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Pentax Optio Z10



The Pentax Optio Z10 is an 8 Megapixel compact with a 7x optical zoom lens and 2.5in screen. Announced in August 2007, it has the highest zoom of any compact in the Pentax range at the time of writing.

A longer than average zoom is certainly very useful for getting closer to distant subjects, and the Z10’s equivalent range of 38-266mm gives you much longer reach than average 3 or 4x zoom models. Impressively the lens also zooms internally and never extends beyond the housing of the camera, thereby maintaining a pocketable form factor at all times.

Starting at 38mm isn’t exactly wide, but Pentax offers a digital wide option which stitches two images together to give a broader coverage equivalent to 28mm – albeit at a reduced resolution of 5 Megapixels.

Unusually for a lens with a longer than average range, there’s no optical or sensor shift image stabilisation to combat camera shake. Instead the Z10’s Digital Shake Reduction (SR) mode increases the sensitivity to allow quicker exposures. The Z10 certainly has plenty of headroom with a maximum sensitivity of 3200 ISO at its disposal, although like all compacts, the quality falls dramatically at higher sensitivities. We’ll show you examples in our results and gallery pages.

In terms of other features, the Z10 has face detection which can track up to 15 people, an equal number of shooting modes, a generous 52.1MB of internal memory, and VGA movie recording at 30 fps.

The longer zoom range is clearly the Z10’s key selling point, but how well does it work in practice, and as crucially, how do the quality and other features measure-up against the competition? There’s some excellent and affordable 8 megapixel compacts on the market, so to find out if the Z10 can compete, check out our Pentax Optio Z10 review. And as always for a demonstration of its key features, check out our Z10 video tour.

Testing notes:

We tested a final production version of the Pentax Optio Z10. Following our convention of using default factory and best quality JPEG settings to test cameras unless otherwise stated, the Z10 was set to its best quality 8M *** mode with Auto White Balance, Multi-Segment metering and the default settings for Sharpness, Saturation and Contrast.

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