During our participation in My Selangor Story 2011, bloggers were given a Pentax camera each to review throughout the five days tourism blogging event.
I had a chance to try out the Pentax Optio RS 1000 which is a pocket size camera.
From the outlook, the Optio RS 1000 is certainly an eye catcher. The inclusion of Angry Bird picture on the front of the camera is bound to catch anyone attention. When I first received the camera, there were already a lot of “Oooh-ahhh….” heard from all directions. What’s more, with the rage about Angry Birds nowadays, this camera is definitely a crowd pleaser for those who want to be seen as trendy.
Now, let’s list down the technical specification for this camera here.
Type: Point & Shoot
Optical Zoom: 4x 4.8 mm-19.6 mm
Memory: SD card
LCD Screen: 3 Inch
Recorded Pixels: 14 Megapixels, 10 Megapixels, 7 Megapixels, 2 Megapixels 640 x 480 pixels.
White Balance: AWB, Daylight, Shade, Tungsten, Fluorescent Light
EV Compensation – 2.0 to + 2.0
ISO Range: Auto till 6400
Movies Mode: Yes
Auto Pic – Automatically selects the best capture mode
P – Used for basic shooting. Various shooting can also be set with this mode
Natural Skin Tone – For images of people. Enhances skin tones while smoothing blemishes
Night Scene Portrait – For images of people at night. (Used of a tripod or other support is advised)
Night Scene – For night time images. (Use of a tripod or other support is suggested)
Landscape – For capturing landscape views. Enhances colors of sky and foliage
Blue sky – Emphasizes saturation of the sky to produce a bright image
Sunset – For images of sunset and warm lighting
Flower – For images of flowers. The outline of the flower is softened
Sport – For a fast movie subject. Tracks the subject until the picture is taken
Digital SR – Higher sensitivity reduces blur
Kids – For capturing moving kids. Reproduces a healthy and bright skin tone
Pet – For capturing moving pets. Select the colour according to the pet’s coat
Portrait – For capturing portraits. Reproduces a healthy and bright skin tone
Food – For images of food and prepared dishes. Enhances saturation and contrast
Candlelight – For capturing scenes in candle light
Surf & Snow – For bright images such as sand or snow. Accurately meters for bright scenes.
Half-length portrait. For portrait with proper framing by automatic zoom. Fixed to 3M pixles
Frame composite – For capturing images with a frame. Recorded pixels is fixed at 3M
Text – Captures text in an easy to read manner. Text contrast can be adjusted.
Digital Panaroma – Stitches images taken with the camera to create a paranomic photograph
When I was writing this review, I realized that I had to be objective in my opinion. For someone (yours truly) who has been accustomed to using a digital SLR camera user, it is pointless to compare the picture quality of the Optio RS 1000 with my current equipment.
A fairer approach would therefore require me to give my opinion from a casual shutterbug’s point of view ala point and shoot camera user.
Having to say that, let’s look at my experience with using this camera. I love the fact that it is handy to carry around. There were numerous times during My Selangor Story 2011 when I wanted to capture a quick photo of the activity. If I would to opt for my SLR camera, it means unzipping my camera bag, mounting my lens, taking off the lens cap, setting my ISO, WB, shutter speed, aperture before I can start taking a shot. Not to mention the need to mount on the additional flash if the scene is dark.
With the Optio RS1000, all I need to do is to take it out from my pocket, switch it on and start shooting. In terms of convenience, it is a no brainer that the Optio RS 1000 is a handy camera to carry around.
I also love the fact that there is a dedicated button on the rear panel for face detection and smile capture. This is when the camera will identify the individual faces and only take picture when the faces are smiling. Neat huh?
Beside the option to select macro with a press of a button, there is also another mode known as super macro. This will allow the user to take super close up shots.
Despite not given the manual to refer to, it didn’t take long to figure out how to operate the camera. The on/off button is logically laid out on the top of the camera while the on-screen menu is very intuitive. There are some explanation notes for some of the options in the menu which will help the user understand the more advance features of the camera.
As a matter of fact, the menu is straightforward, targeted for users who does not like to fiddle with too many things under the settings menu.
Weight wise, the camera was really light. No, make that feather weight! Well, I guess I am used to carry my SLR camera which weighs more than 3kg so anything that is lighter than that is definitely VERY light for me.
Now let’s come to the gist of the review which is the picture quality.
Under good lighting condition, the Optio RS 1000 is capable of nice taking pictures. The colour of this food shot at Bila Bila in Golden Palm Tree Iconic Resort & Spa is saturated, sharp and has a good exposure.
I took a picture of Zaid with strong backlight at the same venue to see if the Optio RS 1000 can meter the scene accurately. Usually, a camera with bad metering system will leave the person’s face looking underexposed to save the details of the highlight (the backlight). The Optio RS 1000 performed well in this situation as Zaid’s face was decently exposed. Somehow the face detection technology helps the Optio RS 1000 to meter such situation properly.
Overall, the camera perform quite well under good ambient lighting condition.
Next up, I tried to use the Macro mode to take some close up shots of the liquor bottles at the bar counter at Bila Bila. Again the image was sharp and the text on the bottle label was readable.
In low lighting condition, the Optio RS 1000 stumbles as it try to take this scene at the Grand Ballroom at Golden Palm Tree Iconic Resort & Spa. The noise level was evident and the picture sharpness was dramatically reduced. The picture also looked underexposed.
When the flash was switch on however, the detail level was much better. The flash helps to fill in the shadows thus producing a better image. The noise level however is still quite apparent.
To test the Optio RS 1000 white balance accuracy, I took another shot of the Grand Ballroom which was lighted with yellow tungsten lighting. Using the flash, I was quite impressed that the camera auto white balance was pretty spot on. At least the picture didn’t turn out with a strong yellowish tint.
The next morning, I took a picture of landscape at Golden Palm Tree Iconic Resort & Spa. The weather was cloudy and the skies were grayish. I turned on the ‘Blue Sky’ mode to boost the colour of the skies. Too bad it didn’t turned out as what I would expect it to be. Still, the image was usable if not impressive.
I also tested out the video mode by taking a short clip of a live band performing at Pasar Ikan Bakar in Awana Genting Highlands Golf & Country Resort in low light situation. Although the video looked rather noisy, the exposure was very good given the poor lighting. The sound was crisp and clear too.
Overall, for a pocket size camera, the Optio RS 1000 is a decent camera. Under good lighting condition, the images captured are sharp with good level of exposure and noise level.
However, flash mode is recommended in darker scenes though the noise level will be more noticeable.
As far as its design is concern, Pentax has cleverly incorporated Angry Bird on the front side of the camera which is a plus point. The menu is easy to navigate and casual user won’t find any complication with its usage. If you are looking for a hassle free camera, look no further. The Pentax Optio RS 1000 could just be the answer you are searching for.
Lightweight, easy to carry around
Fits into the pocket easily
Menu is easy to navigate with self-explanatory notes
No frills shooting as the Auto Mode is ideal in most situations
Perform well under good lighting condition
Face detection intelligently identifies faces in the scene
Pictures look noisy in dark environment
LCD screen hard to see under direct sunlight
For more information about Pentax Optio RS 1000 click here.
DSC World Sdn Bhd
16-1, Jalan PJU 5/16, PJU 5
47810 Petaling Jaya
Selangor Darul Ehsan
Tel: 603-6148 8122 / 603-6148 8098
Fax: 603-6157 2160