Pentax Optio S5z

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Pentax Optio S5z
  • Pentax Optio S5z
  • Pentax Optio S5z
  • Pentax Optio S5z
  • Expert Rating

    3.00 / 5

Pros

  • Great images, compact, looks stylish

Cons

  • Lacking some manual controls, a little flimsy

Bottom Line

A big improvement on the S55, the S5z has exceptional image quality, a slim design and a reasonable price tag.

Would you buy this?

Pentax's Optio S5z is essentially an upgraded version of the S55, which we have also reviewed on the site. For around $100 more you get a host of improved features that are definitely worth the extra money.

The S5z is small, about the size of a deck of cards, with a sleek, metal exterior and a much more minimalist design than the S55. It would please those who like their camera to double as a stylish accessory. It does feel a little more flimsy than some other models of similar design, but it is a big improvement on the previous model nonetheless.

It sports a 2.5" screen which is clear and free of angle-viewing problems. The compact design combined with a large screen results in buttons that are quite cramped. Some users will have a little trouble navigating features without bumping the wrong button by accident.

The controls in the S5z include basic white balance and ISO controls, as well as contrast, saturation and sharpness--but there is not full manual control for things like shutter speed and aperture. There are a bunch of preset shooting modes as well.

This model's picture quality really stands out. The S5z produces some very nice shots for a five megapixel model. Images were incredibly detailed, the colour rich and the edges sharp. They looked wonderful. There was perhaps a small amount of blurring at the edges, but it really didn't detract much from the picture.

The five or six-second flash recharge delay that irritated us with the S55 is also all but gone. The S5z suffers no such problem, and downtime between shots is barely noticeable.

The S5z runs off a rechargeable lithium ion battery, instead of AAs.

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