Pentax Optio S7 Review

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Review posted 1/8/2007

Click on the Optio S7 to take a QuickTime VR tour

The Pentax Optio S7 is the latest model in the Optio S series, which is known for slim, stylish, full- featured digital camera bodies. It features 7.0 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 8/10 of an inch thick.

Other features include a MPEG-4 DivX® Movie Mode, and 23MB of internal memory. In addition, the Optio S7 is the first compact PENTAX digital camera to accept the new SDHC (Secure Digital High Capacity) memory cards in addition to SD memory cards. SDHC (also know as SD 2.0) is a FAT32-compliant format designed for capacities up to 4GB or more.

Also featured in this newest Optio digital is Face Recognition AF & AE, a function that simplifies portrait-taking by automatically detecting the position of the subject's face and adjusting the focus and exposure based on the detected position.

The Optio S7 is equipped with a Blur Reduction mode, a new feature that allows photography at faster shutter speeds for sharper images even in dim lighting conditions such as night scenes and indoor sporting events. In this mode, the camera automatically adjusts the sensitivity to as high as ISO 1600 to match the brightness of the subject. The higher sensitivities permit faster shutter speeds that effectively reduce not just camera shake but also blurring caused by moving subjects.

The Optio S7 auto-tracking AF feature continuously focuses on subjects such as kids and pets that move around unpredictably. Since the focus frame automatically follows the movement of the subject inside the photo frame, you can be sure to capture those instantaneous photo opportunities.

The Optio S7 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 compliant) movie format,* the Optio S7 can record longer, high-quality movies. Camera shake while filming can also be corrected automatically by switching on the movie anti-shake feature.

Optio S7 Features:

  • Ultra compact 3.4 x 2.1 x 0.8 inches, weighs just 3.5 ounces
  • Stylish and durable aluminum alloy body
  • 3x Pentax zoom lens (37.5-112.5mm in 35mm equivalent)
  • 7.0-megapixel CCD imager for images up to 3072 x 2304
  • 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/SDHC card slot
  • PictBridge, Epson PRINT Image Matching III and Exif Print compatible
  • USB Mass Storage compliant

The Optio S7 is available now with an MSRP of US$300.00.

Physical Views

Pentax Optio S7

Pentax Optio S7

Pentax Optio S7Pentax Optio S7

Pentax Optio S7

Pentax Optio S7

Optio S7

The Optio S7 compared in size to a standard CD.

Optio S7

The Optio S7 and the Kodak EasyShare V705.

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Features & Controls

Optio S7 Specifications

Image Capture Device: Type - 1/2.5 inch interline transfer CCD with a primary color filter
Total Pixels - 7.38 megapixels
Recorded Pixels - Still: 3072x2304 pixels, 2592x1944 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 - 37.5-112.5mm
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 metering, Center-weighted metering, Spot

Exposure Control Method - Program AE

Exposure Modes - Program, Night scene, Movie, Voice record, Landscape, Flower, Portrait, Kids, Sport, Surf & Snow, Blur reduction, Text, Food, Pet, Frame Composite

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

Shutter - Type: Electronic/Mechanical 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, Soft Flash; 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 , Remote control, Self-timer (2 sec, 10 sec), Instant Remote Control

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. 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: AVI (DivX MPEG-4 DivX) approx. 30fps with sound

Sound: WAV (PC), 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, approx. 232,000 pixels, field of view: approx. 100%, low reflection type
LCD Viewfinder: Optical Viewfinder - None
Playback: One Shot, Index (9 thumb nails), Enlargement (up to 8X, scroll available), Movie Playback, Sound Playback, Histogram, Select & Delete; Mode Pallete - Slideshow, Resize, Trimming, Image & Sound Copy, Image Rotation, Color Filter, Digital Filter, Brightness Filter, Movie Edit, Red-eye Compensation, Voice Memo, Protect, DPOF, Start-up Screen, Frame Composite; Color Filter - B&W, Sepia, Color Filter (8 colors), Color extract (B&W with Red, B&W with Green, B&W with Blue); Digital Filter - Soft, Illustration, Special Effect1, Special Effect2, Slim; Brightness Filter - Brightness
Pictbridge: Printer - "PictBridge" supported; Modes - Single image, All images, DPOF, Paper Size, Paper Type, Paper Quality, Border; Paper Size - Card, L, 2L, Post Card, 100x150, 4"x6", 8"x10", Letter, 11"x17", A4, A3, Printer Setting; Paper Type - ***, **, *, printer setting; Paper Quality - ***, **, *, printer setting; Border - With, without, printer setting
Language: Japanese, English, French, Germany, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Swedish, Dutch, Russian, Thai, Korean, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese
Interfaces: USB 2.0 (HI-SPEED), AV output terminal, DC input terminal
Power Supply: Rechargeable Lithium-ion D-LI8 battery (allows approximately 180 shots*) AC adaptor kit (optional) * According to CIPA testing (with LCD monitor on and flash used for 50% of the shots)
Physical Specs: Camera Casing - Aluminum alloy

Dimensions (W x H x D) - 3.4 x 2.1 x 0.8 inches (85.5 x 53.5 x 19.5mm)

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

Specifications as represented by the manufacturer

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Features & Controls

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