Review: Pentax Option T30 – touchy feely digital camera

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pentax_optio_t30.jpgThe propaganda

Trying to squeeze a large display into a small camera is going to inevitably result in compromises. Pentax has attempted to alleviate some of the problems by making the 3in display touch sensitive, removing the need for lots of buttons scattered round the camera’s body.

The Pentax engineers have also managed to cram in a 3x optical zoom and 7.1 megapixel sensor into a body that measures a mere 95x57mm and is just 19mm thick. There’s digital shake reduction, to avoid blurry snaps and automatic face recognition to keep people in focus.

The good

The T30 is quick to start up – turn it on and it’s ready to take snaps in a couple of seconds. It’s sparse on buttons as most interaction is via the touch sensitive display.

The menu is simple to find your way around, with easy to read labels and large buttons to press on screen. The layout is logical, with commonly used settings – such as ISO level or picture quality – accessible via just two clicks.

Full resolution images stretch to 3,072×2,304 pixels and take up around 1-1.25MB at medium quality. Image quality was great with decent colour reproduction and realistic lights and darks.

The bad

Although the touch sensitive screen is easy to use, there’s no escaping the problems of greasy finger marks on the display. After a couple of hours with the camera, that pristine screen will soon be marred by smeary marks.

There’s an SD card slot at the bottom, situated next to the battery, which will accept the new high capacity SD HC cards – but you won’t find one included. Instead you’ll have to rely on the internal storage that runs to just under 20MB. If you’re shooting at full res, you’ll fill it up with around 17 images.

Geek Sheet

Resolution: 7.1 megapixel

Zoom: 3x optical, 4x digital

Sensitivity: 64-3,200 ISO

Focal length: 6.2mm-18.6mm f/2.7-5.2(equivalent to 37.5mm-112.5mm in 35mm format)

Memory: 20MB internal, SD HC card slot

Dimensions: 95 x 57 x 19 mm

Weight: 135g (120g without card and battery)

Overview

The T30 is a great point and shoot camera that’s easy to use and creates great pictures. It’s reasonably priced at £189.99 for a 7.1 megapixel camera and it’s small enough to carry with you most places you go.

The touch sensitive screen is very simple to operate, although it is prone to greasy marks after a little use. Internally there’s only 20MB of storage, but you can add more via the SD card slot.

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Related sites: Pentax Optio T30

Will Head