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on August 14, 2005
I bought the Pentax S55 after my previous digital camera (a 4mp Sony Cybershot) was stolen. It took me several months to find what I wanted. I had never owned Pentax, so needless to say, I put in my research. While it was slightly more than I wanted to spend, it was what I wanted and I purchased it.

The camera, at first, was not liked. I didn't like the picture quality, flash, or shutter speed. After reading the booklet, I discovered how to change these and now love my camera more than my previous Sony. It was definately worth the money.

A note of caution - the 2.5 LCD is WONDERFUL. However, rechargable batteries are a must. THERE IS NO OPTICAL VIEWFINDER (which some people, myself included, do not need). The battery life is decent, but I feel there is not enough warning before the capacity has reached 'low'.

Also- a memory card of 156 or above is necessary for this camera. The bigger, the better - at least in my mind.

Overall- I was extremely happy with this camera, it is compact, has an excellent zoom, an incredible flash (I took a picture during a blackout and it was not apparent that there was a blackout), a large screen and marvelous picture quality. The only reason this camera did not recieve 5 stars was due to a shutter speed slightly slower than I wanted, but still is very workable.
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on June 30, 2006
This was my first digital camera. I chose the Pentax S55 for the following reasons:

The GOOD:

+Price

+Standard SD memory

+Standard batteries (no charger included)

+ under ideal conditions, the camera seems to take very nice pictures

+Camera's LCD is much larger than many of the others.

+Quick recharge response time for the flash.

+ Camera survived a fall from a bedside table to the floor (2ft) and continued to operate for 6 months.

The BAD:

- no view finder - makes it near impossible to be sure if your subject is in the frame while in the sunlight.

- Using the flash discharges standard and lower rated rechargeable batteries immediately.

+after purchasing the highest rated rechargeable batteries it performed much better.

- when lighting is not at it's optimum and subject is in slight motion, it's near impossible to get a shot in focus.

I tried to use the manual focus but not much better. You must be very close to your subject, if it's in motion, or have the very best lighting.

- While handling both a soft and semi hard Pentax case or when the case was stored in a backpack or purse, the power button was easy to engage through the case and caused the lens to extract and then automatically retract after sensing the pressure against the assembly.

-Until....I opened the case one day and found the lens half extracted and the camera would no longer operate. Apparently the power button had been triggered once again, but this time it failed to automatically retract the lens. The only way I could to avoid this is to remove the batteries while it's in the case (not exactly ideal for taking quick pictures) or buy a HARD case (Pentax doesn't offer one...)

THE UGLY:

I sent the camera in for warranty repair, with a note explaining what happened. I received a letter from Pentax explaining the camera was not covered under warranty due to "excessive impact or pressure" and that $108.00 was required to fix it ($38.00 parts $60.00 labor.)

When I called Pentax they explained that the camera had fine scratches on the case, which indicated it had been neglected. I agreed that it most likely did have a few scratches but was unable to comprehend how that would cause the camera to quit functioning. After closer inspection, they said the camera also had a nick in the plastic case which I presume occurred when it fell two feet to the floor(not carpeted) from the bedside table (six months prior.) I explained to Pentax the camera had been used frequently in the past six months, and again the camera most likely quit working since the power button had been engaged while it was in the Pentax case. They held firm that while that may be so, the camera had fine scratches and a small nick and was not covered.

Hear is the deal, if the camera fell to the floor and it quit working: MY BAD, call it a day and buy a new camera.

If the camera's power button is too easy to engage, even while in the Pentax case and damages the lens assembly: THEIR BAD, call it a day and buy a new camera (but not without letting you guys know first : )
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on April 18, 2006
i have using this carmera, for couple month and i also selling in my shop, i feel great vision with 2.5 inch LCD also provide great quility of picture, i have detial compare with Sony P100, in many way are the same, but why we have to pay more for a good quility of Camera. even the size of LCD is much better than Sony, and easy to use for starter to take pro-pictures.
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on January 8, 2006
Wait for the Optio A10 8M, but beware. Some unscrupulous dealers are charging way more than Pentax Camera's published retail price of "Below $350." Pentax says release is scheduled for February 2006. A10 is an awesome camera.
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on November 19, 2005
I received this camera yesterday, and I am going to return it now.

The exterior designe is nice in my opinion, though I would like to have an optical viewfinder as an option.

The picture quality is extremely poor.

Apparently, the only way to get them in focus is to use manual focus mode.

I am quite surprised with this because my Pentax Optio33WR(3.2MP) after 2 years of use is doing just fine even in relatively dark conditions.

It is possible that the camera I got was simply defective.
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