Pentax W10 Review

 
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Pentax Optio W10 Optics


Lens

Zoom
Average 3x optical zoom range, though good performance.

38mm 114mm 4x Digital Zoom

The Pentax Optio W10's optical zoom covers the equivalent of a 38-114mm range, about average among consumer digital cameras. Results were pretty good at wide angle, with only minor blurring in the corners and slight coma distortion in the tree limbs. The 4x digital zoom extends the camera's zoom capabilities to 12x, but with decreased quality from the digital enlargement.

Macro
A very tiny macro area with good detail, though strong blurring in the corners. Flash coverage is uneven, but performs better than expected at this range.

Standard Macro Macro with Flash

The Pentax Optio W10's macro setting performed very well, capturing a very small minimum area of only 0.68 x 0.51 inches (17 x 13 millimeters). Detail and resolution were both good, though corner softening is very strong, extending far into the frame. (Most cameras have some softening in the corners in macro mode.) Though the flash exposure is uneven up close, I'm actually impressed that the W10's flash proved useful at all here. There's a shadow in the lower right corner, but the flash actually performs much better than expected this close.

Distortion
Moderate barrel distortion, though high pincushion.

This is the tendency for the lens to bend straight lines outward (like a barrel -- usually at wide angle) or inward (like a pincushion -- usually at telephoto). The Pentax Optio W10's 0.85% barrel distortion at wide angle is about average among the cameras we've tested, although still uncomfortably high. At the telephoto end, the W10's distortion was about 0.7%, which is higher than average, and quite noticeable.

Barrel distortion at 38mm is 0.85%
Pincushion at 114mm is 0.7%

Chromatic aberration
Moderately high, noticeable effect on images at edges.

Wide: high and fairly bright,
top left @ 200%
Wide: quite bright,
top right @ 200%
Tele: moderate and less bright,
top left @200%
Tele: very bright,
top right @200%

Chromatic aberration is moderately high at both wide angle and telephoto, showing about 4-5 pixels of bright coloration on either side of the target lines. (This distortion is visible as a very slight colored fringe around the objects at the edges of the field of view on the resolution target.) The effect is noticeable in several of our test shots.

Corner Sharpness
Moderate to low softening in the corners of the frame.

Wide: A little soft in the
corners (upper left)
Wide: sharper at center
Tele: slightly soft in the
corners (lower left)
Tele: still a hint soft at center

The Pentax Optio W10 produced slightly soft corners in a few shots. At both wide angle and telephoto zoom settings, corners were slightly soft.

Viewfinder

Coverage
Good accuracy with the LCD monitor.

38mm eq., LCD 114mm eq., LCD

The Pentax Optio W10's LCD monitor proved quite accurate, showing about 102% frame accuracy at wide angle, and about 98% at telephoto. Good results, though the telephoto end does have some room for improvement.

 

The images above were taken from our standardized test shots. For a collection of more pictorial photos, see our Pentax Optio W10 Photo Gallery.

Pentax W10

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