Pentax Optio SV Review

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Pentax Optio SV
Review posted 11/29/04

Click to take a QuickTime tour of the Optio SV

The Optio SV is a compact point-n-shoot that captures high-quality images with 5.0 effective megapixels. It also employs a high-contrast smc PENTAX 5x optical zoom lens that boast a high-level of clarity for sharp detailed images. Made of 10 elements in 8 groups, it includes two aspherical lenses. The lens is highly effective in compensating for spherical and other forms of aberration, while the unique coating reduces ghost and flare to a bare minimum. Furthermore, the newly developed ASIC (Application Specific Integrated Circuit) reinforces image processing performance to deliver more natural gradations and vivid color compensation.

The unique PENTAX Sliding Lens system in the Optio SV allows the powerful 5X zoom lens to fully retract into the camera housing. As result, the Optio SV boasts the ultra-compact body dimensions of 3.0 x 1.8 x 0.9 inches. The novel lens system significantly reduces both the depth and length of the entire camera while it delivers a powerfully high zoom ratio for outstanding image quality. First incorporated in the Optio S digital camera launched last year, this innovative system is featured on select PENTAX digital cameras.

Pentax Optio SV

Shown above seated nicely in its charging base. This base allows users to charge the battery in-camera by placing it in the cradle, or they can take the battery out and let it charge while using an optional second battery pack.

A handy short cut function allows users to gain fast access to settings for recording image size, white balance, sensitivity and other frequently used functions. The M (Manual) position on the mode dial can also be altered to function as Tv (Shutter-priority AE) or Av (Aperture-priority AE). All settings may be accessed through use of the Fn (Function) button and Mode dial.

Despite its highly portable and compact dimensions, the Optio SV features a large, 1.8-inch TFT LCD monitor with approximately 118,000 pixels. The monitor easily confirms composition, focusing and viewing of recorded shots anywhere.

Additional features include a newly developed ASIC (Application Specific Integrated Circuit), which helps ensure quality images. A special Mode dial allows mode selection with a simple turn. The Optio SV features a Picture mode that allows users to select an icon on the LCD monitor that matches the scene at hand. Finally, the sleek design of the Optio SV is housed in a tough aluminum alloy case.

Optio SV Features:

  • Compact aluminum alloy body, weighs only 5.3 oz.
  • 5-megapixel CCD that captures still images up to 2560 x 1920 pixels
  • 5x optical zoom (36 - 180mm equivalent) with 4x digital zoom
  • Super Macro mode focuses as close as 1.2 in.
  • 1.8-inch color LCD monitor (118,000 pixel) with 100% coverage
  • Shooting modes: Program AE, Picture, Night-Scene, Movie, Voice recording, User, and Manual
  • Picture modes: Landscape, Flower, Portrait, Self-Portrait, Sports, Surf & Snow, Autumn color, Sunset, Museum, Food, 3D, and Panoramic Assist
  • Movie mode: 320x240 @ 30fps w/audio, limited only by memory capacity
  • Time-lapse Movie mode with frame rates of x2, x5, x10, or x20
  • Interval shoot function
  • Multi-segment, Center-weighted or Spot-metering
  • Exposure, White Balance, Saturation, Sharpness and Contrast Bracketing
  • Variable Sharpness, Saturation and Contrast in three different levels
  • Up to 30 sec audio memos can be attached to still images
  • Functions as a voice recorder, length limited to available memory
  • Built-in flash with Auto, Fill and Red-eye Reduction modes
  • White Balance: Auto, Daylight, Shade, Tungsten, Fluorescent and Manual
  • Accepts SD (Secure Digital) type memory cards, 32MB included
  • World Time function displays the time in 62 countries
  • USB 2.0 Mass Storage compatible for PC and Mac OS
  • PictBridge compatible

The Optio SV package includes the following: 32MB SD card, USB cable, audio-video cable, ACDSee™ software, hand strap, rechargeable lithium battery, battery charging stand, and AC plug cord.

Physical Views

Pentax Optio SV

Pentax Optio SV

Pentax Optio SVPentax Optio SV

Pentax Optio SV

Pentax Optio SV

Pentax Optio SV

Pentax Optio SV and the super-compact Optio S5i

Pentax Optio SV

Pentax Optio SV

Pentax Optio SV and a standard CD for size comparison

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Features & Controls

Pentax Optio SV Specifications

Type: Fully automatic compact digital still camera with built-in zoom lens
Effective Pixels: 5.0 megapixels
Sensor: 1/2.5 inch interline transfer CCD with a primary color filter
5.36 megapixels (total pixels).
Color Depth: 12 bit x 3 colors.
Recorded Pixels: Still:
2560 x 1920 pixels
2048 x 1536 pixels
1600 x 1200 pixels
1024 x 768 pixels
640 x 480 pixels

320 x 240 pixels

Sensitivity: Auto, fixed (equivalent to ISO 50, 100, 200, 400)
File Formats: Still - JPEG (Exif 2.2), DCF, DPOF, PRINT Image Matching III.

Movie - AVI (Open DML Motion JPEG) streaming recording approx. 30fps with audio

Quality Levels: "Best", "Better" or "Good" JPEG.
Storage Media: SD (Secure Digital) memory card, 32MB included
Lens: 5X Pentax power zoom 5.8mm-29mm. (Equivalent to 36mm-180mm in 35mm format) f/2.8-f/4.7, 10 elements in 8 groups (2 single faced aspherical elements.)
Digital Zoom: 4X (20x total zoom when combined with 5x optical)
Focusing System: TTL contrast detection autofocus system (Multi/Spot autofocus possible)
Focusing Range: Autofocus: Normal - 1.97 ft. (0.6m) to infinity.
Macro - 4.7 in. (0.12m) to 2.3 ft. (0.7m).
Super Macro: 1.2 in. (0.03m) to 5.5 in. (0.14m) Wide angle only
Manual focus: 1.2 in. (0.03m) to infinity.
Metering System: TTL metering: Choice of Multi-segment metering, Center-weighted metering, Spot metering.
Exposure Control: Manual, Shutter priority, Aperture priority, Program, and Picture modes

Picture mode (Landscape, Flower, Portrait, Self-Portrait, Sports, Surf & Snow, Autumn color, Sunset, Museum, Food, 3D, and Panoramic Assist)

Exposure Compensation: ± 2EV (in 1/3EV steps).
Movie: 320 x 240 resolution with sound. Recording time depends on available memory capacity
Shutter: Programmed AE electronic lens shutter with CCD electronic shutter. Shutter speed: approx. 1/1000 sec. to 4 sec. (1/1000 a second or longer in Manual mode)
Drive Modes: Single shot, Continuous, 3 second or Instant Remote Control, Self-Timer (10 or 2 sec.), Auto Bracket, Interval
Flash: Auto Flash with Red-eye reduction function.

Flash modes: Auto, Flash Off, Flash On, Auto + Red-eye reduction, Flash On + Red-eye reduction

Effective Range: Wide angle approx. 4.7 in. - 13.8 ft. (0.12m - 4.2m) (5.8mm at ISO 200)
Telephoto approx. 2.0 ft. - 8.2 ft. (0.6m - 2.5m) (29mm at ISO 200).

White Balance: Auto, Daylight, Shade, Tungsten, Fluorescent (W,N,D), Manual setting.
Digital Filter: Black & White, Sepia, Red, Pink, Yellow, Green, Blue, Purple, Soft focus, Slim, Illustration
Optical Viewfinder: Real image zoomed
LCD Monitor: 1.8 inch TFT color LCD with approx. 118,000 pixels monitor (with backlight)

Frame coverage: Approx. 100%

Playback Functions: Single-frame, Nine-frame index, 4x magnification, Scroll, Rotate, Sound, Slideshow, Movie playback, Histogram, Trimming, and resizing
Interfaces: Audio/Video output terminal, USB 2.0 High-Speed terminal, External power supply terminal.
Video Output: Compatible with NTSC and PAL formats.
PictBidge PictBridge supported

Printing modes: All image, Single image, DPOF, paper size setting

Power Sources: Rechargeable Pentax D-LI8 battery pack allows approximately 100 shots to be taken*

Optional AC adapter also available.

(* Based on CIPA standards.)

Dimensions: 3.6 (W) x 2.2 (H) x 1.1 (D) inches
(91.5mm x 56mm x 28mm)
(Excluding protrusions.)
Weight: 5.8 oz. (165g) loaded and ready. 5.3 oz. (150g) without battery and SD card.
OS Compatibility: Mac Requirements - OS: Mac OS 9.2 or later, standard equipped USB port PC Requirements

PC Requirements - OS: Windows 98SE, Me, 2000, XP Home edition / Professional, standard equipped USB port (USB Driver install required for Win 98/98 SE, Me, 200, XP, Mac OS 9.2)

Specifications as represented by the manufacturer

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Features & Controls

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