DigitalCameraReview.com
Pentax Optio S5z Digital Camera Preview
by Howard Creech -  10/19/2005

We wanted to give you a quick preview for the Pentax Optio S5z before we publish our full review within the next couple of weeks.  Check back soon for the full story on this camera!


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Early in 2003 Pentax, in a brilliant marketing move, introduced the World's smallest 3 megapixel digital camera, the Optio S, pictured in an empty Altoids tin. Advertising has always been about image and Canon's ultra popular S230 digital ELPH suddenly looked positively bloated when compared to that the tiny Pentax.


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The newest Optio is the S5z, a stylish brushed aluminum digicam with 5-megapixel resolution, a 3X zoom, and a 2.5" LCD screen (and yes it's still small enough to carry around in an Altoids tin). What really sets the S5z apart from other currently available micro-cams is that it is incredibly easy to use, it can actually deliver first-rate images (despite its diminutive size), and it's fun.


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Shutter lag (with pre-focus) is about 1/10th of a second and noise levels are lower (even at ISO 400) than many full sized digicams. Battery life is also surprisingly good (for such a tiny camera). The S5z has a slight tendency to over expose outdoor images and Pentax's highly distinctive take on color interpolation can be a bit perplexing, in some situations. Colors look slightly off and a bit under saturated when viewed on the LCD screen, but when viewed on a larger monitor they usually look pretty good.


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