Review posted for Pentax Optio 550!|
(Sunday, July 20, 2003 - 16:43 EDT)
Pentax has carved out a nice niche for themselves, with their Optio line of compact, solidly-constructed cameras
Several previous models have made it to my Dave's Picks list, and now the Pentax Optio 550 has landed there in decisive fashion as well. Besides the boost to a 5 megapixel sensor and a sharp 5x optical zoom lens, Pentax seems to have tweaked their color handling as well.
While not really a subcompact digicam, the 550 is a very worthy traveling companion, with a rugged metal case and built-in lens cover. Like many of the current crop of 5 megapixel cameras, the 550's noise level is a bit higher than that of lower-resolution models, but I found the 550's noise less objectionable than that of many competitors, because it's very fine-grained and uniform, making it much less obtrusive.
Other pluses are a viewfinder with a higher than average eyepoint and diopter adjustment, great for eyeglass wearers, and excellent close-up performance in its "super macro" mode. Exposure modes include everything from dead-simple full-auto to full-manual, with a nice collection of scene modes in between.
All in all, a great little camera, perhaps the best yet from Pentax. Check it out!