Pentax Optio MX4 review
While this wasn't my dream camera (that would be the Panasonic FZ20) this camera has sufficient features and was about $100-$150 less than most cameras I found with similar features. The supermacro alone is worth the $459 Canadian I paid for this camera; stick your finger directly on the lens, and you will still get a perfectly sharp fingerprint! In addition to that, you get 10X optical zoom, 4MP, preset and manual white balance, programed and manual aperture, shutterspeed and focusing, auto-bracketing, continuous shooting, 6 colour filters, and the unlimited video mode with sound. Also, the pop-up flash raises further away from the body than on most digicams, an extra help in reducing red-eye.
I find the construction of this camera to be great. The battery compartment has a little latch that holds the battery down while you close the compartment door, reducing stress on the door itself, and the camera is designed more like a video camera, so that the lens is contained inside the body throughout the entire zoom range, so it's not wiggling and jiggling around while extended.
I found it quite easy to figure out most of the controls without using the manual, however, some of the control buttons are quite small, which, although not a problem for my small hands, is something most people may want to consider.
The only real complaint I have about this camera is the long shutter lag time, and the narrow aperture and shutterspeed ranges. For sport/action photography, and long available-light exposures, I'm afraid I have to stick with my ME-Super film SLR. It could also do with an image stabilizer, but for the price, I don't mind carrying around my tripod.
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