Pentax's Optio range of cameras just keeps getting better and better. The Pentax Optio M40 was impressive, but its latest offering, the Pentax Optio S10, is pure genius.

One of the world's smallest 10Mp cameras - and probably the world's easiest to use - the Pentax Optio S10 is a gem of a camera that boasts an ultra compact body which simply oozes style. The Pentax Optio S10 is slightly heavier than some close rivals, but this makes it feel more solid and durable, adding to an already outstanding build quality.

Like the rest of the Optio range the Pentax Optio S10's menu system is clear and simple to navigate and as usual they have included their Green Mode button. This means that if you have become confused changing the cameras settings then you can press the Green Mode button to let the camera choose your point and click settings for you. However, becoming confused whilst using this camera is a clear indication that you shouldn't be allowed to leave the house on your own anymore.

Increasing numbers of point-and-shoot cameras let you fiddle with every aspect of their menus, and the Pentax Optio S10 is no exception. Every feature can be manually set and changed including, unusually, the focus which is really useful for difficult light situations (although we'd recommend a tripod if using this feature).

The only let down is the lack of a long-distance flash. A 15m flash was one of the best features of the Pentax Optio M40, but for some reason Pentax has decided to go back to a disappointing (but still better than standard) 7m flash for the Pentax Optio S10. But at least it's kept the very useful ‘soft flash' as one of six flash options.

There are all the usual mode settings, night scene, sport, portrait, etc. But with a few fun additions. You can select a colourful surround in which to frame your subject, or choose Pet mode and pre-select the colour of your pet to help the camera use the best auto settings. There's also the added bonus of a text mode for any budding spies out there.

The Pentax Optio S10 also has great DivX certified video capabilities which means you can effortlessly record high quality movies which can then be chopped up and moved around using only the camera's editing software. This same software also allows you to edit your photos and includes some very neat colour and artistic filters.

Pentax Optio S10: Specs

  • 10Mp
  • 0.2m-7.1m flash range
  • 3x optical zoom
  • equivalent to 36-108mm range
  • 2.5in LCD viewfinder
  • ISO 64-3200
  • AVI, Mpeg-4 DivX Video Capability
  • 22MB internal memory
  • card slot takes SD Memory Card
  • SDHC Memory card
  • rechargeable lithium battery with charger
  • 87x54x21mm
  • 110g
  • 10Mp
  • 0.2m-7.1m flash range
  • 3x optical zoom
  • equivalent to 36-108mm range
  • 2.5in LCD viewfinder
  • ISO 64-3200
  • AVI, Mpeg-4 DivX Video Capability
  • 22MB internal memory
  • card slot takes SD Memory Card
  • SDHC Memory card
  • rechargeable lithium battery with charger
  • 87x54x21mm
  • 110g

OUR VERDICT

This fantastic point-and-click camera has all the looks and functionality of much more expensive models, whilst retaining the ease of use that we have come to expect from entry-level cameras. The Pentax Optio S10 is perfect for everyone, mainly due to its amazing ability to allow the user to choose their own level of expertise, from beginners on auto to more advanced photographers making use of the manual settings. And with its very good video capabilities this is a must for any Christmas party.

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