Pentax Optio S40 review
I purchased the Optio S40 after a lot of looking around, based on its size, the fact that it uses AA batteries, reports on previous models from Pentax, and new features. I've used it for 4 months now, with a 256 MB SD card. I haven't been disappointed. It's truly amazing how well a $299 camera that's this small can work. The movie mode is quite handy, and you can get ~10 min on the 256 MB memory. I did not expect image quality as high as can be obtained with larger cameras, but it's been quite good. I usually run in a 3 Mpixel mode to keep the image file sizes down. Using 2200 mah NiMH batteries, the batteries last almost as long as the 256 MB memory card, which is adequate. The macro mode works well, including with movies. I've taken some close-ups of ants (still and movie) that were very nice. Very sturdy camera. Linux successfully recognizes it as a mass storage device when connected with the supplied USB cable, unlike some previous Optio systems (according to reports I'd read.)
There is a slow start-up, and time between shots, but only with the flash turned on (or in auto). If you turn off the flash, startup is just a couple of seconds, and the time between shots is not bad. So, leave the flash mode in "off", and turn on only when needed. The slow-charging and relatively weak flash are my only objections.
Early on, there were a couple of times that the camera said the batteries were low when they weren't, but I haven't seen that since.
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