Pentax Optio S Review

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Features & Controls

Pentax Optio S

The Optio S 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 completely protect the lens.

It has a 7-point AF system with Spot AF and infinity landscape modes. Focusing range is 1.3 feet to infinity in normal mode and macro coverage is 7.1 inches to 1.64 feet, super macro coverage is 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 S

The built in flash offers Auto, On, Off, Auto + Red-Eye Reduction, On + Red-Eye Reduction. Flash range is not specified.

Pentax Optio S

On the top you'll find the On/Off power button and the shutter release. In my opinion this was a really -bad- place to put the power button and I imagine more than a few users will find themselves turning their camera off instead of taking a picture.

Pentax Optio S

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 S

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 connection for download and the audio-video output for TV display.

Pentax Optio S

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

Approx. capacity of a 16 MB SD Card
Best *** Better ** Good *
2048 x 1536 7 frames 13 frames 19 frames
1600 x 1200 11 frames 20 frames 28 frames
1024 x 768 26 frames 47 frames 62 frames
640 x 480 67 frames 89 frames 119 frames
Movie 320 x 240: 3 x 30 second clips

Pentax Optio S

The Optio S is powered by a proprietary D-LI8 3.7V 710mAh rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack. Pentax claims the battery life is good for approx. 160 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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