Pentax Optio S4 Review

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Review posted 10/17/03


Click on the Optio S4 to take a QuickTime VR tour


The Pentax Optio S4 (shown above larger than life) is smaller than the size of an average credit card and just over 3/4-inch thick. The Optio S4 fits neatly into an empty tin of Altoids®. It's the 4-megapixel update of the very popular 3-megapixel Optio S and differs physically only by its champagne colored aluminum body.

The Optio S4 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 Optio S4 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 Optio S4.

Despite the size, Optio S4 is packed with features found only on larger digital cameras: Records up to 60 seconds of motion video at 15fps with sound, a voice recording mode that also allows 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, digital filter, night scene and more.


Optio S

The Optio S4 hiding behind a credit card.



Optio S4 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)
  • 4.0-megapixel CCD imager for images up to 2304 x 1728
  • Records up to 60 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
  • USB Mass Storage compliant


The Optio S4 includes an ACDSee™ software package designed exclusively for PENTAX Optio digital cameras that includes ACDSee™ 5.0. Valued at more than $150, ACDSee™ digital camera software makes it easy to retrieve, view, manage, print, enhance and share your digital photos. The Optio S4 will ship with the software in October in plenty of time for the Holiday 2003 buying season.

The Optio S4 will retail for $550 with an estimated street price of $429.95 USD.




Physical Views



Pentax Optio S4

Pentax Optio S4

Pentax Optio S4Pentax Optio S4

Pentax Optio S4

Pentax Optio S4





Optio S

The Optio S4 and a standard CD disc.





Optio S

Compare the size of the Casio EX-Z4 and Pentax Optio S4.








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Optio S4 Specifications

Effective Pixels 4.0 megapixels
Image Sensor Type - 1/2.5 inch interline transfer CCD with a primary color filter
Total Pixels - 4.23 megapixels
Color Depth - 10 bit x 3 colors
Recorded Pixels 2304x1728, 1600x1200, 1024x768, 640x480
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 @ 15fps up to 60 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 S4 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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