The latest entry level model in Pentax's extensive line of point & shoot digital cameras is the Optio E30. As with any digital camera, there are pros and cons. This particular camera is considered "entry level", with a straighforward feature set, low price and ease of use as its selling points. It is simple to use, though it may be a bit too simplistic for more discerning photographers. Bottom line, the Optio E30 is great for those consumers getting their first digital camera.
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As mentioned, the Optio E30 captures at a maximum resolution of 7.1 megapixels. It has a 2.4 inch LCD, 3x optical zoom, and records images and video to a Secure Digital format memory card (not included). It requires two AA batteries (two alkaline batteries included). It also accepts NiMH batteries, which can run significantly longer that alkaline.
When it comes to basic features of a camera, I was a bit surprised not to find a traditional viewfinder on this model. I suppose this is the tradeoff for a larger LCD. The problem arises when you take the camera outside - it's very difficult to preview your shot on the LCD in bright sunlight.
Another tradeoff is the weight of the AA batteries. With batteries and memory card, the Optio E30 tops out at 6.5 ounces, the heaviest point & shoot Pentax offers among 15 other models.
One thing you can definitely count on in using this camera is out-of-the-box ease of use. It features a "green mode" which allows users to quickly snap away without having to worry about settings. It essentially chooses the settings for you. Though you may not get the best quality pictures in this mode, you'd have to try to really screw them up.
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Check back later for an more in-depth review and to see additional photos.
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