Pentax Optio MX4

Take a 4 MegaPixel digital still camera, combine it with a solid state camcorder and throw in a 10x optical zoom lens just for good measure and you have the unusual and somewhat quirky Pentax Optio MX4.

Pros
10x optical zoom lens
Good quality still thanks to 4 MegaPixel sensor
Display screen can be swivelled in two degrees of freedom
Much smaller than tape based camcorders
Unique design

Cons
Quality of movie clips is not as good as those of a Mini-DV camcorder
SD Memory cards of reasonable capacity are much more expensive than Mini-DV tapes
Too bulky for a jacket pocket
Unique design

This device in particular and solid state camcorders in general will become more attractive and practical as the capacity of memory cards continues to increase and their cost continues to fall.

Some retailers have recently dropped their price for this item from just over £300 inc. VAT to just under £200 inc. VAT. Viewed as a 4 MegaPixel digital still camera with a 10x optical zoom lens at just under £200; its good value for money and bordering on being a bargain.

Best Internet Price: £199 inc. VAT (7dayshop.com)

Note: Tsunami Appeal Update: 7dayshop.com is currently offering to donate £1 from each order placed to the Oxfam Tsunami Appeal.

Star Rating: 7 Stars View it more as a digital still camera and less as a camcorder.

Optio MX4 Features

Photo Functions
LENS
SMC 5.8-58mm f/2.9-3.5 zoom lens
[37mm to 370mm equiv. in 35mm format]
Approx. 46.3mm-463mm in 35mm format when capturing movie
12 elements in 8 groups
2 aspheric elements and 2 ED glass lenses
10x optical and 10x digital zoom
FOCUS
TTL 5-Point Wide Area Auto Focus
Spot AF or Manual Focus
Focus range
Normal 40cm at wide, 1.2m at tele, to infinity
Macro 10cm to 50cm at wide
Super-Macro 0cm to 15cm at wide
Manual 0cm to infinity
Infinity landscape mode
EXPOSURE AND METERING
TTL Multi-segment, centre weighted or spot metering
ISO Auto 100/200/400 Manual
Exposure compensation +/- 2 EV in 1/4 EV steps
1/2000 sec to 4 sec shutter speeds
Auto flash, flash on, flash off, red-eye reduction
Flash range:0.1m 5.1m at wide
0.6m to 3.8m at tele
Exposure Modes Picture mode, Program, Shutter Priority, Aperture Priority, Manual and Movie
Picture Modes Landscape, Flower, Portrait, Sport, Surf & Snow, Sunset, Night Scene, Soft, Illustration, Panorama Assist
9 Digital filters B&W, Sepia, Red, Pink, Purple, Green, Blue, Yellow
OTHER SHOOTING CONTROLS
Adjustable sharpness, saturation and contrast
White Balance Automatic, Manual or 4 selectable settings
Self timer
Continuous shooting
Auto bracketing on 5 parameters
Timelapse video
Histogram display
Voice memo recording
Remote Control (Optional)
Alarm clock and world time function
DIGITAL IMAGE CAPTURE
4.23 megapixel, 4.0 megapixel (effective)
1/2.7" interline transfer CCD with primary colour filter
12 bit x 3 colours
Takes SD memory cards
In camera file size adjustment mode
Still
BestBetterGood
2304x1728244769
1600x12005189123
1024x768112202257
640x480241386483
Movie(mins)
BestBetterGood
640x4802.5 (5)4 (7)5 (9n)
320x2406 (11)9 (16)16 (25)
160x12016 (25)20 (31)31 (42)
Frame rate 30fps(15fps)
with 64MB SD memory card
1 sec to memory card capacity
Movie mode - .mov (mpeg-4) format, 30 fps with sound, 640x480, 1 sec to memory card capacity
PLAYBACK & PRINTING
Zoom view up to 12x magnification
Nine image display
Trimming and resize function
Histogram display shows brightness levels
DPOF, DCF, Exif 2.2 compatible
Pictbridge for direct printing
Digital filters work on playback, with 'overwrite' or 'save as' modes
Image protection
CONNECTING TO A COMPUTER OR TV
PAL and NTSC video output to AV connection
USB connection, PC or Mac compatible
Windows 98/98SE, 2000, ME, XP, Mac OS 8.6 +
Comes with ACDSee for PENTAX Image viewing software
CONTROLS
Virtual mode dial for easy mode selection
4 way controller and OK button for navigation and selection of menus and settings
1.8" CG silicon TFT LCD colour monitor with 134k pixels
POWER SOURCE
Rechargeable L-Ion Battery D-L17
180 still images per charge
80 mins of movie per charge
1x CR-V3 lithium battery
Optional AC Adaptor
DIMENSIONS & WEIGHT
73 x 59 x 103.5mm, 330g without battery and card, 375g operational
KIT CONTENTS
Optio MX4 camera
Software (CD-ROM) S-SW22
Rechargeable L-Ion Battery D-L17
Battery Charger
AC Plug cord D-CO2E
Strap O-ST17
AV cable I-AVC7(B)
USB Cable I-USB7
OPTIONAL ACCESSORIES
Leather Case
Remote Control
AC Adapter

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and it's customers.
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