The Pentax Optio P70 is small enough to slip into most pockets. It has 12 megapixels and a 4x wide angle, optical zoom lens. Extra zoom becomes available when shooting at lower resolutions.
Why Buy The Pentax Optio P70
The Optio P70 has High Definition movies and comes in at a substantially lower price than a number of pocket cameras.
97 x 54 x 21.5mm
Image Quality - See Sample Images Below
Outdoor Scenic Shots in Good Light
Outdoor 1 (Medium Zoom):
I like the overall impression given by the colours and brightness in this photo. It is only if you blow the photo up and make large prints that you start to notice the picture is soft in places. There is also a lack of any detail at all in darker areas of the shot.
Outdoor 2 (No Zoom): With the lens zoomed out the Optio P70 puts in a credible effort. No camera manages to produce a pin sharp image of what is a distant scene, but this camera does well in comparison to others.
Outdoor 3 (Maximum Zoom): This is a mid range effort. The photo is sharp enough in most areas without really challenging the top rated cameras. There is a drop in focusing as you move away from the centre of the shot and the photo becomes a little more distant on the right hand side.
Outdoor 4 (Building): As with the other scenic shots this photo scores average marks for focusing. You are unlikely to notice a great deal of difference with snapshot sized prints, but if you are more ambitious with the size of the prints you make you will start to see areas that could be sharper.
I am not quite sure about the colours in this shot. This is especially true of the skin tones. It has a faint orange caste to the colours.
Indoor Portrait with Flash: The conditions used for taking my indoor portraits are quite favourable. There is some light and most digital camera manage fairly well. This photo is darker than I would like to see and it is also not as crisp as most cameras manage. Noise is creeping into the shot, despite the light given off by the flash unit.
Indoor Portrait without Flash: I have noticed that whenever the light is not perfect the Optio P70 quickly pushes up the ISO rating to compensate. This can lead to higher levels of noise and therefore a lessening of picture quality than I am used to seeing.
Macro, Colours and Noise
The macro shot is a decent effort, but the Optio P70 is handicapped by the fact it can only focus from 10cm away from the subject. This makes it difficult to get in very close. My test shot has been cropped for display.
Colours: Aside from the tinge of yellow / orange in the outdoor portrait I have no complaints about the colours of my test photos. I am happy with the way the colours are balanced and the overall feel of the photos.
ISO 400 and ISO 1600: With this camera it is not so much a question of how much noise shows in the photos as you push up the ISO ratings, but how often the Optio P70 resorts to higher ISO settings when taking standard photos. I felt that noise was more of an issue with this camera than I am used to seeing.
The Optio P70 works well enough as a snapshot camera in good light. If the light starts to fall noise can start to play a part in the photos and take an edge off the clarity and definition of the photos.
The ends of the camera are quite rounded. This helps to give the Optio P70 a bit of a different look to a lot of pocket cameras. The lens unit looks larger than other cameras as well. You should have no problem slipping it into a pocket.
Shutter Lag Times
Single Shot With Flash
Five Shots With Flash
Turn on Time
Ease of Use
There is little to trip you up with this camera. Pentax has added something it calls Green Mode. This is basically a very simple mode that turns the Optio P70 into a completely automatic camera.
Points I Like
Ease of use
Where it Could Improve
Macro shots are distant - noise creeps in from time to time - shutter delay times
Not every digital camera can be fantastic. I was left with a feeling that the Pentax Optio P70 is not really cheap enough to overcome some of the problems I found. The problems may not always be that big, but I feel there is better value for money to be had elsewhere.
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