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Pentax Optio A10 Review

Review Summary
Reader Score: 6.89 (out of 10)
Hands-On Preview: "The first in a new line of cameras for Pentax, the Optio A10 is an 8 megapixel higher-end compact camera aimed at advanced users..... The A10 includes a new camera shake reduction system where the entire CCD sensor moves to compensate for small movements that can cause blurry images. Like many compacts, it has VGA movie mode at 30 fps with audio, but like many point-and-shoots it has 3x optical zoom. The 2.5" LCD, included memory of 24 MB, and its PictBridge compatibility could indicate belonging in either camp. It's priced at $349.99 and will be available in February.

The A10 is a small, well-built compact camera, designed to be Pentax's new flagship of their Optio line with the addition of a shake reductrion system. But there are some serious omissions: the lack of access to commonly-used manual controls is a big problem for a camera supposedly designed for more advanced users. There's no way to manually set shutter or aperture and the manual focus is a pain. The battery life is also on the low side.

But it does an effective job as a point-and shoot camera: the image quality is strong (although we should point out that our testing was limited: further testing in our full review may prompt other conclusions), but thus far, it appears to be a good pick for a user who wants high resolution images in a convenient package."

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Other Reviews For This Model

Web Site Review Score Date Added Go To Review
DPReview 10.00  05-09-06 Read Full Review
Review: "The Optio A10 is a deeply frustrating camera for a reviewer; on the one hand it is capable of producing some of the best results in its class, the lens is obviously excellent, image processing is fairly subtle, and unlike so many similar cameras the default contrast, saturation and sharpening are spot-on. On the other hand it can be really, really annoying to use; by today's standards shooting feels slow and unresponsive, and has a screen that can't be seen at all in bright weather. Throw in the dismal battery life and total unsuitability as a social 'party snaps' camera and you'd think this was a camera you'd only recommend to someone with a masochistic streak, or someone you really didn't like."
Web Site Review Score Date Added Go To Review
Megapixel 10.00  08-10-06 Read Full Review
Review: "The Pentax Optio A10 is a very compact and light camera, offering an 8-megapixel resolution, a 2.5-inch monitor, and a 3X optical zoom that features an image stabilizer.

As the camera is quite small, the 2.5-inch (6.4 cm) - as measured diagonally - monitor occupies most of the back. The A10 has no optical viewfinder, but with 232,000 pixels, the monitor provides a sharp image.

In addition to its capabilities with outdoor photography, the A10 also stands out for its capabilities with macro photography. Equipped with two macro modes, a standard Macro setting and a Super Macro mode, the A10 is capable of capturing excellent close-ups. The shake reduction system is then ideal, allowing great shots with the camera handheld."

Web Site Review Score Date Added Go To Review
Imaging-Resource 7.80  10-27-06 Read Full Review
Review: "While the Pentax Optio A10, introduced earlier this year, may be a wee bit too big to squeeze into a tin of mints, it comes pretty close. That what this camera has to offer is so far beyond what the tiny 3.2-megapixel OptioS had back in 2003 is a testament to how much technology manufacturers have been able to squeeze into their little tin boxes lately. Along with an 8.0-megapixel, 1/1.8-inch CCD image sensor, the Pentax A10 has a 3x optical zoom, a 2.5-inch LCD with plenty of resolution, and a newly developed "Shake Reduction System" which uses two gyro sensors coupled with focusing info and a proprietary CCD shift mechanism to reduce blur caused by camera shake.

The Pentax A10 was also one of the slowest compact models I've tried in recent months. For starters, while images looked great on the camera's high-resolution LCD, scrolling through them on the screen is a very slow process that I found so frustrating I quickly sought out the 9-frame playback setting so I could speed through shots quicker. The slow scroll speed, unfortunately, carries over to almost all aspects of the camera."

Web Site Review Score Date Added Go To Review
Digital Camera Review 7.50  04-16-06 Read Full Review
Review: "The Pentax Optio A10 is the leader of the Optio pack. The very compact 8 megapixel camera is packed with features, including a CCD-shift image stabilization mechanism. A 2.5 inch LCD and 3x optical zoom round out the top specs of this camera.

The Pentax Optio A10 is a nice compact point and shoot, but to get the best results with the images, you'll need to adjust some settings. I found the images to have oversaturated colors, and to be consistently underexposed. Also, the multi-segment light metering mode was challenged by some lighting conditions."

Web Site Review Score Date Added Go To Review
CNET Reviews -----  05-24-06 Read Full Review
Review: "Pentax's Optio A10 boasts some impressive specs, including 8-megapixel resolution, sensor-shifting shake reduction, ISO 800 sensitivity, and a high-resolution 232,000-pixel 2.5-inch LCD. As you might expect, the camera produces decent images under a variety of conditions, but as in many pocket cameras, excessive noise makes the Optio A10 impractical for use above ISO 200. Add to that an LCD that washes out in direct sunlight and blanks completely when shooting bursts, and you have a mixed bag. Snapshooters looking for a roster of fun features, such as 640x480, 30fps MPEG-4/DivX movie clips, in an ultracompact body may find that the Optio A10 fills the bill. Photographers who want more control over exposure or a more versatile zoom range should try elsewhere."
Web Site Review Score Date Added Go To Review
DCResource -----  07-04-06 Read Full Review
Review: "The Optio A10 ($350) is an ultra-compact 8 Megapixel camera with Pentax's new Shake Reduction system. While some image stabilization systems shift an element in the lens, the SR system actually moves the CCD sensor around for the same effect. A similar system was used in cameras developed by Konica Minolta.

While the Optio A10 has a lot to offer (with good image quality and image stabilization), it's lacking in too many areas (performance and LCD visibility) to earn my recommendation. I think that most people would be better served by looking at other cameras..."

Web Site Review Score Date Added Go To Review
Think Camera -----  09-06-06 Read Full Review
Review: "At its release in February, the A10 was the first in the Optio series to offer Shake Reduction and it is the standout feature here. It takes the form of two gyro sensors that detect any camera shake and moves the CCD sensor to compensate, so there is less chance of accidental movement blurring the shot.

Despite a few flaws in the camera's responsiveness when taking photos, the A10 definitely lives up to its role as the flagship Pentax compact. It's a very satisfying camera to use, especially with the multi-function Green menu. Images may be a bit noisy at higher ISO levels but it isn't a fatal problem, images are more than fine for screen use and A4 printing and very sharp."
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