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on December 29, 2009
So I will start off by saying that cost was of major concern when I was shopping for my camera, and the price, honestly, is pretty good. But I'm here to tell you what you are and aren't getting for that money.

I admit, I was purely going by review ratings (kind of), capabilities, name brand and price when I was shopping. But the price was pretty good for what it is, and the video features of this camera were better than others that were in the price range. The positives are the included USB cable but on the other hand, since it takes AAs, no rechargable batteries were included, instead just two alkalines were packed. You'll have to get your own memory card too, but in this day and age, they're realtively cheap anyways.

The slick black design is really nice and the contrasting chrome lens framing is good balance. It is by far more attractive than my old Nikon 5200. The big screen is also really nice, and the buttons are simple, minimalistic and quite just how I like them.

Construction and Quality-
The camera is solid and balanced and the buttons have a nice feel to them. However, while excused by the low price, I have my doubts about the plastic housing and its durability. Will the glossy black shell lose its luster and color?

Also of concern is the trap door for the batteries and memory card. My old Nikon had a nice sturdy metallic housing, but its ultimate failing was the battery trap door that didn't sit flush after one of the tabs broke. The same design was used for this new Optio, and it worries me a bit more, since the Nikon had a latch holding back the battery while the trap door on this Optio has to do the work of holding back the two AA batteries.

Made in China. This was a negative for me, but discussing my reasons would be off topic. Decide for yourself. If I would have known and was made aware of competing products that weren't made in China, I would have probably gone with something else.

It fits in my pockets just fine, no protruding parts, so it slides in and out of jean pockets just fine. The use of AAs is a great concept, since you don't have to buy model specific batteries, instead just alkalines or AA rechargables. Great for a couple years down the line, if you want to keep the camera and the rechargables are shot. Cheaper and easier to find!

The filing system is quite handy, and instead of just one folder of all the pictures you've ever taken, it creates a new folder for every day and sorts the pictures by date. In playback mode, simply press the zoomout button 3 times, and it will show you a calendar with all the days that you took pictures. You can also disable this feature if you want to.

There is also an easy mode that turns off all the advanced information and just tells you the amount of pictures you still have room for, and the battery life, with larger text. This is useful if you don't want all the complexities or have a hard time seeing all the small text.

The camera would be just fine for someone who wants a camera that will take decent looking pictures, nothing more. The focus, the colors, and the sharpness are all fine most of the time. But if you want manual settings, like to get close ups or have other performance requirements, that is where the camera falls short. I'm not talking about megapixels, so if thats the only thing you understand or want to hear about, skip this section.

Autofocus: The focus works great on subjects that are far away to an armslength away. But if you enjoy getting close to flowers or small, detailed things, you'll find yourself having to tell the camera to refocus a few times before you get a sharp image. My old Nikon was better in that respect, and I got really nice images of coins, flowers, and patterns, something that I'`m having more trouble doing. I find myself having to keep the camera a bit further away from the subject, even with macro. But of course, with twice the resolution, I can crop off the extra background and still have a high definition image.

Autofocus (cont.): In my old Nikon, you had the capability of defining which area of the picture you wanted autofocus to focus on, something lacking here. I miss that feature alot, but its not a complete deal breaker.

White balance: The WB is not user definable or atleast I haven't figured out how to force a WB setting. The auto WB works most of the time, but there have been times where the WB was completely off and it was refusing to make white look white. Unacceptable if you want that control over the consistency of color in camera.

Video: The video works fine, but the audio quality is not quite what I'd like it to be. But then again, I do alot of video work and probably have higher expectations than most and I usually just use this camera for still images and not so much video. But the quality is acceptable and presentable. No real zoom during recording.

Summary and concluding remarks-
This camera looks good, is built well and all at a great price point. The camera lacks a metal casing, but otherwise feels fine, but the battery trapdoor is of some concern. For normal, pedestrian uses, the picture quality is fine, but the camera lacks user-definable settings for more sophisticated and/or demanding users. The video quality is ok and will do just fine for a family video or your vlogs. It takes widely availabe and cheap AA batteries and SD memory cards, so no worries there.

Is this camera full of features and advanced capabilities? No.
Does it take good pictures/videos? Yes.
Are there better cameras? Yes.
Its it worth the price? At the Amazon discounted price w/ free shipping, yes.
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on August 19, 2010
We have owned (and still own) two other Pentax compact cameras: an Optio 60 and an Optio P60. We have fallen in love with the simplicity of the menus, the quality of the photos, and the incredible battery life of the E80. This camera is so intelligent and quick that it is simply amazing. Even low light pictures, macros, and photos of fast objects come out looking spectacular. This camera offers performance which you would have paid $300+ for only a year or two ago. The small size means it fits in shirt pockets or pants pockets easily. We don't even keep track of battery life because basic rechargeable AA batteries last a very long time in this camera. We are so thrilled with the Optio E80 and we can see this coming along on every vacation, to every party, and to every special event where a bulky camera is not needed.
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on October 1, 2010
I thought this would be a great camera I could carry around easily and catch those moments "I wish I had my camera" for but on my 3rd use and trip to the aquarium my camera would not work I got new batteries I got a new SD card and nothing. I dont recommend this camera!
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on June 1, 2010
This is the first time I've ever posted a comment about any product, but I'm incredulous thinking how it is possible that on this technological era a company can launch to the market a product like this. I thought that whatever the price this level of quality was a thing of the past. This camera is simply terrible; you can never and will never get a decent shot. Every image is horribly oversaturated and video looks like cheap VGA, also terribly oversaturated. I know it was the cheapest with HD video, but even thou it's not worth the price. After a few minutes walking with the camera in my camera case the Optio was already scratched, both the front cheap plastic and the LCD. Yes, walking with it inside the camera case. Surely the camera has a lot of modern shooting modes, but they may be considered as an entertainment, because whatever mode one chooses quality is the same and there are absolutely no differences between images taken with different selections. Face recognition?! If you try to focus someone and there's some object with a strong colour next to that person, the autofocus will concentrate on the object instead. And this happens in any mode; the camera always locks the auto-focus where you don't want it. Try to photograph a pet or any large object, the auto-focus will lock on the middle point or somewhere that it incomprehensibly chooses and the pet head or the rest of the large object will come out totally blurred.

After just about a week using this camera I got a blank screen and a lens error message. I got scared because this happened with the Fuji FinePix F10 that beautifully served me for 5 years, some time before it passed out. But hey, if the lenses stop responding you can always use it as a card reader; an expensive one.

By mentioning Fuji, if you want an under $100 camera working on AA's my advice would be that you pay only $10 more than for this Optio and buy a new Fuji FinePix AX200 series. For $10 more you'll get 12 MP instead of 10, a 5X zoom instead of 3, HD video at 24fps instead of 15, you'll get a 28mm "wide" angle lens instead of the 32mm of the Pentax and the better Fuji image quality. Sure, you'll be surprised with the strange noises that imamate from the movement of the lenses, reason why Fuji suppressed sound recording during video shooting while zooming, but the end result of picture and video quality is way much better than with this camera.And you cannot use the zoom with the Optio while filming, anyway.
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on November 7, 2010
Takes great pictures, and is very simple to use. The screen to view a picture is outstanding.
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on August 20, 2010
I spent a lot of time debating on which camera I should buy. I tried out a few different ones, and the Pentax E80 was by far the best options. The pictures come out beautiful and the camera is so easy to use and navigate. From all the camera's I've owned this one is definitally the best one by far.
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on February 23, 2010
I bought this camera for a trip to Vegas, because I knew anything expensive would get broken/lost/stolen there and I also wanted to carry as little on my person as possible. I wasn't so much interested in the picture quality as in the ability to shoot HD video on the cheapest camera I could find. On that front, the quality is pretty decent. Picture are clear, sound is good, it actually surprised me.

Photos...not so much. There is NO manual control with this thing, you have to pick one of their preset modes which either blow the ISO to ridiculous numbers resulting in a horribly grainy picture, washed out the colors, weird greenish tones, or basically everything but what you're seeing in front of you. Even in broad daylight, the camera tends to overexpose and can't get skin tones right. The focus jumps all over the place and never on what you want. There is a sunset mode, cheesy superimpose a graphic onto the photo mode, there's a pet mode that wants you TO SELECT THE COLOR OF YOUR PET. That pretty much says it all; this camera is for people who think webcam quality pictures are good enough and aren't able to handle anything other than AUTO mode.

I learned my lesson, I should have paid the money to replace my broken Canon PowerShot instead of taking a gamble on something cheap.
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on December 30, 2010
This was a gift. I have no idea how it is working, but it arrived timely when ordered and the recipient so far is very satisfied.
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on May 10, 2011
it's hard to find a true manual focus camera under $200, let alone under $100, so if you want to be able to take the occasional closeup photo (particularly without the flash) and what hobbyist doesn't, then you are hard pressed to find a cheaper way to do it than with this camera. other features you won't find on most sub $100 cameras are 2-second timers (most only do 10 second) and 720p video clip ability (most only do 460p). some tech notes for accessories; best to buy >2000ma rechargeable batteries, and class 6-10 memory cards to get the most capability out of this camera. the green "newbie" setting and simple large icons make this a perfect first camera for a pre-teen/teen, while hiding a lot of functionality to explore as their photographic education and sophistication grows.
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on September 20, 2010
I decided to buy this digital camera because of following three points: First, it's cheap; second, it can take full HD (1080p) picture; it's movie-taking (Half HD; 740p) ready. I'm just an amateur "photo-taker (I'm saying that I'd prefer to say "photo-taker" rather than photographer)," who just needs to take some pictures and movies for own blog posts or memories.

The taken pictures are almost too good for me; that's perfect although I haven't taken any picture outside at night. Full HD pics are pretty much better than the qualities of pictures that I took with my previous camera, Pentax Optio S30, which offers 3.2Megapixels.

For movie-taking, I think it's perfect for those amateurs who don't know much about how-to-take perfect movies; it just perfectly functions to take movies for life-logs. Although the resolution is 740p, Half HD, I don't expect that my movies are perfectly acceptable to watch with a full screen on 54 inch TV or something. (I just want to keep those movies for my memories; then, 740p is almost too good for movie-taking.)

It's also lightweight, much lighter than my previous camera, Optio S30. So, I always take it with Eneloop, rechargeable batteries from SANYO. I can totally recommend this camera for those who are looking for the one with a affordable price tag to take photos and movies for memories and personal blogs.
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