For the most part, the performance and image quality of the S10 are its greatest assets. That's a good thing, because those attributes are probably the two most important things to look for when buying a digital camera. Here is what some of the experts had to say about the Pentax Optio S10's performance and image quality.
TrustedReviews really liked the improved performance of the S10 over its predecessors. They say that "the S10's performance is as good as anything in its class." That's saying a lot when you consider the great cameras in this class, including the Canon SD1000, FujiFilm F50fd, and the Sony Cybershot DSC-T2.
They also liked the way that Pentax has improved the AF system in the S10. They said this regarding the AF system in the S10: "I would now rate as one of the best in a compact camera in terms of both focusing speed and accuracy, and in low light ability."
In terms of image quality, they liked the overall picture quality, thanks to the nice SMC Pentax lens. They went on to say that the lens produced "excellent edge-to-edge sharpness and minimal barrel distortion at wide angle." They thought that the S10 produced "consistently good results, especially in low light."
They also pointed out two negative aspects of the S10's image quality, including the relatively weak flash, and the image noise problem with photos taken at ISO levels above 100.
CNet pretty much agreed with TrustedReview's comments. They liked the performance of the S10 when compared to the competition. Their test numbers for the S10 were quite good, as the Optio S10 was able to reach shot-to-shot times of 1.3 seconds in good lighting and 2.5 seconds when using the flash. These numbers are quicker than both the Canon SD1000 and the Sony DSC-T2.
They agree that the image quality is also quite good. They said that "Pentax strikes the right balance between noise suppression and sharpness in the S10." The only gripe that they had with the S10's image quality was a "slightly worse-than-usual barrel distortion at its widest end."
Steve's Digicams also agrees that the performance of the S10 is good when compared to the competition. They recorded a shutter lag time of just one-tenth of a second in good lighting. They also were able to get shot-to-shot times of 1.5 seconds, which is very close to CNet's numbers. These tests were conducted while using a 4 GB SDHC card.
They agreed with CNet in regards to a slight barrel distortion at wide angles, but went on to say that this is quite common for a camera in the S10's class. They liked the image quality of the S10 very much and said this about outdoor shots: "the colors were very vivid and had excellent saturation and exposure." They noticed some edge softness in photos when viewed at 100% and also some image noise when going above ISO 200.
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