07 August 2010

Pentax Optio I-10: Stylish Retro Cool

About two weeks ago, our local photography forum organised ClubSNAP Live, an event that featured talks and workshops and a small flea market by different companies involved in the photographic trade. Our local Pentax agent had on hand the "oh so cute" Pentax Optio I-10, the compact digital point and shoot camera that comes in an all black and in an all white finish. This little camera's stylish design harks back to the old Pentax 110 film camera, the world smallest SLR film camera.

I'm not exactly all that excited about compact PnS cameras nowadays, after all there's a plethora of them all around, heck you can even find them in petrol stations and in convenience stores. But this little Pentax definitely has chic appeal, so who cares about the predictable PnS image quality? As things stand, PnS cameras nowadays pretty much deliver the same results, so any distinguishing feature lies in the design, easy of use and uniqueness. In this regard, this little camera does stand out quite nicely.

OK it checks off all the right specifications: 12.1 effective megapixels, an optical 5X zoom lens with approximately 28mm to 140mm coverage (equivalent in the 35mm format), a CCD-shift-type shake reduction system, movie clips at 16:9 high-definition TV proportions (30 fps), a set of digital filters (Monochrome and Sepia) including a creative Toy Camera filter (woo hoo!) and check this, a Starburst filter (yeah we all need that!) plus an advanced multi-face detection system. AF is fast, the pictures look good and there is even an ultra close macro mode..

Now to me that last face detection feature is really the key to why this little camera is a blast to use. The Smile Capture feature is just perfect for use in Facebook, use at parties and personal blogging. All you need to do is smile and the camera automatically takes the picture, you don't even have to hold down the shutter button. So taking quick snaps at parties and self portraits, not to mention kids is literally a smile away. Way cool!  As you can see my friend Bernard is grinning with the results as his lovely wife looks on.

Footnote: Pentax has also released the Optio I-10 in Classic Silver. Whoa! How retro can you be in this digital age?

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