Pentax Optio RZ18 Review

December 12, 2011 | Mark Goldstein | |

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#1 Mad Hungarian

so 2009…

2:36 pm - Wednesday, December 14, 2011

#2 Tony Heath

In your rivals section, you seem to be comparing the camera with other models that are far more expensive.

Surely a major attraction of a camera such as this, which does everything well enough, is the price.

This is an amazing camera for the price. Not everyone wants, nor can afford, nearly £500 or more on a compact camera. i.e. The Leica that you present as a rival.


1:47 pm - Thursday, December 15, 2011

#3 mary cameron

Am very excited about the zoom and the price of this camera. I am a relative beginner and find the ease of use amazing.  The controls and menu are very self explanatory and am having a great time taking closeups etc. of my new granddaughter. Totally recommend for us novices that want expert results.

4:32 pm - Tuesday, February 28, 2012

#4 Genevieve Halse

I bought mine in Australia at Target because it was on special offer, and because my son owned the previous model or previous plus one (bought in November 2010 in Melbourne with a x10 zoom) which gave him excellent crisp results with beautiful colours, but I am somewhat a bit disappointed by the image quality and colour quality of this newer model.

11:47 am - Friday, May 11, 2012

#5 Amy D

Hopefully this continues the PENTAX tradition of providing full paper-manuals, not just CD ROM! - I’m considering Fuji but they only do CD manuals, cheapskates & besides prefering to read my way thru a manual while I relax, not at a glowing screen, my computer’s DD drive is broken! All for saving trees but I miss the paper-manuals with cameras

7:58 pm - Thursday, August 16, 2012

#6 Kerrie

I bought this camera for an overseas trip and it has let me down as I am only getting about 100 hundred photos and less than half days battery life out of it which is hopeless as it stops working this leaving mw without a camera for the rest of the day

2:47 am - Thursday, September 6, 2012

#7 Charles Dobson

When I first got this camera I was seduced by the fantastic zoom, the niggle I had about the general feel and build quality of the camera was put to one side.  After a few weeks of light use however my initial worries came back to haunt me.  The camera wouldn’t turn on properly, the lens would come out part way then the camera would turn off and the lens would instantly retract.  I sent the camera back to the manufacturer under warranty and their response has been very poor.  “A piece of grit or sand has got into the camera, this is outside of the warranty and will cost £91.20 to fix, if you want the camera back you can pay £7.20 for return postage, if you don’t want it back we will destroy the camera for you.” 

This is simply unacceptable in my opinion, a problem which is caused by poor build quality not being addressed by the manufacturer.  I won’t be paying for the repair, the same problem is inevitable in the future.  I won’t be buying a Pentax again either or buying a camera without first picking it up and trying it to get a feel for the build quality before committing to a purchase.

4:09 pm - Monday, September 17, 2012

#8 Roger Hallett

This is the biggest disappointment of any camera I have ever bought in my life - and I am 67 years of age and had so many cameras I have lost track. The specs SHOULD have produced a fantastic result. Good lens (Pentax), good name (Pentax), lots of pixels (16M). But like many others, I have found the images are not clear and sharp; they almost look out of focus. The impression is that the internal lenses are out of alignment, possibly due to poor quality mounting. And battery life is simply crap. A hopeless waste of money. Not happy - and will never buy a Pentax product again. Oh Amy D - I got a paper manual. All in Japanese. Thanks.

6:06 am - Saturday, November 24, 2012

#9 N K Chugh

I bought my [[ASIN:B005MM3WTC Pentax Optio RZ-18 16 MP Digital Camera with 18x Optical Zoom - White]] having No. 4301384 on 26 October 12 from a Store in Shanghai and brought it to India. On 20th Nov 12, I first experienced the same problem i e the camera would shut down immediately after opening. But at that time, after repeated trials, it started working! On 1 Dec, I went to Shanghai again and once again on 3 Dec 12, I experienced the same problem for a short time but it disappeared after some trials of switching on and off. Nevertheless, on 8 Dec I decided to go back to camera store and ask him to rectify the fault or to replace the camera. At the store, as the camera was still working, the salesman explained that the Auto-Power Off setting should be turned off. He did it for us and also replaced the charger, just in case! After that I got more frequent failures and now in spite of various trials, the camera just refuses to open more than a second. Now I am back in India.  Charging and re-charging the batteries do not make any difference. It just opens for a second and shuts off. Kaput. Total number of days it worked= 39. I had good opinion about the Pentax and about Hoya Corporation, but I would rather go back to other brands and forget experimenting with the new products.

12:22 pm - Saturday, December 22, 2012

#10 silas

I bought this camera in November 2012. Tested it exstensively with great results. I took the camera with me to Myanmar. I am at the end of week one of four and the camera has began to shut down when I turn it on. I have contacted Pentax support in Canada because it is the only support center in North America that lists an email address. Phone calls from Myanmar are expensive and complicated. I hope to get a response. I searched the web to discover that my problem is not an isolated instance. I have tried a few of the fixes that other users have suggested to no avail. To make matters worst, I was so happy with the camera that I recomendednto the person with whom I am traveling. I wait with dread for that camera to fail. Wait until Pentax has fixed this problem brfore you purchase.

2:00 pm - Friday, February 1, 2013

#11 N K Chugh

I reported the defect with this camera on 22 Dec. Thereafter once agin I tried to make it work. One last idea I had was to tak eout the card and format it on my computer. And it started working!! Since then there has not been any starting trouble.

11:42 pm - Friday, February 1, 2013

#12 John Foggitt

One thing to try with a camera that has grit in it is to give it a hard knock on a piece of wood! Years ago I had a Fuji camera that had a jammed ‘lens cap’ (built-in) so that the lens couldn’t come out. I tried fixing it but I couldn’t get at the lens cap mechanism. It wasn’t worth spending money on so I bought a replacement camera. I then thought of giving the Fuji a hard knock as it was otherwise rubbish and it worked. I now have a vintage camera (Fuji Finepix 4700) that still works well. The only limitation is that it takes Smart Media cards which are now almost unavailable.

7:32 pm - Tuesday, March 12, 2013

#13 Tim

I have had one for nearly a year. First class camera, best advice is to select the manual rather than auto picture settings. Also buy a spare battery! The picture quality is excellent and of course it is light and small. If you use the full zoom you need to rest the camera or use a small tripod, but this applies to any long zoom. I also own and use a full size Pentax istDS with interchangeable lenses and this Z18 is just as good in most situations.

1:19 pm - Friday, March 22, 2013

#14 N K Chugh

I reported this problem of the camera retracting the lens when I tried to open it. That was in Dec 2012. Soon thereafter I tried formatting the card and the problem was solved.  I have by now taken over 2000 photos with this camera. It is a great camera in sun shine and in day light condition only but not so good for indoors and in low lights.  Recently, once again I had the problem of automatically shutting off the camera on opening. I solved the problem again by changing the memory card.

5:08 pm - Friday, March 22, 2013

#15 silas

I sent my Optio RZ18, to the the Pentax Rich Service Center in Chandler, Az since my return to the US. It was returned to me within a couple of weeks functioning. Among the items listed under repair description is “Repaired Lens Assembly”.

Silas Jackson

2:32 pm - Saturday, March 23, 2013

#16 SithLord


I have an Optio RZ18. Just like what the user N K Chugh mentioned, my camera won’t turn on properly. Once turned on, it will close after two seconds.

I took it to a service center. They say my camera keeps shutting down because there are some dirt or whatever stuck in the lens. I asked how much would it cost to have it fixed and they gave me a number almost 3/4 of the camera’s original price.

Please anyone, if you had the same problem and was able to fix your Optio RZ 18, please reply to my post and help me how.

N K Chugh’s method of formatting the memory card won’t work for me as my camera keeps shutting off after two seconds with or without the memory card placed inside.

Thank you and I hope to receive replies.

4:19 am - Thursday, July 4, 2013

#17 Rob Fraser

The same shutting off after a couple of seconds nightmare has just begun for me….  Having just returned from a day at the beach I’m guessing it is a grit of sand or two. How does the reformatting card trick work exactly…...can’t really afford to have it mended mechanically…..

12:35 pm - Saturday, August 24, 2013

#18 SithLord

Well, I have employed a very rough DIY method in fixing my camera.

What I do now every time I turn on my camera is “assist” the largest barrel the moment it starts rolling out by ever so slightly nudging it to the right.

I don’t experience any problem anymore whenever I do that. I hope the same “trick” will do wonders for you as well. :)

7:07 am - Tuesday, August 27, 2013

#19 Roger Hallett

This camera is rubbish and gives Pentax a bad name - it should be withdrawn from sale. I have attempted to use this camera again, but the results are just SO bad. Poor resolution, poor colour rendering. It is only good for a children’s camera, and a poor excuse for a camera at that. Hope it doesn’t put the child off photography for life. PLEASE do not buy it even for granny! I would be disappointed with the results even if the cost was $20. I had better results from an old disposable Kodak film camera 30 years ago. I had a Pentax film camera once and it was brilliant. Sadly, the transition to digital has not been good to Pentax if this is a good as they can do for $250.

7:24 am - Tuesday, August 27, 2013

#20 Sam393

I bought this camera a couple of years ago and have not had a moments trouble with it. I have been a professional photographer in the past so cameras are no stranger to me. For me it is the most versatile camera I have ever had and can be made to cover just about any situation. Screen is not easy to see in bright light but that applies to any LCD display. For wild life and pet photography it is excellent and compact go anywhere camera. I am stunned at some of the problems experienced by others. A very poor reflection on the service/expertise of some agents.

10:27 pm - Friday, February 28, 2014

#21 Barb

I bought mine a couple of years ago and never had a problem until recently. Mine, too, keeps shutting down after a few minutes despite an empty SD card and fully charged battery.  Very disappointed. Wouldn’t recommend.

12:52 am - Tuesday, October 14, 2014

#22 Leo

#18 SithLord
Fabulous Idea and it works for me.
Also from another site I worked out how to stop it switching off, by pressing the blue > button and the “On” switch at the same time.
Thank you SithLord, for the “Right Nudge” solutuion

3:28 pm - Monday, June 8, 2015

Entry Tags

hd video, review, hd, 3 inch LCD, 16 megapixel, 720p, travel-zoom, travel, pentax, 18x zoom, RZ18 review, Pentax RZ18 Review, Pentax Optio RZ18 Review, rz18

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