Pentax Optio I-10 Performance, Timings and Image Quality

June 7, 2010 by Andy Stanton Reads (8,443)
Editor's Rating

Ratings Breakdown (1-10)

    • Image/Video Quality
    • 8
    • Features
    • 7
    • Design / Ease of Use
    • 6
    • Performance
    • 7
    • Total Score:
    • 7.00
    • Rating 1 to 10, top score 10

The Optio I-10 is a quick and reliable performer all around. I noticed no significant delays in any aspect of the camera’s performance, including on/off, menu access, auto focus acquisition, shot-to-shot time and flash recharge. In addition it was one of the more reliable compact cameras I’ve used. For example I rarely encountered a situation when the camera was unable to lock focus, better than what I’ve experienced with most Point and Shoot cameras.

Shooting Performance
The Optio I-10 makes a good first impression as it only takes about one to two seconds to start up, which is rather speedy for a Point and Shoot camera. The camera focuses quickly and reliably out of doors. Using Intelligent Auto mode I was able to get a fairly sharp picture of a running squirrel at maximum zoom, a difficult task for any camera.

Pentax I-10 Test Image

When shooting indoors focus speed slows down a bit and the camera occasionally fails to lock focus, but I found this to happen only rarely – less frequently than with many Point and Shoot cameras I’ve used. Shot-to-shot times are good, as the camera consistently took only about two to three to seconds between shots both with and without the flash activated.

As shown by the performance tables, shutter lag is not a problem when the camera is pre-focused, but auto focus acquisition is somewhat slower than usual when the camera is not pre-focused. The camera’s continuous shooting rate is rather slow, at only 1.1 frames per second for eight frames. However, the Optio I-10 also has a lower-resolution (five megapixel) burst mode that can shoot at a fast 2.5 frames per second for six frames.

Shutter Lag (press-to-capture, pre-focused)

Camera Time (seconds)
Casio Exilim EX-S7 0.01
Canon PowerShot A3100 IS 0.01
Sony Cyber-shot S2100 0.02
Pentax Optio I-10 0.02

AF Acquisition (press-to-capture, no pre-focus)

Camera Time (seconds)
Casio Exilim EX-S7 0.16
Canon PowerShot A3100 IS 0.41
Pentax Optio I-10 0.63
Sony Cyber-shot S2100 0.68

Continuous Shooting

Camera Frames Framerate*
Pentax Optio I-10 4 1.1 fps
Sony Cyber-shot S2100 1.0 fps
Canon PowerShot A3100 IS 0.9 fps
Casio Exilim EX-S7 0.4 fps

*Note: Continuous shooting framerates are based on the camera’s fastest full-resolution JPEG continuous shooting mode, using the fastest media type available (300x CF, SDHC, etc.). “Frames” notes the number of captures recorded per burst before the camera stops/slows to clear the buffer.

The Optio I-10’s D-LI92 lithium-ion rechargeable battery is rated by Pentax to last for 250 images. I noticed the battery bar starting to decline after about 150 shots, though I did take several videos and flash shots and explored the menus rather extensively. I suspect the battery life figure supplied by Pentax is accurate.

Lens Performance
The Pentax lens produced clear, sharp images in the center of the frame, but the corners were often slightly blurry as shown by the photo below.

Pentax I-10 Test Image

I did not notice any appreciable vignetting. Occasionally, I observed minor chromatic aberration (fringing) in high contrast areas. While there was slight barrel distortion at the extreme wide angle position of the lens, I could find no pin cushion distortion at maximum zoom.

Pentax I-10 Test Image
Wide Angle
Pentax I-10 Test Image

Video Quality
The I-10 produces HD video of good quality with clear, monaural sound. The clip-clopping of the horses’ hooves and comments from the riders can easily be heard.

Image Quality
I was pleased with the pictures I took outdoors. Images were sharp and clear. Colors are a bit saturated, but pleasantly so. When taking photos of flowers the bright colors did not overwhelm the details of the flowers.

Pentax I-10 Test Image

Shooting indoors was more of a problem since, as previously mentioned, the Optio I-10 is slower to focus indoors and occasionally fails to lock in. However, indoor colors were accurate and the flash was sufficiently powerful and quick to recharge.

Pentax I-10 Test Image

Shooting in bright sunshine often resulted in overexposure, but that’s the case with most Point and Shoot cameras. The Optio I-10 has dynamic range adjustment settings for light and darkness that is intended to even out the exposure when shooting in high contrast conditions. I found the effect to be minor.

Pentax I-10 Test Image
Dynamic Range adjustment on
Pentax I-10 Test Image
Dynamic Range adjustment off

The camera has white balance settings for auto, daylight, shade, tungsten, fluorescent and manual. I found that auto white balance worked well indoors and out.

Pentax I-10 Test Image
Auto White Balance, 3200k incandescent light

As shown by the images of the still life, the Optio I-10 produces low noise images with good color through 200 ISO. The image gets softer and noisier at 400 and becomes much worse at 800 ISO. When taking pictures with the I-10, it’s best to keep the ISO at 400 and below.

Pentax I-10 Test Image
ISO 80
Pentax I-10 Test Image
ISO 80, 100% crop
Pentax I-10 Test Image
ISO 100
Pentax I-10 Test Image
ISO 100, 100% crop
Pentax I-10 Test Image
ISO 200
Pentax I-10 Test Image
ISO 200, 100% crop
Pentax I-10 Test Image
ISO 400
Pentax I-10 Test Image
ISO 400, 100% crop
Pentax I-10 Test Image
ISO 800
Pentax I-10 Test Image
ISO 800, 100% crop
Pentax I-10 Test Image
ISO 1600
Pentax I-10 Test Image
ISO 1600, 100% crop

Additional Sample Images

Pentax Optio I-10 Pentax Optio I-10
Pentax I-10 Test Image Pentax Optio I-10
Pentax Optio I-10 Pentax I-10 Test Image

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