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Pentax Optio S10 compact camera

Small and perfectly formed

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Low-light performance was good and you could easily shoot a black cat in a coal cellar with the Optio S10 set at the highest ISO rating. Daylight images weren’t bad, but we were disappointed with the colour reproduction; in many shots, colours looked a little washed out and there certainly wasn’t the vibrancy you’d expect from a camera of this type.

And to be honest, we didn’t notice a big difference between images shot at 10MB and at 7MB - and that included colour prints. Close-up shooting was pretty impressive, but there didn’t seem to be a great difference between the macro and super-macro settings.

Pentax Optio S10 compact digital camera

Also available in blue

The Optio S10 shoots movies in the DivX format - the CD that comes with the camera includes the DivX codec and acdsee editing software - and the results were fine, although we didn’t like the fact that, during the first ten seconds of playback, a DivX logo is displayed in the bottom corner of the screen.

We also tried a number of the S10’s program modes. The landscape mode worked well, but the Sport mode, designed to keep fast moving objects in sharp focus, didn’t make much difference when used for this purpose.

Likewise, the Food mode, which aims to make food more appealing by boosting the colour saturation, didn’t make our plate of egg, bacon and sausages look any more appealing. Ditto the Pet mode. The Digital SR setting is a poor person’s anti-shake system that simply boosts the camera’s ISO setting to 3200 to compensate for shake. We would have preferred a proper anti-shake system.

Sample shots

Click for full-size version

Close-up was good, but there's not much difference between the macro and super macro settings
Click for full-size image

Click for full-size version

Sadly a pet wasn't on hand, so we shot a sheep instead, although it made little difference to the result
Click for full-size image

Click for full-size version

A plate of food shot in Normal mode (left) and then in Food mode (right)
Click for full-size image

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Next page: Verdict

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