The Pentax Optio T10 is an attractive camera with a particularly stylish design, guaranteed to turn heads wherever you take it. The large format screen, which comes in the form of a 3 inch touch-screen, is in fact a fairly unique feature these days. Strange really, especially as we have already seen several video cameras equipped with this type of system. Touching the display (either via a finger or the Stylus pen) in order to change the settings or review your images, proves to take a little getting used to. However, you quickly familiarise yourself with the method, and will soon see it is very intuitive to work with. Seeing as you will frequently have to resort to the monitor - after all, the Pentax Optio T10 does not offer function buttons - this way of operating the camera will affect the working speed. On the other hand, it does offer you a great deal of ease and convenience in return.
Pentax Optio T10 - Camera design
The Pentax Optio T10 has a considerably compact size and a square shape. The corners are slightly rounded, and it should be said that the camera does not come with a clear handgrip. The back side, on the upper right of the display, features a ribbed surface where the user rests his right thumb. Left of the screen we find five small points where the left thumb rests. This creates a safe and secure feeling, and offers the user a somewhat more stable hold on the camera. The aluminium coloured housing has a matte finish and a smooth surface. The back side of the Pentax T10 is mainly black, decorated by a silver border both at the top and bottom.
Pentax Optio T10 - 3x Optical zoom
When looking at the front side of the Pentax Optio T10, we see two colours: matte aluminium and matte silver, which are kept apart by a silver coloured border. The 3x optical zoom lens is located on the right of the camera's front side, and offers a brightness of f/2.7 - f/5.2. This is in fact an average brightness, which we frequently encounter with digital compact cameras such as the Pentax T10. Above the zoom lens, we find a LED that holds a double function; as self-timer and as AF assistance illuminator. Naturally, we also see the Pentax logo here, but it should be said that the large black/silver advertising sticker should really be taken off. At the top left, next to the logo, we see a remote control sensor, through which the optional remote control functions. At the utmost lower right side of the camera, three miniscule holes form the microphone.
Pentax T10 - Battery & Memory compartment
The small loud speaker and the PC/AV interface are located on the side of the Pentax T10 camera. The small lid that covers the interface forms an attractive whole with the silver coloured strip on the side of the camera. Beside it, we also see a small loudspeaker for the rendition of the recorded audio. The opposite side offers an A/C power connection for an optional K-AC7 adaptor, which comes in handy when you expect to be using the camera for a longer period of time whilst non-mobile.
A small eyelet forms the connection for the wrist strap. When turning the camera around, we find a smooth bottom side with a universal (plastic) tripod mount. Next to it, we see a large lid that provides access to the compartment for the Pentax D-L18 Lithium Ion 3.7 710mAh battery and a Secure Digital flash memory card. The battery is kept safely in place by a small security lock, which prevents accidents when opening the compartment.
Pentax Optio T10 - Release button
The presence of a touch-screen on the Pentax Optio T10 has greatly minimized the amount of buttons. In fact, I am yet to come across a camera that features as little buttons as the Pentax T10. The top side of the camera is equipped with an on/off button that holds a small LED, so that the user is able to check the camera's activation even in low-light conditions, a rather luxurious addition! On its right, we find the shutter release button, which is surrounded by the zoom ring that allows you to zoom in digitally and optically. The shutter release button has a pleasantly large size, and features a very comfortable pressure point.
Pentax Optio T10 - 3 inch LCD screen
When turning the Pentax T10 compact camera around once more, and looking at its back side, the first thing to catch your eye is - of course - the 3 inch format display. This really is a very attractive feature of the camera to work with, and it is in fact almost hard to imagine that a 1.5 inch format screen was regarded as the standard for years. We find only two buttons beside the large monitor; the play button and the menu button. The latter serves to activate six large pictograms, which allow the user to set the camera for a recording. Pressing one of these pictograms with either a finger or the Stylus pen enables you to navigate through the menu. This proves a very handy way to operate this type of camera, whilst the large 3 inch monitor displays the settings in a very clear and comprehensible manner.