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Pentax Optio 550

Announced Feb 18, 2003 •
5 megapixels | 1.5 screen | 38 – 188 mm (5×)
Glenn Butler

Do not buy this camera if you care about quality pictures! There are three problems that caused me to return this camera and go back to my 2 year old 3MP Sony P-5! 1) Basically, the lens distortion (fishbowl) is terrible and noticeable at all zooms. 2) Distortion is terrible on indoor shots without really bright light. You can make this better by leaving ISO on 64, but then your focal abilities and shutter times stink. 3) The camera cannot focus practically indoors in low light situations. F ...

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Dafney Dewitt

Batteries lasted 3 weeks with 300 photos! Camera is so small, you can always have it with you. Very light weight and easy to use. You can take very candid close ups without attracting attention because the lens looks too small to be a telephoto. Very tight lens assembly! Try this test. Activate the telephoto lens, grab it, and pull back & forth. No give! Now try this with an Olympus. The lens will wobble all over the place! Now for the bad news . . . Problems: Slow turn on time to ...

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Phil Smith

Have had the camera for approximately two weeks, have taken approximately 200 photos mostly used in program mode. Pictures very clear and sharp, excellent saturation and a vast improvement on my old Pentax compact film camera, (now a toy for my daughter to play with) The 5x optical zoom is a real bonus, have noticed some delay with focusing in low light with the zoom fully extended. Not a real issue however. I am amazed by the number of features and the amount of manual control that can be ...

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Paul Burden

i replaced my Canon S40 which was stolen with this camera on a whim. I could hardly have made a better choice. The images I have taken mostly scenic and macro/supermacro are the best I have ever taken including with my trusty old Nikon F3 or the S40 for that matter although some of the S40 features were slightly better. I am surpised that some publications classify this as a "beefed up point and shoot" because it is far from that. This has got to be one of the best compacts around. this ...

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Andy Markwell

I purchased the Optio 550 3 months ago and less than 1 week before my holiday abroad to Turkey. I took the manual away with me but didn't need it as the camera was very easy to get to grips with. I found myself using Aperture priority, filter modes, Black & white and many other features in no time at all. The camera's small size dones not hinder use of it's controls, all of which are easily accessible. The metal finish looks superb, but more inportantly it feels the business in use, as build ...

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Ulla R

What an excellent little camera! I have had my Optio 550 for three weeks now, and so far I am more than happy with it. Most important, it takes good pictures, sharp and with natural colours. Today I received a 50x70 cm print from a digital lab, and I was surprised how good even such a large print looks. It is easy to use. Menues and controls are intuitive. It is very handy that one can reach many of the settings such as flash function and exposure compensation without having to enter the menues.

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Very nice and solidly build camera, with a lot of features. The beginner will find it very easy to use. Just point-and-shot. The expert-user will find it very good, because all features can be controlled manual, and there is a lot of adjustments, as on a "big" SLR-camera. The quality-look is extreme and it indicates, that here is a manufactor, who knows something about cameraes. And Pentax have always been a serious camera-manufactor. I have a Olympus C2040Z, so I was curious to see, how the ...

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I'd advise anyone who plans on taking shots indoors not to consider this camera. The noise is shockingly bad. I bought this camera as a step up from a 4MP Olympus and as soon as I saw the LCD pictures I knew something was wrong. It is almost impossible to get it to focus in moderate to low light. My 4MP beats it on focus, noise and image quality. VERY disappointed. Fortunately I was able to return the camera. Its plus points are its great zoom and battery life. In bright conditions the zoom ...

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Excellent!! Problems: high ISO with noise 6 seconds to start up

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I was initially hesitant about the negative comments I read re visual noise and generally bad performance of this camera in low light, but after playing with it in the store for an hour and comparing it to the closest Sony, I was sold on the Pentax. One month and about 600 photos later, I'm still convinced I got the best camera for my needs. The buttons and menu are both very well laid out, making the myriad functions accessible with a minimum amount of button pushing. Once you are familiar ...

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