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Pentax Optio A10 Review

April 2006 | By Simon Joinson


Review based on a production Pentax Optio A10

The new 'flagship' in Pentax's long-running Optio range was announced at the CES show in January. The basic specification is fairly standard for a camera in this class; 3x optical zoom, 8 megapixels, 15 scene modes (including a high sensitivity / ISO 800 'candlelight' option) and a large 2.5-inch screen, but the Optio A10 does have a couple of tricks up its sleeve, including a CCD-shift image stabilization system, in-camera effects and frames, and the ability to record movies in the highly efficient (and widely used) MPEG-4 DivX format.

  • 8.0 million effective pixel 1/1.8" CCD
  • New high speed ASIC
  • CCD-shift Shake Reduction System
  • Seven element 3x smc Pentax zoom lens
  • Compact, lightweight body
  • 15 shooting modes
  • 640 x 480 pixel, 30 fps MPEG-4 movie mode (DivX® certified)
  • Tracking AF
  • Candlelight mode with ISO 800 sensitivity (4MP max image size)
  • Frame composite function can add decorative frames to images
  • In-camera corrections and effects for saved images

Pentax Optio A10 Specifications

Street price • US: 335
• UK: 230
Body Material metal
Sensor • 1/1.8" CCD
• 8.32 million pixels total
• 8.0 million effective pixels
Image sizes

• 3264 x 2448
• 2592 x 1944
• 2304 x 1728
• 2048 x 1536
• 1600 x 1200
• 1024 x 768
• 640 x 480

Movie clips • 640 x 480
• 320 x 240
• 30 fps based on image signal at 20 fps
• With sound and anti-shake
• MPEG-4 DivX
Lens

• 38-114mm equiv
3x optical zoom
• F2.8 - F5.4

Focus

• TTL contrast detection autofocus system with AF spotbeam
• 5-point multi AF
• Spot AF
• Manual focus modes
• Pan focus
• Normal: 0.35 m - infinity
• Macro: 0.12 - 0.4 m at full wideangle setting
• Super macro: 0.06 - 0.15 m at full wideangle setting

Shooting mode

15 modes (Auto Picture, Program, Night Scene, Movie, Voice recording, Landscape, Flower, Portrait, Sport, Surf & Snow, Candlelight, Food, Pet, Text, Frame composite)

Sensitivity • Auto
• ISO 50
• ISO 100
• ISO 200
• ISO 400
• ISO 800 (in Candlelight mode)
White Balance • Auto
• Daylight
Shade
• Tungsten
• Fluorescent
• Manual
Metering TTL Multi-segment
• Center-weighted
• Spot
+/-2 in 1/3 EV steps
Image parameters

Sharpness (3 levels)
Contrast (3 levels)
Saturation (3 levels)

Continuous Up to 1.1 fps (dpreview testing), limited only by card capacity
Flash • Built-in
• Modes: Auto, Red-eye reduction, On/Off
• Range: (wide) 0.06 - 5 m (sensitivity Auto), (tele) 0.35 - 2.5 m (sensitivity Auto)
Storage • SD card
• 24MB internal memory
Viewfinder No
LCD monitor • 2.5" TFT LCD
• 232,000 pixels
Connectivity • USB 2.0 Hi-speed
• AV out
• DC in
Power • Rechargeable D-LI8 lithium-ion battery
Optional AC adapter
In the box*

Pentax Optio A10
Rechargeable lithium-ion battery D-LI8
Battery charging stand D-BC42
AC cable
Video cable
Software CD-ROM
Strap

Other features

PictBridge
Self-timer 2 or 10 secs
• 1/2000 - 4 sec shutter
• +/-2EV with 0.3EV steps
Shake reduction system
up to 4x digital zoom
Histogram display
Image protection
Built-in AF assist light
Post-capture effects: color filter, digital filter, brightness, red-eye removal and frames

Weight (inc batt) 145 g (5.1 oz)
Dimensions 89 x 55 x 23 mm (3.5 x 2.1 x 0.9 in)

* Supplied accessories may differ in each country or area.


If you're new to digital photography you may wish to read the Digital Photography Glossary before diving into this article (it may help you understand some of the terms used).

Conclusion / Recommendation / Ratings are based on the opinion of the reviewer, you should read the ENTIRE review before coming to your own conclusions.

Images which can be viewed at a larger size have a small magnifying glass icon in the bottom right corner of the image, clicking on the image will display a larger (typically VGA) image in a new window.

To navigate the review simply use the next / previous page buttons, to jump to a particular section either pick the section from the drop down or select it from the navigation bar at the top.

DPReview calibrate their monitors using Color Vision OptiCal at the (fairly well accepted) PC normal gamma 2.2, this means that on our monitors we can make out the difference between all of the (computer generated) grayscale blocks below. We recommend to make the most of this review you should be able to see the difference (at least) between X,Y and Z and ideally A,B and C.

This article is Copyright 2006 and may NOT in part or in whole be reproduced in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from the author.

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