Pentax Optio Z10
An affordable compact camera with 7x optical zoom.
- 7x optical zoom, attractive design, impressive array of modes and features, 52MB of onboard memory
- No optical image stabiliser, below average image quality and battery life
The Pentax Optio Z10 is not without flaws, but the 7x optical zoom and impressive feature set help boost its appeal. For the asking price it is a decent little unit.
Price$ 249.00 (AUD)
The Pentax Optio Z10 is an entry-level 8-megapixel compact camera with a few surprises up its sleeve. Equipped with a 7x optical zoom lens (with equivalent range of 38-266mm), a VGA recording mode (complete with functioning zoom) and 52MB of internal memory, it’s one of the better equipped budget models on the market. Unfortunately, the absence of an optical image stabiliser coupled with sub-par image quality significantly diminishes its appeal. Nonetheless it remains decent enough for the asking price, with an attractive and uncomplicated interface.
Most entry-level compacts have a hard time standing out from the crowd. Despite coming in assorted shapes and colours they’re often quite difficult to tell apart. The Pentax Optio Z10 manages to distinguish itself via an impressively large lens with 7x optical zoom. This is pretty good for a compact camera; often manufacturers settle for a 4 or 5x zoom. Naturally, this larger than usual zoom will allow you to get nice and close to faraway subjects and will also limit the amount of picture cropping you have to do. It’s definitely a great selling point and probably the best thing about the camera.
We were equally enamoured with the design of the Optio Z10. The glossy black-and-silver finish and prominent lens positioning give it a rather expensive appearance, which is never a bad thing. Measuring 94x58x25.5mm and weighing 145g, it’s a fairly lightweight device that will easily fit in your purse or pocket. Handily, the lens does not extend beyond the camera housing even at full zoom; this means the unit always remains the same size, with no unwieldy protruding bits.
We found the user interface to be clean and intuitive, with easy access to frequently used functions. It’s also appealingly attractive, which isn’t something we thought we’d ever say about a camera menu. The scene menus are particularly bright 'n' cheerful, with colourful cartoon icons in place of the usual clinical fare. There’s a dizzying array of modes to choose from, including multiple options for different pets. We can’t imagine anyone requiring three separate cat modes, but they’re there if you need them (no doubt the crazy cat lady from The Simpsons will be most pleased).
Surprisingly, the menu also offers a handful of advanced functions, including the ability to manually adjust contrast, saturation and sharpness. This grants you more freedom and choice than is typically offered by budget cameras, making it a good choice for budding enthusiasts. The zoom-enabled video mode is also a nice touch, rounding out an impressive package.
Unfortunately, our ardour was somewhat dampened when it came to taking photos. Images lacked sharpness, leading to occasional blurriness in fine details. We also noticed a small amount of lens barrel distortion, which is a typical fault of low-end cameras. This can give your panoramic shots an ugly curved effect, though it’s nothing that can’t be fixed with some editing software. Somewhat less fixable is the presence of noise, which became quite noticeable from ISO 100 onwards. This is a fairly poor result for a compact camera — a typical compact camera will remain unaffected by noise up to ISO 200. (Incidentally, the Pentax offers a maximum ISO setting of 3200, though the results are uselessly grainy.) On the plus side, colours remained fairly accurate if a teensy bit under-saturated. Consequently, you may want to fiddle with the camera’s saturation settings to avoid a washed-out look.
The other main issue we have with this camera is the lack of an optical image stabiliser. Pentax offers "Digital Shake Reduction", which simply adjusts the shutter speed. While this does compensate for handshake blur, it comes at the expense of image quality (which wasn’t perfect to begin with). With that being said, the Optio Z10 is still capable of taking some very nice photos; for the asking price, its shortcomings are mostly forgivable.
The Optio Z10 took a little over a second to power up, with a 2.3 second delay between shots. Battery life is rated at approximately 180 pictures on a full charge, which is somewhat below average.
Join the newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Hisense takes the fight to home entertainment heavyweights with flagship Series 8 and 9 ULED TVs
- 2 Sony's latest Ultra HD OLED debuts in Australia
- 3 Panasonic Ultra HD OLED TV Review
- 4 D-Link Omna 180 Cam HD DSH-C310 review
- 5 Oppo A77 smartphone: Full in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Google Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL, Pixelbook, Google Home Mini & Max: Everything Announced At Today’s Google Event
- Google Certifies Insta360 Pro as First ‘Street View Auto Ready’ Camera
- Noir Matter Introduces waterproof stabiliser for GoPro & other action cameras
- Sony’s New RX10 IV combines Fast AF and 24 FPS continuous shooting with 24-600mm F2.4-F4 Zoom Lens
- Sony announces Australian availability for new waterproof RX0 action-camera
PCW Evaluation Team
Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.
The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic
I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.
It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.
- iPhone 8
- Canon 6D MK II: Full, in-depth review
- Panasonic’s EX600U UHD HDR TV + HTB688 soundbar:
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- CCSolutions ArchitectVIC
- FTAgile Business Analyst, CXOther
- TPProject ManagerNSW
- FTBusiness AnalystOther
- FTLean Agile CoachOther
- CCInstructional DesignerNSW
- CCTechnologyOne Systems AdministratorQLD
- FTSystem EngineerOther
- CCSolution ArchitectVIC
- FTDeveloper- Xamarin, ASP.Net, Ajax, Java Script, MVC , AndroidOther
- FTJunior IT Admin CoordinatorACT
- FTPython Developer - FinTech/TradingOther
- FTFunctional Support Consultant (GIS)Other
- FTNetwork Solution ArchitectOther
- CCProcess Improvement Manager (Black Belt)NSW
- FT.Net Developer - Multiple OpportunitiesOther
- FTApplication Project ManagerOther
- FTBig Data DeveloperOther
- CCSCCM EngineerNSW
- TPServiceNow ConsultantNSW
- FTData Specialist - Government OrganisationVIC
- CCSenior Project ManagerNSW
- TPIT Change Manager Windows UpgradeVIC
- FTSenior Business ConsultantOther
- FTSolution Architect **Telecommunications Products** $800 per dayOther