Announced in August 2004, the Pentax Optio S5i is an upgrade of the popular S4i with an extra million pixels, some minor styling changes and a couple of new features. The S5i is almost unfeasibly small — thanks in part to the innovative sliding lens first seen at the start of 2003 in the Optio S (and since in several Pentax and Casio models) — yet is more feature-packed than most other ultra-compacts. In an ever-growing market, and with a handful of outstanding competing models (see recent reviews of the Canon PowerShot SD300 and Panasonic DMC-FX7 for example), does the Optio S5i have what it takes to become the pocket camera of choice? Let's find out. Here's a few of the S5i's headline features to get us started:

  • 5.0 million effective pixels
  • 35-105mm equiv. sliding zoom lens
  • 1.8-inch LCD monitor
  • 21 shooting modes, including new Sports mode
  • New Pan Focus mode
  • 0.01-second shutter lag time
  • SD card-compatible and 10MB internal memory
  • Live histogram
  • 6cm Super Macro mode
  • Battery charger stand can charge two batteries at once

Pentax Optio S5i Key specifications

Street price • US: $360
• UK: £250
Body Material Metal
Sensor • 1/2.5" CCD, 5.25 million total pixels
• 5.0 million effective pixels
Image sizes

• 2560 x 1920
• 2048 x 1536
• 1600 x 1200
• 1024 x 768
• 640 x 480

Movie clips

• 320 x 240 (15 fps)
• With audio
• AVI Motion JPEG

Lens

• 35.6 - 107 mm equiv. (3x zoom)
• F2.6 - F4.8

Focus

• TTL autofocus
• 7-point mutli/spot AF
• 49 selectable AF points
• Pan focus, manual focus and infinity focus options
• Normal: 0.4 m - Infinity
• Macro: 18 cm - 50cm
• Super macro: 6cm - 20cm

Shooting mode

• Portrait
• Flower
• Self-portrait
• Sports
• Surf and Snow
• Autumn colors
• Landscape
• Sunset
• Museum
• Text
• Food
• Sport
• Green (auto everything)
• Program
• Soft focus
• Night scene
• Movie
• Panorama assist
• 3D
• Digital filter
• User
• Marine
• Marine movie
• AE Compensation +/- 2.0 EV in 0.3 EV steps

Sensitivity • Auto
• ISO 80
• ISO 100
• ISO 200
• ISO 400
White Balance • Auto
• Cloudy, daylight, incandescent, shade, tungsten light, fluorescent light (neutral white and white), fluorescent light (daylight) and manual (custom)
Image parameters • Sharpness (5 settings)
• Saturation (5 settings)
• Contrast (5 settings)
Continuous

0.3 fps

Flash • Built-in flash
• Auto, on/off, auto + red-eye reduction, on with red eye reduction
• Range (ISO 200): Wide 0.2m - 3.5 m (0.65 - 11.5 ft) /
Tele 0.2m - 2.0m (0.65 - 6.6 ft)
Storage

SD/MMC
Approx 10MB internal memory

Viewfinder Optical
LCD monitor • 1.8 " TFT LCD
• 85,000 pixels
Connectivity • USB 1.1
• A/V out
• DC-IN
Power • D-L18 Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery
• Battery Charging Stand D-BC25 included
In the box*

• Optio S5i camera
Battery Charger
Battery Pack
AV Cable
USB Connection Cable,
Hand Strap,
CD-ROM

Other features

PictBridge
• Multi-segment, center-weighted and spot metering
Record and playback histogram
• Optional remote control
• 2/10 second self-timer
• Panorama assist and 3D assist modes

Weight (inc batt) 120 g (4.2 oz)
Dimensions 88 x 52 x 20.5 mm (3.4 x 2.0 x 0.8 in)

* Supplied accessories may differ in each country or area