Pentax Optio A30 Review

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Review posted 4/13/2007

Click on the Optio A30 to take a 360° QuickTime VR tour

The PENTAX Optio A30 features 10.0 effective megapixels, a 1/1.8 inch CCD with a wide dynamic range for superior tones, an smc PENTAX zoom lens and an image processing engine that gives a rich color reproduction. The PENTAX original Shake Reduction (SR) technology in the A30 has been improved by adding both Digital and Movie SR for improved image capture in low-light settings. A unique Face Recognition AF & AE function offers better results in photographs by automatically detecting faces, and then adjusting exposure and focus to help users capture better portraits.

The Optio A30 is the sixth DivX Certified digital camera manufactured by PENTAX in the past 18 months. As a DivX Certified digital camera, the Optio A30 makes it easy for users to create their own media for both business and social purposes. With the push of a button, users can instantly record high-quality DivX video and discover simple playback on any of the 50 million DivX Certified consumer electronics devices available today. DivX also enhances the ease and quality of video clips posted to popular broadcast sites. The A30 captures movies at 30 fps (frames per second) at sizes up to 640 x 480 pixels with image quality rivaling camcorders. Equipped with DivX® (MPEG-4 compliant) movie format, users can capture longer, high-quality movies with smaller file sizes.

The new shake detection accuracy of the Optio A30 is achieved incorporating a high-accuracy gyro sensor and a control algorithm used for SR technology in PENTAX digital SLR cameras, which consists of an exclusive shifting CCD system. This allows highly corrective effects, equivalent to shutter speeds of approximately 2.5 to 3.5 steps to be achieved when shooting still images.

The Digital SR mode automatically alters sensitivity according to the brightness of the subject, and effectively reduces camera shake and subject blur. For the Optio A30, the maximum sensitivity has been improved to ISO 3200 (5MP only) to allow for even faster shutter speeds.

Other features include a high-intensity LCD monitor with an LCD booster function that improves screen brightness on demand. The monitor is easier to view outdoors even in bright sunlight, and with a 2.5 inch screen size and a high resolution of 232,000 pixels, confirming picture compositions and focus is easy. The screen also offers wide-angle viewing of 160 degrees.

The Optio A30 is equipped with a Face Recognition AF & AE function* that automatically detects and focuses on faces, regardless of where the people appear in the photo frame. In addition, optimal exposure settings are automatically adjusted so that the areas with faces are not darkened even if there is back lighting.

Optio A30 Features:

  • 10.0-megapixel CCD imager for poster size prints
  • Ultra compact 3.5 x 2.3 x 0.9 inches, weighs just 4.6 ounces
  • Stylish and durable aluminum alloy body
  • Large 2.5" color LCD with 232,000 pixels and 100% coverage
  • SMC 3x Pentax zoom lens with Tracking AF and focus-assist lamp
  • New Face Recognition AF & AE technology
  • Super macro focus coverage down to 2.4 inches
  • Shake Reduction with high-accuracy gyro sensor for blur-free stills and movies
  • Auto, Program, Shutter priority, Manual and 11 Scene modes like Digital SR (Shake Reduction)
  • DivX Certified VGA (640x480, 30 fps) video w/audio, length limited to media capacity
  • 30 second voice memos can be attached to still images
  • Can be used as a voice recorder
  • Three metering choices: multi-segment, center weighted and spot
  • ISO sensitivity: Auto, 64, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200 (3200 in Digital SR Mode at 5MP)
  • Digital, Color, and Brightness Filters
  • Audio-Video output for TV display
  • Powered by rechargeable Li-ion battery
  • 22 MB of internal memory plus SD card slot
  • PictBridge, Epson PRINT Image Matching III and Exif Print compatible
  • USB Mass Storage compliant
The Optio A30 is available now with an MSRP of US$349.95.

Physical Views

Pentax Optio A30

Pentax Optio A30

Pentax Optio A30Pentax Optio A30

Pentax Optio A30

Pentax Optio A30

Optio A30

The Optio A30 compared in size to a standard CD.

Optio S5z

The Optio A30 and its 7-megapixel Optio M30 sibling.

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Features & Controls

Optio A30 Specifications

Type: Ultra-Compact Digital Camera
Sensor: Type - 1/1.8" Interline Transfer CCD w/ primary color filter; Effective pixels - 10MP; Total pixels - 10.37MP; Recorded resolutions - Still: 10M (3648x2736), 7M (3072x2304), 5M (2592x1944), 3M (2048x1536), 2M (1600x1200), 1024x768, VGA (640x480); Movie: VGA (640x480), QVGA (320x240); Quality levels - *** (best), ** (better), * (good)
Lens: Type/construction - SMC Pentax Zoom Lens (7E, 5G, 2 dual aspheric lenses, 1 single aspheric lens); Optical zoom - 3x, 7.9-23.7mm; Focal length (equiv.) - 38-114mm; Intelligent zoom - Approx. 3.6x (7M), 4.2x (5M), 5.3x (3M), 6.7x (2M), 10.4x (1024), 16.3x (VGA); Digital zoom - 5.4x; Combined zoom - 16.3x; Aperture - F2.8-5.4
LCD/Viewfinder: LCD screen - 2.5" TFT color LCD with LCD Bright Mode; LCD coverage - 100%; LCD resolution - 232,000 pixels; Wide angle viewable - YES, 160° horizontal and vertical; Optical viewfinder - n/a
Focus System: Type - TTL contrast detection autofocus w/ AF assist lamp; Autofocus - 5 point AF, spot, tracking, and face recognition autofocus modes available; Manual focus - YES; Macro focus - YES, manual and automatic macro, super macro; Focus lock - YES, by pressing the shutter release button half way; Focus range - normal 1.15' to infinity, macro 0.39-1.31', super macro 0.20-0.49'
Flash: Type - built-in series-control auto flash; Flash modes - on, off, auto, redeye, soft flash; Effective range - wide 23' auto ISO, telephoto 11' auto ISO
Storage Media: Internal memory - 22MB; Removable memory - SD, SDHC
Interfaces: Ports - USB 2.0 hi-speed, AV out, DC in; Video out - NTSC and PAL; Printer interfaces - PictBridge
Power Supply: Power source - Rechargeable D-LI8 lithium ion battery; Recordable images - Approx. 150; Playback time - Approx. 110 min.; AC adapter available - optional
Physical Specifications: Dimensions (W x H x D) - 3.5 x 2.3 x 0.9"; Weight - Without battery or removable memory: 4.6 oz., Loaded and ready: 5.3 oz.; Construction material(s) - aluminum alloy; Operating temperature - 32-104 degrees F
Timing: Startup - Approx. 1.8 sec; Release lag: Approx. 0.02 sec; Shot to Shot: Approx. 1.3 sec/frame (can vary w/ SD card speed); Autofocus time - Approx. 0.54 sec
Language Support: English, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Dutch, Danish, Swedish, Finnish, Polish, Czech, Hungarian, Turkish, Russian, Thai, Korean, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Japanese
Image Stabilization: Still - sensor shift shake reduction, Digital SR Mode (ISO 3200 at 5MP); Movie - movie anti-shake mode
Metering System: Type - TTL; Multi-segment - YES; Center weighted - YES; Spot - YES; Exposure compensation - +/- 2 EV in 1/3 steps
ISO Sensitivity: Auto - 64-1600, 3200 available in Digital SR Mode at 5MP; Manual - 64, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200
White Balance: Auto preset modes - Auto, Daylight, Shade, Tungsten, Fluorescent; Manual mode(s) - YES
Shutter: Type - Programmed AE electronic lens shutter w/ CCD electronic shutter; Shutter speed - 1/2000 to 4 sec
Capture Modes: Mode selection-Auto Picture (Normal, Night Scene, Landscape, Portrait), Program, Night Scene, Movie, Voice Recording, Landscape, Flower, Portrait, Kids, Digital SR, Surf & Snow, Sport, Pet, Text, Food, Frame Composite; Green simplified mode available - YES; P/A/S/M/B - P, S, M; Date/time stamp - n/a (software only); Digital filters (capture) - n/a
Drive Modes: Mode selection - one shot, self timer (10s, 2s), continuous, remote control (3s, 0s); Continuous FPS - approx 1.3 sec; Self-timer - YES, 10 sec, 2 sec; Remote control - infrared, 3 sec, 0 sec (remote optional)
Playback Modes: Mode selection - one shot, index (9 thumbnails), movie playback, sound playback, histogram, select/delete, calendar (Mode Palate: slideshow, resize, trimming, image/sound copy, image rotation, color filter, digital filter, brightness filter, movie edit, redeye edit, voice memo, protect, DPOF, startup screen, frame composite); Magnification - up to 8x; Digital filters (playback) - soft, illustration, special effect 1 and 2, slim; Color filters (playback) - b&w, sepia, color filter (8 colors), color extract (b&w with red, green, blue); Movie edit - save as still image, divide movies, extract movies
File Formats: Still - JPG (EXIF 2.2), DCF, DPOF, Print Image Matching III; Movie - AVI (DivX with MPG-4); Sound - WAV (PCM), monaural
Computer System Requirements*: *For device connectivity. Bundled software requirements may vary. Windows - Windows ME/2000/XP/Vista, USB port; Mac - MacOS 9.2, X (10.1 or later), USB port

(Specifications as represented by the manufacturer)

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Features & Controls

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