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Pentax Optio A20 Review

March 2007 | By Simon Joinson


Review based on a production Pentax Optio A20

As is the nature of this business the Option A20 replaced the A10 only seven months after that model had been announced (and is itself about to be replaced by the further upgraded A30). The |A10 was one of the disappointments of last year, offering typical Pentax high quality output and wealth of features but with serious performance issues that made using it frustrating to say the least. The A20 has a new ASIC (processor), two million more pixels (10.0 MP 1/1.8-inch sensor) and a handful of new features. We decided to find out if Pentax has solved the problems that stopped the A10 from being a really great camera, starting as ever with the headline features:

  • 10.0 effective megapixels
  • High-performance smc PENTAX 3x zoom lens
  • New ASIC
  • SR (Shake Reduction)
  • Face Recognition AF & AE
  • Auto-tracking AF continuously focuses on a moving subject
  • High-quality movies with an anti-shake function
  • Auto Picture mode automatically determines the best settings for the shooting conditions
  • ISO 64-800
  • Shutter Priority, Manual and numerous scene modes
  • SDHC support
  • Post-shot red-eye removal

Pentax Optio A20 Key specifications

Street Price

• US: $270
• UK £150

Body Material Metal
Sensor

• 1/1.8 " Type CCD
• 10.37 million pixels total
• 10.0 million effective pixels

Image sizes • 3648 x 2736
• 3072 x 2304
• 2592 x 1944
• 2048 x 1536
• 1600 x 1200
• 1024 x 768
• 640 x 480
Movie clips • 640 x 480 @ 30fps
• 320 x 240 @ 30fps
File formats • JPEG Exif v2.2
• DCF
• DPOF
• PRINT Image Matching III
• AVI MPEG-4
Lens • 38-114mm (35mm equiv)
• F2.8-5.4
Image stabilization • SR (Shake Reduction)
• Movie anti-shake
Conversion lenses No
Digital zoom up to 4x
Focus TTL contrast detection AF
AF area modes • 5-point multi AF
• Spot AF
• Tracking AF switchable
AF assist lamp Yes
Focus distance • Normal: 0.35m - infinity
• Macro: 0.12m - 0.4m (at full wide-angle setting to 11.5mm)
• Supermacro: 0.06m - 0.15m (at full wide-angle setting)
Metering • TTL metering
• Multi-segment
• Center-weighted
• Spot
ISO sensitivity • Auto
• ISO 64
• ISO 100
• ISO 200
• ISO 400
• ISO 800
Exposure compensation +/- 2EV in 1/3 steps
Shutter speed 1/2000 sec to 4 sec
Aperture F2.8-5.4
Modes • One shot
• Self timer
• Continuous
• Remote Control
Scene modes • Auto picture
• Program
• Night scene
• Movie
• Voice recording
• Landscape
• Flower
• Portrait
• Kids
• Blur reduction
• Surf & snow
• Sport
• Pet
• Text
• Food
• Frame composite
• Shutter Priority
• Manual
White balance • Auto
• Daylight
• Tungsten light
• Fluorescent light
• Manual
Self timer 2 or 10 secs
Continuous shooting n/a
Flash • Auto
• Flash On / Off
• Soft Flash
• Red-eye reduction
• Range: Wide: approx 0.06m - 7.1m / Tele: approx 0.35m - 3.5m
Viewfinder No
LCD monitor • 2.5-inch TFT Low-reflective type
• 232,000 pixels
Connectivity • NTSC / PAL
• USB 2.0 Hi-speed
• AV out
• DC in
Print compliance PictBridge
Storage • 22MB built-in memory
• SD / SDHC card compatible
Power • Rechargeable D-L18 Lithium-ion battery
• Optional AC adapter
Weight (no batt) 125 g (4.4 oz)
Dimensions 88.5 x 54.5 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 2007 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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