Pentax Optio W80 Review

July 7th, 2009 39 Comments   Posted in Digital Compact Cameras

Rugged and fully equipped
The W80 has all the makings of a rugged camera ready for some rough conditions, but its 12.1 megapixel sensor and 5x optical zoom (28-140mm equivalent) are right in line with high-end point-and-shoots, rugged or otherwise.

It will also record HD 720p video at 30fps with sound, a feature that much of the competition doesn’t offer. However, it should also be noted that with a 1GB SD card, the W80 will only record around five minutes of video at its highest resolution and frame rate.

That industrial look
The Optio W80 certainly looks tough with a rectangular, industrial design. Where Canon’s waterproof D10 is all curves, the Optio W80 is styled with clean lines and metallic accents. It looks more like the rugged cameras we’ve seen from Olympus. The control layout on the back panel is familiar with a four-way controller and a few other buttons. You’ll also find a 2.5 inch LCD with anti-glare coating.

Rounding up the spec list are a few more tech features, including Pixel Track Shake Reduction. The W80 is equipped with Fast Face Detection, a system that Pentax boasts will detect up to 32 faces in less than a second. The Optio W80 will also offer a close focusing Super Macro Mode for objects as close as 1 cm.

Other important features in the Optio W80 include a:

Coldproof design that allows the camera to be used in sub-freezing temperatures of 14 degrees Fahrenheit (-10 degrees Celsius), ideal for cold weather activities such as skiing and snowmobiling.

2.5 inch LCD monitor that features anti-reflective coating, making it easy to view, even in bright sunlight.

Widescreen, HD movie capture that records resolutions up to 1280×720 pixels at full-speed 30 frames per second.

Fast Face Detection technology that sees up to 32 faces in 0.03 seconds, with Smile Capture and Blink Detection, for perfect portrait shots.

Pixel Track Shake Reduction (SR) that ensures sharp images in any lighting condition, without adding high ISO noise. Digital SR and Movie SR are also available.

Close focusing, Super Macro mode that brings out the details in even the smallest subjects as close as 1 cm (less than one inch).

Buy the Pentax Optio W80 Online

Pentax A40 Review

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


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