Pentax Optio A10 Review

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Review posted 5/12/2006

Click on the Optio A10 to take a 360° QuickTime VR tour

The A10 is the first model of Pentax's new high-end Optio series and incorporates an 8.0 megapixel CCD with an innovative Shake Reduction system to help ensure sharper images. The newly developed smc PENTAX 3x optical zoom lens produces clear, high-contrast images. The design corrects effectively for spherical and other aberrations and original coating cuts out ghosting and flare. The Optio A10 features a slim, lightweight and stylish design with a textured aluminum alloy exterior, a multi-faceted accent lens ring, and a connector cover designed to blend in with the camera.

PENTAX developed Shake Reduction to eliminate situations where camera shake typically causes blurred images such as telephoto or indoor shots without a flash. The Shake Reduction mechanism is made possible by two internal gyro sensors that detect camera shake while a dedicated CPU calculates the required correction to compensate for the level of camera shake while focusing. In turn, a proprietary mechanism adjusts the CCD automatically based on the calculation and compensates for the camera shake to help deliver sharper images.

Auto picture mode makes taking photos easy and fun. Selecting the Auto picture mode from the shooting Mode palette has the camera automatically select from Portrait, Landscape, Night Scene, or Standard mode according to the shooting conditions. The user can also manually select the recording mode when desired. The Candle Light mode lets you capture natural looking 4MP pictures in low light without the flash by boosting the ISO sensitivity up to 800.

The Optio A10 smoothly captures movies at 30 fps (frames per second) at sizes up to 640 x 480 pixels with image quality rivaling camcorders. Since it employs the DivX MPEG-4 movie format,* the Optio A10 can record longer, high-quality movies. Camera shake can also be corrected automatically by switching on the Movie anti-Shake feature. (* The Optio A10 is DivX® certified. Movie playback is not supported on Macintosh operating systems.)

Despite the slim body, the Optio A10 manages to fit in a large 2.5 inch LCD monitor with the clarity of approximately 232,000 pixels. The monitor is easy to see even in bright locations because of its backlight and low-reflection type. All of this means it is easier to navigate menus, make settings, and compose shots as well as to display crisper, more beautiful images.

The included Charging Stand recharges the high-capacity Li-ion battery in the camera and a second battery at the same time so you'll never get caught with a dead battery. Images and Movies can be easily transferred to PC and Mac computers with the camera's USB data port. Display your pictures and movies on your TV with the audio-visual output capability.

Optio A10 Features:

  • Ultra compact 3.5 x 2.1 x 0.9 inches, weighs just 4.4 ounces
  • Stylish and durable aluminum alloy body
  • 8.0-megapixel CCD imager for prints up to poster size
  • Large 2.5" color LCD with 232,000 pixels and 100% coverage
  • 3x Pentax zoom lens with Tracking AF and focus-assist lamp
  • Super macro focus coverage down to 2.4 inches
  • Shake Reduction with twin gyros for blur-free stills and movies
  • DivX Certified VGA (640x480, 30 fps) video w/audio, length limited to media capacity
  • Use as a voice recorder, over 2 hours on a 128MB SD card
  • 30 second voice memos can be attached to still images
  • Candle Light mode captures 4MP pictures in low light without the flash at ISO 800
  • Three metering choices: multi-segment, center weighted and spot
  • ISO sensitivity: Auto, 50, 100, 200, 400 (800 in Candle mode)
  • Digital Filter - Black & White, Sepia, 8 Color modes
  • Audio-Video output for TV display
  • Powered by rechargeable Li-ion battery, charging stand included
  • 24 MB of internal memory plus SD card slot
  • PictBridge, Epson PRINT Image Matching III and Exif Print compatible
  • USB Mass Storage compliant

Physical Views

Pentax Optio A10

Pentax Optio A10

Pentax Optio A10Pentax Optio A10

Pentax Optio A10

Pentax Optio A10

Optio A10

The Optio A10 compared in size to a standard CD.

Optio S5z

Optio S5z

The Fuji FinePix F470 and the Optio A10.

Optio S5z

The waterproof Optio W10 and the Optio A10.

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Optio A10 Specifications

Camera Type: Compact-type digital still camera with built-in zoom lens, autofocus, auto exposure and auto flash
Effective Pixels: 8.0 megapixels
Image Capture Device: Type - 1/1.8 inch interline transfer CCD with a primary color filter
Total Pixels - 8.32 megapixels
Color Depth - 12 bit x 3 colors

Recorded Pixels - Still: 8M (3264x2448 pixels), 5M (2592x1944 pixels), 4M(2304x1728 pixels), 3M (2048x1536 pixels), 2M (1600x1200 pixels), 0.7M(1024x768 pixels), 0.3M(640x480 pixels, 640x480 pixels
During Candle light mode, the recorded size is fixed to 4M(2304 x 1728). During Frame composition mode, the recorded size is fixed to 3M(2048x1536)

Movie: 640x480 pixels, 320x240 pixels

Focus System: Type - TTL contrast detection autofocus system

Autofocus - 5 point AF, Spot AF, Infinity Landscape Mode, Pan Focus

Focusing Range - Auto Focus: Normal - 1.15 ft (0.35m) to Infinity; Macro - 4.7 inches (0.12 m) to 1.64 ft (0.4m); Super Macro - 2.36 inches (0.06m) to 5.91 inches (0.15m) Manual Focus: 4.7 inches (0.12m) to Infinity at 6.2mm

Lens: Type - smc PENTAX power zoom
Focal Length - 7.9mm - 23.7mm 35mm Equivalent - 37.5mm -112.5mm
Aperture Range - F2.8 -F5.4
Construction - 7 elements in 5 groups (2 dual-sided aspherical elements)
Optical Zoom - 3X
Digital Zoom - 4X
Combined - Approx. 12X
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 (800 in Candle mode)

Exposure Control Method - Program AE

Exposure Modes - Auto Picture, Program, Night scene, Movie, Voice record, Landscape, Flower, Portrait, Surf & Snow, Candle Light, Text, Food, Sport, Frame composition, Pet

Exposure Compensation - +/-2 EV (1/3 steps)

Shutter - Type: Programmed AE electronic lens shutter with CCD electronic shutter; Shutter Speed: Approx. 1/2000 - 4 seconds

White Balance - White Balance Control: TTL Auto, Manual Available Settings - Auto, Daylight, Shade, Tungsten Light, Fluorescent Light

Flash - Operation Modes: Auto, Flash-off, Flash-on, Auto + Red-eye reduction, Flash-on + Red-eye reduction; Effective Range: Approx. 0.20 ft - 16 ft (0.06m - 5m) (7.9mm at Sensitivity Auto), Approx. 1.15 ft - 8.2 ft (0.35m - 2.5m) (23.7mm at Sensitivity Auto)

Shooting Specs: Still Capture; (CCD Shift) Shake Reduction; Movie Capture; Electronic Anti-shake

Digital Filter - Black & White, Sepia, 8 Color, Black & White + Red, Black & White + Green, Black & White+Blue, Soft, Illustration, Special Effect, Slim, Brightness

Drive Modes - Single-shot, Continuous (Standard & High-speed), Remote control (0 sec, 3 sec), Self-timer (2 sec, 10 sec)

Movie Mode - Shooting Time: from Approx. 1 sec. to memory card capacity

Time: Modes - dd/mm/yy, mm/dd/yy, yy/mm/dd World Time - Display of the time in 71 cities (28 time zones)
Image Storage: Storage Media - Approx 24MB built-in memory, SD memory card removable

File Formats - Still: JPEG (Exif 2.2), DCF (Design rule for Camera File system), DPOF (Digital Print Order Format), PRINT Image Matching III;

Movie: AVI (MPEG-4 DivX) approx. 30fps with sound and anti-shake

Sound: WAV (PCM), Monaural

Recordable time depends on the remaining capacity of the memory card

LCD Monitor: LCD Monitor - 2.5 inch, TFT color LCD - with Histogram Display
LCD Coverage - 100%
LCD Resolution - Approx. 232,000 pixels
Optical Viewfinder: None
Playback Specs: Playback Modes File - Single, Index- Nine image Magnification - 8X Mode Pallet - Slide show, Resize, Image Trimming (crop), Rotate, Color Filters, Digital Filters, Brightness Filter, Movie Edit, Red Eye Correction, Voice Memo, Protect, DPOF, Startup Screen, Frame Composition Movie Edit - Save a s still image, Divide, Extract Erase and Image Protect Modes - Single, All
Pictbridge: One image printing, All image printing, DPOF auto print
Language: English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Swedish, Dutch, Portuguese, Thai
Interfaces: Type - AV output terminal, USB terminal, DC input terminal Video Output - Compatible with NTSC and PAL formats (monaural sound)
Power Supply: Rechargeable Lithium-ion D-LI8 battery (allows approximately 150 shots*); AC adaptor kit (optional) * According to CIPA testing (with LCD monitor on and flash used for 50% of the shots)
Physical Specs: Operating Temperatures - 32 degrees to 104 degrees Fahrenheit (0 degrees to 40 degrees Celsius)

Camera Casing - Aluminum alloy

Dimensions (WHD) - 3.5 x 2.1 x 0.9 in. (88.5 x 54.5 x 23mm)

Weight - 4.4 oz. (125g) without battery and SD memory card
5.1 oz. (145g) loaded and ready

Computer System Reqs: Mac Requirements OS: Mac OS 9.2 or later, standard equipped USB port PC Requirements OS: Windows Me, 2000, XP Home edition / Professional, standard equipped USB port

(Specifications as represented by the manufacturer)

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