4 expert reviews - 0 user reviews
We have collected 4 reviews of the Pentax Optio VS20. Experts rate Pentax Optio VS20 5/10. Reviewsor.com helps you find reviews, best prices, user reviews of the Pentax Optio VS20 and Pentax Digital cameras.
The Pentax Optio VS20 is a travel-zoom camera with a difference - it has not one but two shutter release buttons for easier portrait oriented shooting. Featuring a 20x, 28-560mm lens with a sensor-shift Shake Reduction system, the VS20's focal range should cover most photographic bases. Also on offer are a 16 megapixel sensor, 720p HD movies, 3-inch LCD screen, a digital level gauge, Handheld Night Snap mode, a range of creative digital filters, and a 1cm macro mode. The Pentax Optio VS20 is available in black or silver and has a recommended retail price of £199.99 / $249.95. While ideally each new camera should have a special, unique feature that sells it on its own terms and distinguishes it from the pack, depressingly most don't. But, in the case of the Optio VS20 from Pentax we don't quite know whether to rejoice in or ridicule its points of difference. A casual glance and impressions are positive enough; the headline features here are 16 megapixels and a 20x optical zoom supported by CCD sensor shift image stabilisation and a broad focal range the equivalent of 28mm to 560mm in 35mm film terms.
Most compact digital cameras are depressingly identikit, so our spirits lift when a manufacturer attempts a different approach. But is the 16 megapixel Pentax Optio VS20 trading on gimmicks? In a first of its kind for a compact camera, it offers two shutter release buttons, zoom levers and tripod attachment screws. One set is on the top and bottom plates - as normal - while the second set is on the left and right flanks. The theory is that the essential controls are readily to hand, whether shooting with the camera held vertically or horizontally.Less eccentric is the fact that the camera packs in a 20x optical zoom - thereby propelling the Pentax Optio VS20 into the ever-burgeoning travel zoom category - even if the body that surrounds it is thicker in depth than most competing models with as big a lens.Supported by sensor-shift anti-shake, this provides a very useful focal range equivalent to a wide-angle 28mm to 560mm in 35mm terms. We're also offered a macro mode that can achieve sharp results as close as 1cm - again helpful in broadening the camera's application - plus 1280 x 720 pixels HD video.Both stills and movies are framed via the anti-reflective 3-inch, 460k dot resolution back screen.
Powerful zoom lenses with long focal distances are all the rage with camera manufacturers at the moment. Like 2012's other high-end superzoom compacts, the Pentax VS20 has a 20x zoom lens, but two key features help set it apart from other models—a second shutter-release button and a particularly attractive price tag. With the budget pricing, however, comes a 16-Megpaixel CCD sensor and a zoom lens starting at a 28 mm wide-angle setting. While competitor models tend to start at around 25 mm, the VS20 has clearly prioritised long focal lengths. The Pentax VS20 is a bulky camera with an all-plastic casing and buttons that don't do it any favours on the design front. A metal lip above and around the edge of the lens does help add a mark of individuality. The VS20 isn't the most comfortable camera to grip—its weight, the rounded finish around the back, and the small, smooth grip handle all make the VS20 slippery character that's not always easy to keep hold of. The second shutter release button is a nice idea, but it hasn't been put into practice very well (see inset). Once you're holding the camera vertically, your fingers tend to cover up the lens and they have nothing to grip on to—a handle or some kind of finger-rest would make things much easier.
Ignore their looks and the Pentax Optio VS20 appears to offer the same spec as the twice-the-price Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ30. Both sport a 20x zoom, resolution in the middle teens and the now obligatory HD movie mode. So what sets them apart, except from roughly £170? I set out with the Optio VS20 to find out. The VS20 looks great on paper, with a 16-megapixel sensor and long zoom, equivalent to 28-560mm on a regular 35mm camera. That's an incredibly versatile range, perfect for landscapes at the wider end and long enough to snap distant wildlife when fully extended. It's got optical image stabilisation too, to help steady your handiwork at such long zooms. Build quality is good, with a sturdy plastic case and neat double shutter controls, each with a zoom rocker. One button is positioned on top of the case, as you'd expect, but the other is sited on the end of the grip so that when you hold the camera horizontally it's hidden in your palm. Turn the camera on one end and it's in the perfect spot to take portrait shots, without having to twist your hand around the camera body. It's a neat feature that's usually only found on dSLRs with optional battery pack add-ons. With two shutter buttons, one of which is on the side, you can easily take portrait shots.
|Pentax Optio VS20 16 Megapixel Compact Camera - Black - 3 LCD - 20x Optical Zoom - Electronic, Optical (IS) - 4608 x 3456 Image - 1280 x 720 Video - HD Movie Mode||$159||See it|