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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
I'm a serious photographer and I have all sorts of equipment from big, heavy DSLRs to medium-format film cameras. In the category of ultra-portable, fast and easy to use point and shoot cameras, I've always been a fan of the Pentax Optio line, and this one is no exception.

The oldest Pentax Optio I remember was the so-called "Altoids", since it was small enough to fit in an Altoids mint can. I've owned a few of the different models now, and this is one of my favorites so far. Yes, it's still remarkably small, so it's easy to always have it with you. Still, some sub-compacts feel a little awkward to use, but the Pentax somehow feels comfortable in my hands.

Frankly, I prefer the brushed aluminum look of previous models, but the chrome look is cool as well - and if you don't like it, there are other colors to choose from. Otherwise, construction quality seems reasonably good, with an ample LCD screen and a sensible control layout. Using the menu system is about average for this type of camera.

Startup time is a little slow, but once you have it turned on, it operates quickly. There's a bit of shutter lag when you push the button, but not objectionably so. The built in flash is adequate, although with any camera this small, you'll almost always get a degree of red-eye with it. The camera does 720p video (although I rarely use it that way - I have a video camera for that). Battery life is good, and I like that Pentax has gone to a "charge it in the camera" approach instead of the older outboard chargers.

In terms of picture quality, I'd say it's acceptable but not stellar. The lens has a few faults, especially obvious at the longer end of the range, but so long as you don't shoot directly into the sun or expect DSLR quality, it's more than adequate for most uses. If the choice is leaving the big, heavy DSLR home versus carrying the Optio, you at least come away with pictures in spots you otherwise wouldn't. It's also much, much better in bright light and low ISO...once you get the ISO over about 400, pictures start to look really grainy - this is true with any of the point-and-shoot cameras having small sensors and lots of pixels.

I also suspect many people will use the lens fully zoomed, and complain about blurry pictures. The zoom range is fairly large, and fully zoomed, you'll usually need some sort of support more stable than your hands...at least the Optio comes with a tripod socket.

In summary, if you're looking for a fun ultra-portable point and shoot to take along on sunny days, the Pentax Optio is hard to beat at this price point - definitely recommend you take a look at it.
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on August 26, 2013
Very small + lightweight. Battery drains between uses, so I leave it out now - this may be typical of these batteries
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on February 23, 2013
We have had this camera for almost a year now and are looking to replace it. The picture quality is OK for a compact point and shoot and I like the wide format picture this camera takes. However, it is very difficult to get the camera to focus on what you want which means I have missed many shots. Also, the flash almost always washes out the subject. I generally like the Pentax brand for cameras but would not recommend this one.
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on October 15, 2012
to the average every day whatnots, this camera isn't bad. however, don't move when your taking pictures-the shake reduction is terrible. also, i either haven't figured out how to work the night function, or it just sucks. one must spend a few minutes to learn the functions of the camera to get good up-close pictures, especially in a landscape setting. once learned, the camera can turn out some great distance shots. i love the zoom, and the focus that goes with it is alright.
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on October 6, 2012
This camera takes amazingly detailed photographs. The chrome body is nice to look at and feels nice in my hands. It has a surprising assortment of features for a camera that's smaller than a pack of cigarettes and nearly the same weight--with battery and SDHC card, it weighs less than 5 ounces. I purchased the optional remote control, which works perfectly. The remote operation even gives two modes: instant or three-second delay. Everything but an SD card and the optional remote control was included in the box. It is supposed to be able to shoot HD video, but I didn't buy it for that and haven't tried that feature. I consider this camera to be an incredibly good value.
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on August 29, 2012
Purchased this because my SO "burned" our canon of over 5 years old. Needed something quick for her to use at her work. found this at a decent price. We have taken several pic. with it since. Have not had any pics "developed" yet but that will be happening soon. So far good camera, great price.
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on August 8, 2012
There is a good camera for amateurs and for everyday use.
Good quality but has a problem, not a subtle colors, which I was very surprised to Pentax.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on August 26, 2011
Produces generally fine pix, but there are some annoying things about it:

1. Screen is virtually useless in bright sunlight. (Ironically, it's slightly better if you remove your sunglasses.)

2. Uses up the battery quickly. I think the time it takes to charge it is longer than the time it takes to exhaust the charge under normal use.

3. Viewfinder has terrible resolution. Often can't be sure if a shot is in focus (although it usually is) until you download it onto a computer.

4. Had an odd problem first few days I had it: could not access some of the settings menus, a fairly important issue if you're trying to change the exposure, resolution, etc. Seemed to "cure itself" overnight. (Crossing my fingers that problem won't return.)
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on November 22, 2014
very bad videos
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