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$349.95 $322.69 list($399.95)
1. Pentax Optio WP 5MP Waterproof
Too low to display list($379.99)
2. Pentax Optio S5i 5MP Digital Camera
Too low to display $245.99 list($349.99)
3. Pentax Optio S50 5MP Digital Camera
$999.95 $969.95 list()
4. Pentax *ist DS 6.1MP Digital Camera
Too low to display $369.95 list($499.95)
5. Pentax Optio SV 5MP Digital Camera
Too low to display list($999.95)
6. Pentax *ist DS 6.1MP Digital SLR
$179.99 list($299.99)
7. Pentax Optio S40 4MP Digital Camera
Too low to display $478.99 list($649.95)
8. Pentax Optio 750Z 7MP Digital
$299.00 list($369.99)
9. Pentax Optio 33WR 3.2MP All-Weather
Too low to display $349.99 list($449.95)
10. Pentax Optio X 5MP Digital Camera
$299.95 $259.95 list($349.95)
11. Pentax Optio MX4 4MP Digital Camera
$399.99 list($419.99)
12. Pentax Optio S4 4MP Digital Camera
$249.99 list($349.99)
13. Pentax Optio MX 3.2MP Digital
$299.95 list($369.99)
14. Pentax Optio S 3.2MP Digital Camera
$349.99 list($479.00)
15. Pentax Optio S4i 4MP Digital Camera
Too low to display list($2,899.99)
16. Pentax *istD 6.1MP Digital SLR
Too low to display list($1,799.99)
17. Pentax *istD 6.1MP Digital SLR
list($629.99)
18. Pentax Optio 550 5MP Digital Camera
$349.95 list($379.95)
19. Pentax Optio S5z 5MP Digital Camera
$349.95 $345.99 list($399.99)
20. Pentax Optio 43WR 4MP Water Resistant

1. Pentax Optio WP 5MP Waterproof Digital Camera with 3x Optical Zoom
list price: $399.95
our price: $349.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0007CZ6F0
Catlog: Photography
Manufacturer: Pentax
Sales Rank: 140
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Product Description

With a sleek, compact design, 5.0 megapixel resolution and a 3X optical zoom lens, the waterproof OptioWP blends digital elegance into outdoor lifestyles. Amphibious, elegant digital you'll take everywhere - Snorkel, ski, or attend a stunning wedding, and you'll never stop snapping with the OptioWP. This latest digital delivers both on land and in the sea with a faster .6 second start up, a quick .05 second shutter release, movie mode and a generous 2.0 inch monitor. A beautiful, petite JIS Class 8 waterproof-rated exterior promises you'll capture images proudly just under the water's surface or in the most formal settings. Finally, your wait is over for petite, durable, go everywhere digital. Slim, Stylish Design - The slim OptioWP body is less than one inch in depth, so it slips easily into a pocket or bag while the stylish aluminum alloy design offers a comfortable grip. Waterproof Performance - Go ahead and swim with the OptioWP! The camera features a rust-resistant metal exterior, rubber sealants, and lens protection that opens up a new world of photographic potential. Users may shoot in rain, in snow, in the pool, or on the beach to capture outdoor scenes and adventure. The JIS Class 8 waterproof rating confirms the OptioWP will remain watertight even when the camera is used in water. (*The OptioWP may be submerged and operated up to three feet underwaterfor up to 30 minutes. (1 meter = 3.28 feet)) ... Read more

Features

  • Powered by a long-life rechargeable Lithium-ion battery; stores images on SD memory cards and has approximately 10.5MB of built-in memory
  • 5 MP CCD captures enough detail for photo-quality 13 x 17-inch prints
  • Waterproof body enables approximately 30 minutes of continuous underwater shooting at a depth of up to 1.5 meters
  • 3x optical zoom; recovery function makes it possible to reclaim images and audio files erased accidentally
  • Large, 2.0-inch LCD monitor with low-reflection technology and a backlighting system

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent all-round camera
I am very impressed with this small, easy-to-use, fun camera.First of all, it is very stylish.Its body is small and shiny and its screen is quite large.I was actually surprised by how small it is because the pictures make it seem about average size.In terms of performance, the five megapixels, built-in memory, and 3x optical zoom set it out from digital cameras of similar price.Plus, its water proof and durable.In all, you really can't go wrong with this camera.

5-0 out of 5 stars Best waterproof digicam
When shoppping for a waterproof digital camera to use while river floating, I was drawn to this one. Small, sleek & stylish, it's better looking and has better resolution than any of the other offerings. I've only used mine on one trip, but I already like it. Although I was somewhat disappointed by the lack of an optical viewfinder, the large LCD is bright enough to use in sunshine with sunglasses on. A few of my photos came out blurry even though the beep indicated the autofocus had locked. These were photos of other boats coming toward me rapidly while I was sitting in my boat, so my movement may have contributed. I need to experiment with the continuous AF and high-speed shooting modes to perfect these shots. It's great that the camera offers you so many options of AF and shooting modes. It also offers a large array of options for tweaking your images in the camera, from adding a frame to eliminating red-eye. This makes me think it might be feasible to print good hard copies without using a computer, something I never considered with other cameras.

All in all, I'd say this is a very good do-it-all, take-it-anywhere camera, with the bonus of it being waterproof. Highly Recommended! ... Read more


2. Pentax Optio S5i 5MP Digital Camera with 3x Optical Zoom
by Pentax
list price: $379.99
our price: Too low to display
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0002B807W
Catlog: Photography
Manufacturer: Pentax
Sales Rank: 68
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Features

  • 5.0-megapixel sensor creates photo-quality 2560 by 1920 pixel images
  • 3x optical, 4x digital zoom
  • 1.8-inch LCD screen, 21 different picture shooting modes
  • Store images on 10 MB internal memory or SD memory card (not included)
  • Powered by rechargeable lithium-ion battery, estimated for 180 shots

3. Pentax Optio S50 5MP Digital Camera with 3x Optical Zoom
by Pentax
list price: $349.99
our price: Too low to display
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0002XNT7G
Catlog: Photography
Manufacturer: Pentax
Sales Rank: 1196
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Features

  • Convenient, small and light with size of 3.5 x 2.3 x 1 inches and weight of 6.3 ounces with battery and memory card loaded
  • 5.0 megapixels based on a total of 5.36 megapixels; 1/2.5 inch interline transfer CCD with a primary color filter
  • Up to 2560 x 1920 still image resolution
  • Up to 320x240 QVGA movie resolution
  • Auto Focus with manual override

4. Pentax *ist DS 6.1MP Digital Camera with Pentax DA 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AL Digital SLR Lens
by Pentax

our price: $999.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00062NT9G
Catlog: Photography
Manufacturer: Pentax
Sales Rank: 1923
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Features

  • High-definition, maximum-gradation images with 6.1 effective megapixels
  • Large, high-precision two-inch color LCD monitor
  • High-precision 16-segment multi-pattern metering; high-accuracy 11-point AF sensor
  • 1/4000-second high-speed shutter; rapid consecutive shooting of up to 8 images at approximately 2.8 frames per second
  • SD memory card compatibility

5. Pentax Optio SV 5MP Digital Camera with 5x Optical Zoom
by Pentax
list price: $499.95
our price: Too low to display
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0002B80EA
Catlog: Photography
Manufacturer: Pentax
Sales Rank: 908
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Features

  • 5.0-megapixel sensor creates photo-quality 2560 by 1920 pixel images
  • 5x optical, 4x digital zoom
  • 1.8-inch LCD screen, AVI movie mode with sound
  • Store images on SD memory card (not included)
  • Powered by rechargeable lithium-ion battery

6. Pentax *ist DS 6.1MP Digital SLR Camera (Body Only)
by Pentax
list price: $999.95
our price: Too low to display
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00061LSAY
Catlog: Photography
Manufacturer: Pentax
Sales Rank: 2423
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Features

  • 6.1 MegaPixel CCD housed in one of the world’s smallest, lightest digital SLR camera bodies
  • High-rigidity stainless-steel chassis
  • Compatible with 35mm-format lenses and accessories
  • Fast, high-precision 11-point autofocus (9 cross-type sensors) with SAFOX VIII
  • SD memory card compatible

7. Pentax Optio S40 4MP Digital Camera with 3x Optical Zoom
by Pentax
list price: $299.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0001FFMCA
Catlog: Photography
Manufacturer: Pentax
Sales Rank: 492
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Amazon.com Product Description

Combining advanced Pentax lens technology with a detailed digital imaging system and some advanced features, the Optio S40 is well-suited to be the family's digital camera. It's encased in a compact aluminum body designed to stand up to the knocks and dings of travel, and its features make it accessible to photographers of all skill levels.

Optics and Resolution
Featuring a 4-megapixel CCD sensor, the Optio S40 delivers photo-quality prints at sizes up to 11 by 15 inches. The camera has an smc Pentax 3x optical zoom lens, which is equivalent to 35-105mm lens for the 35mm film format. Combined with 2.6x digital zoom, the S40 can magnify images up to 7.8x.

Movie Mode
The Optio S40 can capture short video clips with sound in movie mode. The maximum length of the movies this camera can capture is governed by resolution settings, framerate, and memory card size, but generally these movies are a few minutes in length. While they aren't camcorder quality, these types of video clips are fun and convenient, and they're perfect as e-mail attachments. You can even watch and listen to them on the camera's built-in color LCD screen and speaker. The camera lets you record audio notes, too, which is ideal for those situations when you want to preserve the names of people or places you're photographing.

More Features

  • Compact, durable aluminum body
  • Bright LCD monitor that's easy to see even in direct sunlight
  • Three metering options (multi-segment, center-weighted, and spot) help determine the appropriate light response during flash photography
  • Three image-quality settings
  • Seven auto picture modes take the guesswork out of composing for the most common photo environments. They are landscape, flower, portrait, self-portrait, surf & snow, autumn color, and sunset.
  • Focus Free mode allows you to place a focus point anywhere in the image area
  • Help button explains dial positions and features

Storage and Transfer
Images and video are stored in 11 MB of internal memory, but the camera also has a slot for optional use of Secure Digital (SD) memory cards (memory card not included). Files can be downloaded to either a Mac or PC via USB connectivity, which means it can be connected to any USB-based Windows 98/Me/2000/XP and Mac OS 8.6 or later computer without installing any software.

Power and Size
The camera is powered by two AA-size batteries (alkaline included, rechargeable lithium ion recommended). The camera measures 3.5 by 2.3 by 1 inches and weighs 4.4 ounces without batteries and memory card (approximately 6.1 ounces with).

What's in the Box
Optio S40 digital camera, two AA-size alkaline batteries, USB and video cables, strap, and ACDSee image software ... Read more

Features

  • 4-megapixel resolution for photo-quality 11 x 15 sized enlargements
  • Pentax 3x optical zoom lens combines with 2.6x digital zoom for 7.8x total zoom
  • 7 auto picture modes take the guesswork out of composing for most-common photo environments; help button explains dial positions and features
  • Connects to computers via USB
  • Powered by 2 AA-size batteries (alkaline included, rechargeable lithium ion recommended)

Reviews (11)

4-0 out of 5 stars nice little camera
I chose this camera over the S4/S4i due to the fact that it uses AA batteries. (I have rechargable batteries up the wazoo, thought that made the best sense...) Well, I've only had the camera for several days, and my initial impression is that battery life is poor. I did have lowered expectations about the power supply, and this camera failed to even meet those. I suppose I'll just have to live w/ the fact that I'll be changing batteries often. Otherwise, I really like the camera. It's built like a tank, really easy to navigate the menu systems, takes decent pictures, is only VERY slightly larger than the S4, and is priced 100 bucks below the competing Canon 4megapixed compact model. (although, due to numerous complaints about pentax quality control, I did pick up an extended warranty which kind of negated the price savings)

UPDATE 6/6/04
Either I got a lemon, or this camera is incredibly fussy about rechargable batteries. I can pull a set of freshly charged batteries out of my charger, put them in the camera, and the battery indicator is already yellow (low charge). I then repeat this procedure for all of my available batteries and most get the same result. I went out and purchased a set of 4 AA NiMH with 2100mAh capacity and two of the batteries work fine in the camera, and the other two get the same low charge indicator right after they've been charged. If it weren't for the fact thay I only bought this camera for casual use, I would toss it in the trash!!

5-0 out of 5 stars A mighty mite of a camera
I've been using the Pentax S40 for the past three weeks, and am pleased with my purchase. I too selected this model because of the AA battery capability and have found the battery life to be very acceptable. I took over 100 flash pictures yesterday on a fully charged set of NiMH batteries. Spare NiMH batteries and a charger are quite cheap and most folks would carry a second set anyway.

The photographic results are quite impressive. Certainly on par with my other digital camera which is the (much larger) Sony DSC-F707, though the slightly lower resolution (4mp to 5mp) would likely show on an 8x10. The viewfinder doesn't show the full size of the scene being framed on the LCD screen, but I believe this is true of most digicams.

The telephoto works smoothly, and the LCD screen provides a clear and smooth look at the scene being framed. As with most LCD displays, it becomes less useful in bright sun.

The camera is easy to set up and its menu system is intuitive and logical with a surprisingly large array of photographic options. It can also be used as an auto focus point and shoot camera with good results as my 12 year old daughter did recently on a school trip. Subsequently she spent a bit of time learning the camera, and now navigates the menus, etc., with ease.

I'm using a 256mb Simpletech Secure Digital (SD) Pro-X High Speed card which has a much faster (10MB/sec) transfer rate than a standard SD card. The faster write speed frees the camera for its next shot much more quickly, and you won't believe how fast it transfers 256mb to a PC over a USB 2.0 (separate USB 2.0 reader needed) connection - whew!

I also purchased the Pentax Optio Warranty Extension which gives this camera a full three years of coverage. I figured my family will be using this camera for at least that long.

All in all, this is an excellent and fully featured camera in a very small package.

5-0 out of 5 stars Contrary to so many others, this is one great little camera
While walking thru Costco this morning I saw the Pentax Optio S40, it really looked great, I,ve owned quite a few Pentax Products and always found them to be well done with few exceptions, the S40 is no exception.
In a very impulsive mood I bought it, took it home, knew nothing about it, but was glad to see it uses AA cells, I did not read the manual, I inserted (2) fully charged 2200 milli ampere hour AA cells and my own 256 meg card, then started shooting pictures.
The results were superb, the color is excellent, required no correction at all, I took about 200 shots, the batteries are still going strong. True, on the screen, it looked like they could be sharper, when printing they were beautiful, ,,,,
Since then, I have been reading not such great things about the S40, I disagree with all, this is a first rate, beatifully made machine that is just a joy to use, I am going on a vacation shortly, the D40 will be with me.
Coul be I am lucky and got the best D40 ever made, I doubt that, I cannot recomment the camera more enthusiastically, I think I should read the instruction manual now, it could help even more

3-0 out of 5 stars Great size, image quality only so-so
The S40 is a very convenient size and light enough that it can be worn around your neck or carried in a shirt pocket. It uses two AA batteries instead of a proprietary battery, so you can power it with a couple of sets of rechargeable NiMH batteries. It has a 3x zoom and a nice selection of different shooting modes. The user interface is pretty good - you can select the 'hot buttons' that are most frequently needed to change resolution, exposure override, etc. So far, so good - right?

Unfortunately, image quality isn't on a par with other 4MP cameras. The S40 that I had was consistently soft along the left side of the image and had a similar, although smaller area on the right side of the image. Image sharpness wasn't great throughout the frame regardless of the zoom setting, although the colors were accurate and well saturated. There was a good bit of distortion at the widest setting, although this seems to be pretty common with very small digital cameras. I was diasppointed enough with the S40 to return it - a pity, because I loved the small size and light weight.

4-0 out of 5 stars perfect example of form over function
The Pentax Optio S40 is ideal for consumers who want a small, durable, attractive camera that delivers merely tolerable performance and image quality. the lens produces invariably soft images, and the auto focus and shutter response seem to be relatively slow. My last camera was the more high-end, enthusiast-oriented Nikon Coolpix 995, but I couldn't tuck it in the pocket of my jeans and forget about it like the optio S40. In terms of aesthetics, the S40 rivals Canon's Digital Elph series, with its sleek, flat design and brushed metal exterior. Photographers seeking more versatility will want something larger, more complex, and more expensive, but casual snapshooters who want basic shots and short video clips (with sound) at parties, on trips, etc. will probably be satisfied. This camera is a pretty good deal at costco, which is the only store I know of that will accept returns on digital cameras without a 15% restocking fee. All in all, the Optio S40 is not a bad value. Compare to the Canon Powershot S410, Nikon Coolpix 3200, and Kodak Easy Share series. ... Read more


8. Pentax Optio 750Z 7MP Digital Camera with 5x Optical Zoom
by Pentax
list price: $649.95
our price: Too low to display
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0002B80CM
Catlog: Photography
Manufacturer: Pentax
Sales Rank: 604
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Features

  • 7.0-megapixel sensor creates photo-quality 3056 by 2296 pixel images
  • 5x optical, 4x digital zoom
  • 1.8-inch LCD screen, AVI movie mode with sound
  • Store images on SD memory card (not included)
  • Powered by rechargeable lithium-ion battery

9. Pentax Optio 33WR 3.2MP All-Weather Digital Camera with 3x Optical Zoom
by Pentax
list price: $369.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0000C4E4R
Catlog: Photography
Manufacturer: Pentax
Sales Rank: 2955
Average Customer Review: 4.33 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Features

  • 3.2 MegaPixel CCD
  • JIS-Class 7 water-resistant digital camera
  • Movie mode records 30 seconds of footage with sound as an AVI file 15 fps
  • Convenient USB connection to your computer
  • TTL contrast detection autofocus system with 5-point wide-focus, spot focus and infinity landscape mode

Reviews (3)

4-0 out of 5 stars *Almost* Perfect For My Needs
I can be rough on cameras so I wanted a digital camera that could take at least a little abuse. I considered the Olympus Stylus 300/400 but didn't care for some of the reviews and the kind of batteries they use (I'm a rechargeable AA fan). What I read on the Optio 33WR was impressive, it has more mode features than I'll probably use (even a specialty mode for fireworks!) Although not quite as easy to use as the Kodak 6330 I feel this is offset by the extra features of the Optio 33WR. Since the Optio 33WR is "immersible" it *should* be able to handle rain and splashing from white water rafting and other water sports (I'll find out the hard way next summer) which greatly appeals to me. Taking pictures is easy and the 3.2 megapixel results are great even for 8x10 prints. Pictures are easy to download to your computer w/the included USB cable and the ACDSee photo-editing software is surprisingly easy to use as well. With a 256MB SD memory card I can take over 100 max quality/resolution photos and battery life is very good. It's small enough to drop in a pocket yet controls are large enough to be easily used. However, the Optio 33WR is not *quite* perfect... A docking bay w/battery charger for downloading photos would be nice and very convenient, I can't locate the optional AC adapter *anywhere*, a *slightly* more powerful flash (adequate as is) would be good, the power on/off button is a little too close to the shutter release for my comfort and the camera strap can dangle in front of the lens/flash when holding the camera at 90 degrees for more vertically oriented shots. Despite these minor quibbles I'm *very* happy w/my Optio 33WR and recommend it to anyone looking for a good digital camera that isn't afraid of the water. I give it 4.75 stars out of 5.
Added: I found a suitable AC adapter at Radio Shack (...) and the ACDSee photo-editing software that comes with the 33WR does a good job of lightening/brightening photos that the flash couldn't quite handle.
Added: The Vivitar DF200 Digital Flash looks to be my choice for better flash performance: It takes AA batteries like my Optio 33WR, "learns" the camera's flash characteristics for better results, tilts/aims for more lighting options and comes with a mini flex tripod & a special bracket for attaching to the tripod hole of the 33WR.
EDITED 5/04: The Phoenix D91-BZS 4-Stop Digital Slave Flash looks to be even better than the Vivitar (even comes w/a camera bracket). I now have the Optio 43WR which is nearly identical to the 33WR except for slightly greater resolution (no big deal) and a much-improved movie mode (640x480@30fps instead of 320x240@15fps) which I really like. However, it requires hi-speed memory to achieve 30fps and the SanDisk 512Mb Ultra II will provide 7.5 minutes of movie recording time at 640x480@30fps. If the movie mode isn't that important to you then I suggest you stick with the 33WR and less expensive memory.

5-0 out of 5 stars Finally!!!!!!!
I've waited a long time for a decent digital camera that's rugged enough for going outdoors and enduring a little punishment. This thing is all you could ask for if your looking for a camera to go fishing, duck hunting and anything else you throw at it. It's simple and well laid out but still has all the features of a mid-range camera. It takes great pictures and comes with ACDsee for a wonderful software package.
Enjoy!!!!

4-0 out of 5 stars Nice little AW Digital P&S camera!
I am new to Digital cameras, but have been shooting film in a variety of formats and systems for over 30 years. After much research and agonizing compromises, I waited and purchased this Pentax Optio 33WR. It is small, but fits my small hands well. All the controls are nicely defined and laid out. I began using the camera prior to consulting the manual because the camera is logically engineered. The manual is well done and thorough, and Pentax also spells out the accompanying ACDSEE software - not needed if you own a Mac. You can also download the manual and specs for this and many Pentax cameras directly from Pentax's doc site - free, prior to purchase if you want to study this. The specs available are quite accurate. Output is great! Sharp lens, fast focus, accurate exposure, and it fits in my pants pocket. It has a lot of flexibility for a P&S and a fair number of manual features if you need them. Nicely sealed, all weather unit. solid feel! Lots of positives! Negatives are: Came with 2 inexpensive alkaline batteries instead of lithium versions - I replaced them, but one can find power for this camera anywhere. The camera comes with an 16MB SD memory card which is good for about 8-10 hi-res pix, so I replaced it with a 64MB version ($34). All-in-all, 4 stars may be conservative because I like it and it is nearly all I need and want. ... Read more


10. Pentax Optio X 5MP Digital Camera with 3x Optical Zoom
by Pentax
list price: $449.95
our price: Too low to display
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0002B80RM
Catlog: Photography
Manufacturer: Pentax
Sales Rank: 933
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Features

  • 5.0-megapixel sensor creates photo-quality 2560 by 1920 pixel images
  • 3x optical, 4x digital zoom
  • 2.0-inch LCD screen, AVI movie mode with sound
  • Store images on 16 MB internal memory or SD memory card (not included)
  • Powered by rechargeable lithium-ion battery

11. Pentax Optio MX4 4MP Digital Camera with 10x Optical Zoom
by Pentax
list price: $349.95
our price: $299.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0002TXNHQ
Catlog: Photography
Manufacturer: Pentax
Sales Rank: 625
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Features

  • 4.0-megapixel sensor creates photo-quality 2304 by 1728 pixel images
  • 10x optical, 10x digital zoom
  • 1.8-inch LCD screen, MPEG4 movie mode
  • Store images on SD memory card (not included)
  • Powered by CR-V3 lithium battery, estimated for 180 shots

12. Pentax Optio S4 4MP Digital Camera w/ 3x Optical Zoom
by Pentax
list price: $419.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0000C4E4S
Catlog: Photography
Manufacturer: Pentax
Sales Rank: 2596
Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Amazon.com Product Description

Raising the stakes from its predecessor--the groundbreaking Optio S--the Pentax Optio S4 adds more megapixel resolution without adding any size to the camera's sleekly designed, tough aluminum-alloy body. It features a unique 3x zoom sliding lens system body that allows the lens to move up, away, and lie fully flush within the camera frame to protect the lens and allow for the camera's tiny dimensions.

Optics and Resolution
With the high-level imaging power of 4.0 effective megapixels (2304 x 1728 pixels), the Optio S4 captures everything from macro shots to distant scenery with exceptional sharpness and accuracy. Other resolution modes include 1600 x 1200, 1024 x 768, and 640 x 480.

Equivalent to a 35–105mm lens in 35mm format, the 3x optical zoom allows a full range of shooting from expansive scenery to telephoto shots. All elements are crafted entirely from glass and two of the lenses are aspherical on each side. Combined with 4x digital zoom, the Optio S4 offers 12x combined zoom capability.

Movie Mode
In addition to taking still photos, the Optio S4 can also record movie clips of up to 60 seconds with audio at 12 frames per second. The limited resolution of your movies guarantees that this feature won't replace your camcorder, but it's perfect for when you just want to capture a quick movie and e-mail it to a friend or relative.

The time-lapse movie function allows a sequential set of shots to be run as a short film. This can be used for impressive effects, such as scenes of clouds rushing across the sky, for example, and offers a selection of recording speeds--X2, X5, X10, X20, X50, and X100.

More Features
With a shutter release time lag of just 0.01 seconds, the Optio S4 allows switching from viewing to shooting with a single touch of the shutter or playback button at any time.

The built-in flash on the Optio S4 can be set to fire automatically when shooting in low-light conditions. For greater control, the camera also features flash-on, flash-off, and red-eye reduction modes, and there’s also the option of slow shutter sync when shooting in "night scene" mode.

The Optio S4 offers a choice of two kinds of autofocus. 7-point autofocus helps you achieve sharp focus even when subjects are off-center. Spot AF, on the other hand, lets you place the center of focus on one point out of a choice of 49 in the frame, marking that point in the viewfinder for easier use.

Macro mode allows shots from as close as 7.08 inches from the subject, while selection of super macro shooting allows you to compose from as close as just 2.36 inches.

The OptioS has been specially designed with audio recording capability rivaling the abilities of standalone audio recording devices. This can be exceptionally handy for recording important information in meetings. An index can be added during recording for easy playback.

Other features include:

  • 1.6-inch color TFT LCD screen with histogram display
  • Macro mode: 7.08 inches
  • Shooting modes: program, picture mode, night scene, movie, panorama assist, 3-D image, digital filter, user
  • Picture modes: landscape, flower, portrait, self-portrait, surf and snow, autumn color, sunset
  • White balance control: TTL auto, preset, custom white balance
Storage and Transfer
Images can be stored in the internal 11 MB memory or on optional Secure Digital (SD) or MultiMediaCards (MMC). Images can be downloaded to either a Mac or PC via USB 1.1, which means the camera can be connected to any USB-based Windows Me/2000/XP and Mac OS 8.6 or later computer without installing any software.

Power and Size
The camera is powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery (D-L18, included). It measures 3.3 by 2.0 by 0.8 inches and weighs 4.1 ounces (with battery).

What's In The Box
This package includes the Optio S4 digital camera, battery and battery charger, USB and AV cables, hand strap, and CD-ROM with image software (the latest version of ACDSee 5.0 software designed exclusively for Pentax Optio digital cameras) and USB drivers for Windows and Mac. ... Read more

Features

  • 4.0 MegaPixel CCD
  • Ultra lightweight aluminum alloy body weighs only 3.5 oz
  • Movie mode records 60 seconds of footage as an AVI file with sound
  • LCD monitor bright enough for use in direct sunlight
  • 11MB internal memory

Reviews (33)

4-0 out of 5 stars improves on the already amazing optio S!
pentax had heads turning when they introduced the optio s because that camera could fit into an altoids tin. well, pentax has upped the ante. they've managed to a full megapixel of resolution without increasing the size of this amazing camera. the result is the optio s4.

pros:
- yes, it still fits in an altoid tin! the main selling point of this camera is its small size: 3.3 x 2.0 x 0.8 in, weighing in at 3.5oz.
- relatively high "wow" factor.
- average four megapixel resolution.

- good reliable metering.
- low image noise at low ISO settings.
- fast autofocus in well lit situations.
- very good macro performance for an ultra-compact.
- wide range of focus options including manual focus!
- histogram display in live view and play modes.
- allows decent manual control for what is billed as a point-and-shoot ultra-compact.
- no color cast from flash.
- fast startup time.
- solid build quality - stylish aluminum case.
- bright LCD monitor with anti-reflective coating.
- shooting priority during play mode.
- doubles as a voice recorder.

cons:
- some chromatic aberrations.
- some vignetting visible.
- moderate barrel distortion at full wide angle.
- average photo quality with soft edges.
- images noisier than competition.
- the right most button at the top of the camera is the power button. right beside it to the left is the shutter release button. for me, the more logical button placement would be to have the shutter release button on the far right.
- no AF assist light.
- some redeye occurrence.
- poor shot to shot times - very disappointing.
- metal body scratches easily.
- RAW and TIFF formats not supported.
- longest shutter setting is 4 seconds.
- only 11MB of built-in memory provided so add $$ to your budget to buy external memory.
- below average battery life and the battery is proprietary so add more bucks for a spare.

like its predecessor, the optio S, the S4 is an amazing camera, providing a wide feature set in an ultra-compact package. it is simply the smallest camera with its feature set available today (10/2003). it is very similar to the slightly bigger casio ex-z4. so why only four stars? opportunites for improvement would be: better shot to shot times, a longer shutter setting (max right now is 4 seconds), and an AF assist lamp.

i hope this helps you with your buying decision. peace.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great Beginners' Digital Camera
This review is from the perspective of an amateur photographer and a first-time digital camera buyer. My primary goal was to have a) something very portable with b) intermediate features that I could grow into. So this is what I think:

Pros
•Excellent portability - extremely light and small
•Numerous settings allow you to take pictures under vast majority of conditions
•Very good macro function
•Great 'WOW' factor!
•High resolution - 4MP
•Good optical zoom - 3x
•Records short videos - upto 60 seconds
•Decent-sized LCD screen

Cons
•Average picture quality (you have to print the photos to see the real quality)
•No SD card included (only 11MB of internal memory; budget for SD card)
•One proprietary battery not enough; budget for spare
•Battery cover somewhat flimsy - handle with care
•No case; you could get one from Fry's/BestBuy for less than $10

Optio S4 serves my purpose very well. I hated lugging around my previous 35mm camera. Now I pretty much have the S4 with everywhere I go during the four weekends that I have had it. Overall evaluation is thumbs up!

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Camera
Just got this camera about a week ago. Love it!! Small, sleek, fits almost anywhere (including in an Altoids can). The picture quality is amazing and the colors are vibrant. The battery lasts much longer than I had anticipated. The camera is ready to take a picture a second after being turned on, which sadly was not the case with my bulky Kodak DX3500. The Optio is so easy to use, you almost don't need the manual it comes with. The only complaint is from my fiance -- he has rather large hands, and he sometimes has problems hitting the right button because of the buttons being so small. All in all, I would recommend the Optio S4 to anyone interested in a high quality, compact digital camera.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Camera
Great pictures and small size make this the coolest around. Have had it for a year now and had no problems with it. Outstanding battery life and great screen. Buy this camera

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent camera
I have had this camera for 2 months now and I am very pleased with it. I first could not believe how Pentax put in a 4.0 mp in such a small size. It is unbelievably small! It is the smallest digital camera out there. Zoom is great. People who broke this camera simply did not handle it carefully enough. You get the best bang for the buck- cheaper than many of 4.0 mp digi cams out there on the top of Pentax rebate- I got the check in the mail in about 8 weeks. Picture quality is great. It also has amazingly many features such as sound/video recording, 3D photo, and multi-colored photos. If you want a small, compact, point and shoot camera, this is the choice. ... Read more


13. Pentax Optio MX 3.2MP Digital Camera with 10x Optical Zoom
by Pentax
list price: $349.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0001J0BHC
Catlog: Photography
Manufacturer: Pentax
Sales Rank: 2109
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Features

  • Combined high-resolution digital still camera and full-capacity digital video camera
  • 3.2-megapixel sensor captures enough detail to create photo-quality 10-by-14-inch enlargements
  • Records VGA quality MPEG-4 video at 30 frames-per-second
  • 10x optical zoom lens; 10 picture modes; supports USB 2.0
  • Ergonomic swiveling grip handle; articulated 1.8-inch LCD monitor; compact design

14. Pentax Optio S 3.2MP Digital Camera w/ 3x Optical Zoom
by Pentax
list price: $369.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B000087HWM
Catlog: Photography
Manufacturer: Pentax
Sales Rank: 1223
Average Customer Review: 4.31 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Amazon.com Product Description

Early Adopters Pick: March 2003.The world’s smallest 3.2-megapixel, 3x optical zoom camera.

The Pentax OptioS is so small it can fit into an empty mints tin. Smaller than the size of an average credit or business card and just over .75 inches thick, the OptioS boasts a high-quality 3.2-megapixel resolution and a 3x optical zoom lens in a sleekly designed, tough aluminum-alloy body. A new "sliding lens" system allows this lens to move up, away, and lie fully flush with the camera frame to protect the lens and allow for the camera’s tiny dimensions.

Optics and Resolution
Featuring a 3.2-megapixel CCD sensor, the OptioS delivers images up to 2,048 x 1,536 pixels and prints up to 11 by 14 inches. The zooming capacity of the lenses is augmented with 2x digital zooming, which offers smooth operation and realizes a combined zooming power of 6x zoom. It features a focal range of 5.8-17.4mm (35-105mm equivalent in 35mm photography) and maximum aperture of f2.6-f4.8.

Storage and Transfer
Images can be stored in the internal 11 MB memory or on optional Secure Digital (SD) or MultiMediaCards (MMC). Images can be downloaded to either a Mac or PC via USB storage-class connectivity, which means the camera can be connected to any USB-based Windows Me/2000/XP and Mac OS 8.6 or later computer without installing any software.

Movie Mode
In addition to taking still photos, the OptioS can also record movie clips of up to 30 seconds with audio at 12 frames per second. The limited resolution of your movies guarantees that this feature won't replace your camcorder, but it's perfect for when you just want to capture a quick movie and e-mail it to a friend or relative.

More Features
The OptioS has been specially designed with audio recording capability rivaling the abilities of standalone audio recording devices. This can be exceptionally handy for recording important information in meetings. An index can be added during recording for easy playback.

  • Shooting modes: program, picture mode, night scene, movie, panorama assist, 3-D image, digital filter, user
  • Picture modes: landscape, flower, portrait, self-portrait, surf and snow, autumn color, sunset
  • White balance control: TTL auto, preset, custom white balance
  • Autofocus: 7-point AF, spot AF, and infinity landscape mode
  • 1.6-inch color TFT LCD screen with histogram display

Power, Size, and Contents
The camera is powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery (included). It measures 3.3 by 2.0 by 0.8 inches and weighs 4.1 ounces. This package includes the OptioS digital camera, battery and battery charger, USB and AV cables, hand strap, and CD-ROM with image software and USB drivers for Windows and Mac. ... Read more

Features

  • Tiny digital camera, small enough to fit into mints tin
  • 3.2 megapixel sensor captures enough detail to create photo-quality 8 x 10 prints and medium-quality prints up to 11 x 14
  • 3x optical plus 2x digital (6x total) zoom lens with autofocus
  • Store images on 11 MB internal memory; compatible with Secure Digital/MMC cards
  • Connects with Macs and PCs via USB port; rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery included

Reviews (67)

5-0 out of 5 stars Simply Amazing Macros!
Just got the Pentax Optio S. with a leather carrying case. 256MB SD and extra battery on their way.

I like cameras that are small and light enough that it's not a hassle to carry everywhere, yet still have sufficient bells and whistles that I can take great pictures under any circumstance. Overall, very pleased with this camera.

Pros:

1. Great Macro settings - There are Macro and Super Macro settings. The regular macro setting can take good photos upto about a foot away. But the super macro can get as close as 2.5 inches and when shot at the highest resolution and best image setting, the details are amazing (note: flash unavailable in the S-Macro mode).

2. Size - I also have a Canon S200 and the Optio is much smaller and lighter in comparison. The Canon feels bulky now. I have a Pentax leather case for the Optio S and the whole thing fits inside the Canon leather case (PSC-100 - discontinued). When worn on my belt, I don't notice that it's there.

3. Manual Focus - great for low light situations where the camera sensors have difficulty getting a focus lock.

4. Audio functions - You can add sound recording (voice memo) to annotate each picture. And you can listen to the playback on the built in speaker. You can also turn on just the audio recording (lens remains retracted) so that you can use it for short voice recordings.

5. Battery meter - Finally, someone added this feature to a camera in this category!!

6. Pentax leather belt case (PTLX-40) - very snug fit, zippered main compartment and a vecro closed, accordion style, outer pocket (very nice and expandable, unlike my Canon case) for extra battery, SD cards, Altoids, etc.

7. Flexible battery cover - someone dropped my Canon S200 and the CF cover latch broke off (easily replaced but still a pain). The battery cover is attached (somewhat loosely) via an elastic polymer so that in case of an accident, the cover is less likely to break off. While some people might think this is flimsy design, I believe it will actually keep the battery/SD card cover from breaking off on impact (you may have other worries in that case anyway).

8. Long neck strap - you can hang the camera from your neck and you will hardly notice that it's there because it's so light.

9. Loaded with features - Ability to save configurations so that the camera returns to previous settings (such as zoom, flash, EV, resolution, etc.) when turned back on, ability to assign a custom function to the controller button. Ability to edit image size. Panorama stitching. 3D pictures with included 3D viewer. Instant review setting variable in 1 second increments (my S200 has only 2 or 10 second presets). User adjustable focusing area. Just too many to list that I have not had a chance to try yet.

Cons:

1. If you have large hands, even fat fingers, the controller can be difficult to use. I have a medium sized thumb and I had to practice a while to keep from accidentally rocking the 4-way controller in the wrong direction.

2. Battery life seems somewhat short but that may have been due to my taking a lot of indoor flash pictures. Definitely need a second battery (as with most other digital cameras in this category).

3. PC/AV (USB) connector port is a bit difficult to plug into because there is a rubber cover/cap that gets in the way.

4. Small size - one of its best features but handing such a small object also takes a little getting used to.

5. Focusing option is somewhat limited (spot or multi metering) compared to newer Canons. Movable focusing center is an interesting feature but not very practical to use in the field.

Update:

1.5 months later... Still very happy with the little camera. While shopping for an engagement ring, I took many super macro shots of rings on my fiance's finger and it really helped to be able to review the close-up appearances, styles and details of each ring. (FYI, every jeweler I asked said it was okay to take the photos of the jewelry we were interested in.)

The 256MB SD card can hold about 124 pictures in the best quality highest resolution mode. Battery life was similar to my Canon depending on usage, about an hour of continuous shooting (I have a second battery and a second 256MB SD card that fit inside the pouch on the camera case).

I have used the audio recorder only mode (lens stays retracted) a few times to record memos to myself and it proved to be quite useful.

I really like being able to wear the camera strap on my neck because it provides ready access during a hike and is very light (you barely feel the weight of the camera hanging from your neck).

If you can find/get the Pentax soft leather case, it's the perfect case to hold this camera, a spare battery plus a few SD cards. You can wear it on your belt or in your front jean pocket (comfortable if you have loose/baggy pants).

I still have not explored the multitude of other special features but most of those (3D stereo, panorama, special filters, etc.) are not something I would use on a regular basis. They may be useful for some creative projects later on.

Update 10/10/2003:

I used the audio memo function of the Optio S while looking for rental housing. I took pictures of the places, of rooms and neighborhoods. It was very handy to make a voice memo for each picture of the rental units to remind myself later of any special features of each place, including rent+deposit, number of rooms, pets, floor style, utilities, impressions, etc.

This is the only camera I use for all my digital imaging needs.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Great Optio S
I have owned several other digital camera's in the past (Kodak and Fuji) and none even come close to comparing with the Pentax Optio S. I recently purchased the Optio S for a trip to the Greek Isles. I was a bit skeptical if such a small camera could deliver overall performance. The Optio S is fantastic. The battery life is great ( I bought an extra battery anticipating a short battery life...two batteries is almost overkill) and the SD media cards are super convenient. Just a quick switch and you have the ability to take up to 124 pictures on the highest picture quality setting. The little camera also takes video. It's not the greatest video, but it's good enough to show friends and family. The best feature about the camera is it's size...you can take it anywhere and almost forget about it, except when you want to take a picture. I get better pictures now because I take more pictures when it counts. My only complaint is that on top of the camera where the on/off switch is located, some of the markings (ON/OFF) are wearing off slightly. Nothing severe especially after the abuse I have given it. I highly recommend the Pentax Optio S digital camera.

4-0 out of 5 stars Altoid?
The Pentax Optio S contains a lot of features for its size. Small enough to fit inside my Altoids container, the Optio S sports a 1.5" screen that is clear and easy to see. The buttons are big enough for human fingers (unlike some others that I have viewed...) and they are clearly labeled. The menu is easily readable and easy to use. There are almost too many different options for this small camera its stunning.

PLUS-SIDE:
The Optio sports different color schemes including blue, red, purple, yellow, black & white, and sepia (my fav.) in addition to a few others.
It offers 3x optical zoom, which I was personally impressed by exactly how far it can zoom in. It has an adjustable flash option for any lighting. The Optio takes pictures in four different pixel measurements. Its video card is usually cheaper than any other card (and holds the same). Its movie capability is spectacular for any digital camera. Its computer software is easy to use, including options such as downloading, uploading, and sychronizing.
Some features it contains are Self-Portrait, Night-time Photos, Movie Filmer, Stretching (distorting the pictures, sometimes this can give an unusual effect to those who desire it), a 3D option with included 3D glasses, the aforementioned colors and many, many other variations. Lighting can also be specified.

DOWN-SIDE
Shutter-speed. It's shutter lag is very annoying, and can drive anyone nuts. For me, shutter speed is a small consequence for such a stunning machine, but the lag can immediately turn anyone away, so buy carefully.
Internal memory. Without the card, the Optio has a pathetic 11mb storage--or about 10 pictures at high quality.
Battery length. This is what almost crossed the camera off my list. At full length, this battery can last anywhere from 1-4 hours. It's been a heartbreak on some instances when I could not take anymore pictures. One has to recharge it for about 3-6 hours just to get 1-2 hours of decent camera usage. Unpleasant.

OVERALL:
Like any camera, it has its setbacks. But for this $300- miniature super-camera, I think it is worth it above others. Its inexpensiveness and its eclectic of features makes it a must-buy for camera-lovers or family members. Its perfect for that summer getaway to Rome or that Winter break in Colorado with the extended family.

4-0 out of 5 stars USED FOR YEARS!
okay, when i bought this camera, all i wanted was a nice macro, easy point and shoot camera with a "cool factor" im a teenager, and so that's obviously important to me. i bought it for 350, and sadly the price has dropped down to 200 now.

through the years i've used this, my ONLY complaints are the slow recording speed: it takes a while for the image to be captured from the time u press the shutter; and the grainy image in low light situations. otherwise, the camrea is great, beats the Casio exillim in almost every way other than LCD.

the macros are WONDERFUL all my photography classmates ask if i use a 5mp camera or a film camera and scanned it in.

I LOVE MY OPTIO S

3-0 out of 5 stars Beware warranty service
I have had this camera for over 6 mos and have been happy with the small size and the picture quality. It has a great macro lens for closeups of flowers etc. I did find that the flash is marginal, but the camera was designed as a small, easy to carry camera. That is where I have now had problems. It is apparently fairly fragile for a camera designed for active use. Several other reviewers have commented on the lack of warranty service by Pentax. My display button quit working, and when I sent the camera in they blamed it on moisture and would not repair. I checked with several camera stores and, according to them, most of the Warranties from most companies are very poor. If you plan on using this camera for hiking, bicycling or general travel be very careful, because if ANYTHING happens it will NOT be covered by warranty. The 4 megapixel model may be better, or you may want to go to the small camera of another company. I will not purchase another Pentax. If you buy a camera for active use, you may want to consider an extended warranty such as that offered by Best Buy. ... Read more


15. Pentax Optio S4i 4MP Digital Camera with 3x Optical Zoom
by Pentax
list price: $479.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0001FFMCU
Catlog: Photography
Manufacturer: Pentax
Sales Rank: 1591
Average Customer Review: 4.32 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Features

  • 4-megapixel sensor captures enough detail to create photo-quality 11-by-14-inch enlargements
  • Pentax 3x optical zoom combines with a 4x digital zoom for a 12x combined zoom
  • 7 picture modes; 1.8-inch color LCD display; movie mode with sound
  • Store images in 12 MB internal memory or on optional Secure Digital memory cards (memory card not included)
  • Powered by lithium-ion rechargeable battery (included with charger)

Reviews (22)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great little camera!
I'd been thinking about buying a small digital camera for about 3 years. My girlfriend continues to impress me with her pont and shoot, on the go picture taking ability with her tiny camera. That's what I was looking for, a camera that disappears when you don't need it.

I was originally looking at the Nikon 3100. However, while visiting in CA, I was introduced to the Optio S4i. What a small camera! And 1 megapixel more than the 3100. All for about $50 more (or more than that, now that the 3200 is out). I did some reasearch online that night and decided to buy it the next day.

Have not been disappointed yet.

The picture quality is very good (not the bestest). The lag time is negligable and I find the interface for the most part intuitive. It has a lot of handy modes to help one take a great picture. The idiot modes included in the camera's software are great! Makes a spontaneous picture look even better. I know that a lot of people gripe about not being able to manually control the camera, but his is not what this cameral was built for. It's built for take-along point-and-shoot fun where you don't have to think too hard. Continuous movie mode at 15 frames per second is also very nice. The size is also perfect. About the size of an Altoid can - slips into a pocket easily. Tamrac makes a great carrying case which accomidates the camera and a couple of SD cards.

The only gripe I have with it so far is a minimal "fishbowl" effect that is only noticeable when a lot of straight lines are present (took a picture of a tiled floor). However, this is found in most point and shoot cameras (some more than others), so no big loss.

Overall I'd say I am very satisfied. This camera will keep me happy taking pictures for a long time. When I get used to digital pictures, that's when I will go for the SLR, control everything camera. And even then, this camera will still be great for vacations and outings where a 17 pound camera bag is a third wheel.

4-0 out of 5 stars Nice digital camera for day to day uses
I just got my a week ago and have been played with it a little. For me, I just need a digital camera that's easy to carry around; shots relatively good pictures; easy to use. I mostly just use it to take day to day pictures, so nothing fancy.

The camera itself is pretty slick; all metal body, the keys are pretty intuitive, large LCD screen, turn on time is fast.

Some concerns:
1) No SD card included, so you really need to buy one, the 10M internal memory aren't gonan hold much. I bought the panasonic 256M SD card here also at amazon and it worked wonderfully.
2) No protective case at all, so the LCD is exposed all the time which maybe dangerous. I haven't found a good case for it yet.
3) The battery charge is easy to use, just plug the camera in; you can also charge the battery seperately. But it takes a while to recharge. Also, the charger is made of white plastic and just looked cheap.

4-0 out of 5 stars not perfect but very good !!!
I have the camera now a few weeks and I can say it is great!!! is small fits in every pocket !!! very good pictures i mean for digi cam ! if U want the best and the perfect pictures then U have to buy the pentax SLR ZX-7!!! nobody has to forgett this is a digital camera and a friend has the new sony with 5 mega pixel and these camera make not better pictures!!! i can say I'm very happy with the s4i !!! I would buy again!!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Nice
Real nice camera, researched it thoroughly and was worried about picture quality not being as good as the canon elph, but I'm completely happy with it. Panorama is pretty nice and the time lapse video is cool. The size is pretty amazing. You can always keep it on you without realizing it's there. Best digital point and shoot camera I have seen and for only $350, you can't beat it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Reasons to consider the Pentax S4i
Here are reasons why the Pentax S4i should be considered:

1)SMALL AND LIGHT- Smallest not only by linear dimensions (also is the smallest by cubic inch 'bulk' as well ) and weights only 4.2 oz WITH battery and memory card. All with a large 1.8" screen.

2)AVAILABILITY - It is so easy to carry around that I don't leave it behind in the hotel room (how many times have you left your camera in the hotel room while out dining because it isn't acceptable to carry a full sized camera to dinner or other events...and lost the opportunity to capture pictures?)

3)SHUTTER LAG and SHOT-TO-SHOT SPEED - Unlike other digital cameras...captures the picture as intended. Hardly any shutter lag. Also important to me is that the time between shots is minimal with the internal buffer.

4)LITHIUM RECHARGABLE BATTERY - Some prefer standard "AA". I do not as the "AA" will allow less than 50 shots compared to the 200 shots I can get on a single charge. Why is that important? I hate to carry multiple spare batteries...and "AAs" are heavier (just as an example...holding four "AAs" alone feels as heavy as the Pentax S4i fully loaded with battery).

5)SECURED DIGITAL MEMORY CARDS - The cards are cheaper in price than Xd or Memory Sticks. My recommendation....Panasonic brand high speed SD cards...which are known to be quicker than other brands (Panasonic data transfer write speeds of 10mbps ...which is quicker than the high end SanDisk Ultra II speed of 9mbps).

6)TELEPHONE SUPPORT - Call Pentax customer support at 800-877-0155 and you will see. Not only for customer support...but technical knowledge.

Suggested accessories:
** Spare battery
** Fitted authentic Pentax leather case with storage pockets for accessories. Model PTX-L40. Not available through Amazon but sold at Walmart.com for $19.34. Also sold at Ritzcamera.com.
** Memory cards (I view it as a positive that Pentax is not including a memory card other than the included 10 mb internal memory. This compares to many manufacturers that are providing a 16mb memory card...which will fit 16 shots at 4mp and are basically unusable). (Suggestion....Pansonic brand secured digital cards are known to be quicker and higher performance than other brands. Buy several 256mb cards.)
** And yes...an Altoid tin for storage (Fits in the tin and it does close tight for storage. Just have to shape the box by 1/16" with your thumb on the initial use to make room for the wrist strap eyelet. No big deal).

My best suggestion is to study this camera in person. You will not be disappointed.

I highly suggest the Pentax S4i for any traveler...as well as any parent...who wishes to have a very well engineered camera available...which will last for years to come. ... Read more


16. Pentax *istD 6.1MP Digital SLR Camera with Pentax SMCPDA 16-45mm Zoom f/4.0 ED AL Lens
by Pentax
list price: $2,899.99
our price: Too low to display
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00023XKR0
Catlog: Photography
Manufacturer: Pentax
Sales Rank: 6282
Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Amazon.com Product Description

Pentax's *ist D is the world's smallest and lightest digital SLR (as of April 2003), measuring just 5.0 by 3.7 by 2.3 inches and weighing 18 ounces. It features a clarity of 6.1 effective megapixels, a 16-segment metering system, an 11-point AF sensor, and a continuous shooting rate of 2.7 frames per second. It's also compatible with K, KA, KAF, and KAF2 mount lenses and 645/67 lenses with an adapter. This package includes a Pentax SMCPDA 16-45mm zoom f4.0 ED/AL lens.

Optics and Resolution
Employing a high-performance CCD with dimensions of 23.5mm by 15.7mm and embracing Pentax's unique image processing technology, the *ist D offers 6.1-megapixel resolution for the recording of precise, superior-quality images.

Included Lens
The Pentax SMCP-DA was designed for Pentax's Kaf mount and features extra-low dispersion (ED) glass for superior sharpness and color correction, a "Quick-Shift" system to move between autofocus and manual, and a lens hood. On this camera, the focal length is converted to 24.5mm-69mm. It uses 67mm filters.

Storage and Transfer
The *ist D is compatible with CompactFlash Type I/II memory cards, and is also compatible with MicroDrives.

More Features
An optical pentaprism viewfinder was developed especially for the *ist D. This makes viewing easy with an ample 95% field of view and 0.95x magnification. There is also a superimposed display function that assists composition by illuminating the AF points in red.

Other features include:

  • New 16-segment metering system achieves more accurate exposure
  • New 11-point AF sensor (SAFOX VIII) for enhanced focusing
  • Fast 1/4,000 second shutter speed and high-speed flash sync at 1/150 seconds
  • Custom function allows functionality to be tuned to satisfy user preferences
  • Noise reduction function activates for long exposures
  • 1.8-inch, 118,000-pixel LCD monitor
  • Choice of JPEG, TIFF, and RAW recording formats
  • Convenient playback functions, such as nine-image and 12x magnification display

Power and Size
The camera is powered by 4 AA batteries; rechargeable NiMH batteries are recommended. It measures 5.0 by 3.7 by 2.3 inches and weighs 18 ounces.

The *ist D and the *ist DS Compared


*ist D *ist DS
Effective Pixels 6.1 Megapixels 6.1 Megapixels
LCD Monitor

1.8-inch TFT Color LCD 2.0-inch TFT Color LCD
Power Source 4 AA, or 2 CR-V3 4 AA, or 2 CR-V3
Storage Media Compact Flash (I & II),
MicroDrive
SD Memory Card
File Formats 8-bit (JPEG), 8-bit (TIFF),
12-bit (RAW)
8 bit (JPEG),
12-bit (RAW)
Exposure Modes Auto w/Hyper Program
Program AE
Shutter-Priority AE
Aperture-Priority AE
Metered Manual
Bulb
Program AE
Auto Picture
Picture
Shutter-Priority AE
Aperture-Priority AE
Metered Manual
Bulb
Interface USB 1.1 USB 2.0
Flash Sync 1/150 sec 1/180 sec
X-Sync Socket YES NO
Continuous Frame Advance 2.6 fps 2.8 fps
Continuous Autofocus YES YES (in Action Picture Mode only)
Mirror Lock YES YES
Wireless Flash Sync YES NO
Optional Vertical Grip YES NO
Stainless-Steel Chassis YES YES
Remote Assistant from PC YES NO
Interchangeable Focusing Screens YES YES
PictBridge Compatibility NO YES
Weight (w/o Batteries) 19.4 oz 17.8 oz

... Read more

Features

  • 6.1 effective megapixels
  • Pentax SMCPDA 16-45mm Zoom f/4.0 ED AL lens included
  • Compatible with K, KA, KAF and KAF2 mount lenses and 645 / 67 lenses with an adapter
  • Compatible with CompactFlash Type I/II cards and MicroDrives
  • Powered by 4 AA batteries

Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Answers to the two big on-line Criticisms...
OK, if you're here, you probably have read all the online reviews. Here's my answers to some of the major criticisms I've seen about this supurbe camera on the web. (And my opinion is based on a 20 year career as a professional photographer...for what that's worth! :) )

1.)Criticism: Memory card is hard to remove. OK, maybe this could use a little work on Pentax's part. Not really a big deal if you're careful. Just be careful...it's not THAT hard!

2.)Criticism: Batteries are not proprietary and rechargeable!? WHAT? THANK GOD! This is in my opinion not a mistake but a MAJOR PLUS! Only Pentax would have the forsight and understanding to give the user TWO (more if you consider all the AA posibilities...)onboard options for battery power both available almost anywhere for Pete's sake! Batteries are the life blood of digital photography, more options can only be better! For my part I'm running 2300 milliamp hour rechargable AA's and am thrilled with the performance!

Well that addresses the two biggies I've read about. As for the rest of it, the price is now where it should be and the camera performs fantastically. Now that Pentax has a 14mm coming out, all is wonderful in the digital world. My advice, BUY IT and you won't ever look back! The 13x19 prints are superb, I shoot weddings and fine art landscapes, and this camera gets the job done!!!

4-0 out of 5 stars A great camera with a one serious flaw
Over the years I have used a variety of systems ranging from Pentax to Nikormat to Canon to Olympus and eventually back to Pentax. Why back to Pentax? Size and ergonomics. All of the major brands are good and some offer truly best in class - at a price - in optics such as Nikon and Canon.

However, for overall good value Pentax holds its own. While I would be happy to use equipment from any of the major brands, I am quite satisfied with Pentax - but I had to wait until last autumn to get my hands on a decent Pentax digital camera. The *istD, weird name and all, is such a camera. Overall I'm a happy camper and I have been taking some of the best photographs in my 30 years experience with this camera.

Other reviews here will tell you the camera's virtues and those features are real and not over stated. This is a professional class camera - though most professionals use Nikons and Canons when it comes to digital work for a number of reasons - usually due to optics and employers' standards. The optics from Pentax are still well respected and 99% of the folks reading this will be more than satisfied.

While battery life with this camera is very, very good, I would recommend considering getting the optional additional battery attachment that screws into the bottom of the camera. It looks like an old fashion motor drive but it provides excellent ergonomics when shooting side-wise (portrait) complete with the thumb and fore finger controls replicated for ease of use. It adds peace of mind by providing redundant power plus if you often shoot protrait framing, you can really hold this camera much better than most other cameras.

So what is the single, significant flaw of this camera? It is undoubtedly the flash card interface that is accessed via a door that doesn't swing completely open, tempting the user to push the card in a slightly wrong angle. Of course there are internal guides within the flash card holder assembly but even with care, over time, it is possible to break one of the tiny pins of the camera's interface to the flash card. I know. I have done it. The cost and speed of repair was minor, but suddenly one day out in the field I had a camera that was suddenly inoperable.

So that is why I give this other wise great camera only 4 stars. If you have a good investment in 35 mm Pentax gear, you really have no choice but this camera. But the good news, particularly if you are shooting in RAW, the output is incredible. Now that PhotoshopCS has upgraded its RAW import program via a free download from Adobe, the results from this camera can be absolutely stellar. But user beware when swapping out those flash cards!

5-0 out of 5 stars My early impression: Wow!
After nearly 3 years of playing with other digital cameras I finally took the leap back into SLR-land and purchased this great Pentax camera. Though I am just beginning to explore its capabilities, so far I am delighted: there are a lot of advantages to SLR camera use that I missed from the film days.

As with any of the current crop of digital SLR's, you get a ton of flexibility and shooting speed at a price that would have been unthinkable just two years ago. If you are used to using film SLR's, and have been frustrated by certain aspects of using a typical digital camera, you will be happy to be back in the land of no-shutter-lag shooting; the ability to use a ring on the lens barrel for zooming; tons of manual flexibility combined with idiot-proof program modes; and of course the flexibility of many lens choices. What has particularly driven me crazy about the current crop of high-end non-SLR digicams is the use of EVF viewfinders -- by contrast, the viewfinders on digital SLR's are great.

So why this Pentax vs the other competitive models? (The others worth considering in this price range at this time are the Canon EOS 10D; the Canon Digital Rebel; the Nikon D70; the Nikon D100; or even the Sigma models). This Pentax has the same sensor as the Nikon models, and the imaging capabilities of any of these cameras is doubtless well beyond my skills in any case. So to me it came down to ease of use, size and build quality. Size in particular is important to me: if you just look at the specs of this camera on a cubic-inch basis it's 38% smaller than the Nikon D70 and 26% smaller than the Digital Rebel. The Canon 10d is even bigger, and looks like a house sitting next to the Pentax.

After handling all of these cameras, I concluded that the Pentax is the one I would use most often. Too often my film SLR's sat at home when I was using film -- I would grab a point-and-shoot instead. I really wanted something I would use a lot.

On the other hand, some published complaints (and my conclusions) about the Pentax have been:
(1) Images are too "soft" (this is super-easy to adjust if you use something like Adobe Album, Elements or Photoshop, and in return the camera is not "sharpening" the image for you, which can introduce sharpening noise)
(2) Not as many lenses as available as in the Canon or Nikon lines (There seem to be plenty for my purposes, both new and used)
(3) Memory cards are hard to eject (Doesn't seem that hard to me; you need to be careful no matter what camera you use).

Another issue (price) with this camera has been fixed: when it was introduced it was more expensive than the others in its class. But the price has been reduced and now is typically available at a price that slots it in as a bit more expensive than the D70 and less than the 10D.

All of these current digital slr's are great, and it seems to me that if you already owned Canon or Nikon lenses you wouldn't go wrong with one of their models. On the other hand, if you are starting from scratch (or like me, you own brands you can't use on any of these), the Pentax is worthy of serious consideration.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Addition to the Pentax Line
The istD is Pentax's first serious entry into the digital market. Pentax are the people who came up with the K-1000, the no-frills manual camera which was so popular among students and artists. When one thinks of a name brand camera, Nikon and Canon are probably the first names to come to mind. Pentax is the underdog in 35mm, now a serious competitor in the digital world.

The CCD (digital film) is identical to that used in the Nikon D100. The istD accepts all manual focus and automatic focus Pentax lenses. Focal lengths are a bit different - so, if you have a 50mm "normal" Pentax lens, now you will have a 75mm lens when connected to this body.

I plugged in a CF card from my E-10 and all the photos I took showed up in the istD. No drivers or special software required for the USB cable - just plug the camera into a Windows OS and a harddrive appears with your photos on it.

If you are familiar with Pentax's Hyper-Program mode, you have it here again. Pentax is wonderful for tweak-ability. In "green" mode, you can set the program line to favor DOF or shutter speed. Hyper-Program mode allows you to tweak either the shutter or aperture. And, a totally manual mode is available.

There are three user-customizable banks of special tweaks, such as taking a picture before the flash full charges (option) or changing the action of a few of the buttons. In addition to a full bank of pre-set WB settings, there are three custom white balance settings which may be set using a greycard or piece of white paper. And, the viewfinder is loaded with indicators and a bar display light meter.

The best feature which made me say "wow" was the autofocus. Not only will the camera autofocus, but it flashes a red dot to show you what it is focusing on. You can manually select the focus point, or just override everything and put the focus dead center. If you don't like the red dot overlay, even that can be tweaked off.

It's fast. I took a few frames in rapid succession and was not left wanting for something faster. Of the most frustrating features of the Olympus E-10 was trying to fire off another frame - so many missed photos. Not the Pentax. When you need that little extra burst of speed, it's pretty quick.

The camera is also surprisingly light and small. The more common settings are off the program dial, such as ISO, image compression, and pixel depth. Other settings, such as sharpness, contrast, and color saturation are quickly accessed though the menu. The camera turns on fast and ready to fire. Matrix metering, center weighted metering, and spot metering all available. PC socket for external flash plus a hot shoe. Manual, automatic, and predictive continuous autofocus.

And, of course, the images are clear and crisp. It accepts up to a 1gig CF card or microdrive. A single connector provides USB and video out. If you want the LCD display on while the video output is used, well - that's a tweakable setting as well.

5-0 out of 5 stars Back to Pentax .... after many yaers.... :-)
Well for a long time I've been one from the domain of MF 645 and saved many good words for Pentax quality. Well this camera isn't disappointment.
I've been using this camera for two weeks and can say it is cool! The image quality is very good, camera is easy to use, light, handy and steady. The overall impression is very positive. The Pentax optics is cool! I have tried it also with Sigma's 24-70 2.8 zoom that is amazingly and surprisingly quality stuff. ... Read more


17. Pentax *istD 6.1MP Digital SLR Camera (Body Only)
by Pentax
list price: $1,799.99
our price: Too low to display
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00008VE6L
Catlog: Photography
Manufacturer: Pentax
Sales Rank: 3364
Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Amazon.com Product Description

Pentax's *ist D is the world's smallest and lightest digital SLR (as of April 2003), measuring just 5.0 by 3.7 by 2.3 inches and weighing 18 ounces. It features a clarity of 6.1 effective megapixels, a 16 segment metering system, an-11 point AF sensor, and a continuous shooting rate of 2.7 frames per second. It's also compatible with K, KA, KAF, and KAF2 mount lenses and 645/67 lenses with an adapter.

Optics and Resolution
Employing a high-performance CCD with dimensions of 23.5mm by 15.7mm and embracing Pentax's unique image processing technology, the *ist D offers 6.1-megapixel resolution for the recording of precise, superior-quality images.

Storage and Transfer
The *ist D is compatible with CompactFlash Type I/II memory cards, and is also compatible with MicroDrives.

More Features
An optical pentaprism viewfinder was developed especially for the *ist D. This makes viewing easy with an ample 95% field of view and 0.95x magnification. There is also a superimposed display function that assists composition by illuminating the AF points in red.

Other features include:

  • New 16-segment metering system achieves more accurate exposure
  • New 11-point AF sensor (SAFOX VIII) for enhanced focusing
  • Fast 1/4,000 second shutter speed and high-speed flash sync at 1/150 seconds
  • Custom function allows functionality to be tuned to satisfy user preferences
  • Noise reduction function activates for long exposures
  • 1.8-inch, 118,000-pixel LCD monitor
  • Choice of JPEG, TIFF, and RAW recording formats
  • Convenient playback functions, such as nine-image and 12x magnification display

Power and Size
The camera is powered by 4 AA batteries; rechargeable NiMH batteries are recommended. It measures 5.0 by 3.7 by 2.3 inches and weighs 18 ounces.

The *ist D and the *ist DS Compared


*ist D *ist DS
Effective Pixels 6.1 Megapixels 6.1 Megapixels
LCD Monitor

1.8-inch TFT Color LCD 2.0-inch TFT Color LCD
Power Source 4 AA, or 2 CR-V3 4 AA, or 2 CR-V3
Storage Media Compact Flash (I & II),
MicroDrive
SD Memory Card
File Formats 8-bit (JPEG), 8-bit (TIFF),
12-bit (RAW)
8-bit (JPEG),
12-bit (RAW)
Exposure Modes Auto w/Hyper Program
Program AE
Shutter-Priority AE
Aperture-Priority AE
Metered Manual
Bulb
Program AE
Auto Picture
Picture
Shutter-Priority AE
Aperture-Priority AE
Metered Manual
Bulb
Interface USB 1.1 USB 2.0
Flash Sync 1/150 sec 1/180 sec
X-Sync Socket YES NO
Continuous Frame Advance 2.6 fps 2.8 fps
Continuous Autofocus YES YES (in Action Picture Mode only)
Mirror Lock YES YES
Wireless Flash Sync YES NO
Optional Vertical Grip YES NO
Stainless-Steel Chassis YES YES
Remote Assistant from PC YES NO
Interchangeable Focusing Screens YES YES
PictBridge Compatibility NO YES
Weight (w/o Batteries) 19.4 oz 17.8 oz

... Read more

Features

  • Smallest and lightest digital SLR as of April, 2003
  • 6.1 effective megapixels
  • Compatible with K, KA, KAF and KAF2 mount lenses and 645 / 67 lenses with an adapter
  • Compatible with CompactFlash Type I/II cards and MicroDrives
  • Powered by 4 AA batteries

Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Answers to the two big on-line Criticisms...
OK, if you're here, you probably have read all the online reviews. Here's my answers to some of the major criticisms I've seen about this supurbe camera on the web. (And my opinion is based on a 20 year career as a professional photographer...for what that's worth! :) )

1.)Criticism: Memory card is hard to remove. OK, maybe this could use a little work on Pentax's part. Not really a big deal if you're careful. Just be careful...it's not THAT hard!

2.)Criticism: Batteries are not proprietary and rechargeable!? WHAT? THANK GOD! This is in my opinion not a mistake but a MAJOR PLUS! Only Pentax would have the forsight and understanding to give the user TWO (more if you consider all the AA posibilities...)onboard options for battery power both available almost anywhere for Pete's sake! Batteries are the life blood of digital photography, more options can only be better! For my part I'm running 2300 milliamp hour rechargable AA's and am thrilled with the performance!

Well that addresses the two biggies I've read about. As for the rest of it, the price is now where it should be and the camera performs fantastically. Now that Pentax has a 14mm coming out, all is wonderful in the digital world. My advice, BUY IT and you won't ever look back! The 13x19 prints are superb, I shoot weddings and fine art landscapes, and this camera gets the job done!!!

4-0 out of 5 stars A great camera with a one serious flaw
Over the years I have used a variety of systems ranging from Pentax to Nikormat to Canon to Olympus and eventually back to Pentax. Why back to Pentax? Size and ergonomics. All of the major brands are good and some offer truly best in class - at a price - in optics such as Nikon and Canon.

However, for overall good value Pentax holds its own. While I would be happy to use equipment from any of the major brands, I am quite satisfied with Pentax - but I had to wait until last autumn to get my hands on a decent Pentax digital camera. The *istD, weird name and all, is such a camera. Overall I'm a happy camper and I have been taking some of the best photographs in my 30 years experience with this camera.

Other reviews here will tell you the camera's virtues and those features are real and not over stated. This is a professional class camera - though most professionals use Nikons and Canons when it comes to digital work for a number of reasons - usually due to optics and employers' standards. The optics from Pentax are still well respected and 99% of the folks reading this will be more than satisfied.

While battery life with this camera is very, very good, I would recommend considering getting the optional additional battery attachment that screws into the bottom of the camera. It looks like an old fashion motor drive but it provides excellent ergonomics when shooting side-wise (portrait) complete with the thumb and fore finger controls replicated for ease of use. It adds peace of mind by providing redundant power plus if you often shoot protrait framing, you can really hold this camera much better than most other cameras.

So what is the single, significant flaw of this camera? It is undoubtedly the flash card interface that is accessed via a door that doesn't swing completely open, tempting the user to push the card in a slightly wrong angle. Of course there are internal guides within the flash card holder assembly but even with care, over time, it is possible to break one of the tiny pins of the camera's interface to the flash card. I know. I have done it. The cost and speed of repair was minor, but suddenly one day out in the field I had a camera that was suddenly inoperable.

So that is why I give this other wise great camera only 4 stars. If you have a good investment in 35 mm Pentax gear, you really have no choice but this camera. But the good news, particularly if you are shooting in RAW, the output is incredible. Now that PhotoshopCS has upgraded its RAW import program via a free download from Adobe, the results from this camera can be absolutely stellar. But user beware when swapping out those flash cards!

5-0 out of 5 stars My early impression: Wow!
After nearly 3 years of playing with other digital cameras I finally took the leap back into SLR-land and purchased this great Pentax camera. Though I am just beginning to explore its capabilities, so far I am delighted: there are a lot of advantages to SLR camera use that I missed from the film days.

As with any of the current crop of digital SLR's, you get a ton of flexibility and shooting speed at a price that would have been unthinkable just two years ago. If you are used to using film SLR's, and have been frustrated by certain aspects of using a typical digital camera, you will be happy to be back in the land of no-shutter-lag shooting; the ability to use a ring on the lens barrel for zooming; tons of manual flexibility combined with idiot-proof program modes; and of course the flexibility of many lens choices. What has particularly driven me crazy about the current crop of high-end non-SLR digicams is the use of EVF viewfinders -- by contrast, the viewfinders on digital SLR's are great.

So why this Pentax vs the other competitive models? (The others worth considering in this price range at this time are the Canon EOS 10D; the Canon Digital Rebel; the Nikon D70; the Nikon D100; or even the Sigma models). This Pentax has the same sensor as the Nikon models, and the imaging capabilities of any of these cameras is doubtless well beyond my skills in any case. So to me it came down to ease of use, size and build quality. Size in particular is important to me: if you just look at the specs of this camera on a cubic-inch basis it's 38% smaller than the Nikon D70 and 26% smaller than the Digital Rebel. The Canon 10d is even bigger, and looks like a house sitting next to the Pentax.

After handling all of these cameras, I concluded that the Pentax is the one I would use most often. Too often my film SLR's sat at home when I was using film -- I would grab a point-and-shoot instead. I really wanted something I would use a lot.

On the other hand, some published complaints (and my conclusions) about the Pentax have been:
(1) Images are too "soft" (this is super-easy to adjust if you use something like Adobe Album, Elements or Photoshop, and in return the camera is not "sharpening" the image for you, which can introduce sharpening noise)
(2) Not as many lenses as available as in the Canon or Nikon lines (There seem to be plenty for my purposes, both new and used)
(3) Memory cards are hard to eject (Doesn't seem that hard to me; you need to be careful no matter what camera you use).

Another issue (price) with this camera has been fixed: when it was introduced it was more expensive than the others in its class. But the price has been reduced and now is typically available at a price that slots it in as a bit more expensive than the D70 and less than the 10D.

All of these current digital slr's are great, and it seems to me that if you already owned Canon or Nikon lenses you wouldn't go wrong with one of their models. On the other hand, if you are starting from scratch (or like me, you own brands you can't use on any of these), the Pentax is worthy of serious consideration.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Addition to the Pentax Line
The istD is Pentax's first serious entry into the digital market. Pentax are the people who came up with the K-1000, the no-frills manual camera which was so popular among students and artists. When one thinks of a name brand camera, Nikon and Canon are probably the first names to come to mind. Pentax is the underdog in 35mm, now a serious competitor in the digital world.

The CCD (digital film) is identical to that used in the Nikon D100. The istD accepts all manual focus and automatic focus Pentax lenses. Focal lengths are a bit different - so, if you have a 50mm "normal" Pentax lens, now you will have a 75mm lens when connected to this body.

I plugged in a CF card from my E-10 and all the photos I took showed up in the istD. No drivers or special software required for the USB cable - just plug the camera into a Windows OS and a harddrive appears with your photos on it.

If you are familiar with Pentax's Hyper-Program mode, you have it here again. Pentax is wonderful for tweak-ability. In "green" mode, you can set the program line to favor DOF or shutter speed. Hyper-Program mode allows you to tweak either the shutter or aperture. And, a totally manual mode is available.

There are three user-customizable banks of special tweaks, such as taking a picture before the flash full charges (option) or changing the action of a few of the buttons. In addition to a full bank of pre-set WB settings, there are three custom white balance settings which may be set using a greycard or piece of white paper. And, the viewfinder is loaded with indicators and a bar display light meter.

The best feature which made me say "wow" was the autofocus. Not only will the camera autofocus, but it flashes a red dot to show you what it is focusing on. You can manually select the focus point, or just override everything and put the focus dead center. If you don't like the red dot overlay, even that can be tweaked off.

It's fast. I took a few frames in rapid succession and was not left wanting for something faster. Of the most frustrating features of the Olympus E-10 was trying to fire off another frame - so many missed photos. Not the Pentax. When you need that little extra burst of speed, it's pretty quick.

The camera is also surprisingly light and small. The more common settings are off the program dial, such as ISO, image compression, and pixel depth. Other settings, such as sharpness, contrast, and color saturation are quickly accessed though the menu. The camera turns on fast and ready to fire. Matrix metering, center weighted metering, and spot metering all available. PC socket for external flash plus a hot shoe. Manual, automatic, and predictive continuous autofocus.

And, of course, the images are clear and crisp. It accepts up to a 1gig CF card or microdrive. A single connector provides USB and video out. If you want the LCD display on while the video output is used, well - that's a tweakable setting as well.

5-0 out of 5 stars Back to Pentax .... after many yaers.... :-)
Well for a long time I've been one from the domain of MF 645 and saved many good words for Pentax quality. Well this camera isn't disappointment.
I've been using this camera for two weeks and can say it is cool! The image quality is very good, camera is easy to use, light, handy and steady. The overall impression is very positive. The Pentax optics is cool! I have tried it also with Sigma's 24-70 2.8 zoom that is amazingly and surprisingly quality stuff. ... Read more


18. Pentax Optio 550 5MP Digital Camera w/ 5x Optical Zoom
by Pentax
list price: $629.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00008NE00
Catlog: Photography
Manufacturer: Pentax
Sales Rank: 1284
Average Customer Review: 4.42 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Amazon.com Product Description

The sleek, sophisticated Pentax Optio 550 digital camera offers high-level performance and is convenient enough to make you want to carry it everywhere. The Optio 550 features 5-megapixel resolution, a 5x optical zoom lens, automatic operation (as well as a wide range of manual control), and compatibility with Secure Digital and MultiMediaCard memory cards.

Optics and Resolution
Featuring a 5-megapixel CCD sensor, the Optio 550 delivers image detail up to 2,592 x 1,944 pixels for print enlargements up to 20 by 30 inches. The exceptionally compact lens offers a high level of performance with 5x optical zoom. Zooming power can be augmented through combination with digital 4x zoom for a total of 20x zoom performance.

Storage and Transfer
Images are stored on either Secure Digital (SD) or MultiMediaCard (MMC) memory cards. Images can be downloaded to either a Mac or PC via USB storage-class connectivity, which means the camera can be connected to any USB-based Windows Me/2000/XP and Mac OS 8.6 or later computer without installing any software.

Movie Mode
In addition to taking still photos, the Optio 550 is capable of recording up to 10 minutes of video at 15 frames per second, with 320 x 240 recorded pixels. The Optio 550 can also be used as an audio recorder, with up to 30 seconds of sound added to images.

More Features
With the 3-D image mode, the Optio 550 adds a totally new dimension to digital photography. Just take two shots following a simple set of guidelines to achieve shots that have a genuine sense of depth and perspective when seen through the special viewer provided

Other features include:

  • 1.5-inch TFT LCD display
  • Optical viewfinder displays actual image zoom, which helps to conserve battery power by switching off LCD display
  • Digital filter mode provides effects similar to conventional filters, from sepia to color tones (red, pink, yellow, green, blue, and purple)
  • Built-in flash can be automatically set to fire; also includes red-eye reduction, flash-on, and flash-off modes
  • A range of shooting modes to choose from, including metered manual and shutter priority AE
  • Interval shooting mode lets you set the time to start shooting, the duration of the interval between shots, and the number of frames

Power and Size
The camera is powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery (included). It measures 3.9 by 2.3 by 1.6 inches and weighs 7.2 ounces. ... Read more

Features

  • 5 megapixel sensor for enlargements up to 20 x 30 inches
  • 5x optical zoom plus 4x digital zoom (for 20x total)
  • Optical viewfinder shows actual image zoom, innovative stereoscopic shooting
  • Compatible with Secure Digital (SD) and MultiMedia (MMC) cards
  • Powered by rechargeable lithium-ion battery(included); connects with Macs and PCs via USB port

Reviews (19)

5-0 out of 5 stars Optio 550 = just right
I purchased the Optio 550 to replace my original Kodak DC215. I was looking for a camera with decent Optical zoom, good photo resolution, and not something so big I would dread carrying it around.

So far I have been VERY pleased with this camera. It weighs significantly less than the Kodak, and is a good deal smaller too. It's a little big to put in your pocket, but I was able to get a reasonably small camera case which will work very well.

The pictures I have taken so far have all been very good quality, and you can't beat the 5MP resolution :) Connecting it to my computer was a snap, and the menus and options while a little bit criptic, provide easy access to lots of features.

I only have 2 complaints with this camera. 1) You will DEFINITELY need a larger memory card. The bundled 16MB card will only hold 4 pictures at the highest quality setting (below TIFF). However, this is true with every single digital camera I was looking at so I can't hold it against Pentax. 2) The movie mode does not support Optical zoom, only digital zoom. I have no idea why they did this, but for some reason you cannot use the optical zoom while shooting movies. Granted, this is a still picture camera, and I will probably seldom use the video mode, but it seems to be a very strange oversight.

I would DEFINITELY recommend this camera to anyone who wants a relatively easy to use camera, that takes very good pictures.

5-0 out of 5 stars good by conventional photography...
As someone who strted taking photographs 40 years ago with a Box Brownie, worked his way up through various SLRs, and basically lives & dies in public presentations on the basis of slides, I confess that I was VERY sceptical about going digital. The Pentax Optio has changed all that. I have been using this camera for about a month now, and my poor Canon F1 has stayed in its case. I am simply STUNNED with the quality of the image, the ease & accuracy of the "point and shoot" features, and the impressive array of options that Pentax offers me. Battery life seems excellent, the camera has survived a tough month in the field in high humidity/salt air being jostled and banged (and dropped at least once) in transfers from boats to dories to shore, and the 5x optical zoom lets me get reasonably close to my birds (it still isn't a "real" telephoto, don't be confused, but it beats the heck out of other digital cameras that I have played with). Downsides are that the enclosed 16mb card is a joke, I didn't even bother with it, get at least a 64mb & start shooting. The lens DOES take a while to extend, and there is a slight-but-noticeable delay between pressing shutter release & the actual image. This is annoying in an "action" setting. In addition, the viewscreen, while brighter than I expected, is invisible in bright sunlight. The biggest problem with this (the optical viewfnder is just fine for actually taking photos) is that messages like "memory card full" may not be conveyed to you unless you look really closely -I lost half a dozen pictures from not paying attention. Overall I am VERY impressed with this camera, it is light, portable, versatile, gives me very high quality pictures, and seems tough enough to stand up to a demanding life on off-shore seabird colonies. Go for it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Optio 550 gets a great review
I love the Optio 550. It takes great pictures, with lots of options for the more technical person. I haven't figured out how to use the 3D function yet (but I'm not sure I ever would) and the flap to the PC/AV card is a little flimsy (but it hasn't broken yet). The zoom is awesome. I love to be able to blow up a picture and have it maintain its resolution. The pictures are clear. I am still trying it out, but so far it works great.

2-0 out of 5 stars Pentax Optio 550
I really didn't have any luck with the camera. I took it with me to New Orleans and about 2/3 of the pictures turned out. The other third did not. Some had shadows around the frames and some objects were fuzzy around the edges and those were the day shots. I set the camera on the night scene mode, for night shots in the French Quarter and that was a disaster as there were streaking lights and double exposures. I had practiced with the camera at home before the trip and night shot worked good, but I think the problems were caused by electrical interference as there was a warning in the manual about it, but I had never experienced it with my other digital camera. I had always kept the Pentax on point and shoot for the most part to be safe as the camera was supposed to take care of everything.

I was used to my Olympus Camedia which pretty much gave it up after 4 years and chose the Pentax as a replacement. Frankly, there was no comparison, with the Olympus I could shoot anything at any time with fantastic results. People were so impressed with the photos they would ask what camera I used. I thought the Pentax would have the same quality.

I had planned to return the camera to Pentax so they could check it out, but it unfortunately it went missing on my trip, leaving me only with a spent SD card.

In case your wondering why I didn't buy another Olympus is because the retractable lense made alot of noise and they use some plastic parts, which didn't set right with me as the new one would have been over $500.00. The memory card was also changed.

Maybe the bad experience with Pentax is that is was just a bad camera out of the lot, maybe the camera was just too sensitive for my use or maybe it has too many bells and whistles and gets confused in the point and shoot mode.

4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent quality pics! Software is old though...
I am excited and very happy with the quality of these pictures and the size of the camera! 5x zoom is great! 5 MP is great! My only 2 issues are once it was shutting down (low battery) and battery went dead and camera lens cover jammed and left lens exposed. Had to force it closed with newly charged battery. But my biggest complaint is that I thought I was getting a $70 piece of software along with this camera in ACDSee, but found out it's a version a few years old! It's version 3.x!!! 5.x is out! What a bummer, so I emailed Pentax and got no reply... ... Read more


19. Pentax Optio S5z 5MP Digital Camera with 3x Optical Zoom
list price: $379.95
our price: $349.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0009MFUZO
Catlog: Photography
Manufacturer: Pentax
Sales Rank: 346
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Features

  • Ultra-compact, measuring just 3.3 x 2.2 x 0.8 inches (W x H x D)
  • Stores images on SD memory cards; powered by on Lithium battery (rechargeable battery and charger included)
  • 5.0-megapixel CCD captures enough detail for photo-quality 13 x 17-inch prints
  • 2.5-inch LCD; 3x optical zoom; MPEG-4 video at 30 frames per second with sound
  • Quick response with an approximate 0.01-second shutter-release lag time

20. Pentax Optio 43WR 4MP Water Resistant Digital Camera with 2.8x Optical Zoom
by Pentax
list price: $399.99
our price: $349.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00021OZOE
Catlog: Photography
Manufacturer: Pentax
Sales Rank: 652
Average Customer Review: 2 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Features

  • 4.23-megapixel sensor captures enough information for photo-quality 11-by-15-inch prints
  • 2.8x optical zoom, 4x digital zoom (11.2x total)
  • Waterproof design, can be immersed in water up to 3 feet for 30 minutes
  • Stores images on SD memory card
  • Powered by one CR-V3 or 2 AA batteries

Reviews (1)

2-0 out of 5 stars Sturdy but the picture quality leaves much to be desired
I got this camera for one reason - fishing pictures - and it is adequate for that or beach photos. If everything is evenly lit and you don't need to rely on the flash it's OK. And no problem if it gets wet or sandy. By the way, the imaging software that comes with it is bad beyond belief and makes all the pix look worse so don't bother installing it - use whatever you have. It is serviceable and sturdy and will probably never endear itself to me unless I become enamoured of taking pictures in the rain. However, I must say it has an excellent macro capability and if you're not catching any fish you can take nice flower closeups along the bank. ... Read more


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