The Z10 also has facial recognition technology, but it only kicks in when you’re using the kids and portrait modes. It works well. Likewise, continuous shooting and high-speed continuous shooting (4fps) modes only work with a limited number of pre-sets. the Z10's Digital Shake Reduction system boosts the ISO setting to maximum to compensate for any camera vibration. In the auto mode, the image size is set at 8MB and the ISO range from 64-800 (it goes up to 3200), but there’s plenty of scope for manually tweaking focus, exposure and white balance.
So how does the Z10 work in practice? We found it to be a bit of a mixed bag. There are some useful features, like the ability to recover deleted images - provided you don’t remove the SD card or take another shot before trying to recover them. You can even use the zoom in movie mode. Digital effects are limited, but that’s no bad thing in our book. The in-camera editing facilities include red-eye reduction, which works pretty well, and you can also crop images, although the latter introduces some digital noise into the resulting image.
The Z10 tells you what each shooting mode's for
The picture quality is, again, a mixed story. Shots taken outside were sharp, clear and had vibrant colours. Even the digital zoom at full stretch can produce pretty good results. The macro setting gave some stunning close-ups and the focus system was sharp, fast and accurate. The one fly in the ointment was the digital shake-reduction system, which gives horrible, grainy images.
On the plus side, the Z10 offers very good low-light performance. In one of our tests, the only light source was from a small torch, but the Z10 had no problems in producing a decent image, given the circumstances. But too many interior shots suffered from poor colour or contrast. We put a lot of this down to the ISO rating being set too high in the auto mode – up to 800.
This meant that the flash often didn’t discharge when using the Z10 indoors. The high ISO setting would also explain the large amount of digital noise - equivalent to the grain you get from fast film - on so many of our interior images. Yes, you can reset the ISO range and manually adjust shooting parameters to your heart’s content, but the fact is that most people buying a camera like this will use it in the automatic mode and won’t want to have to keep fiddling with the settings whenever they take a picture.
We really wanted to like the Z10, but sadly, its flaws outweigh its good points.
Pentax Optio Z10 digital camera
Resolution and clarity.
Depending on the CCD used, having a higher resolution CCD only makes sense if the picture (100% zoomed in) provides a clear picture without banding (purple infringement around edges) and no loss of quality. Many high-resolution zoomed in max look crap.
My camera Fuji Finepix F10 provides pics at exactly the MP's it said it could produce.
Always before buying: Look at sample pics!
@ @ @Adam guy
I heard about a surveying company that takes digital photos of buildings at hundreds of MPs so that they zoom in super close and see any cracks etc.
@ @Adam guy
Thanks that makes sense - I guess as I never print really anything bigger than the standard photo size I didn't see it like that - I guess the general user like myself still doesn't see any real life benefit in a 3mp to a 8mp camera...
One question though, what is the limit of pixels per cm/inch before it doesn't really make a difference??
@ Adam, Re: Good Quality
MP relates to pixels which are important for printed results. The higher the no. pixels per cm/inch in an image (upto a certain limit) the better the printed result. Also, higher resolution means you can enlarge an image (similar principal to on-screen zoom) without degrading the quality.
For those of us who print images, MP and image resolution are a big deal.
I have an optio bought 6 months ago, it did not last two weeks, the rear view screen cracked, I'm still unable to get it repaired, no spare screens available apparently.
I also have a pocket kodak with rear screen, which has been in the same pocket for 2 years its screen never damaged, I wonder if in-built non-warranty damage???
As usual no response or comment from Pentax.
So I will not touch another pentax with rear screen just in case. Let buyer beware.