Pentax Optio 330 Review
Top of camera controls
|On top of the camera you'll find power button (which is recessed slightly into the camera top), the shutter release button and the main camera mode dial which allows you to switch between play and shooting exposure modes (detailed below).|
Displays last image taken / last image on the Compact Flash card, allows you to browse, delete, protect print mark and slideshow images. Curiously the Optio 330 also has the ability to set timed alarms in Playback mode.
Normal shooting mode, automatic exposure as well as a full selection of manual control: white balance, ISO sensitivity, exposure compensation, manual focus, metering, image processing settings etc. Minimum shutter speed is 1/8 sec.
Camera selects optimum settings for night scene exposures, you still have access to manual control features. Minimum shutter speed is 1 second.
|Manual exposure mode
Allows you to set your own manual exposure from a combination of aperture and shutter speeds:
Wide angle: F2.6 / F5.0
Telephoto: F4.8 / F9.2
15, 13, 10, 8, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2.5, 2, 1.6, 1.3, 1, 0.8, 0.6, 0.5, 0.4, 0.3, 1/4, 1/5, 1/6, 1/8, 1/10, 1/13, 1/15, 1/20, 1/25, 1/30, 1/40, 1/50, 1/60, 1/80, 1/100, 1/125, 1/160, 1/200, 1/250, 1/320, 1/400, 1/500, 1/640, 1/800, 1/1000, 1/1250, 1/1600, 1/2000 sec*
* 1/1250 - 1/2000 sec only available at minimum aperture (F5.0 / F9.2)
|Movie clip mode
Allows you record movie clips of up to 30 seconds (no audio). To record you must hold down the shutter release button. It is not possible to zoom during movie recording and the camera is constantly refocusing (bzzt-bzzt-click). Movies are recorded at 320 x 240 resolution, 15 frames per second, 140 KB/sec (AVI motion-JPEG format).
A feature I've only ever seen before on Fujifilm digital cameras, the Optio 330 allows you to take two images and combine them. You have a choice of combination method: Brighter image priority, Darker image priority, Average exposure.
Rear of camera controls
At the back of the camera we have a space for the palm of your hand, above this is the zoom controller, a set of three camera settings buttons, the 4-way controller and the MENU and DISPLAY buttons. On notable annoyance was with exposure compensation, setting it was simple enough but the camera resets it back to 0.0 EV after every shot.
Buttons (Record mode)
Toggles through the flash modes:
Flash On (fill-in)
Auto Flash with red-eye reduction
Flash On with red-eye reduction
|Self Timer / Drive
Select Self Timer / Drive mode:
Single shot (normal)
Remote control ready (optional)
Continuous shooting mode
Zooms the camera's lens towards the telephoto focal length, maximum optical zoom of 111 mm (35mm equiv.). A full zoom from wide to tele takes 1.5 seconds. The Optio 330 appears to have just seven zoom positions including wide angle 37 mm and telephoto 111 mm.
|Zoom wide angle
Zooms the camera's lens towards the wide angle focal length of 37 mm (35mm equiv.). A full zoom from tele to wide takes 1.5 seconds.
Enters / leaves record menu.
Pressing the OK button in record mode displays and instant review of the last shot taken. This has to be the fastest review I've seen on ANY digital camera, the Optio 330 is clearly 'caching' a thumbnail of the last image taken in its buffer. In Instant Review mode you can only delete, you can not browse or magnify the image, a half-press of the shutter release returns to record mode.
Selects a display mode for the LCD monitor:
Normal (AF bracket, basic exposure setting information)
Detailed with live histogram (detailed exposure information)*
Clear view apart from AF bracket
* The Optio 330 is absolutely unique in having a live preview histogram mode, the histogram displays in the center of the live view frame and is updated extremely quickly (I'll estimate at least 10 times a second).
Buttons (Playback mode)
Delete either the current (one press) or all images (two presses). Requires confirmation.
|Select image for DPOF
Allows you to mark the current image for printing on a DPOF compatible printer / photo finishing station. You can select the number of copies, if a date stamp is printed over the image and whether the image will be trimmed to fit 3:2 print ratio.
|Protect / Unprotect
Allows you to protect or unprotect the current or all images. Protecting an image simply sets its read-only (filesystem) flag, this prevents accidental deletion from the CF card. Note this doesn't protect against card format.
|Image magnify (zoom
Magnifies the displayed image, the Optio 330 has four zoom levels up to 4x. Image can be scrolled once zoomed using the 4-way controller.
|Image magnify (zoom
Steps back out of the magnified image.
Enters / leaves play menu.
Switches between thumbnail views:
Normal (single image)
Thumbnail index (9 images, 3 x 3)
Selects a display mode for the LCD monitor:
Normal (basic image information)
Detailed with histogram (detailed exposure information)
Single image view (no overlaid information)
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