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Conclusion - Pros

  • Neutral tone, conservative color response
  • Average noise but high noise reduction
  • Good automatic white balance
  • Good macro performance
  • Good battery life
  • Five times optical zoom, good telephoto reach
  • 1.8" fast refresh LCD with tilt & twist mechanism
  • Attractive retro appearance
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Fully customizable live view overlay displays
  • Blinking highlights in live view when histogram enabled
  • Range of post-processing digital filters in play mode
  • Impressive lack of purple fringing (removed in processing?)

Conclusion - Cons

  • Intrusive noise reduction
  • Higher than normal pincushion distortion
  • Some vignetting visible
  • Lens softness (corner issue a one-off?)
  • Perhaps confusing / overpowering controls
  • Slow startup, slow off to first shot taken
  • No RAW format
  • Limited image parameter adjustment
  • USB 1.1 transfer (slow)
  • Tendency for AF to hunt at telephoto / low light

Overall conclusion

It's odd but there's something strangely appealing about the 750Z's retro styling, the faux leather front and chrome piping, it's almost comforting. Don't be fooled though this is one seriously modern camera with a huge range of functionality, both prosumer and technology based. Indeed there isn't a huge amount the 750Z can't do, it's fully loaded, and that can sometimes make it a bit confusing.

Despite it's looks it doesn't really feel as well put together as the four other seven megapixel digital cameras we group tested, the metal body isn't as thick and the fit wasn't quite as good (seams not meeting properly, a cheap plastic feel to the LCD hinge.

When you start using the 750Z you realize it's not quite up there with the rest in terms of performance, almost four seconds to startup, almost five seconds off to first shot taken and a tendency for the AF to hunt at telephoto or in low light can leave it feeling slower than you'd like.

The 750Z's biggest let-down it would appear is its five times optical zoom lens, we saw pincushion distortion, we saw some vignetting, we recorded fairly poor resolution and we also had a problem with softness on one side of the frame (a one-off maybe but still unacceptable). You kind of find yourself wishing Pentax had dropped a less ambitious four or three times optical zoom lens in there (maybe a really wide angle zoom) and not chased after the five times thing which in my opinion has hurt this otherwise well featured camera.

* We will get another 750Z to update this review to check if we had a 'lemon', however I doubt a new camera will improve resolution, distortion or vignetting, it will probably only fix the right-side softness we saw in our tests.

Above Average

Detail
Rating (out of 10)
Construction 8
Features 8
Image quality 8.5
Lens / CCD combination 8.5
Ease of use 8
Value for money 7.5

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