Pentax RZ10 Review
|Full model name:||Pentax Optio RZ10|
|Dimensions:||3.8 x 2.4 x 1.3 in.
(97 x 61 x 33 mm)
|Weight:||6.3 oz (179 g)
Pentax Optio RZ10 Overview
The Pentax Optio RZ10 features compact body design whose front panel is dominated by a Pentax-branded 10x optical zoom lens with actual focal lengths ranging from 5.0 to 50.0mm, equivalent to a range of 28mm to 280mm on a 35mm camera -- a useful wide angle to a powerful telephoto. Maximum aperture varies from f/3.2 to f/5.9 across the zoom range, and the lens design features nine elements (five aspherics) in six groups. Importantly, given the reach of its zoom, the Pentax RZ10 includes true mechanical, sensor-shift type image stabilization. The RZ10 also provides software deblurring and can further use high ISO sensitivities to freeze camera and subject motion.. It also offers a movie-only stabilization mode that increases effective focal lengths somewhat, so as to provide free space around the capture area of the sensor, and then automatically moves the capture area so as to provide a steadier movie stream.
Behind its powerful zoom lens, the Pentax RZ10 places a 1/2.3-inch type, 4:3 aspect ratio, RGB CCD image sensor with an effective resolution of 14 megapixels (14.53 megapixels total). The maximum resolution for still images is 4,288 x 3,216 pixels, and the Pentax RZ10 also offers a 16:9 aspect ratio mode with resolution as high as 4,224 x 2,376 pixels, plus a 1:1 aspect ratio mode offering 3,216 x 3,216 pixel images. Continuous burst shooting is possible at one frame per second for up to thirty frames. In burst mode, this increases to 3.7 frames per second for fourteen frames, while up to 40 frames can be captured at 9.1 frames per second when using the reduced resolution, five megapixel high ISO mode.. The RZ10 can also record standard or high definition movies, with monaural audio. The RZ10's movies are recorded at either 15 or 30 frames per second, at 720p (1,280 x 720), VGA (640 x 480), or QVGA (320 x 240) resolution.
On its rear panel, the Pentax RZ10 offers up a 2.7-inch TFT LCD display with wide viewing angles, and a resolution of 230,000 dots, roughly equating to a 320 x 240 pixel array, with each pixel comprising adjacent red, green, and blue dots. This display serves as the sole interface between camera and user, with the Pentax RZ10 not offering any form of optical or electronic viewfinder.
As well as a Program mode, the Pentax RZ10 offers a generous selection of sixteen scene modes that help users tailor the look of their images, as well as an Auto Picture mode that automatically selects from a subset of seven common scene types, as the camera deems appropriate to the subject. For creative types, there are also a selection of digital filter modes on offer, including Toy Camera and Retro filters. Direct control over shutter speeds or apertures isn't available on the RZ10. Exposures are determined using multi-segment metering by default, with center-weighted and spot metering modes also available. 2.0 EV of exposure compensation is available in 1/3 EV steps. ISO sensitivity ranges from 80 to 1,600 equivalents at full resolution, while 3,200 to 6,400 equivalents are available at five megapixel resolution or below. Available shutter speeds range from 1/2,000 to four seconds, depending on operating mode. Six white balance modes are available, including Auto, Manual, and four presets. A built-in six-mode flash offers an effective range of up to seventeen feet at wide angle, or 9.2 feet at telephoto (ISO Auto). A digital panorama function can automatically stitch a three-shot panorama in-camera with a minimum of fuss, and a D-Range setting works to combat blown highlights or blocked shadows.
The Pentax RZ10 uses contrast detection autofocusing, and includes a face detection feature which can recognize up to 32 faces within the image frame in just 0.03 seconds. In addition to using this information to take account of your subjects' faces when determining focus and exposure variables, this is also used to provide both a smile shutter function that captures an image when your subject is smiling, and a blink detection function that warns if your subject's eyes were closed at the moment of capture. In addition, the RZ10 can locate the faces of dogs and cats, and is capable of recognizing three specific pets' faces for tagging purposes. The Pentax RZ10 also includes a tracking AF function that can follow moving subjects around the image frame, and can operate in nine-point or spot AF modes. Minimum focusing distance is ordinarily 1.31 feet, but the RZ10 can focus as close as 0.33 feet at wide angle in Macro mode, and to just 0.03 feet in Super Macro mode with the lens focal length locked towards the middle of the range.
The Pentax RZ10 stores its images and movies on Secure Digital cards, including recent SDHC types -- but not the latest generation of SDXC cards. The RZ10 does, however, support Eye-Fi's WiFi-capable SD cards, and provides for card management in-camera. There's also a generous 82.7MB of available built-in memory, enough for a fair few shots if you accidentally leave your flash card at home. Connectivity options include USB 2.0 High-speed data for PC transfer, standard-definition NTSC / PAL video output for viewing images and movies on a TV, and an infrared remote receiver for use with optional Pentax IR remote controls. Power comes courtesy of a D-LI92 lithium ion rechargeable battery pack, rated as good for 260 shots on a charge, 100 minutes of movie recording, 360 minutes of audio recording, or 300 minutes of playback. An optional AC adapter is also available for use with the RZ10. The software bundle includes ArcSoft MediaImpression 2.0 for Pentax, compatible with Windows XP / Vista / 7, and Mac OS 10.3.9 /10.4 /10.5 / 10.6 platforms.
The Pentax Optio RZ10 ships from October 2010, with four body colors choices -- classic black, pure white, lime and violet -- priced at about US$220.
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