Pentax Optio S4i Review

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Features & Controls



Pentax Optio S4i

The Optio S4i features a Pentax 5.8-17.4mm 3x optical zoom with a 35mm equivalent focal length of 35 - 105mm, the maximum aperture is f2.6 - f4.8. The lens is all glass and consists of 6 elements in 5 groups with 2 dual-sided aspherical elements. When the camera is powered down the lens is retracted inside of the body and a built in shutter closes to protect the lens.

It has a 7-point AF 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; Macro mode: 7.1 inches (0.18 m) to 1.64 ft (0.5m); Super Macro mode: 2.4 inches (0.06m) to 7.9 inches (0.2m) at 10.2mm focal length.


Pentax Optio S4i

To focus manually -- Press the Focus mode button until "MF" is displayed and then adjust the focus distance by using the Up and Down positions of the 4-way controller. 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 be locked at infinity.


Pentax Optio S4i

One other focusing feature is the ability to freely move the active AF Area to any one of the seven positions within the frame.



Pentax Optio S4i

You can frame your pictures with the color LCD or to save battery power you can use the optical eyelevel finder. This is a coupled viewfinder with approx. 82% coverage. It has no dioptric adjustment. Next to the finder are two LEDs that indicate the flash and focus status.



Pentax Optio S4i

The built in flash offers Auto, On, Off, Auto + Red-Eye Reduction, On + Red-Eye Reduction. Flash range is approx. 0.65ft -11.5ft (0.2m - 3.5m) (5.8mm at ISO 200 ) Approx. 0.65ft -6.6ft (0.2m - 2m) (17.4mm at ISO 200)



Pentax Optio S4i

On the top is the On/Off power button and the shutter release. In my opinion this was a really -bad- place to put the power button, I imagine more than a few users will accidentally turn the camera off instead of taking a picture.



Pentax Optio S4i

In the upper right is the zoom control which also functions as the index/magnify control in playback mode. Next to that is the focus mode button (macro, infinity, manual focus and AF point select) and flash mode button. The Quick "green" button is new, when pressed it switches the camera to Green mode (fully automatic). You can select your own custom setting for this button under the Quick Button option found in the Setup menu. The 4-way controller lets you navigate menus and select images during playback. In record mode you press "Up" to enable remote or selftimer mode and press "Down" to access the virtual mode dial which we'll detail on the next page.

The MENU button calls up and dismisses the menus, the DISPLAY button turns the color LCD on/off and controls the amount of data displayed on it.



Pentax Optio S4i

The I/O ports:


The PC/AV port handles both the USB 1.1 connection for download and the audio-video output for TV display.




The DC IN jack is for the optional AC power adapter or an external battery pack.



Pentax Optio S4i

The Optio S4i is equipped with 10MB of internal memory and has a Secure Digital (SD) card slot in the battery compartment for optional memory cards. It's compatible with up to 512MB size SD cards. Data recorded on the internal memory can be copied to SD card.


Approx. capacity of internal 10MB memory
Size/Quality Best Better Good
2304 x 1728 3 frames 6 frames 10 frames
1600 x 1200 8 frames 14 frames 20 frames
1024 x 768 18 frames 33 frames 43 frames
640 x 480 40 frames 62 frames 83 frames




Pentax Optio S4i

The Optio S4i is powered by a proprietary D-LI8 3.7V 710mAh rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack. Pentax claims the battery life is good for approx. 180 shots (LCD turned on and using the flash 50% of the time), continuous playback time is approx. 110 minutes.


Pentax Optio S4i

The D-LI8 battery can be charged in the camera with the included recharging base or the battery can be charged by itself. Charging time is a maximum of 100 minutes.




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