Pentax Optio 550 review

Started Oct 21, 2005 | User reviews thread
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Gregory McMehen
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Pentax Optio 550 review
Oct 21, 2005

Geeze folks, sure there's some noise, but it's not that bad. I bought this thing
the day it came out, and have been very happy with it.

Construction is robust, and the controls are so easy even my wife will adjust to
suit the situation. We've framed several 8x10's from this camera, and guests
can't believe we actually took the pictures.

Macro mode is fantastic, and the remote with a mini-tripod is simply brilliant
for group shots. I'm actually in some pictures now!

Bottom line. My brother in law insisted on borrowing it for his honeymoon,
and when I dropped the camera and broke the lens, my wife insisted on us
paying the $275CDN to have it repaired, because we're so happy with it.

Of course, it's no match for my old manual-only, film Olympus OM1 SLR (yes,
I still use it!).

Problems:

Indoor noise is a problem, but no worse than any other typical P&S of its day,
and no worse than a lot of new cameras I've used since. Fiddle with the
settings (focus area, metering, and set ISO manually), and the problem is
reduced. Plus Photoshop fixes the noise with one click, so who cares? If you
want to print indoor, low light shots bigger than 8x10, buy an SLR and good
flash.
From new, occasionally the autofocus was slow or missed the mark in low
light. When we got the camera back from the repair (July 05), this problem
was totally eliminated. There's no firmware update on the Pentax sight, but
the repair guys say they've completed a firmware update, and the camera
operates quicker and smoother now, plus the above mentioned fix. If you've
got one of these beasts, bring it in to your local camera shop for the fix!

My one major complaint:
-it is verrrrrrrrrrryyyyyyy slow to start up

Gregory McMehen's score
4.7
Average community score
4.5
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