Pentax Optio M50 Review

Pentax Optio M50

Review posted 6/27/2008

Click on the Optio M50 to take a 360° QuickTime VR tour

The PENTAX Optio M50 is equipped with an 8-megapixel image sensor and 5x optical zoom lens housed in an ultra compact body with fun color options. is the ideal combination of style, function and price for both customers looking to update their camera and new digital users. The camera features a unique Smile Capture function, which distinguishes smiles on a subject and automatically releases the shutter. It is available in three color choices including silver, light blue and pink.

The Optio M50 features a large, 2.5 inch IPS LCD monitor with approximately 230,000 dots resolution for easy viewing of the screen during photography, playback and for easier camera operating and setting. With a wide viewing angle of approximately 170 degrees from all directions, the monitor also makes it easy to confirm images even from the side or when viewing images in a group.

Featuring Face Recognition AF/AE (AutoFocus/Auto Exposure), the M50 can automatically detect and focus on up to 15 faces and set the optimum exposure. There's also the Digital Shake Reduction mode, which reduces camera shake and blur by adjusting sensitivity automatically to as high as ISO 6400 to match the brightness of the subjects. This feature allows photography at faster shutter speeds with less blur.

The Optio M50 captures smooth, high-quality movies at 30 fps (frames per second) at a resolution of 640 x 480 pixels. This model is also equipped with a Movie Shake Reduction function, which automatically corrects camera shake, allowing for steady handheld movies to be taken more easily. Using the "Movie SR" function results in a narrower field of view than that during normal recording.

Optio M50 Features:

  • Ultra compact all-metal body 3.7 x 2.2 x 0.9 in., weighs just 4.6 ounces (with battery and card)
  • Available in three stylish colors
  • 8.0 megapixel CCD imager and 5x optical zoom lens
  • Large 2.5" Wide view color LCD with 230,000 pixels and 100% frame coverage
  • 9-point AF system with Tracking and Face Recognition AF & AE technologies
  • Macro focus coverage down to 3.9 inches
  • Digital SR (Shake Reduction) mode for blur-free stills and movies
  • Movie mode captures QuickTime video (640 x 480) at 30fps, length limited to media capacity (max clip size of 2GB)
  • Can be used as a voice recorder
  • Voice memos can be attached to still images
  • Multi-segment metering
  • ISO sensitivity: Auto, 64, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400 (3200/6400 at 5M only)
  • Digital Filter - B&W, Sepia, Red, Pink, Purple, Blue, Green, Yellow, B&W + (Red, Green or Blue), Soft, Brightness
  • Audio-Video output for TV display
  • Powered by Litium-Ion battery pack
  • Approx. 51MB of internal memory plus SD/SDHC card slot
  • PictBridge, Epson PRINT Image Matching III and Exif Print compatible
  • USB Mass Storage compliant
The Optio M50 is available in silver, light blue and pink with an MSRP of US$229.95. The camera kit ships with: rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack, battery charger, AC cord, AV cable, USB cable, wrist strap, manual and software CD-ROM.

Physical Views

Pentax Optio M50

Pentax Optio M50

Pentax Optio M50Pentax Optio M50

Pentax Optio M50

Pentax Optio M50

Optio M50

The Optio M50 compared in size to a standard CD.

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Features & Controls

Optio M50 Specifications

Type: Ultra-compact digital camera
Sensor: Type - 1/2.35" interline transfer CCD w/primary color filter; Effective pixels - 8.0 MP; Total pixels - 8.50 MP; Recorded resolutions - Still: 3264x2448 (8M), 2592x1944 (5M), 2304x1728 (4M), 2048x1536 (3M), 1600x1200 (2M), 1024x768 (1024), 640x480 (VGA); Movie: 640x480 (VGA), 320x240 (QVGA); Quality levels - *** Best, ** Better, * Good
Lens: Type/construction - PENTAX zoom lens, 8 elements, 6 groups (4 aspherical elements); Optical zoom - 5X; Focal length (equiv.) - 6.3-31.5mm (36-180mm); Digital zoom - 5.1X; Combined zoom - 25.5X; Intelligent zoom - Approx 6.3X at 5M to 25.5X at VGA; Aperture - f/3.5-5.6
LCD/Viewfinder: LCD screen - 2.5" TFT color LCD; LCD coverage - TBA; LCD resolution - 230,000 dots; Wide angle viewable - YES; Optical viewfinder - n/a
Focus System: Type - TTL contrast detection autofocus; Autofocus - 9 point autofocus, multi/spot/auto-tracking autofocus available; Manual focus - YES; Macro focus - YES; Focus lock - YES, by pressing the shutter release button half way; Focus range - Normal: 1.31' to infinity (wide), 2.95' to infinity (tele); Macro: 0.33-1.64' (wide), 1.97-3.3' (tele); Manual - TBA
Flash: Type - Built-in series-control auto flash; Flash modes - Auto, flash on, flash off, redeye; Effective range - 14' (wide, auto ISO), 9.2' (tele, auto ISO)
Storage Media: Internal memory - 51.1 MB; Removable memory - SD, SDHC
Interfaces: Ports - USB 2.0 hi-speed, AV out; Video out - NTSC, PAL; Printer interfaces - PictBridge
Power Supply: Power source - Rechargeable Li-Ion battery D-LI78; Recordable images - Approx 210; Playback time - Approx 240 min; Movie recording time - Approx 70 min; Audio recording time - Approx 300 min; AC adapter available - YES (optional)
Physical Specifications: Dimensions (W x H x D) - 3.7 x 2.2 x 0.9"; Weight (without battery or removable memory) - 4.1 oz; Loaded and ready - 4.6 oz; Construction material(s) - TBA; Operating temperature - 32-104 degrees F
Timing: Startup - Approx 2.0 sec; Release lag - Approx 0.003 sec
Language Support: English, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Dutch, Danish, Swedish, Finnish, Polish, Czech, Hungarian, Turkish, Russian, Thai, Korean, Traditional/Simplified Chinese, Japanese
Image Stabilization: Still - Digital SR Mode (auto up to 6400 ISO); Movie - Movie SR Mode
Metering System: Type - TTL; Multi-segment - YES; Center weighted - YES; Spot - YES; Exposure compensation - +/- 2 EV (1/3 steps)
ISO Sensitivity: Auto - 64-6400 (ISO 6400 only available in Digital SR mode); Manual - 64-6400 (ISO 6400 only available in Digital SR mode)
White Balance: Auto preset modes - Auto, Daylight, Shade, Tungsten, Fluorescent; Manual mode(s) - YES
Shutter: Type - TBA; Shutter speed - 1/2000 to 4 sec (4 sec available in Night Scene mode)
Capture Modes: Mode selection - Auto Picture, Program, Night Scene, Movie, Voice Recording, Landscape, Flower, Natural Skin Tone, Portrait, Surf & Snow, Sport, Digital SR (5M), Kids, Pet, Food, Panorama, Digital Wide Angle (5M), Green; Green simplified mode available - YES; Face recognition available - YES, up to 15 faces in all modes, smile capture available; P/A/S/M/B - P; Date stamp - YES (not available in Green Mode); Digital filters (capture) - n/a
Drive Modes: Mode selection - One shot, self timer, continuous, Frame Composite (3M); Continuous FPS - Approx 1.45 FPS; Self-timer - YES; Remote control - n/a
Playback Modes: Mode selection - One shot, index (9 thumbnails), magnification, movie playback, sound playback, histogram, bright/dark indication, folder display, select & delete, calendar; Mode pallet - Digital SR, slideshow, resize, trimming, image & sound copy, image rotation, digital filter, movie edit, frame composite, redeye edit, voice memo, protect, DPOF, image recovery, startup image, face zooming; Magnification - Up to 8x, scrollable; Digital filters (playback) - B&W, sepia, color filters (6), color extract (3), soft, brightness; Movie edit - Save as still image, movie divide
File Formats: Still - JPG (EXIF 2.2), DCF 2.0 (design rule for camera file system), DPOF, Print Image Matching III; Movie - AVI (Motion JPG), 30/15 FPS w/sound, color/sepia/B&W, Movie SR; Sound: WAV (PCM), monaural
Computer System Requirements: For device connectivity. Bundled software requirements may vary. Windows - TBA; Mac - TBA
Colors: Available in Silver, Light Blue or Pink

(Specifications as represented by the manufacturer)

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Features & Controls

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