10MP compact from Pentax’s flagship Optio range
The A20 joins the Pentax Optio range to deliver an impressive 10MP sensor and 3x optical zoom. Is this high-end specification matched by effective performance?
The 10MP sensor captures images at a resolution of 3648×2736 pixels. Sixteen shooting modes (including program, manual and auto) are offered, each of which comes with a short written explanation in the menu. Some, such as ‘Food’, seem a touch redundant.
The design of the Optio series will not be to everybody’s taste, but I found the generous LCD, sleek lines and intuitive buttons grew on me. At just 145g and a little over 23mm deep, the A20 will fit snug and unnoticed into the pocket.
So what about the performance? Well, the A20 offers manual control over the shutter speed and aperture. This, coupled with the Shake Reduction, produces good-quality shots in most eventualities. However, for a compact, I found the A20 sluggish both in reviewing images and in terms of its speed when it comes to point-and-shoot; a feature that became frustrating over the duration of the test.
The A20 comes with a price tag to match its pixel count, yet for those looking to get more from a compact, it seems fair value.
The 10MP sensor produces impressive images in good light, and even when shooting under darker circumstances the A20 still manages to generate crisp, high-quality shots. High ISO settings can produce images with a quantity of noise, but that’s to be expected from such a small sensor.
The macro and super-macro modes deliver excellent detail, while the 3x optical zoom allows you to get high-quality shots from a distance with minimal fringing.
While its design might not be to everyone’s taste, and it lacks the point-and-shoot speed and simplicity some other compacts offer, with a bit of time and patience the A20 delivers