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My parents bought me a Pentax Optio M30 for my birthday two years ago, my old Olympus had given up the ghost and I asked if they could put some to for a new camera instead they bought me a whole one. I wouldn't have bought a Pentax I would probably have chosen another Olympus but I have few complaints.
The camera looks quite dinky, it's silver in colour, brushed silver on the front with highlighted sections on the top and one side of polished silver. On the front is a large circle taking up about half of the panel, this is the lens which protrudes when the camera is switched on, around the lens is written Pentax Lens / 3x zoom, 6.3mm-18.9mm (I won't pretend to know exactly what that means), there is also a slim flash bulb situated at the top, slightly to the left, Pentax 7.1 megapixels is written down one side. On the top is the model name and number, the on/off switch and the snappy button for taking the photographs or capturing the image as a real photographer might say, you can probably tell by now that I am not a technical person. On the rear is a large screen, which takes up most of the space on the rear of the camera, there are also the rest of the operational buttons and some little bumps at the side which I use as a sign not to move my finger when capturing an image or a video, otherwise you'll hit some of the buttons.
I've never read the instructions, I don't normally, if I can't operate it without the instructions then I send it back normally. If it's not potentially dangerous work it out for yourself I think, you're much more likely to remember it that way. There are lots of different functions including video with sound, sound only and various picture functions including: auto, night, sport, kids, etc if you move the cursor box over the icon it tells you what the mode is and a little of how it works. You can change the settings on the flash too. There is a micro setting for taking close pictures of small things, I use this a lot for work. The video will record for as long as you have space on your SD card, which is where you store your images, sounds and videos.
When you take a picture a small box appears and magically focuses on the main item in the picture, see there's my technical side coming out again. The pictures always look good quality to me, taking aside the photographer that is, and develop well. The video is good quality, not quite blueray but good enough for family memories. The sound is good picking up from quite a distance, I have never been disappointed with the video function, except when I've forgotten and framed it the wrong way round.
The camera is powered by a rechargeable battery which is fitted easily in the camera under a slide open slot along with the SD card, both of which only fit completely in one way round so it's impossible to get it wrong. The battery charges in a separate unit plugged into the mains. It doesn't take long to charge, no more than an hour and it lasts for days when I'm on a photography mission at work, this means hundreds of images captured over the space of a week.
The Pentax Optio M30 is a compact digital camera. It is lovely and small, simple to operate and takes good pictures, what more could you ask for from a compact digital camera. I've owned it for nearly two years now and it's been used and abused to the fullest extent and it's still going strong, especially bearing in mind that it's been knocking around in my handbag when it's not being used. A good investment for the amateur photographer. I don't know the price because it was a present but thanks Mum and Dad, well worth the money. Currently available for £50.00 on Amazon.
The Pentax Optio M30 digital camera is a really good camera. It is sleek in size and shape and very user friendly. It retails at around £120 and I would say that I think it is worth every penny.
It has 7.1 Megapixels and a pentax lense with 3xZoom function (6.3mm-18.9mm). It doesn't require batteries because it contains a lithiam battery (like the ones in a mobile phone) and also comes with a charger. It doesn't need charging as often as your mobile phone does but I guess this depends on your usage. It can easily last a week on holiday (once fully charged) without running out of battery.
It has everything I could think to use it for, you can even use it to make funny frame arounds the subjects of your photos and has all the other functions like sepia and black and white and such. It has a delete photo function as a button on the back with a picture of a dustbin! It has an on/off switch on top and the snap picture button too. It has a zoom button on the back that is indicated by pictures of one tree on one side and many trees on the other. It also has all the normal functions like automatic flash (shown with a lightening bolt type symbol) or the option to turn it off. It has a focus menu that allows you to choose what part of the shot you would like to focus on, either something in the foreground or something in the backdrop. The user manual that comes with it is very easy to use if you ever need a little extra information on how to set up the perfect shot. It has one PC/AV port at the bottom and a whole with grips if you wanted to set it onto a tripod. It has a mode and a menu button on the back which help you to exit screens or select screens accordingly and an ok button that is central and clearly marked. The LCD screen takes up more than half of the back of the camera so is really easy to see what you are taking a picture of or what setting you are using. I am honestly a bit rubbish with most digital cameras but this is easy as anything to use.
The photo quality comes out really good and I would recommend it for capturing good action shots as well as still ones and these really do come out well. I have used this for weddings, parties, gigs and for taking photos of friends and family and its the best camera I have ever had. I am not at all dissapointed or worried that I spent more than £100 on it.
Technical and Product information is as follows (copied from my user manual)
Battery Model: Camera Specific Powerpacks
Built-in Flash: Yes
Chip Type: CCD
Digital Zoom (Ratio): 4
Effective Pixel (in Megapixel): 7.1
Highest Focal Length in mm: 114
LCD Monitor Resolution in Pixel: 115000
LCD Monitor Size in Inch: 2.5
Longest Shutter Speed: 4s
Lowest Focal Length in mm: 38
Maximum Aperture Tele: 5.9
Maximum Aperture Wide: 3.1
Maximum Pixel (in Megapixel): 7.38
Memory Type: Internal + External
Movie / Voice Recording: Movie + Voice
Optical Zoom (Ratio): 3
Photo Resolution Heigth in Pixel: 2304
Photo Resolution Width in Pixel: 3072
Range Finder Type: LCD Monitor
SLR / Compact: Compact
Secure Digital Card
Secure Digital High Capacity Card (SDHC)
Sensor Size: 1/2,5'' (5,2 x 3,9 mm)
Serial Shot Mode
Shortest Shutter Speed: 1/2000s
Size of Internal Memory in MB: 22
Video Resolution Heigth in Pixel: 480
Video Resolution Width in Pixel: 640
Weight in Grams: 120
Zoom Type: Optical + Digital
Product Dimensions: 1.8 x 9.7 x 5.7 cm ; 141 g
Boxed-product Weight: 908 g
Item model number: 19255
38-114mm Equivalent 35mm focal length
2.5" TFT Display
Quicktime Video Mode
Modes: Video, Sound, Digital "Shake Reduction", Programmed Automatic, Green, Landscape, Flowers, Portrait, Sport, Surf+Snow, Pets
Built in flash
Rechargeable L-ION (D-LI63) battery
Sporting an ultra-slim body with a fresh, textured design, the affordable Optio M30 features Digital Shake Reduction, Face Recognition AF and AE, and an Auto-Macro function that enables close-up photography up to two inches in Super Macro mode and less than four inches in Auto Macro mode. Loaded with outstanding image quality thanks to a 7.1 megapixel CCD and a 3X optical smc PENTAX lens (focal range covering angles of view equivalent to those of a 38-114mm lens in 35mm format), this camera is ideal for photographing a broad spectrum of subjects from landscapes, through sightseeing photographs, to portraits. The Optio M30 captures smooth, high-quality movies at 30 fps at a resolution of 640x480 pixels, which is comparable to movies taken with a camcorder. Easy to use, easy on the wallet - the Optio M30 is hard to beat!