Pentax Optio E50 Review

Simple and Easy

Picture
Pentax Optio E50 Ease of Use 8
Features 7
Movie Mode 8
Build Quality7
Colours 7
Photo Quality 5
Style 7
Lowlight 6
Macro 7
Value for Money 6
8 Megapixels
3x Zoom
2.4 inch LCD Screen
60 x 96.5 x 22mm
120g

Overview

The Pentax Optio E50 is an 8 megapixel digital camera with a 3x optical zoom lens. This is a starter camera that comes in at the lower end in terms of price.

Why Buy The Pentax Optio E50

The two main attractions of the Optio E50 are likely to be ease of use and shutter delay times. It has a very basic set of functions and this helps to keep the camera very simple.

Main Features

Megapixels:
Zoom:
LCD Screen:
Dimensions:
Weight:

8
3x
2.4 inches
60 x 96.5 x 22mm
120g

Macro:
HD Movies:
Manual Controls:
Batteries:
Memory Cards:

15cm
No
No
AA
SD/SDHC

Image Quality - See Sample Images Below

Outdoor Scenic Shots in Good Light

Outdoor 1 (Medium Zoom): I had hoped that although this is one of the cheaper cameras picture quality would still be reasonable. The Optio E50 falls at the first hurdle. The photo is out of focus and there is far more detail lost on the boats than I am used to seeing. This suggests any photos where there is a lot of light and dark areas could be a problem.

Outdoor 2 (No Zoom): This picture is a real struggle for the Optio E50. Noise is a serious issue and can be seen even on smaller prints. There is also a problem with darkness creeping into the corners of the shot. Focusing is well below average.

Outdoor 3 (Maximum Zoom): There is no point in me trying to pretend otherwise, this is a poor shot. Even taking the price of the camera into consideration you should be able to expect more from a photo taken in more or less optimum lighting conditions.

Outdoor 4 (Building): This is the best effort so far, but even so the picture is below average. Sharpness is about what I would have expected before I had seen any of my other test shots, but the photo does become very soft towards the edges.

Portraits

Outdoor Portrait: The Optio E50 has produced a dark photo. This has lead to some noise showing. Normally this is a relatively problem free photo.

Indoor Portrait with Flash: There is a green tinge to this photo. It is the first time in a long time a camera has not been able to focus sharply for this test.

Indoor Portrait without Flash: This is another poor effort. There is a lot of noise showing in the photo and the pink in the skin tones is too strong.

Macro, Colours and Noise

Macro: Compared with my other test shots, this is probably the best one. The camera can only focus when it is 15cm away from the subject and my tests shot has been cropped for display.

Colours: The colours are o.k., but from time to time the Optio E50 has a problem. Noise and lack of sharpness are a far greater concern than any colour issues.

ISO 400 and ISO 1600: You do not need to push the ISO setting up to 400 before the photos start to suffer from noise. Noise levels are higher than I am used to seeing.

Summary

I am very disappointed. I was not expecting the Optio E50 to match up to some of the more expensive cameras, but picture quality is surprisingly poor.

See sample images link arrow

Style

This is quite a standard cheaper, digital camera. It has a plastic body and a raised area on the front to help you grip the camera when taking a photo. It is available in black and silver.

Shutter Lag Times

Shutter Lag Rating Fast

Single Shot
Five Shots
Single Shot With Flash
Five Shots With Flash
Turn on Time

0.24 seconds
11.83 seconds
0.36 seconds
13.2 seconds
3.14 seconds


Shutter Lag Table link arrow

Ease of Use

Ease of Use - Par With a limited set of features there are not too many places to get lost. I did find some of the writing in the menus small.

Points I Like

Ease of use - shutter delay times

Where it Could Improve

Picture quality

Verdict

Even when compared to other inexpensive digital cameras the Pentax Optio E50 is some way off in terms of quality. Yes it is cheap, but I'm not convinced it offers value for money.

Product Shots

Front View

Pentax Optio E50 Front View

Back View

Pentax Optio E50 Back View

Top View

Pentax Optio E50 Top View

Sample Menus

shooting menu iso

setting modes

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Related Pages

Pentax Optio E50 Review Pentax Optio E50 Specification Pentax Optio E50 Sample Images Pentax Optio E50 Features Pentax Digital Cameras

Review Date

November 2008

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