Pentax's retro-designed i-10 may look like the Micro SLR cameras of old, but does it continue the heritage in style? The What Digital Camera Pentax Digital i-10 review...
Pentax Optio I-10 review – Features
The Pentax Optio Digital I-10’s appearance may not seem all too foreign to all because it’s based on the company’s old Micro SLR series. The original cameras would take 35mm film but shoot at half the size (fitting in two shots per frame). Sadly the I-10 doesn’t benefit from such an equivalent large digital sensor size, instead opting for a standard smaller-sized 12.1MP CCD compact sensor.
Quirkily designed, the I-10 is an affordable compact with a variety of features under its belt. A 28-140mm (5x optical) lens provides a wide range of potential, from semi-wideangle to short-tele and the CCD-shift Image Stabilisation mechanism ensures images are kept sharp when using lower shutter speeds or in low light.
Although full manual control isn’t available, the Program mode does ensure an ample amount of control – with the ability to adjust ISO, white balance, exposure metering and compensation. Among a variety of scene modes there’s also the ability to shoot 720p HD movie, which for the sub-£150 asking price sees the Optio I-10 relatively well kitted-out.
Pentax Optio Digital I-10 review – Design
The I-10’s body is less rectangular than many current compacts on the market, its a retro-styled shape featuring a raised area above the lens that contains flash unit. It looks great, though the build quality lacks and feels rather light and plasticy.
The rear button layout has a four-way d-pad to the right; a main Menu and Green Button/Delete below this; with Playback and quick-access Face Detection options above. The shutter with a rear-facing zoom thread sits on top of the camera, which can feel slightly odd in use compared to most other compacts with a front-facing zoom thread.
The rear 2.7in screen has issues too: with its 16:9 designation, standard 4:3 still images only use up a smaller area of the screen which makes for small viewing and playback, plus the angle of view is poor too. Video recording in 16:9 obviously makes best use of the screen ratio however.
Interior menus designs are relatively simple, with three pages of Record Mode settings and the same space designated to Settings. This can make menu digging a bit long, yet the Green Button (Function button) can be user-defined for the quick adjustment of ISO, AF-area and so forth.