Pentax Optio MX Review

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Features & Controls



Pentax OptioMX

The OptioMX features a smc Pentax 5.8-58mm 10x optical zoom with a 35mm equivalent focal length of 38 - 380mm, the maximum aperture is f2.9 - f3.5. This is an all-glass lens consisting of 12 elements in 8 groups with 1 dual-sided aspherical and 1 aspherical element. It has a selectable 4x or 10x digital zoom that can be disabled. Like a camcorder, the lens does not extend when powered up, it zooms internally.

It features a 5-point TTL contrast detection autofocus system with user-selectable AF point location, Spot AF, infinity landscape and manual focus. The focusing range in Normal mode is 1.31 ft (0.4m) to Infinity (Wide) and 3.9 ft (1.2m) to infinity (Tele); Macro: 3.9 inches (0.1 m) to 1.64 ft (0.5m) Wide and 1.97 ft (0.6m) to 4.92 ft (1.5m) Tele. Super Macro: 0 inches (0m) to 5.9 inches (0.15m) fixed at full wide angle.


Pentax OptioMX

To focus manually -- press the Focus mode button until "MF" is displayed and then adjust the focus distance with the Up and Down on the 4-way controller. Manual focus is adjustable from 0cm to infinity. When you are actively changing the focus, the center portion of the LCD display is magnified and a distance scale is shown on the left. The focus can also locked at infinity for landscape or open-sky shots.



Pentax OptioMX

The lens is fitted with 37mm threads for easy attachment of filters and add-on lenses like the Pentax 0.75x Wide Converter that extends the MX's wide angle focal length from 38mm to 28.5mm.



Pentax OptioMX

The color LCD is the only viewfinder -- it's a 1.8-inch CG Silicon TFT color LCD with 134,000 pixel resolution and auto brightness adjustment. The display may be swiveled 210° vertically and 180° horizontally. The LCD is coated with a glare-reducing finish and is quite visible even in bright sunlight.



Pentax OptioMX

The grip can be folded alongside the camera when shooting still images or you can flip it down into pistol-grip position for shooting either stills or movies.



Pentax OptioMX

The built in flash offers Auto Fill flash, Auto, Flash-Off, Flash-On, Auto + red-eye reduction, Flash-On + red-eye reduction; Effective range is approx.0.3ft - 16.7ft (0.1m - 5.1m) (Wide at ISO 200); Approx. 2ft - 12.5ft (0.6m - 3.8m) (Tele at ISO 200). As you can see, it really pops UP, this helps to eliminate red-eye and gives the clearance needed when using the 28.5mm wide angle lens.



Pentax OptioMX

On the top is the On/Off power button, the Mode Dial which has positions for: Program AE, PICTure (10 scene modes), Voice Recording, Metered Manual, Aperture priority and Shutter-speed priority. The blue PLAY button enables the review mode, tapping the shutter release immediately returns you to record mode. The MENU button calls up and dismisses the menu system in any mode. The 4-way controller is used to navigate menus, select images for playback, change certain camera settings and in record or playback mode you press it inward to change the LCD display mode.



Pentax OptioMX

Located on the swiveling grip is the combination shutter release and telephoto zoom lens control. The zoom control operates in either high or low speed, depending on how far you turn it. In playback the zoom lever enables index or magnified playback modes. Also on the grip is the Movie mode shutter release which allows you to capture video no matter what position the Mode Dial is in.



Pentax OptioMX

On the left side are the Flash mode (Protect in playback), Drive mode [10-sec Selftimer, 2-sec Selftimer, Sequential, High-Speed Sequential, AE Bracketing] (DPOF in playback) and the Focus mode (Delete in playback) buttons.



Pentax OptioMX

The I/O ports: PC/AV port handles both the USB 2.0 connection for download and the audio-video output for TV display with selectable NTSC or PAL video format. The DC IN jack is for the optional AC power adapter or an external battery pack.



Pentax OptioMX

The OptioMX is equipped with a Secure Digital (SD) card slot on the top-right side for memory cards. It comes with a ridiculously small 16MB card and is compatible with up to 1GB size SD cards. If you plan on doing any serious video recording I would suggest at least a 256MB or 512MB size, fast SD card like the SanDisk Ultra II shown here.


Storage Capacity with 128MB SD Card

ResolutionBestBetterGood
2048x153661112165
1600x1200103176243
1024x768222441521
640x480488782977
Movie @ 640x480
30fps5 min7 min10 min
15fps10 min14 min18 min




Pentax OptioMX

The OptioMX is powered by proprietary 3.7v 1800mAh D-LI7 rechargeable Li-ion battery that provides for approx. 200 shots, 100 minutes of movie recording, or 200 minutes of playback time on a full charge. Pentax includes a small rapid charger. It can also be powered by a disposable or rechargeable CR-V3 battery.




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