Pentax Optio S4i Review

By Movable Type Admin

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Review posted 05/06/2004
Conclusion & Samples updated 05/31/2004

Click to take a QuickTime VR tour of the Optio S4i
Click on the Optio S4i to take a QuickTime VR tour


Pentax has upgraded last year's Optio S4 with a larger 1.8 inch LCD monitor for easier viewing and focusing on the ultra-compact Optio S4i digital camera. With 4.0 megapixels and a 3X optical zoom, it's the first Pentax digital camera to be supplied with a recharging base unit. To recharge the Optio S4i simply set the camera in the recharge base until its time to use it again. The recharging base unit can also be used to charge a second battery pack while you're using your camera.


Pentax Optio S4i

Featuring the legendary smc Pentax lens and the unique Pentax Sliding Lens system that allows the lens to retract fully when the camera is off lens, the Optio S4i is sleek and compact enough to carry everywhere. With the optional, acrylic waterproof housing that is newly-designed for the Optio S4i, everywhere may well include the exciting world of underwater digital photography! For optimal results it features both Marine Picture and Marine Movie modes to correctly capture the underwater colors.

Despite its size, the Optio S4i is packed with features found only on larger digital cameras: Records motion video at 15fps with sound up to the capacity of the memory card, a voice recording mode that also allows for attaching 30-second memos to selected images, a 1.8-inch color LCD monitor with 100% coverage, selectable metering modes, white balance settings, exposure compensation, optical viewfinder, approximately 10MB of built-in memory expandable with any size SD card, audio-video output for display on TV sets and USB connectivity with your computer.

The Pentax digital advantage doesn't stop there. Equipped with PictBridge, a new direct-print standard released by the CIPA (Camera and Imaging Products Association), the Optio S4i connects directly to your printer so you may print images without the need for a personal computer.



Optio S4i Features:

  • Ultra compact 3.3 x 2 x 0.8 inches, weighs just 3.7 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 320 x 240 motion JPEG with audio at 15fps, length limited to media capacity
  • 30 second voice memos can be attached to images
  • Shooting modes selected from a virtual mode dial
  • 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
  • 1.8" color TFT LCD monitor with 100% coverage
  • Rechargeable lithium-ion battery included
  • 10 MB of internal memory plus SD card slot
  • PictBridge, Epson PRINT Image Matching II and Exif Print compatible
  • USB Mass Storage compliant


The Pentax Optio S4i includes an ACDSee software package that is designed exclusively for Pentax digital cameras. Valued at $150, the package includes ACDSee 5.1, FotoSlate, FotoCanvas and Photostitcher. ACDSee digital camera software makes it easy to retrieve, view, manage, print, enhance and share your digital photos. The camera will ship to retailers in April 2004.




Physical Views



Pentax Optio S4i

Pentax Optio S4i

Pentax Optio S4i Pentax Optio S4i

Pentax Optio S4i

Pentax Optio S4i





Optio S4i

The Optio S4i compared in size to a standard CD.





Optio S4i

Optio S4i

Compare the size of the Optio S4i and the Casio EX-Z40






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Optio S4i 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 - 12 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 - 4 X
  Combined - 12 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, 400
  Exposure Control Method - Program AE
  Exposure Modes - Green, Program, Night scene, Movie, Panorama assist, 3D image, Landscape, Flower, Portrait, Self-Portrait, Surf & Snow, Autumn Color, Sunset, Museum, Text, Food, Soft, Posterization, Digital filter, User, Marine, Marine movie
  Exposure Compensation - +/-2 EV (1/3 steps)
Shutter Type - Programmed AE electronic lens shutter with CCD electronic shutter. Shutter Speed - approx. 1/2000 - 4 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. Effective Range -Approx.0.65ft -11.5ft (0.2m - 3.5m) (5.8mm at Sensitivity 200) Approx. 0.65ft -6.6ft (0.2m - 2m) (17.4mm at Sensitivity 200)
Viewfinders Optical Viewfinder - Actual Image zoom viewfinder
  LCD Monitor - 1.8 inch, TFT color LCD- with Histogram Display
  LCD coverage - 100%
Shooting Specifications Shooting Modes - Green, Program, Night scene, Movie, Panorama assist, 3D image, Landscape, Flower, Portrait, Self-Portrait, Surf & Snow, Autumn Color, Sunset, Art museum, Text, Cuisine, Soft, Posterization , Digital filter, User, Marine, Marine Movie
  Digital Filter - Black & White, Sepia, Red, Pink, Yellow, Green, Blue, Purple, Slim
  Drive Modes - Single-Shot, Continuous, Remote control, Self-timer-10 sec.
  Movie Mode - 320 x 240 @ 15fps w/sound up to capacity of memory card
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 - 10MB built-in memory
SD 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) 15fps; Sound - WAV (ADPCM), Monaural
  JPEG Compression Mode - Best, Better, Good.
Recorded pixels with 10MB built-in memory:
2304x1728: 3 - 6 - 10
1600x1200: 8 - 14 - 20
1024x768: 18 - 33 - 43
640x480: 40 - 62 - 83
Playback Specifications Playback Modes File - Single, Index- Nine image
  Magnification - 4X
  Slide Show - in playback mode
  Image rotation, voice memo, trimming, resize
  PictBridge direct-USB printing
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 (allows approx. 180 shots with LCD on, flash used 50% of the time)
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 - 3.7 oz (105g) without battery and SD memory card; 4.2 oz (120g) 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 S4i Camera, Rechargeable Lithium-ion Battery, Battery Charger with AC Plug Cord, AV Cable, USB Cable, 3D Image Viewer, Software (CD ROM) - ACDSee, USB Driver, Strap (O-ST5), Operating Manual, Serial Number Card, Product Registration Card, Service Network Directory





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