|Daniel Bell reviews the Pentax Optio I-10.|
The Pentax Optio I-10 design is based on the old Pentax Auto 110 film camera and has been coupled with advanced features such as face detection, an optical 5x zoom lens, anti-shake protection and high-quality movie recording. The RRP when launched was £199.99 but it’s now available for £94 in either classic black or pearl white. Other cameras which you could be considering at this price range are the Pentax Optio M90 or the Olympus FE-5030.
- 5x optical zoom, 5.1 ‐ 25.5mm f/3.5 – 5.9 (equiv to 28‐140mm in 35mm)
- 12.1 Megapixel sensor
- 2.7in colour 16:9 LCD
- 4 – 1/2000sec shutter speed (dependent on mode)
- ISO80 – 6400
- Unique design inspired by an SLR camera
- HD-TV proportioned movie recording
- Triple anti-shake protection
- Creative digital filters
Pentax Optio I-10: Handling
It is fair to say that the design of the I-10 is unique and is likely to be a design that you either love or hate. The classic black looks very much like the Pentax Auto 110, the pearl white version used in this review looks less so, but it certainly stands out.
|Pentax Auto 110.|
The I-10 is easy to grip and easy to use. It takes about a second from switching on to being ready for taking pictures. You are then presented with a good clear screen that performs well in dark and light conditions. Navigating through the menus is simple as well as using the zoom rocker.
Pentax Optio I-10: Performance
The images taken by the I-10 are extremely good, particular for a camera available for under £100. At the wide-angle length there is plenty of detail throughout the image, even when viewed at full size. At the telephoto length some detail is lost around the edges of the images but the pictures produced are still good. Colours are also represented accurately by the Pentax Optio I-10.
|Pentax Optio I-10 performance: Click on the thumbnails for larger images.|
ISO and noise performance
Noise is controlled well from ISO80 to ISO200, but becomes increasingly more noticeable beyond this. At ISO400 it affects the image massively and continues to worsen through ISO800, ISO1600, ISO3200 and ISO6400. At these ISO levels the images are certainly going to be best suited for small prints and for the web.
Under the incandescent lights in our studio the I-10 does a good job in auto. There is a slightly warm feel to the image, switching to the incandescent preset does a better job. Under the fluorescent lights, again the auto white-balance does a good job, but is a touch dark in places. The fluorescent preset is a bit of a let down, giving quite a warm colour cast through the image. Overall the auto white-balance setting is quite reliable.
The scene modes available on the I-10 are night scene, night scene portrait, half-length portrait, landscape, flower, portrait, surf & snow, sport, kids, pets, food, fireworks, frame composite, party, natural skin tone, candlelight, text, blog, digital wide and digital panorama.
Below are three examples. Landscape mode has given a boost to the blues and greens is certainly an improvement on the image taken using program mode. The panoramic mode is easy to use and the image produced is good, it is impossible to see where the camera has stitched together the three images. When using text mode the writing on the newspaper is certainly readable, even on the small thumbnail below.
|Pentax Optio I-10 scene modes: Click on the thumbnails for larger images.|
|Landscape mode.||Text mode.|
On the I-10 there are a range of filters available to apply after taking an image. Filters such as black and white and sepia work well and will be useful, meaning the user can produce more creative images without the use of image editing software. Some of the other filters are less useful and are likely to be used more for fun.
The Optio I-10 captures movie clips at 16:9 HD-TV proportions (720p) at 30 frames per second. Images can be extracted from movie clips, and title images can be added to the beginning and end of a movie clip. Below is an example video taken by the I-10. The quality is excellent for a camera available at this price.
|Pentax Optio I-10 sample video|
Pentax Optio I-10: Verdict
The I-10 is now available for less than £100 which represents quite a bargain. For this low price you are getting a camera capable of taking good images, although performance at ISO400 and above isn’t great. Users will enjoy using the wide range of scene modes and digital filters and an extra bonus is the HD movie mode. A big factor when considering the I-10 is the design which is more likely to appeal to long time Pentax fans rather than newcomers to the world of photography.
Pentax Optio I-10: Pros
HD movie mode.
Range of scene mode and digital filters.
Pentax Optio I-10: Cons
Noise performance from ISO400 and above.
|What comes in the box||AV cable, USB cable, AC cable, Li-ion battery, battery charger, strap and software|
|Lens||5x optical zoom, 5.1 ‐ 25.5mm f/3.5 – 5.9, equ. to 28‐140mm in 35mm|
|Max. Image size||4000 x 3000|
|Monitor||2.7in colour 16:9 LCD|
|Focusing system||TTL Contrast detection Autofocus system|
|Focusing modes||9-point Multi‐AF, Spot AF, Auto‐tracking AF (anticipating moving subject)|
|Metering system||Multi-segment metering, Centre-weighted metering, Spot metering|
|Metering modes||Auto Picture, Program, Night Scene, Night Scene Portrait, Half-length Portrait, Movie, Landscape, Flower, Portrait, Surf & Snow, Sport, Digital SR, Kids, Pet, Food, Fireworks, Frame Composite, Party, Natural Skin Tone, Candlelight, Text, Blog, Digital Wide, Digital Panorama, Green.|
|White-balance||Auto, Daylight, Shade, Tungsten, Fluorescent, Manual setting|
|Exposure compensation||+/-2EV (1/3 EV steps)|
|Shutter speed range||1/2000 – 1/4 sec. 4 sec at most. (Night Scene mode setting)|
|Anti-shake mode||CCD-shift Shake Reduction|
|Movie mode||HDTV (1280×720), 30fps ; VGA (640×480) 30fps ; QVGA (320×240), 30 fps|
|Media type||SD / SDHC|
|Interface||USB & AV output|
|Power||Rechargeable D‐LI92 Lithium‐ion battery|
|Size (hxwxd)||65 x 100.5 x 28mm|
|Weight (with battery)||153g|
The Pentax Optio I-10 costs £94 and is available from Warehouse Express here: