Jan 18, 2005

Pentax Optio SV review

Jeff Keller, DCRP Founder/Editor has posted his review of the Pentax Optio SV and has this to say:

While on paper the Pentax Optio SV sounds like a real winner, in reality it left me feeling somewhat disappointed. Sure, it's small, stylish, and offers way more zoom than the competition. However, image quality, battery life, and overall performance are below average. First, here's what I liked about the Optio SV. It's a compact metal camera that packs a "big" 5X zoom lens -- way more zoom power than the typical ultra-compact camera. Construction is good for the most part, save for the plastic door over the memory card / battery compartment. The SV offers a full suite of a manual controls, though the longest shutter speed is 4 seconds (which is long enough for most people). Other bells and whistles include a super macro mode that lets you get 3 cm from your subject, a digital filter function (in playback mode), and a 30 frame/second movie mode (albeit at 320 x 240 and with awful sound recording). The included charging stand is a nice bonus, as it can recharge a spare battery along with the one in the camera.

Now, the bad news. Image quality was disappointing, with above average noise and an overall "fuzziness" that reminds me of a video capture. Color and exposure were good, however. (Also, keep in mind that the image quality issues that I raised only really matter for larger prints or full size viewing on your computer.) Camera performance isn't great either, with average speeds across the board (though honestly it felt slower than the timings I made). The 0.6 frame/second continuous mode isn't worth writing home about either. Low light photography isn't easy on the Optio SV, with an LCD that's too dark to see and poor focusing performance in those situations. And finally, battery life on the SV is well below average for this class of camera.

Read the full article here...