Pentax Optio S4i review

Started Jul 30, 2004 | User reviews
gfinch Junior Member • Posts: 47
Pentax Optio S4i review

I picked up this camera a month ago, and am extremely impressed with it. Bought at futureshop in canada, and had them price match's $350US, plus free 128SD card and case. Quite a deal! when futureshop was selling for $500 canadian with no extras.

First of all, its a very small camera, so no it won't take pictures as good as a SLR. I have read a few complaints about this. I am impressed with the image quality, and do not notice any blurry edges, except corners which is expected with ALL small lenses. I have upgraded from a 2megapixel fuji finepix 2600, which was a great camera for its time to this one, and am thoroughly impressed with the quality difference.

It will fit into an altoids tin, i coated the interior of the tin with duct tape, and around the interior edges to prevent scratching. Then warm up the tin outside in the sun, toaster or whatever.. place the camera inside and close the case. This will work, just takes a bit of work, and no it won't wreck the camera, its got a solid body. A bit of bending and it fits great. I feel safer carrying around this camera in an altoids tin, as you can leave it around without worrying about someone lifting it.

the good:
1. size, can't beat it, and fits conveniently into an altoids tin
2. image quality is great, only better i have seen is from the canon 4 megapixel equivalent. Although only slightly better in low light conditions. the landscape pictures are equivalent.
3. features, tons of preset options plus the ability to manually control them. Night mode works well with a tripod
4. optional waterproof casing available for $200US
5. Images require very little touchup in photoshop, color balance is close to perfect.
6. Images can be recovered in case you accidentally format your SD card, using software found on the internet. This is impossible with FUJI cameras, and recently lost a vacations worth of photos with my old finepix 2600.

You won't find a camera this small, or as stealthy for the price and features it packs in.


The bad:

1. extra battery costs $40US unless you get a non-pentax one on ebay for $10. Too bad they don't have AAA rechargables.
2. my package didn't come with 3d viewer software or photostitch for panoramas.. can't even find the 3d software on the internet
3. like all small cameras, flash has a limited range indoors, i find about 10feet is the farthest it can go for people shots, which is fine at the bar/club whatever.. a great improvement over my last fuji's 3ft range!
4. No manual control over Fstop and exposure settings, but haven't seen this in any supercompact cameras
5. a bit expensive, but for the size and features its worth it

Pentax Optio S4i
4 megapixels • 1.8 screen • 35 – 105 mm (3×)
Announced: Feb 2, 2004
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