Pentax Optio X review
There's no doubt that this camera is one of the best looking sub-compact class
cameras in the market. The technogeek part of my lusted after it the minute I
saw a picture of it. That's why uncharacteristically, I bought one the minute it
became available in the US. Now, I'm regretting it...
To be fair, the camera has above average number of features. Most useful of
all is the swivel body, which is not common in this class of cameras. The LCD
is also pretty good, automatically gaining up in the dark and stopping down
when it's too dark. There's live histogram with an over/under exposure
warning. Surprisingly, despite not having any control over the aperture/
shutter, there is a manual focus function.
Unfortunately, there are quite a few fatal flaws with the camera.
The most problematic I've found is the low light AF ability. I tried taking a
picture of my colleague under subdued, although not weak, fluorescent lights
and the camera just couldn't focus lock on him, no matter how hard I tried.
Even with the focus limiter function turned off, I couldn't get focus lock
anywhere on his body. I guess this is why there is a manual function mode on
this camera, since you might actually have to use it!
Related to low light abilities, the ISO setting is limited to Auto, 80, 160 and
320. This is quite limiting in my opinion. But, it won't be such a big deal if
the flash was strong. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case either. Taking a half
body portrait of my friend required ISO 320 for the flash to be effective.
Finally, the picture quality is pretty bad as well. Even at ISO 80, you can still
see quite a lot of noise. Smooth edges become a little jagged and none of my
pictures look quite as sharp as even the 4MP Canon S400 I had more than a
year ago. I thought it might be ok when I get it printed out at 4x6, which is
the size I'll mostly be printing at with this camera, but unfortunately, it's still
rather obvious at 4x6.
I don't want to have to go back to getting another S400, because I want to
believe that technology and image quality has improved since then, but so far
none of the 5MP 1/2.5" cameras seem a good enough reason to prove me
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