Pentax Optio S1 Review

Review posted 6/08/2011

Quick Take

  • Lightweight, and compact in size
  • Fashionable/pleasing to the eye
  • Smooth and won't snag on your pocket
  • Easy to understand button layout, and a lot of easy to understand cartoon menu icons for preprogrammed exposure settings
  • Short descriptions of each exposure setting
  • Button to quickly take you to video capture
    In camera photo editing
  • Different colored side panels on optical lens add to it's stylish nature
  • Captures very nice 14-megapixel photos outdoors, with a surprising amount of fine details
  • Weak Flash can cause some headaches indoors
  • Sometimes produced strong exposures with blown out highlights
  • Zoom has less steps, making precise framing difficult
  • Default setting of backlight time-out is too short
  • Poor battery life
  • Battery charges in-camera via USB; no external battery charger
  • No LCD protective cover; LCD is easily damaged
  • Below average shooting performance when compared to other Optio models in this price range
Bottom Line
The Optio S1 is a "cute" little camera, that offers some pretty standard features for a 14-megapixel camera; all of which are stuffed in a petite and stylish shell. However, we feel you'd be better off looking at other Optio models for the price; like the RS1500 which is about $50 less. Read more in our Full Conclusion.
The letter "S" stands for stylish, at least that's what we believe with the Optio S1. This is an ultra-compact digicam that has three major offerings: compact size, stylish looks, and ease of use.

Once you understand those, the S1 is a pretty standard 14-megapixel digicam in the sub $200 digital camera markets. Other important features include a 2.7-inch LCD screen, 720p HD video recording, intelligent "Auto Picture" mode, and in-camera HDR; to name a few.

Pentax Optio S1 Major Features:
  • 14-megapixel image sensor
  • 5x zoom lens with 28 - 140mm wide-angle coverage
  • Intelligent Auto Picture mode
  • Face and Smile detection
  • In-camera
  • 720p High-Definition Video recording with Movie Shake Reduction mode
  • 2.7-inch, 230K dot display
  • Auto-tracking AF mode
  • SD/SDHC/SDXC memory card slot (21.6MB of internal storage)
  • Li-ion battery pack (capture up to 210 photos per charge)

The Pentax Optio S1 is available now with a MSRP of $199.95 US. You can choose a Black, Green, and Chrome.

What's in the box?:
  • Pentax Optio S1 camera body
  • USB Cable I-USB116
  • AV Cable I-AVC116
  • Rechargeable Li-Ion Battery D-LI78
  • USB Power Adapter Kit D-PA116
  • Strap O-ST116
  • Software CD-ROM S-SW116

Additional Product Views


Visitors of Steves can visit the stores below for real-time pricing and availability. You can also find hot, soon to expire online offers on a variety of cameras and accessories at our very own Camera Deals page.