Review Pentax Optio s1 (compact camera)
The Smallest Luxury is how Pentax describe this tiny camera…
Taking it out of its rather over packed shipping box i was struck by just how small this camera is
|Weight||110 g unloaded, 126 g loaded and ready|
The dimensions are taken from the Pentax site but dont really give you a feel for just how small and easy to hold in the hand it is.
The controls are easy to use and intuitive which really cuts back on the need for a paper manual.
There ws no SD card in the box as the camera was on trial not the card.
There is some inbuilt memory to let you take a few images but you need to insert a card to get the most from it.
I used one of the faster SD cards from my DSLR to ensure there was no slowing of performance.
Ease of use.
Straight out the box and taking images within seconds it really needed no guidance, i would imagine even the most technophobic user could get this up and running within a few minutes.
The menus are simple to use with bright easy to understand images to give you an idea what they do on screen
There are multiple exposure modes; Auto Picture, Program, Blue Sky, Landscape, Flower, Sunset, Night Scene, Night Scene Portrait, Portrait, Natural Skin Tone, Food, Digital SR, Kids, Pet, Sport, Surf & Snow, Fireworks, Frame Composite, Party, Candlelight, Text, Miniature Filter, HDR Filter, Movie, Green.
If you leave it on auto the camera will make the choice for you.I found this particularly effective for indoors and larger landcape type images. The HDR effect i found a bit garish but it looked ok for the limitations of the sensor. The macro facility is particularly good with the focus being pin sharp
The bokeh effect from the macro was really impressive as well the above image was taken on a dull and wet day in Glasgow. The camera performed well under these conditions
From the examples below its easy to see the quality f the images produced by the 14mp sensor fitted to this compact.
I was particualry impressed by the way it handled contrast, something most compacts and even some DSLRs have difficulty with
It works well indoors and outdoors selecting the ISO without effort. The flash is ok for short distances but it didnt really pack much of a punch other than for a basic fill which i suppose is all its designed to do..
Here its ok but i feel the colours were just a tad washed out.
Frame rate wise it was pushed to its limits by the hula hoop dancers at the Edinburgh fringe but the effect of this when the hoop was rotating looks pretty cool
Watching it on a 24″ monitor posed no issue for the quality scalling up partcularly well
the first video was shot in Glasgow with plenty movement of people and high contrasts in the sky. This came out well in playback
The second was shot at the Edinburgh Festival
I particularly liked the effect on the hoop as it goes round
This wee camera fits extremely well into the hand and pocket which would encourage you to take it with out more often than not. I found this useful when i was in Glasgow Central Station where photography is generally frowned upon unless you get prior permission.
Its great for grab shots when pulling out the main camera is just not practical.
It deals well with changing light both inside and out.
The auto functions are just great but letting the camera choose for you works even better
Focusing was at times a bit slow but not so that it would have you miss the shot
Face recognition function was good and easy to use.
Flash was a bit weak though ok in a smaller room
The image shake facility worked well even when i was moving.
Image quality gets 8/10 compared to a dslr but 9/10 for a compact camera
Ease of use 10/10 honestly its so easy to use you would not believe
Portability (likelyhood you would take it with you) 10/10 hands down without doubt Pentax have nailed the size and form factor down here it slips into a pocket or a bag without so much as a bulge.. Superb
On screen display 10/10 easy to use and see even in bright sunlit conditions
Video 8/10 the audio quality is great but the video performance itself is a tad blocky, but still good for the size of camera
Total review score 9/10, a great compact for anyone who wants ease combined with image quality
Specifications as per Pentax Website
|Camera Type||Digital zoom compact camera|
|Effective Pixels||Approx. 14 megapixels|
|Still||14M, 10M (1:1) 10M (16:9), 7M, 2M (16:9), 640 (640 x 480 pixels)|
|Movie||HDTV 720p (1280×720), VGA (640×480), QVGA (320×240) at 30 or 15 fps|
|Colour Depth||12 bits x 3 colours|
|Sensitivity||Auto, Fixed (ISO 64 – 6400)|
|Shake Reduction||CCD-shift Shake Reduction|
|Focal Length||5?25mm f/3.9(W) – f/5.7(T), equ. to 28?140mm in 35mm|
|Digital Zoom||Optical zoom: 5x
Digital zoom: approx. 6.7x
Intelligent zoom: approx. 7x at 7M, approx. 33.5x at 640 (including optical zoom)
|Construction||PENTAX zoom lens, 9 elements in 8 groups (4 aspherical elements)|
|Type||TTL Contrast detection Autofocus system|
|Functions||9-point Multi?AF, Spot AF, Auto?tracking AF (anticipating moving subject)|
|Focus Range (automatic)||Normal : 0.4m ? infinity (at wide setting), 1m ? infinity (at tele setting)
Macro : 0.1m ? 0.5m (at wide setting), 0.3 m ? 0.5m (at medium magnification)
Super macro : 0.05m ? 0.30m (at wide setting)
Infinity-landscape, Pan Focus, Manual Focus: available
|AF assist||AF assist lamp at front|
|Type||2.7’’ (6.86cm) colour LCD, extra wide angle viewing with AR coating|
|Resolution||approx. 230k dots|
|Playback||Blink detection, Slideshow, Miniature Filter, Image Rotation, HDR Filter, Digital Filters, Frame Composite, Movie Edit, Red eye Compensation, Resize, Cropping, Image/Sound Copy, Voice Memo, Protect, DPOF, Start-up Image|
|Type||Program controlled electronic auto exposure with electronic shutter with CCD|
|Speed||1/6000 – 1/4 sec. 4 sec max. (Night Scene mode)|
|Metering||Multi-segment metering, Centre-weighted metering, Spot metering|
|Exposure Modes||Auto Picture, Program, Blue Sky, Landscape, Flower, Sunset, Night Scene, Night Scene Portrait, Portrait, Natural Skin Tone, Food, Digital SR, Kids, Pet, Sport, Surf & Snow, Fireworks, Frame Composite, Party, Candlelight, Text, Miniature Filter, HDR Filter, Movie, Green|
|Compensation||+/- 2EV (1/3EV steps)|
|Type||Integrated auto flash control|
|Modes||Flash-on and Flash-off modes
“Red-eye” reduction function
|Effective Range||Wide: approx. 0.3 ? 3.6m (ISO Auto)
Tele: approx. 1.0 ? 2.5m (ISO Auto)
|Modes||One shot, Self-timer (2 or 10 sec), Continuous shooting, Burst shooting, Remote Control|
|Face Recognition||Face recognition (detects up to 16 faces), Smile capture, Smile detection and auto-picture)|
|White Balance||Auto, Daylight, Shade, Tungsten light, Fluorescent light, Manual setting|
|Digital Filter||B&W, Sepia, Toy Camera, Retro, Colour, Extract Colour, Colour Emphasis, Soft, Brightness|
|Recording||Sound : Yes
Movie “Shake reduction” ? stabilized video
Duration : Depends on memory card capacity
Resolution : HDTV (1280×720), VGA (640×480), QVGA (320×240), at 30 or 15 fps
Dedicated REC button at the camera’s back
|Options||Slideshow, Image Rotation, Miniature Filter, HDR Filter, Digital Filter(B&W , Sepia, Toy Camera, Retro, Color, Extract Color, Color Emphasis, Soft, Brightness Filter), Frame Composite, Movie Edit, Red-eye Compensation, Resize, Cropping, Image/Sound Copy, Voice Memo, Protect, DPOF, Startup Screen|
|Internal||Approx 42.7 MB|
|External||Compatible with SD, SDHC and SDXC cards|
|File Format||JPEG (Exif 2.3), DCF 2.0, DPOF
Print image Matching III
AVI (Motion JPEG), WAV (PCM) mono
|Features||World time: 75 cities, 28 time zonesOthers:
CCD-shift Shake Reduction
Digital Shake Reduction
Movie Shake Reduction
Noise reduction if shutter speed exceeds 0.25 sec
|Language||English, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Dutch, Japanese, Danish, Swedish, Finnish, Polish, Czech, Hungarian, Turkish, Greek, Russian, Thai, Korean, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese|
|Interface||USB 2.0 (Hi-Speed), PC / AV terminal (PAL / NTSC)|
|Source||Rechargeable D?LI78 Lithium?ion battery|
|Performance||Approx. 180 shots and 120 min in play mode|
|Weight||110 g unloaded, 126 g loaded and ready|
|PC||Windows XP SP3, VistaTM and 7|
|Mac||OS X 10.3.9 or above|
|Included Software||Arcsoft Media Impression for PENTAX|
|Kit Content||AV cable, USB cable, Li-ion battery, power adapter, strap and software|
|Optional||Leather case, leather strap, weatherproof remote control, battery charger|
Images and Text Copyright John Farnan except where noted. Copyright held by Pentax