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Pentax unveils Optio RZ18 compact superzoom

By dpreview staff on Sep 12, 2011 at 22:05 GMT

Pentax has announced the Optio RZ18 - a compact superzoom camera with 18x zoom lens. The RZ18 combines a very flexible zoom range (25-450mm equivalent) with a 16MP image stabilized CCD sensor. It also features a 460,000 dot LCD and can shoot 720p HD video at 30 frames per second. The RZ18 will be available from October at a recommended price of $299.

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Press Release:

PENTAX ANNOUNCES THE OPTIO RZ18 WITH 18X ZOOM

GOLDEN, CO. (September 12, 2011)…PENTAX Imaging Company announced the Optio RZ18 digital compact camera. Featuring a slim, lightweight body, the new model offers a powerful 18X optical zoom lens covering focal lengths from 25mm wide angle to 450mm super-telephoto (in the 35mm format). The Optio RZ18 is the latest addition to PENTAX Optio RZ zoom lens series, which provides photographers simple, effortless shooting of a wide variety of subjects and occasions, from travel and landscape to action and spectator sports.

The Optio RZ18 features include:

  • Generous 18X zoom (equivalent to 25-450mm) with extra wide angle lens captures subjects near and far.
  • High resolution 16 megapixel sensor for large prints or aggressive image cropping.
  • Slim footprint for outstanding portability and inconspicuous use.
  • Multiple PENTAX Shake Reduction (SR) image stabilization options, including sensor-shift SR, for sharp images in any lighting.
  • Large 3 inch LCD with HVGA resolution (460,000 dots).
  • Powerful automatic shooting modes such as Auto Picture and scene modes take the guesswork out of great photography.
  • Creative special effects filters add artistic flair to the common snapshot.
  • Advanced 9-point autofocus with a 4cm super macro mode.
  • Face detection for perfectly focused and exposed portraits, includes a dedicated pet recognition feature.
  • Widescreen HD video in 720p at 30 frames per second.

The Optio RZ18 will be available in black, pearl white or metallic orange for $299.95 USD in October 2011.

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Comments

Total comments: 33
fgrau
By fgrau (Sep 14, 2011)

Strange design...the flash is positioned too close to the hand grip!

0 upvotes
keysmith
By keysmith (Sep 13, 2011)

No direct "REC" button!?!
It appears you need to switch to movie mode to start recording. Unacceptable nowadays.. I hope at least it optically zooms while recording.

0 upvotes
CrewchiefPT
By CrewchiefPT (May 7, 2012)

I have one of these. It's a good camera for a rookie and the green button can be programmed to function REC or other.

0 upvotes
grahamdyke
By grahamdyke (Sep 13, 2011)

Wot no grip!! Struth what an uncomfortable looking bar of soap. 5/10 must do better Pentax...

0 upvotes
Absolutic
By Absolutic (Sep 13, 2011)

No manual, aperture, or SS priority? No GPS chip? No 1080p video? Sony HX9V kills it for $50 more. Most other cameras in that class have manual features, be it Panasonic, Sony, Canon, Nikon or Fuji. I won't touch any camera without shutter priority mode.

0 upvotes
harry
By harry (Sep 13, 2011)

DPReview lists it with a 16mp CCD sensor, kind of odd, because all other brands with this size of sensor have BSI-CMOS sensors. Where does Pentax get its sensor from for this one? Just curious.

1 upvote
harrisoncac
By harrisoncac (Sep 13, 2011)

I like this design. If the IQ holds up to Panasonic's TS10, I will definitely buy one.
Among compact cameras, Sony and Pentax's exterior designs are the best looking ones while Canon's, the most ugly.

2 upvotes
hikenhi
By hikenhi (Sep 13, 2011)

Only two features missing that would make this camera a winner in my book. 1080i HD Video in H264 format--pretty standard these days. mini HDMI Out--what's the point of having 16MP if you can't view it on your HD LCD or Plasma?

0 upvotes
sh10453
By sh10453 (Sep 13, 2011)

Yes, 720p is a bummer, and the HDMI socket is a must nowadays.
Other details remain to be published, if they are not out yet (such as performance, burst mode, image quality, et.).

A better, curved grip would be nice, but that could make it not a shirt pocket camera any more.

Never had a Pentax product, so I can't say anything about their products.

If this was 1080i video, I would certainly consider it.

Thumbs up for the 18X zoom on such a small body.

0 upvotes
straylightrun
By straylightrun (Sep 13, 2011)

720p? 1080p is the standard these days.

1 upvote
JackM
By JackM (Sep 13, 2011)

Come on Pentax, where is your S95, XZ-1 or LX-5 competitor?

1 upvote
Chaitanya S
By Chaitanya S (Sep 13, 2011)

Pentax is in a process of ownership change, so wait until the process is over and then we might see some high end compacts.

1 upvote
ogl
By ogl (Sep 13, 2011)

Pentax Q is competitor.

1 upvote
emton
By emton (Sep 13, 2011)

Pentax now own by Ricoh, so look forward the next GR Digitial and GX series. And yeah the Pentax Q fit to compete well.

0 upvotes
Neoasphalt
By Neoasphalt (Sep 13, 2011)

Sad, that I never will consider this a great zoom in small cam - dividing megapixels with 2 would be another story...

0 upvotes
dentaku
By dentaku (Sep 13, 2011)

Then perhaps you're not the target buyer.

0 upvotes
derfla1949
By derfla1949 (Sep 13, 2011)

More and more the number of megapixels is becoming kind of a negative indicator.
Pentax contribute their share.

1 upvote
Maxfield_photo
By Maxfield_photo (Sep 13, 2011)

Blasphemy, more megapixels makes one a better photographer, everybody knows that. I want a camera with a built in particle collider so I can break those photons down so small that it won't matter that I have a zillion sensors crammed into an area half the size of a postage stamp. Oh, and it should fit in my wallet. Kthxbye.

1 upvote
nosnoop
By nosnoop (Sep 13, 2011)

Why are people so negative about high pixel count?
The matter of fact is that it does not make that much of a difference whether you have a 16MP or 8MP (divide by 2 as you suggested) sensor! The most important is the sensor size.

So for the same 1/2.3" size sensor, and you print out a 8"x10" photo, it would look very similar whether it is from a 16MP or a 8MP sensor, in terms of image quality and ISO performance.

The main mistake is for people to pixel peep and look at the image at 1:1, in which case the higher pixel sensor will always look worse, as the pixel count probably out resolve the lens. Only compare sensors using the same output size/resolution.

1 upvote
Octane
By Octane (Sep 12, 2011)

I really like the very simple and reduced controls. It's a camera for people who just want to take a photo, not adjust. It's a different user than SLR customers and I think they will like the simplicity.
It also seems very compact for a 16x zoom.

4 upvotes
Marty4650
By Marty4650 (Sep 12, 2011)

How did they make an 18X zoom this small? This camera looks around the same size as my 10X Panasonic TZ5. Is the sensor even smaller in this camera?

0 upvotes
Greg Lovern
By Greg Lovern (Sep 13, 2011)

The sensor size is 1/2.33", same as the Panasonic TZ5:

http://www.dpreview.com/products/pentax/compacts/pentax_optiorz18

0 upvotes
mpgxsvcd
By mpgxsvcd (Sep 13, 2011)

That is easy when you put an F3.5-F5.6 lens on an ultra small sensor point and shoot with way too many megapixels.

Pentax has succeeded in making the worst camera for taking photographs possible.

2 upvotes
RedFox88
By RedFox88 (Sep 13, 2011)

It's actually f/3.5 - f/5.9 and I've seen 3x and 4x zooms that are f/3.5 - f/6.3 so being f/5.9 at 450mm FOV is pretty darn decent!

2 upvotes
Natalino Russo
By Natalino Russo (Sep 12, 2011)

waste.

1 upvote
eddie_cam
By eddie_cam (Sep 12, 2011)

Another 16-MP me-too cam ... *yawn*

1 upvote
tapir
By tapir (Sep 12, 2011)

No PASM???? No even AF/AEL lock? Why they also miss these on super-zooms?

1 upvote
RedFox88
By RedFox88 (Sep 13, 2011)

This is a camera that is most times going to be used by someone in full auto mode. If you want those features buy a high end digicam.

2 upvotes
dentaku
By dentaku (Sep 13, 2011)

Because the target buyer for this sort of camera couldn't care less. Why do people always assume they are representative of the entire buying public?

2 upvotes
GiovanniB
By GiovanniB (Sep 12, 2011)

Interestingly styled, maybe except for the speaker/mic grilles. The recessed, textured grip surfaces might turn bulky protrusions obsolete.

1 upvote
RedFox88
By RedFox88 (Sep 13, 2011)

No it won't because those "bulky protrusions" help make a camera easier to hold, more ergonomic because it takes more hand pressure to hold something heavy and thin than heavy but larger because something thinner makes your hand more closed all the time, i.e. muscles contracted more.

1 upvote
robbo d
By robbo d (Sep 13, 2011)

My my, aren't Pentax going for gold. Another niche camera that's shaking the mould and pushing boundaries......and this time has image stabilisation!!! Interesting sensor? Not the same as the Q is it? Wg1, Q, now this.............bring on Ricoh and some DSLR improvements.
Can't fault them for bringing out interesting cameras, what's next??

0 upvotes
davek57
By davek57 (Sep 14, 2011)

This camera clones a Samsung model of a couple of years ago, with a longer zoom. Nothing ground-breaking here.

0 upvotes
Total comments: 33