Pentax Optio S4 Review

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Features & Controls

Pentax Optio S4

The Optio S4 features a Pentax 3x optical zoom with a 35mm equivalent focal length of 35 - 105mm, maximum aperture is f2.6 - f4.8, 4X digital zoom option. When the camera is powered down the lens is retracted inside of the body and a built in shutter closes to protect the lens. There is no way to attach filters or add-on lenses.

It has a 7-point AF system with user-selectable AF point location, Spot AF, infinity landscape and manual focus (with center enlargement) modes. Focusing range is 1.3 feet to infinity in normal mode, macro coverage is 7.1 inches to 1.64 feet, super macro coverage is from 2.4 to 7.9 inches.

You can frame your pictures with the color LCD or to save precious 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 S4

The built in flash offers Auto, On, Off, Auto + Red-Eye Reduction, On + Red-Eye Reduction. Flash range is not specified but seems to cover out to about 8 feet.

Pentax Optio S4

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 S4

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 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.

Under the LCD is the MENU button which calls up and dismisses the menus, the DISPLAY button turns the color LCD on/off and controls the amount of data displayed on it, the last button enables Quick Review/Play mode.

Pentax Optio S4

The I/O ports:

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

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

Pentax Optio S4

The Optio S4 is equipped with 11MB of internal memory and a SD / MMC card slot for optional memory cards. It is compatible with up to 512MB size cards. Data recorded on the internal memory can be copied to cards.

Approx. capacity of a 16 MB SD Card
Best *** Better ** Good *
2304 x 1728 5 frames 9 frames 14 frames
1600 x 1200 11 frames 20 frames 28 frames
1024 x 768 26 frames 47 frames 62 frames
640 x 480 57 frames 89 frames 119 frames
Movie 320 x 240: 1 x 60 second clips

Pentax Optio S4

The Optio S4 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 with the LCD turned on and using the flash 50% of the time. Continuous playback time is 110 minutes.

The D-LI8 battery is charged out of the camera with the supplied compact charger. Charging time is a maximum of 100 minutes.

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