • Large 2.5" color LCD with 115,000 pixels and 100% coverage
  • 3x Pentax zoom lens with Tracking AF
  • Super macro focus coverage down to 3.9 inches
  • Anti-Shake for blur-free stills and movies
  • High-quality extended movie captures QuickTime motion JPEG (640 x 480) at 30fps, length limited to media capacity
  • Use as a voice recorder, you can record 24 hours of voice memos consecutively
  • Voice memos can be attached to still images
  • Multi-segment metering
  • ISO sensitivity: Auto, 64, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600 (ISO 1600 only during Blur Reduction Mode)
  • Digital Filter - B&W, Sepia, Red, Pink, Purple, Blue, Green, Yellow, Soft, Brightness
  • Audio-Video output for TV display
  • Powered by two AA Batteries (Alkaline, rechargeable NiMH or Lithium)
  • 22 MB of internal memory plus SD card slot
  • PictBridge, Epson PRINT Image Matching III and Exif Print compatible
  • USB Mass Storage compliant

Physical Views



Pentax Optio M20

Pentax Optio M20

Pentax Optio M20 Pentax Optio M20

Pentax Optio M20

Pentax Optio M20





Optio M20

The Optio M20 compared in size to a standard CD.






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Features & Controls


Optio M20 Specifications

Camera Type: Compact-type digital still camera with built-in zoom lens, autofocus, auto exposure and auto flash
Effective Pixels: 7.0 megapixels
Image Capture Device: Type - 1/2.5 inch interline transfer CCD with a primary color filter
Total Pixels - 8.32 megapixels
Color Depth - 12 bit x 3 colors

Recorded Pixels - Still: 7M (3072x2304 pixels), 5M (2560x1920 pixels), 4M (2304x1728), 3M (2048x1536), 2M (1600x1200 pixels), 0.8M (1024x768), 0.3M (640x480 pixels)

Movie: 640x480 pixels, 320x240 pixels

Focus System: Type - TTL contrast detection autofocus system

Autofocus - 9-point Multi AF, Spot, Tracking AF

Focusing Range - Auto Focus: Normal - 1.3 ft (0.4m) to Infinity; Macro - 4.0 in (0.1m) at 6.3mm to 2.62 ft (1.0m) at 18.9mm; Super Macro - 1.92 in (0.05m) at 6.3mm to 1.31 ft (0.4m) at 18.9mm

Lens: Type - smc PENTAX power zoom
Focal Length - 6.3mm - 18.9mm 35mm Equivalent - 38mm - 114mm
Aperture Range - F3.1 - F5.9
Construction - 6 elements in 5 groups (1 aspherical element)
Optical Zoom - 3X
Digital Zoom - 4X
Combined - Approx. 12X
Exposure Control: Light Metering Method - TTL metering with choice of: Multi-segment, Center-weighted & Spot meter

Sensitivity - Auto, or User select ISO 64, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600 (ISO 1600 only during Blur Reduction Mode)

Exposure Control Method - Program AE

Exposure Modes - Auto Picture, Program, Night scene, Landscape, Flower, Portrait, Surf & Snow, Sport, Kids, Pet, Blur Reduction, Food, Frame

Exposure Compensation - +/-2 EV (1/3 steps)

Shutter - Type: Programmed AE electronic lens shutter with CCD electronic shutter; Shutter Speed: Approx. 1/2000 - 4 seconds

White Balance - White Balance Control: TTL Auto, Manual; Available Settings: Auto, Daylight, Shade, Tungsten light, Fluorescent light

Flash - Operation Modes: Auto, Flash-off, Flash-on, Red-eye reduction; Effective Range: Approx. 13 ft (4m) (6.3mm at Sensitivity Auto), Approx. 8.2 ft (2.5m) (18.9mm at Sensitivity Auto)

Shooting Specs: Still Capture; (CCD Shift) Shake Reduction; Movie Capture; Electronic Anti-shake

Digital Filter - Black & White, Sepia, Red, Pink, Purple, Blue, Green, Yellow, Soft, Brightness

Drive Modes - Single-shot, Continuous, Self-timer, Photo frame

Movie Mode - Shooting Time: from Approx. 1 sec. to memory card capacity

Time: Modes - dd/mm/yy, mm/dd/yy, yy/mm/dd World Time - Display of the time in 71 cities (28 time zones)
Image Storage: Storage Media - Approx 24MB built-in memory, SD memory card removable

File Formats - Still: JPEG (Exif 2.2), DCF 1.1 (Design rule for Camera File system), DPOF 1.0 (Digital Print Order Format), PRINT Image Matching III

Movie: MOV (QuickTime Motion JPEG) approx. 30fps or 15fps with sound

Recordable time depends on the remaining capacity of the memory card

LCD Monitor: LCD Monitor - 2.5 inch, Low reflection TFT color LCD
LCD Coverage - 100%
LCD Resolution - Approx. 115,000 pixels
Optical Viewfinder: None
Playback Specs: Playback Modes File - Single, Index - Nine image; Magnification - Maximum 8X; LCD Function - Scroll, Image rotation, Slide show, Movie playback (w/ sound), Resize, Trimming, Digital filter, Movie edit, Picture frame, Red-eye removal, Calendar, Image & sound copy; Erase and Image Protect Modes - Single, All
Pictbridge: One image printing, All image printing, DPOF auto print, Paper size, Paper type, Paper quality, Border
Language: English, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Russian, Swedish, Dutch, Thai, Japanese, Chinese (Traditional, Simple), Korean
Interfaces: Type - AV output terminal, USB terminal; Video Output - Compatible with NTSC and PAL formats (monaural sound)
Power Supply: Two AA Batteries (Alkaline, Lithium, or rechargeable NiMH), AC adapter kit (optional) (allows approximately 640 shots* with 2500mAh NiMH, 220 shots* with Alkaline)* According to CIPA testing (with LCD monitor on and flash used for 50% of the shots)
Physical Specs: Operating Temperatures - 32 degrees to 104 degrees Fahrenheit (0 degrees to 40 degrees Celsius)

Camera Casing - Plastic

Dimensions (WHD) - 3.5 x 2.3 x 1.0 inches (89 x 60 x 25mm)

Weight - 4.2 oz. (120g) without battery and SD memory card
5.8 oz. (165g) loaded and ready

Computer System Reqs: Mac Requirements OS: Mac OS 9.2 or later, standard equipped USB port PC Requirements OS: Windows Me, 2000, XP Home edition / Professional, standard equipped USB port

(Specifications as represented by the manufacturer)




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