Pentax Optio Z10 Review

July 4th, 2009 85 Comments   Posted in Digital Compact Cameras

Image Sensor

The Z10 is equipped with a 1/2.5″ CCD that captures an effective 8.0 megapixels. The images have a maximum size of 3264×2448 with three quality levels. At full resolution and highest quality you can get about 247 images on a 1 GB memory card.

Viewfinder/LCD

The 2.5″ LCD sports a 230K image resolution, which works well with image review but is lighter in image capture making it difficult to capture fast-moving subjects outdoors. This proved particularly taxing trying to get a shot of two dogs playing in the park, using the pet setting (more on that later).

The camera also has a “digital wide” function that allows users to combine two images and create one wider angle equivalent to 28mm in 35mm format.

Focus Modes and Focus Ranges

In normal focus mode, the camera can focus from 1.31 feet to infinity. Macro mode can focus 0.26-1.64 feet.

The Pentax Z10 has 9-point auto focus, spot auto focus and auto tracking auto focus for action photography. It also includes a facial recognition feature (when the picture mode is in Natural Skin Tone, Portrait, or Kid) that adjusts the focus and exposure for up to 15 faces in the frame. Pentax claims a minimum of 0.03 second face recognition time and while it’s hard to verify it was certainly fast enough.

The camera also comes with a digital shake reduction feature to prevent blurring of fast-moving subjects or low light images. However, this comes at the expense of quality. To do so it increases the ISO to as high as 3200 and leaves the camera prone to noise.

Flash

Another nice feature of the Pentax Z10 is, similar to the internal zoom lens, it does not have a pop-up flash. The flash sits above the lens but below the top line of the camera and is quite powerful for a camera this size. The built-in flash has auto, on, off and redeye reduction modes. It has an effective range of 17.7 feet at wide angle and 13.1 feet at telephoto with auto ISO.

Memory media

The Z10 accepts SD and SDHC media cards with approximately 52.1MB of internal memory.

Image/Movie File Format(s)

The camera supports JPEG, DCF, DPOF and Print Image Matching III. The movie mode records in AVI. The Pentax Z10 also includes a digital sound recorder which captures audio in the WAV format.

Included

Included with the camera is the battery, battery charger, wrist strap, USB cable, AV cable, CD-Rom of software and instruction manual.

PERFORMANCE

The images were generally pretty strong with this camera with good color saturation; however some were prone to noise/graininess as it switched to higher ISO settings.

The auto focus performed well with portraits but quick action shooting was difficult and focus was spotty.

The shutter lag was a bit slow as well and, combined with difficulty framing subjects through the viewfinder in bright conditions, it made any action photography a challenge.

Start up time was quick, and the cycle time between shots was average at about 3-5 seconds and the flash recharges in 4-5 seconds.

Buy the Pentax Optio Z10 Online

Pentax A40 Review

June 20th, 2009 29 Comments   Posted in Digital Compact Cameras

FEATURES OVERVIEW

The Pentax Optio A40 is a 12 megapixel compact camera that packs a lot of features. Sporting a 3x zoom (37-111mm equivalent) lens, enhanced Shake Reduction image stabilization technology, a 2.5-inch high-res screen, and a plethora of in-camera modes and options, the A40 sounds like a capable camera. Included with the camera are a USB cable, audio/video cable, hand strap, rechargeable li-ion battery, charger, and CD-ROM with software.

The A40 features the following primary shooting modes:

  • Auto: Complete automatic mode, which allows basic settings like flash mode, macro focus mode, drive mode (continuous, single, timer, etc.)
  • Program: Allows the choice of auto-exposure program, shutter priority, or manual exposure mode, giving more options to more advanced users
  • Night Scene: Optimizes the camera for shots of scenes or people at night; the camera suggest the use of a tripod or similar to help stabilize the camera, and the use of flash for portraits
  • Landscape/Flower: These two modes are optimized for their respective targets, with the camera adjusting the focus style as well as some color options to help make the pictures appealing
  • Natural Skin Tone/Food: These modes also adjust color tones to help get the best pictures – natural skin tone is clearly aimed at making photos of people look better, while food mode gives more saturation to make food items look more appetizing
  • Kids/Pets/Sport: These modes are all specialized for quick moving subjects, changing the focus mode to help track and allow quick shots of your target
  • Text: Designed to help get sharp, clear photos of text – this mode allows for choice of black and white photos and can be further optimized by adjusting the contrast value

Buy Online Pentax Optio A40