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Pentax Optio W10 Operation

The Pentax Optio W10's user interface is fairly similar to previous Optio models, although it has been restyled somewhat. Colorful cartoon-like icons that represent scene modes were added a couple generations back and they're still effective. For such a compact camera, there's a fairly good selection of external controls and -- for the most part -- a concise LCD menu system. The most basic features such as flash, focus mode, drive mode, and zoom are all adjusted via external controls. Exposure modes are selected from the Capture Mode Palette, called up by pressing the Down arrow on the Four-Way Arrow pad when in record mode.

When delving into the LCD menu system, two menus, each three pages long, are available delineated by subject tabs at the top of the screen. The arrow keys of the Four-Way Arrow pad scroll through each selection, and the OK button in the center of the pad confirms any changes. You can also program the arrow keys of the Four-Way Arrow pad to control 17 specific exposure functions when the Function button is held down, and the User mode setting makes it quick to recall frequently used settings. Overall, menus were clearly labelled, attractively designed, and efficient to use.

Record Mode Display: By default, the Pentax Optio W10's display shows the central autofocus area along with currently-selected options for shooting mode, flash mode, drive mode, focus mode, shake warning, digital zoom, memory status, storage remaining, battery status, key lock, exposure compensation, date and time, and world time setting. By pressing the central OK button, you can also have it show a more detailed display which adds a live histogram, blinking red/yellow over/underexposure warning, shutter speed, aperture, image size and quality, white balance, and sensitivity. By pressing the OK button again, you can dispense with everything but the focus frame. Another press returns to the normal mode, but with the backlight off, saving battery power but effectively making the LCD impossible to see in all but strong sunlight. Finally, one last press of the OK button returns you to the normal display mode.

Playback Mode Display: In Playback mode, you can press the wide-angle side of the zoom toggle to show images on the memory card in the form of thumbnails, nine at a time. Pressing it once more takes you to a view of all top-level folders on the flash card. If you press the green button while looking at the folders, it switches to a calendar view, where the first shot from each day takes up position in that date square; handy for vacation photos. Pressing the telephoto side of the zoom toggle zooms in on the image as much as 8x. Pressing the Display button cycles between Normal Display (which displays the folder number, file number, protect icon, voice memo icon, volume icon, memory status, key lock icon, capture date and time, and four-way controller guide), Histogram + Info (which adds a histogram, blinking red/yellow over/underexposure warning, image size and quality, white balance, sensitivity, shutter speed, and aperture), and No Icons (which shows only the four-way controller guide).

Pentax Optio W10 Modes and Menus

Shooting Modes: In Record mode, the Optio W10 can capture still images, movie files, or audio clips. Available Record modes include Green, Program, Night Scene, Movie, Voice Recording, Panorama Assist, Landscape, Flower, Portrait, Underwater, Surf & Snow, Sport, Synchro Sound Record, Pet, Candlelight, Soft, Fireworks, Self-Portrait, Natural Skin Tone, Food, and Museum, and with the exception of Green mode, are selected from the on-screen Capture Mode Palette menu called up with the Down Arrow portion of the Four-way Arrow Pad. By default, Green mode is selected by pressing the Green button. Playback mode, where you can browse recorded still images, movie files, and audio clips, is activated by pressing the Playback button. The Record menu, which features two tabs each containing three pages of options, is displayed by pressing the Menu button in any operating mode. The following options are available on the two tabs:

Record Mode tab

Setting tab

Playback Mode: This mode lets you review captured images / movies and listen to the voice memos on the memory card, as well as edit them, erase them, protect them, set them up for printing, add sound clips, etc. Pressing the Menu button in Playback mode displays the same menu screens described above. Listed below are the options that come up when you press the Mode button in Playback mode.