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Pentax Optio 550 Review

April 2003 | By Phil Askey

Review based on a production Optio 550, firmware 1.00

Pentax announced the aluminium alloy clad Optio 450 and 550 two weeks before PMA 2003. Both cameras share the same feature set, body design and impressive five times optical zoom lens. The Optio 450 has a four megapixel sensor, the 550 a five megapixel sensor. At the time of writing this review the Optio 550 is the only compact five megapixel digital camera with a five times optical zoom lens - the Sony DSC-F717 and Nikon Coolpix 5700 aren't classed as compact, the next nearest would be Sony's DSC-V1 with a four times optical zoom lens. The Optio 550 sports a wide range of manual controls, flexible settings and a powerful Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery which puts it up at the prosumer end of the market, a street price of around US$600 means it's a very attractive proposition for anyone considering a five megapixel prosumer compact digital camera.

If you're new to digital photography you may wish to read the Digital Photography Glossary before diving into this review (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.

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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 review is Copyright 2003 Phil Askey and the review in part or in whole may NOT be reproduced in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from the author. For information on reproducing any part of this review (or any images) please contact: Phil Askey.

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