Touch-screen Optio gets a 7MP boost
The 6MP T10 brought touch-screen technology to the consumer Optio line-up, and with the T20 Pentax has upped the resolution to 7MP, using the same 37.5-112.5mm equivalent zoom upfront and program plus scene modes for point-and-shoot operation.
The ISO has also seen a boost, with the option to manually select ISO 100-800, though the auto sensitivity is ISO 100-400 as with its predecessor. However, the T20’s unique selling point isn’t its feature set, but the touch screen 3in LCD on the back that does away with a need for too many buttons (as well as a viewfinder). This allows the T20’s sleek silver metal shell to retain an incredibly minimal appearance, with the high-resolution screen giving a pleasingly large area to compose and view images on.
The touch-screen is incredibly fun to use too, not only allowing you to change settings but – using the included stylus – you can also draw onto your images, apply filter effects and even add a frame from a selection of sometimes-ghastly border effects. Yet the T20’s performance is lacklustre, with a four-second start-up and an AF system that’s steady rather than speedy. There’s also a slight delay when storing and retrieving images. While the Optio T20’s white balance and metering systems are sound, the general lack of detail is disappointing, with distant areas often becoming a featureless jumble of coloured ‘blobs and smears’. Colour noise at ISO 400-800 doesn’t help, making it look as though melted ‘hundreds and thousands’ have been spread across the image. Stick to small print sizes and/or low ISO settings for best results.
The touch screen makes the T20 a lot of fun, but it’s generally slow to use and the image quality could be better.