Tuesday, March 27th, 2007 - 12:35 AM

Initial thoughts on the Pentax Optio W30

Today my Pentax Option W30 arrived in the mail. So far most of my pictures have come out grainy or washed out. Probably because I’ve been experimenting in poor indoor lighting, or attempting macro shots with flash.

A few days ago I read an impressively thorough digitalcamerainfo.com review of the camera based on limited experimentation on a show floor. I’ve spent some time exploring the camera’s interface and reading the manual, and I have a couple minor corrections to that review:

  1. Although it may appear from the camera’s interface that the “Auto” ISO mode will result in ISO 400, the ISO does actually vary. I believe the “Auto400” indicator means that auto ISO will not exceed 400.
  2. By default, ISO is reset when the camera is powered off, but it is possible to make the camera remember the ISO setting. There is a “memory” menu that contains a list of checkboxes for settings to preserve through a power cycle. The “memory” setting includes many options, and seems useful.

Overall, the interface seems pretty straightforward. So far the biggest weakness in comparison to my DSC-T1 is an on-camera focus lamp. The biggest surprise benefit over the DSC-T1 is manual focus capability.

The biggest down-side I knew about before buying the W30 was that it uses Quicktime motion JPEG for video. I would’ve preferred mpeg4 or mpeg1.

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