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Pentax Optio M20

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      22.03.2009 16:36
      Very helpful


      • Reliability
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      Sharp and Snazzy

      Price: £150 (including 1GB memory card and case)
      Megapixels: 7
      Batteries: 2 AA
      Optical zoom: x3
      Digital zoom: x4
      LCD Screen: 2.5 " and 115,000 pixels
      Weight: 130g


      A knock on my door and a package for me. A nice small box 18cm wide, 15cm deep and 8cm tall. The box contained my camera, a case, a USB cable, 2 batteries, 2 CDs, instruction manual (in French), warranty, memory card, wires, strap, video cable and a stand for the camera. For some reason the instruction manual was in French however one of the CDs contains the instruction manual in English. The manual is very straight forward with diagrams showing what buttons to press so that someone who can not read could still understand it. It tells you how to do everything, personally I stopped reading it about half way through and wanted to discover things for myself, much more exciting that way!


      The camera has a huge screen on the back so that everything you see is large and easy to read, this also means that you can view the photos close up. Obviously the usual date and time should be entered so they can be recorded every time a photo is taken. There is also option of holiday mode where you put in the city you are travelling to and the camera auto adjusts the time which I found very useful. It has a symbol to remind you that you are abroad so you do not forget to take it off when you return. You can also change the sound, not just the volume but also the noise the camera makes when performing a variety of functions such as turning on, taking a photo etc. In the menu there are a variety of things such as colour contrast, light contrast and other settings which I don't really change.


      Lithium batteries should be used. Cheap batteries will not work in the camera the power will be depleted immediately. They provide alkali batteries which do work but not for very long. The manual states that 700 pictures or 300 mins of recording time can be taken on one set of batteries. From personal experience I used two sets of energizer batteries in a month, taking 660 photos however the second were nearly new and I had recorded videos and then deleted it and about 100 more photos were taken and deleted. Plus the many times I looked through all my photos proves that battery power on the camera is excellent.


      There are 15 modes altogether which are easily accessible by clicking on the button which has "MODE" written on. I feel it is very important to know what modes a camera has before buying it to see if it is suited to you.
      1. Automode (selects the mode it believes is best, mine seems to choose kids a lot)
      2. Programme
      3. Night Scene
      4. Movie
      5. Voice
      6. Landscape
      7. Flower
      8. Portrait
      9. Surf and Snow
      10. Sport (very useful)
      11. Blur Reduction (allows for shaky hands and still great photos)
      12. Kids (because they don't stop moving!)
      13. Pet
      14. Food
      15. Frame composition (I use this when I messing round with frames such as hearts)
      Most of the modes are self explanatory but just in case you do not know what they are when you select a mode using the arrow keys it describes what it is. Flash modes are: on, off, automatic, soft flash and red eye reduction.


      I have a 1GB card so I will give number of photos that can be taken on mine. On the lowest settings my camera can take over 10,000 photos. However I keep my camera on the highest where I can take 1000 photos which is great. I think about 30mins of video time can be recorded included sound which is not bad for a camera. Overall there is a x7 zoom which means you can get very close to objects far away. Zoom after a photo has been taken can also be used to see things even close.


      Other features include continuous shooting and a self timer (two or ten second delay). You can also adjust levels of saturation, sharpness and contrast. There is also a mode that lets you use the camera as a voice recorder. Green mode is also available, by clicking the green button, making the camera really easy to use as no modes have to be selected. This mode is particularly good for children if you are afraid of them deleting photos are changing settings. When taking a photo the camera will show on the LCD screen if a part of the photo is too dark or too light using red and yellow colours respectively. However most of the time the photo still turns out good just not to the best that it could be. There is a focus screen which focuses on what it thinks you are focusing on, this is useful and can be changed if it is wrong. For example on kid mode it tends to focus on the thing moving the most. You can connect the camera to the TV to watch photos or look at them on the camera, there is an option of a slideshow which means you can look at all the photos at once without having to click next. It is easy to view the pictures by clicking the play button. You can either delete one photo or all of them by clicking on the photo of the bin. If you are viewing a photo and zoom out you can view nine photos at once. If you zoom out again you can see a calendar. On the calendar there is a folder for every day you took a photo. You can view a month in one go and view what days you took a photo on. This also helps as you do not have to look through hundreds of photos to find one if you know what day it was taken on.


      This is my first digital camera, the family have had one ever since I was younger however it was only 2.5 megapixels and so the quality on this one is much better. It is so easy to use with every button basically telling you what it does and a easy manual to follow even if you can not read. Definitely for first time users and for those who like taking photos. Not a professional camera but good enough for most people. The camera can be as complicated or simple as you want it. It is very suited to each individual.

      Thank you for reading.


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