Pentax Optio A40 review

Started Sep 4, 2008 | User reviews
Digitex
New MemberPosts: 8
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Pentax Optio A40 review
Sep 4, 2008

This is a gorgeous little black and chrome gem .
The Positives:
(1) The Intelligent Zoom feature . When set to 7, then 5 , then 3 megapixels , the A-40 offers (via cropping) 148 mm , 175 mm , and 216 mm focal lengths respectively . And that's why I bought this camera . Like who really needs to use the 10 or 12 megapixel settings ?
(2) The CCD sensor-based Image Stabilization .
(3) The sharp clear pictures .
(4) An easy to use menu layout.
(5)A super-sharp LCD screen when its' brightness level is set right and shooting under good ambient light .
(6) Excllent controls and layout .
(7) The Shutter and the Manual settings options .
(8) The long list of features available in playback mode .
(9) The quite-good lenthy manual provided .

Problems:

The Negatives :
(1) Intelligent Zoom is only available by having the disliked digital zoom turned ON . The faint green marker on the multiplier bar is difficult to see and it is too easy to slide beyond the Intelligent Zoom range over into the unwanted digital zoom section of the bar . Watch closely .
(2) When the Image Stabilization is set to ON , it seems to always be on continuously ; and there is no setting for it to be ON only at the moment of shutter release .
(3) The lens always stays extended , even when the user only desires a lengthy review of the captured images . The lens will only retract when the camera is turned OFF .
(4) In capture mode , images in the LCD screen are not as visible on bright days as the LCD's of my three older cameras : a Fuji E-510 , a Panasonic FZ-20, and a Ricoh R4 . Sure wish the Pentax A-40 had an optical viewfinder .
(5) Explanatory sentences in the manual are sometimes incomplete , and/or rather vague ; especially regarding the green button .
(6) When captured images are DPOF'd for printing , no symbol appears on the LCD to confirm the success of the operation . The user must write down which images were DPOF'd . Very , very frustrating .

Apart from the negatives and the irritants listed above , I still like my Pentax A-40 . It has a genuine quality feel to it . And set to capture at 5 migapixels , it is adequately fast in responding and producing sharp quality images .
However , I do strongly recommend that you read the manual first . The reason , is that there are many intricate features and settings available to get you the best desired image for your specific situation .

Digitex's score
4.5
Average community score
4.6
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