Pentax Optio S Review

By Movable Type Admin

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Review posted 4/19/03

Click to take a QuickTime VR tour of the Optio S
Click on the Optio S to take a QuickTime VR tour


The Pentax OptioS (shown above larger than life) is smaller than the size of an average credit card and just over 3/4-inch thick. The OptioS fits neatly into an empty tin of Altoids®. It's a high-quality 3.2 effective megapixel 3X zoom digital camera with a sleek design and a tough aluminum alloy case.

The OptioS features a patented sliding lens zoom mechanism that allows the camera's 3X (35-105mm in 35mm equivalent) optical lens to fully recede into the camera housing, flush with the body frame. This novel system helps protect the lens and helps reduce the size of the OptioS by almost 60 percent compared to the PENTAX Optio330RS. A new Multi Chip Module in the circuit board and the redesigned chamber have further minimized free space in the OptioS.

Despite the size, OptioS is packed with features found only on larger digital cameras: Records up to 30 seconds of motion video at 12fps with sound, a voice recording mode for attaching 30- second memos to selected images, a 1.6-inch color LCD monitor with 100% coverage, selectable metering modes, white balance settings, exposure compensation, optical viewfinder, approximately 11MB of built-in memory, SD/MMC card compatible and includes a rechargeable lithium-ion battery.

This little camera delivers a big punch with its variety of shooting modes, including super macro, which captures images from just under 2.4 inches away, and infinity-landscape, which is great for shooting panoramic landscapes, seven Pictures modes, 3-D, panorama assist, night scene and more.


Pentax Optio S

Optio S Features:
  • Ultra compact 3.3 x 2 x 0.8 inches, weighs just 3.5 ounces
  • Stylish and durable aluminum alloy body
  • 3x Pentax zoom lens (35-105mm in 35mm equivalent)
  • 3.2-megapixel CCD imager for images up to 2048 x 1536
  • Records up to 30 secs of 320 x 240 motion JPEG with audio
  • 30 second voice memos can be attached to images
  • Eight shooting modes selected from a virtual mode dial (Standard, Picture, Night Scene, Movie, 3-D, Panorama Assist, Digital Filters and User)
  • Picture mode has seven choices (Landscape, Flower, Portrait, Self-Portrait, Surf & Snow, Autumn Color and Sunset)
  • Super macro mode coverage down to 2.4 inches
  • Three metering choices: multi-segment, center weighted and spot
  • 28-zone, 62-city, world time with alarm clock.
  • Audio-Video output for TV display
  • 1.6" color TFT LCD monitor with 100% coverge
  • Rechargeable lithium-ion battery included
  • 11 MB of internal memory plus SD/MMC card slot
  • Epson PRINT Image Matching II and Exif Print compatible
  • High-speed USB port




Physical Views



Pentax Optio S

Pentax Optio S

Pentax Optio S

Pentax Optio S Pentax Optio S

Pentax Optio S

Pentax Optio S





Optio S

The Optio S and a standard CD disc.





Optio S

The Optio S and the DiMAGE F300 for size comparison.





Optio S

The Casio EX-Z3 and the Optio S for size comparison.





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Page Two






Optio S Specifications

Effective Pixels 3.2 megapixels
Image Capture Device Type - 1/2.5 inch interline transfer CCD with a primary color filter
  Total Pixels - 3.34 megapixels
  Color Depth - 10 bit x 3 colors
Focus System Type - TTL contrast detection autofocus system
  Autofocus - 7 point AF, Spot AF & Infinity Landscape Mode
  Manual Focus - 2.4 inches (0.06m) to Infinity
  Focusing Range - Normal: 1.31 ft (0.4m) to Infinity; Macro: 7.1 inches (0.18 m) to 1.64 ft (0.5m); Super Macro: 2.4 inches (0.06m) to 7.9 inches (0.2m) at 10.2mm
Lens smc PENTAX power zoom
  Focal Length - 5.8mm- 17.4mm
  35mm Equivalent - 35mm-105mm
  Aperture Range - f2.6- f4.8
  Construction - 6 elements in 5 groups (2 dual-sided aspherical elements)
  Optical Zoom - 3X
  Digital Zoom - 2 X
  Combined - 6 X
Exposure Control Light Metering Method - TTL metering with choice of: Multi-segment, Center-weighted & Spot meter
  Sensitivity - Auto, or user select ISO 50, 100, 200
  Exposure Control Method - Program AE
  Exposure Modes - Program, Picture mode, Night scene, Movie, Panorama assist, 3D image, Digital filter, User
  Exposure Compensation - +/-2 EV (1/3 steps)
Shutter Type - Programmed AE electronic lens shutter with CCD electronic shutter. Shutter Speed - approx. 1/2000 - 1 second
White Balance White Balance Control - TTL Auto, Pre-set, Custom White Balance
  Available Settings - Auto, Daylight, Shade, Tungsten Light, Fluorescent Light, Manual
Flash Operation Modes - Auto, Flash-Off, Flash-On, Auto + red-eye reduction, Flash-On + red-eye reduction
Viewfinders Optical Viewfinder - Actual Image zoom viewfinder
  LCD Monitor - 1.6 inch, TFT color LCD- with Histogram Display
  LCD coverage - 100%
Shooting Specifications Shooting Modes - Program, Picture mode, Night scene, Movie, Panorama assist, 3D image, Digital filter, User
  Picture Modes - Landscape, Flower, Portrait, Self-portrait, Surf & Snow, Autumn color, Sunset
  Digital Filter - Black & White, Sepia, Red, Pink, Yellow, Green, Blue, Purple, Slim
  Drive Modes - One-Shot, Continuous, Remote control, Self-timer-10 sec.
  Movie Mode - 320 x 240 up to 30 seconds with sound
Time Modes - dd/mm/yy, mm/dd/yy, yy/mm/dd
  World Time - Display of the time in 62 cities (28 time zones)
  Alarm Clock - Displays image with alarm (maximum of three memory settings)
Image Storage Storage Media - 11MB built-in memory
SD/MMC compatible card slot
  File Formats - Design rule for Camera File system (DCF)
  Print Order Format - Digital Print Order Format (DPOF)
  Image Recording Format: Still - JPEG (Exif 2.2); Movie - AVI (Open DML motion JPEG Format) 12fps; Sound - WAV (ADPCM), Monaural
  JPEG Compression Mode - Good, Better, Best
Playback Specifications Playback Modes File - Single, Index- Nine image
  Magnification - 4X
  Slide Show - in playback mode
Erasing Specifications Erase Modes - Single, All
  Image Protect - Single, All
Interfaces AV output terminal, USB terminal, DC input terminal
  Video output - Compatible with NTSC and PAL formats (monaural sound)
Power Supply Power Source - Rechargeable lithium-ion D-LI8 battery, AC adaptor kit (optional)
Physical Specifications Operating temperatures - 32 Degrees - 104 Degrees F (0 - 40 Degrees Celsius)
  Camera Casing - Aluminum alloy
  Dimensions (WxHxD)
3.3 x 2.0 x 0.8 inches
(83 x 52 x 20mm)
  Weight - 3.5 oz (98g) without battery and SD memory card; 4.1 oz (115g) loaded and ready
Computer Requirements Mac Requirements - OS: Mac OS 8.6 or later (QuickTime 4.0 or later to view movies), CPU: Power PC 266MHz or higher, Memory: 8MB or more, Hard disk space:6MB or more, Standard equipped USB port
  PC Requirements - OS: Windows 98,98 second edition, 2000, Me, XP Home edition / Professional, CPU: Pentium or later recommended, Memory:64MB or more, Hard disk space: 15MB or more, Standard equipped USB port
Kit Inclusions Optio S Camera, Rechargeable Lithium-ion Battery, Battery Charger with AC Plug Cord, AV Cable, USB Cable, 3D Image Viewer, Software (CD ROM) - ACDSeeTM, USB Driver, Strap (O-ST5), Operating Manual, Serial Number Card, Product Registration Card, Service Network Directory






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