Pentax Optio A10 Review
As is now the norm on cameras of this type the A10 offers a maximum movie size of 640 x 480 pixels - enough to fill most television screens - at 30 frames per second. It is worth noting, however, that the images are only recorded at 20 frames per second, and are saved at 30 frames per second in the file (i.e. only two out of three frames contain captured information).
Unusually the movies are recorded using MPEG-4 compression using the DivX codec, more commonly used for squeezing down feature films than for capturing short movie clips. The format makes them very small indeed - around 260KB/s, meaning you can fit over 40 minutes of VGA (640 x 480 pixel) footage on a 1.0 GB card, which certainly puts most of the A10's competitors to shame. DivX also means the movies are compatible with a wide range of consumer devices such as personal media players and modern DVD players. On the downside they can't be played on most computers without installing the necessary components (in the case of Mac users this is a fairly long-winded process - there is no 'out of the box' support for playing the A10's movies on the MacOS).
Overall quality is pretty good, though the compression artefacts can sometimes be quite obvious and panning shots sometimes look a little jerky considering they are 30 frames per second (see above), but you can keep shooting until the card runs out and the image stabilization helps keep things fairly smooth.
You cannot use the optical zoom during filming.
|On-screen information when recording movies is similar to that you get with stills, and you get the same options for grid view and - still unusual on this type of camera - a histogram if you want one.|
|Pressing the green button in movie mode gives you options for the movie size (640 x 480 or 320 x 240 pixels), anti-shake, quality (3 levels) and AE-compensation.|
|In playback mode a thumbnail of the first frame of the movie appears when scrolling through saved images. Press the 'up' button to play or pause movies (there are also fast forward and rewind buttons).|
|The A10 offers simple in-camera editing of movies, allowing you to reclaim some card space by trimming the ends off clips.|
640x480 pixels @ 30fps
Shot at telephoto (114mm)
Click on the thumbnail to view the movie
640x480 pixels @ 30fps
Shot at Wideangle (38mm)
Click on the thumbnail to view the movie
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