Pentax Optio S5i Review

By Movable Type Admin

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Review posted 10/25/2004

Click to take a QuickTime VR tour of the Optio S5i
Click on the Optio S5i to take a QuickTime VR tour


Following in the footsteps of the popular Optio "S" series, the Optio S5i features the highest megapixel count in this ultra-compact series, with 5.0 effective megapixels and a 3X optical zoom lens. It features a stylish design in an ultra-compact, lightweight digital camera. The Pentax digital advantage doesn't stop there. Equipped with PictBridge technology, the Optio S5i can connect directly to any PictBridge compatible printer, so you may print images without the need for a PC.

Featuring Pentax's legendary smc optical zoom lens and their unique Sliding Lens system that allows the lens to retract fully inside the camera when it is powered off. The Optio S5i is sleek and compact enough to carry everywhere. With the optional acrylic waterproof housing, 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.



Pentax Optio S5i

Shown above seated nicely in its charging base. This base allows users to charge the battery in-camera by placing it in the cradle, or they can take the battery out and let it charge while using an optional second battery pack.

A Quick button function allows the user to designate one mode from a choice of 10 to act as a shortcut button to a selected function. By default, the Quick button is set for Green mode, which leaves all settings to the camera with the exception of zooming. Additional modes accessible via the Quick button include: Green mode, USER mode, Movie mode, Mode Palette, White balance, Mode memory, Resizing, Trimming, Image/voice copy, and Format.

Despite its size, the Optio S5i 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.



Optio S5i 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)
  • 5.0-megapixel CCD imager for images up to 2560 x 1920
  • 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.
  • Time-lapse movie mode
  • 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






Physical Views



Pentax Optio S5i

Pentax Optio S5i

Pentax Optio S5i Pentax Optio S5i

Pentax Optio S5i

Pentax Optio S5i





Optio S5i

The Optio S5i compared in size to a standard CD.





Optio S5i

Optio S5i

Compared to the Optio 750Z and the Casio EX-Z50






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Features & Controls








Optio S5i Specifications

Effective Pixels 5.0 megapixels
Image Sensor Type - 1/2.5 inch interline transfer CCD with a primary color filter
  Total Pixels - 5.25 megapixels
  Color Depth - 12 bit x 3 colors
Recorded Pixels 2560x1920, 2048x1536, 1600x1200, 1024x768, 640x480
Movie: 320x240
Focus System Type - TTL contrast detection autofocus system
  Autofocus - 7 point AF, Spot AF, 49 point selectable & Infinity Landscape Mode
  Manual Focus - 2.4 inches (0.06m) to Infinity at 10.2mm
  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 Type - smc PENTAX power zoom
  Focal Length - 5.8mm- 17.4mm
  35mm Equivalent - 36.5mm - 107mm
  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 80, 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, Sport, Soft, 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 (85,000 pixel) TFT color LCD with Histogram Display
  LCD coverage - 100%
Shooting Specifications Digital Filter - Digital Filter - Black & White, Sepia, Red, Pink, Purple, Blue, Green, Yellow, Posterization, Slim
  Drive Modes - Single-shot, Continuous, Remote control, Self-timer
  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 (motion JPEG Format); Sound - WAV (PCM), Monaural
  JPEG Compression Mode - Best, Better, Good.
Recorded pixels with 128MB SD memory card:
2560x1920: 37 - 73 - 125
2048x1536: 62 - 113 - 166
1600x1200: 104 - 178 - 250
1024x768: 227 - 417 - 544
640x480: 500 - 782 - 1043
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. 160 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 S5i camera, Hand strap, Software CD-ROM, AV cable, USB cable, Rechargeable lithium-ion battery, Battery charging stand, AC plug cord, Operating Manual for camera and PC connectivity
Specifications as represented by the manufacter





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