Pentax Optio S4 review

Started Mar 25, 2005 | User reviews thread
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PecosPeet
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Pentax Optio S4 review
Mar 25, 2005

Excellent camera for such a small size. Been using it for 12 months now and have few complaints. I also use a Kodak 6490 (to give me other features I want). I expected there to be a big difference in picture quality, but there is not, provided you use best quality on the Pentax. (There is a noticeable diff, but you need to be at larger than 8x10 to spot it).

Bought this so I could always have a camera with me as well as to carrry during my marathon running. Exceeds my expectations in this area.

Hand position on camera is intuitive and keeps fingers out of the way of sensors and the lens. Might be a problem for large fingered people, so try it out first.

Battery life is very good, given its small size. I routinely get 60-90 photos minimum. However, I rarely use flash. I expected to need a second battery, but have not bothered. I would get a backup if this was my only camera.

Camera exterior is well constructed - gives a good sense of durability (battry door excepted - see below). The Altoids tin makes an excellent case. I have a lot of fun with the cat "meow" sound I can select when I turn the camera on!

Saving the image is slow, but I help this by using a fast memory card (32x Lexar). These are worth the little extra cost to speed up intra-shot delay.

ACDSee software supplied is a great starter interface. I much prefer it over both Canon and Kodak (the only other software I have used).

You will not get SLR quality & features in this camera. What you do get is amazing for such a small box. If small and easy to use is what you want, the Optio S4 is worth every penny paid.

Problems:

Battery door looks flimsy, but in practice it seems to be much stronger than it looks. I do try to be careful anyway.

Power button position is unfortunate - I have only turned the camera off by accident about 4 to 6 times. I always alert others who take a shot for me, and have never had a problem. As long as you remain aware of the problem, it should rarely cause a problem.

Viewfinder is small and would likely be impossible for anyone with glasses. LCD sceen (like so many other cameras) is hard to see in bright daylight.

PecosPeet's score
4.6
Average community score
4.5
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