Pentax Optio 450 review
This camera started me out with digital photography and I was impressed. It had many interesting functions (3-D, panoramic views constructed with multiple shots) and delivered vibrant color. The camera was a good medium size but felt like a smooth brick and should have had some machined rough grip.
The controls were intuitive and gave you the option of programming your most-used functions (Menu button plus directional pad). Macro mode (down to 2 cm range) was impressive but I had no use for it. The condenser microphone and movie mode were a bit toy-like in quality but movies of great use with an ample memory-card. The included 16 MB card, though, was a joke fit only for about 6 photos at maximum resolution mode.
But the flash always was too intense and gave red-eye, and the auto-focus often would not track right. I had a serious problem in movie mode under low-light, high-noise conditions (trying to catch the antics at karaoke bars). If the digital zoom was invoked, sound-segments would start to interchange and make the sound unintelligible. Pentax Canada kept the camera for over 4 months but could not fix it, and ended up issuing me a model 550.
Autofocus often fails to track (photos with blurry details).
Flash too intense, not scaleable, frequent red-eye to edit.
Movie feature (.mov files) a little rough at 15 frames per second, resolution low, trouble in low light. Sound problem in low-light/high-noise conditions with the digital zoom (using zoom sometimes scrambled sound segments, and Pentax could not solve it).