Pentax Optio S6 Review

Click for main menu

Review posted 12/28/2005

Click on the Optio S6 to take a QuickTime VR tour

The PENTAX Optio S6 features 6.0 megapixels of resolution, a 3X optical zoom lens, a large 2.5-inch color LCD and is packaged in a durable aluminum body that's just 7/10 of an inch thick.

While the PENTAX Optio S6 dimensions have slimmed down, the camera's generous 2.5 inch LCD monitor offers low reflection with a built-in backlighting mechanism so images may be viewed clearly even outdoors in sunny weather. As a result, the Optio S6 makes it easy to compose shots, playback recorded images for confirmation and select functions with smooth menu navigation.

Featuring a 1/2.5 inch primary color CCD, the Optio S6 delivers outstanding 6.0 effective megapixel performance. It also boasts an smc PENTAX lens that makes use of PENTAX original coating to achieve minimized ghosting and flare, a high-performance ASIC* that delivers refined image processing, and new improved noise reduction with the power to deliver true-to-life color gradation and rich texture, even at high sensitivities.

An innovative, translucent Mode palette displays multiple mode icons for shooting and playback on the LCD monitor to allow users to select from the diverse range of 15 shooting mode icons and 14 playback icons while viewing the image on the screen.

Offering movie shooting with 640x480 recording pixels at a swift rate of 30fps (frames per second), the Optio S6 delivers smooth movies with camcorder quality. The Optio S6 also offers the advantage of DivX MPEG-4 image compression that makes it possible to shoot movies of a longer duration, while a useful movie Anti-shake function makes results noticeably more stable.

For subjects on the go, the Optio S6 features Tracking AF to follow subjects that move around the frame and still maintain precise focusing for pin-sharp results. This mode is automatically activated upon selection of Sport and Pet modes.

The Optio S6 also features built-in movie editing features, a voice recording mode that also allows for attaching 30-second memos to selected images, selectable metering modes, white balance settings, exposure compensation, approximately 23MB of built-in memory expandable with any size SD card, audio-video output for display on TV sets and USB connectivity with your computer and direct printing with any PictBridge compatible printer.

Optio S6 Features:

  • Ultra compact 3.4 x 2.1 x 0.7 inches, weighs just 3.5 ounces
  • Stylish and durable aluminum alloy body
  • 3x Pentax zoom lens (38-114mm in 35mm equivalent)
  • 6.0-megapixel CCD imager for images up to 2816 x 2112
  • 2.5" color TFT LCD monitor with 100% coverage
  • Records 640x480 MPEG-4 video & audio at 30fps with Anti-Shake
  • 30 second voice memos can be attached to images
  • Shooting modes selected from a virtual mode dial
  • Three metering choices: multi-segment, center weighted and spot
  • 28-zone, 62-city, world time with alarm clock.
  • Time-lapse movie mode
  • Audio-Video output for TV display
  • Rechargeable lithium-ion battery included
  • ~23 MB of internal memory plus SD card slot
  • PictBridge, Epson PRINT Image Matching II and Exif Print compatible
  • USB Mass Storage compliant

PENTAX will ship the Optio S6 in October 2005 for under $350 US.

Physical Views

Pentax Optio S6

Pentax Optio S6

Pentax Optio S6Pentax Optio S6

Pentax Optio S6

Pentax Optio S6

Optio S6

The Optio S6 compared in size to a standard CD.

Optio S6

Optio S6

The Optio S6 and the Sanyo Xacti E6.

Continue on to
Features & Controls

Optio S6 Specifications

Image Capture Device: Type - 1/2.5 inch interline transfer CCD with a primary color filter
Total Pixels - 6.36 megapixels
Color Depth - 12 bit x 3 colors

Recorded Pixels - Still: 2816x2112 pixels, 2560x1920 pixels, 2304x1728 pixels, 2048x1536 pixels, 1600x1200 pixels, 1024x768 pixels, 640x480 pixels; Movie: 640x480 pixels, 320x240 pixels

Focus System: TTL contrast detection autofocus system
Autofocus - 5 point AF, Spot AF, Tracking AF

Focusing Range - Auto Focus: Normal - 1.31 ft (0.4m) to Infinity, Macro - 5.9 inches (0.15 m) to 1.64 ft (0.5m); Manual Focus: 5.9 inches (0.15m) to Infinity at 6.2mm

Lens: smc PENTAX power zoom
Focal Length - 6.2mm - 18.6mm
35mm Equivalent - 38mm -114mm
Aperture Range - F2.7 - F5.2
Construction - 6 elements in 5 groups (2 dual-sided aspherical elements)
Optical Zoom - 3X
Digital Zoom - 4X
Combined - 12X
Exposure Control: Light Metering Method - TTL metering with choice of: Multi-segment, Center-weighted & Spot meter

Sensitivity - Auto, or User select ISO 80, 100, 200, 400

Exposure Control Method - Program AE

Exposure Modes - Program, Night scene, Movie, Voice record, Panorama assist, Landscape, Flower, Portrait, Surf & Snow, Sunset, Text, Food, Sport, Frame composition, Digital filter

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

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

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

Flash - Operation Modes: Auto, Flash-off, Flash-on, Auto + Red-eye reduction, Flash-on + Red-eye reduction, Auto backlight compensation; Effective Range: Approx. 0.49 ft - 17 ft (0.15m - 5.1m) (Wide at Sensitivity Auto), Approx. 1.31 ft - 8.9 ft (0.4m - 2.7m) (Tele at Sensitivity Auto)

Shooting Specs: 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, Self-timer (2 sec, 10 sec), Auto-bracketing (Exposure, White balance, Saturation, Sharpness, Contrast)

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 70 cities (28 time zones)
Image Storage: Storage Media - Approx. 23MB built-in memory

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

Movie: MPEG-4 approx. 30fps/15fps with sound

Sound: WAV (ADPCM), Monaural, Recordable time depends on the remaining capacity of the memory card

Quality Levels - Best, Better, Good

LCD Monitor: 2.5 inch, TFT color LCD with Histogram Display
Coverage - 100%
Resolution - Approx. 232,000 pixels
LCD Viewfinder: Optical Viewfinder - None
Playback Specs: Playback Modes File - Single, Index- Nine image Magnification - 8X LCD Function - Slide show, Image rotation, Voice memo available in playback mode Size Change - Trimming, Resize Erase and Image Protect Modes - Single, All
Pictbridge: One image printing, All image printing, DPOF auto print, Paper size select
Language: English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Swedish, Dutch, Portuguese
Interfaces: 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 130 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 (W x H x D) - 3.4 x 2.1 x 0.7 inches (86 x 54 x 19mm)

Weight - 3.5 oz. (100g) without battery and SD memory card, 4.2 oz. (120g) loaded and ready

Specifications as represented by the manufacturer

Return To Our
Reviews Menu

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.