Pentax Optio I-10 Review

4.5
June 14, 2010 | Gavin Stoker |

Image Quality


All of the sample images in this Review were taken using the 12 megapixel JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 3.5Mb.

Given its flashy exterior, we had fears when we downloaded our first set of images from the camera that it would prove to be the usual case of style over substance - and in the case of the I-10 that would have been almost excusable. While there's not the kind of sharpness and detail delivered by a Micro Four Thirds type model, this is a point and shoot compact we're talking about, and on that score the I-10 acquits itself admirably.

Exposures are even; it maintains edge-to-edge sharpness, delivering vibrant and accurate colour and white balance - even under occasional mixed lighting. There is some pixel fringing in evidence when enlarging high contrast portions of an image, but it's kept well under check. Likewise, there is evidently some barrel distortion when shooting at maximum wide angle, but this too is far from the worst example we've seen: overall, a good showing under a variety of conditions. Again, all you could ask for from a point and shooter.

In terms of low light performance, the showing is pretty much what you'd expect it to be like for £199; which is to say unproblematic in terms of visible image noise and degradation of the picture up to and including ISO 800. At ISO 1600, still at full resolution, detail is smudging on close inspection whilst overall the image is staying just the right side of painterly. On first glance things don't seem to have got much worse at ISO 3200, but only because of the attendant resolution drop, whilst at ISO6400 shots are both noisy and smudged - but that said we feel a usable image could still be achieved if the photographer in question is forced to use the setting under duress.

Noise

There are 8 ISO settings available on the Pentax Optio I-10. Here are some 100% crops which show the noise levels for each ISO setting.

ISO 80 (100% Crop)

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

ISO 6400 (100% Crop)

Sharpening

Here are two 100% crops which have been Saved as Web - Quality 50 in Photoshop. The right-hand image has had some sharpening applied in Photoshop. The out-of-the camera images are just a little soft at the default sharpening setting. You can change the in-camera sharpening level if you don't like the default look.

Original (100% Crop)

Sharpened (100% Crop)

   

Chromatic Aberrations

The Pentax Optio I-10 handled chromatic aberrations excellently during the review, with very limited purple fringing present around the edges of objects in high-contrast situations, as shown in the example below.

Example 1 (100% Crop)

Macro

The Pentax Optio I-10 has a rather disappointing Super Macro mode that only allows you to focus on a subject that is 8cm away from the camera. The first image shows how close you can get to the subject (in this case a compact flash card). The second image is a 100% crop.

Macro

100% Crop

Flash

The flash settings on the Pentax Optio I-10 are Flash-on, Flash-off, Red-eye reduction, and Soft Flash. These shots of a white coloured wall were taken at a distance of 1.5m.

Flash Off - Wide Angle (28mm)

Flash On - Wide Angle (28mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64
   

Flash Off - Telephoto (140mm)

Flash On - Telephoto (140mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

And here are some portrait shots. Neither the Flash On or the Red-eye-Reduction settings caused any red-eye.

Flash On

Flash On (100% Crop)
   

Red-eye Reduction

Red-eye Reduction (100% Crop)

Night

The Pentax Optio I-10's maximum shutter speed is 4 seconds, which is not very good news if you're seriously interested in night photography. The shot below was taken using a shutter speed of 2 seconds at ISO 800.

Night

Night (100% Crop)

Entry Tags

hd video, hd, compact, wide-angle, 720p, 12 megapixel, 5x zoom, 2.7 inch LCD, 28mm, pentax, retro, i-10, Pentax Optio I-10 Review, i 10, i10

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