Pentax Optio S30 review

Started Aug 17, 2004 | User reviews thread
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greg bold
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Pentax Optio S30 review
Aug 17, 2004

I have owned the Pentax Optio S30 for one day and was impressed with its simplicity, compact size and the range of menu functions. The menu allows auto or manual control over focussing and exposure. A large number of pre-set modes are available for many situations with digital filters to create interesting effects. The Optio S30 contains a lot of features for the price.

Windows 98 users need a card reader to download images since Pentax has not produced a USB driver for this camera.

But what are the pictures like? Because I am new to digital photography I confess I need to experiment with the best settings for this camera. One great feature is the “Fn” button for storing 4 favourite adjustments, such as EV compensation or color saturation.

Since I am not an expert, I was somewhat disappointed with my photos “out of the box”. Using the default settings on each camera I took some comparison shots with a Canon Powershot A70 (now A75 model) which admittedly is 33% more expensive. The Pentax showed good sharpness, particularly in macro mode, but exposure level and color balance/saturation were poor compared to the Canon.

The results are shown on the following web pages, and I welcome any comments. The images were 2048 pixels, resized to 400 and compressed slightly.

http://home.swiftdsl.com.au/~bold/pic1.htm : indoors macro flower mode with flash
http://home.swiftdsl.com.au/~bold/pic4.htm : outdoor macro flowers in sunlight
http://home.swiftdsl.com.au/~bold/pic2.htm : brick house in sunlight
http://home.swiftdsl.com.au/~bold/pic3.htm : house porch in shadow/sunlight

Problems:

Tends to underexpose
Low color saturation
No USB driver for Windows 98

greg bold's score
3.8
Average community score
4.5
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