Pentax Optio W20 review

Started Feb 27, 2007 | User reviews thread
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jrtrent
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Pentax Optio W20 review
Feb 27, 2007

Ease of use and features have made this my "go-everywhere" camera. It rides very nicely in my shirt pocket, even more comfortably than some cameras that are smaller and lighter (e.g., my Contax i4R). Its water-proof design allows me to not worry about rain or sweat-soaked shirts and hands. Its comprehensive memory functions and ability to assign various shooting parameters to the "green button" (rather than having to go through the menu) make customizing how it shoots very easy (I particularly like the camera's ability to store the focal length in memory so I can always start at a 55 mm equivalent, or anything else I want, upon power-up).

On the debit side, I find its default contrast too high for my taste, and precious few of its modes allow this parameter to be user-set.

Edit: After several months of use, I'm happier than ever with this camera. For my use, I just keep it in program mode, -1/3 EV, pan focus, saturation normal, contrast low, and ISO 64. Results under foggy or overcast conditions are great out-of-camera; for bright, sunny days, the above settings avoid blowing out highlights, and a run through Olympus Studio's auto tone correction restores snap and brings out shadow detail without noise. I've had no qualms about letting young students use this camera at school events or field trips, and it has survived drops, grubby fingers, drool, and so on without damage and still looking like new.

jrtrent's score
4.6
Average community score
4.0
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