Pentax Optio S5n review

Started May 19, 2005 | User reviews thread
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Pentax Optio S5n review
May 19, 2005

I bought the Optio S5N at the same time as the Canon SD 300 to test out. For ease of use, the Pentax is quite simple to use and can fit into Altoids can or in my shirt pocket which is why I bought the camera. The quick button made accessing features quite simple. The colors were brighter than the Canon although I had some occasional pictures with the Pentax that seemed blurry whereas with the Canon I didn't but majority of the Pentax pictures turned out well when printed out. You can zoom in while on movie mode which the Canon couldn't do. The 2 inch LCD screen is great. The camera body is not as solid as the Canon but feels much lighter. There is quite a few scenes mode in the Pentax. I took pictures in a pitched black room with the Pentax and can see objects 15 feet away pretty clearly. You can attach voice memos to each image and can stitch pictures together to give a panoramic view. Overall, I like the camera and its compactness but didn't like the LCD image under low light (see problems below). Now I hear the 5 MP Optio S5Z is coming out with a 2.5 inch LCD screen so that may be something to wait for.

Problems:

I had some problems with the Pentax LCD screen in lower light where I had a grainy image. Changing the ISO didn't seem to eliminate the problem. Even in a room with a halogen lamp I still had this problem. If anyone can figure why this is happening let me know. Despite the graininess of the LCD screen, my pictures came out fine. However, when taking movies under low light I did notice the grainy appearance in the video. Didn't see this problem at all with the Canon SD300 though.
Also, the Optio S5N doesn't have a date stamp which was disappointing. There's also no optical viewfinder so need to rely on the LCD screen. I found pictures with the Canon SD300 sharper than the Optio S5N but the color from Pentax Optio S5N pictures more vivid. In the end because of the grainy problem with the Pentax LCD screen under low light I decided to keep the Canon SD300 instead even though it was 1 MP lower.

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