|New Pentax Optio S4 camera |
Dennis Hissink : September 3th 2003 - 18:55 CET
The Optio S4 is a truly classy digital camera. With an elegant design and super slim dimensions, it can be comfortably slipped into a pocket or worn around the neck while complementing your outfit. And with features and functions easily selected for myriad circumstances, you’re free to enjoy yourself while the camera takes care everything else. It even offers a high-performance lens offering 3X optical zooming, the convenience of digital zoom for combined 12X zooming capacity, and the exceptional detail of 4.0 effective megapixels. Never before has a digital compact looked so refined; never before have such superb shots been so easy to achieve. |
|The major features of this ultra-compact camera are:|
Ultra-compact, refined design
The superb quality of the Optio S4 is first communicated through its exterior appearance. Its clean lines and refined aluminum body exude an air of prestige and quality. Its surprisingly slim body, with dimensions of just of 83(W)x52(H)x20(D)mm, not only feels extremely comfortable in the hand, but also serves to give the camera an air of understatement. The Optio S4 also makes use of the innovative, Pentax-original Sliding Lens system to achieve a lens reduced in the degree to which it protrudes from the body, a factor that adds to overall portability while showcasing the Optio S4 as a camera with hidden abilities. Whether you decide to wear it around your neck or slip it comfortably in your pocket, the Optio S4 is the clear choice for sophisticated shots on the move.
Ultra compact 3X optical zoom
SMC Pentax lenses are renowned for their excellent imaging performance and the lens of the Optio S4 is by no means an exception. Offering 3X optical zooming capability equivalent to a 35 – 105mm lens in 35mm format, it allows you to zoom out for expansive scenery shots and move in for telephoto shots that offer pleasing perspective. All 5 groups of 6 elements are crafted entirely from glass and two of the lenses are aspherical on each side. Finally, for even further versatility, the performance of this high-quality lens can also be extended through combination with the camera’s 4X digital zoom for a combined zoom capability of 12X.
4.0 effective megapixels image quality
With the high-level imaging power of 4.0 effective megapixels, the Optio S4 captures everything from macro shots to distant scenery with exceptional sharpness and accuracy. Such performance is also enhanced through the incorporation of a primary color filter which serves to bring out brighter, more natural colors; and advanced imaging technologies which bring about a general enhancement of image quality.
One of the first things you’ll notice about the Optio S4 is its heightened responsiveness that extends across all aspects of operation. Indeed it has a shutter release time lag of just 0.01 sec. and allows the switching between viewing and shooting with a single touch of the shutter or playback button at any time. Independent buttons serve to allow frequently used shooting and playback functions to be accessed with the same ease, and modes can be switched with extreme simplicity thanks to the inclusion of the handy virtual mode dial. Finally, to speed operation in a way best suited to each user, the Optio S4 also allows the customization of functions such as enlargement and deletion.
A selection of useful shooting modes
With eight different shooting modes selectable via the graphic Virtual mode dial, the Optio S4 makes it easy to deal with wide-ranging circumstances.
Program mode allows you to take control over a combination of functions
The Optio S4 offers a choice of seven convenient picture modes, including Landscape, Flower, Portrait, Self-portrait, Surf & Snow, Autumn Color, and Sunset.
A mode that faithfully captures evening and night scenes and is also ideal for shooting subjects with dark backgrounds.
The Optio S4 has the ability to record up to 60 seconds of video with sound at 15 frames per second, with the definition of 320 x 240 pixels. Video files are also recorded in AVI format, making it easy to play them back on a PC.
By following the simple guidance of the camera and using the included software*, sets of pictures taken horizontally or vertically can be aligned and combined with ease on a PC.
3D image mode achieves results with a real sense of depth and perspective. Just follow the camera’s guidance to take two shots, then take a look at the genuine 3D effect achieved when the images are seen through the special viewer provided.
The Optio S4 offers a range of digital filters that can be used to add a different mood to shots. Choose black & white or sepia shooting for a marked difference in style, or choose from a range of colors (red, pink, yellow, green, blue, and purple). The Optio S4 also offers a special Slim filter that makes subjects appear more slender or broader and can be adjusted to different degrees.
User mode allows a combination of preferred settings to be saved for easy access whenever you need them.
Seven different picture modes can be selected with ease, allowing you to shoot diverse subjects while the camera takes automatic control over exposure, focus, and white balance.
A mode specifically designed to make the most of the greens and blues of scenic shots.
Ideal for capturing the vivid colors and tiny details of flowers.
A mode developed to capture natural skin tones for more flattering shots.
Provides pleasing results when you want to take a shot of yourself or join a friend in the frame.
Surf & Snow mode
A mode that helps overcome high-level light reflection problems inherent to water and snow shots to achieve pleasing exposure throughout.
Autumn Color mode
Selection of Autumn Color mode makes the most of reds, browns, and other colors associated with the season.
A mode designed to faithfully capture the splendid tones of sunrise and sunset scenes.
Voice recording mode
With audio recording ability rivaling that of standalone audio recording devices, the Optio S4 is handy for more than just the capture of images. In fact, when equipped with a 64MB memory card, the Optio S4 has the power to record an impressive 4 hours and 22 minutes of audio!
USB mass storage class compatibility
USB cable connectivity allows multiple recorded shots to be quickly and easily imported into a range of common PC applications.
Handy application software (exclusive USB driver, image viewer/ACDSee for Pentax)
With the Optio S4 comes a CD-ROM featuring software including the ACDSee for Pentax, which can be installed on both Windows and Mac computers.
Built-in auto flash
The Optio S4 has a built-in flash, which can be set to fire automatically when shooting in low-light conditions. For greater control, the camera also features Flash-on, Flash-off, and red-eye reduction modes, and there’s also the option of slow shutter sync when shooting in Night Scene mode.
High precision LCD monitor
A high-resolution 1.6-inch LCD monitor offers an approximately 100% field of view for simple composition. It is also handy for checking recorded shots on the spot.
Composition is additionally made easy by a viewfinder that offers actual image zoom. Use of the viewfinder also allows you to conserve power by switching off the LCD monitor.
Nine-image and Zoom display
To speed the search for recorded images, the Optio S4 is able to display nine recorded shots on the LCD screen at once. Each image can also be displayed with 4X magnification, allowing you to make close-up inspections for focus and minor details.
The handy self-timer lets you get in the frame whenever you want, enabling the shooting of self-portraits and allowing the user to enter into group shots.
Optional remote control
Two remote control units are available as options for use with the Optio S4. Known as remote control E and remote control F, both offer remote immediate shutter release and the advantage of a three-second timer, while the former even offers the advantage of zoom control.
Continuous shots can be taken just by keeping the shutter button held down, allowing fast-occurring processes to be captured in a more expressive manner.
The Time-lapse movie function allows a sequential set of shots to be run as a short film. This can be used for impressive effects, such as scenes of clouds rushing across the sky, for example, and offers a selection of recording speeds — X2, X5, X10, X20, X50, and X100.
Macro mode, Landscape mode
Macro mode allows the user to compose shots from as close as 18cm from the subject, while selection of super macro shooting allows you to compose from as close as just 6cm! What’s more, both modes can also be combined with 4X digital zooming. The Optio S4 is also ideal for capturing truly expansive scenes, achieving sharp focus all the way up to the horizon through selection of Infinity-landscape mode.
With an LCD monitor that enlarges the central part of a potential shot, manual focus can be done with a higher degree of accuracy.
Options for autofocus
The Optio S4 offers a choice of two kinds of autofocus. 7-point autofocus helps you achieve sharp focus even when subjects are off-center within the focus frame. Spot AF, on the other hand, lets you place the center of focus on one point out of a choice of 49 in the frame, marking that point in the LCD monitor for easier use.
White balance settings
With a variety of white balance modes, the Optio S4 is able to balance colors correctly when shooting in different types of light. It features settings for auto, daylight, shade, tungsten, and fluorescent light, and there is also a manual setting that lets you decide the selection yourself.
With a histogram display that accurately represents light levels during both shooting and playback, the Optio S4 enables you to make a more educated evaluation of each shot or view.
Multiple choices for metering
The Optio S4 offers a choice of multi-segment metering, center-weighted metering, and spot metering, allowing you to achieve the most appropriate exposure in myriad situations.
Light sensitivity is easy to adjust, with a selection of equivalent to ISO50, 100, and 200, as well as an auto setting.
With exposure compensation across a range of +2EV in of 1/3EV steps, the Optio S4 allows you to take several shots and be more creative.
Settings for sharpness, saturation, and contrast
With five grades of settings for sharpness, saturation, and contrast, the OptioS4 gives you an exceptional amount of control over each and every shot.
With a special function that can be used for specified shots, the OptioS4 lets you make sure you never accidentally erase a wanted image.
Mode memory function
Save a combination of settings at once with the handy mode memory function. These can then be automatically returned to when the power is next switched on.
World time function
The Optio S4 can display the time for 62 different cities around the world. It can also record the time and date for each shot taken, making the sorting of shots so much easier upon your return.
The addition of an alarm function makes the Optio S4 even handier to have around. The camera can also be set to display the shot of your choice when the alarm sounds, showing something related to your schedule, for example, or simply displaying a friendly face.
The user can claim a further degree of control over printouts thanks to DPOF compatibility, which lets you make use of the date function and decide the number of copies.
Exif Print and PRINT Image Matching II compatibility
Exif Print (Exif 2.2) and PRINT Image Matching II compatibility allows the creation of a stronger link between the camera and printer for greater control.
Approximately 11MB of built-in memory
The convenience of approximately 11MB of built-in memory allows the user to record a substantial amount of images without the need for additional media.
SD memory card and MultiMediaCard compatibility
The Optio S4 is compatible with both SD memory cards and MultiMediaCards, both of which can be purchased virtually anywhere. Such media also support the simplistic transferal of data to a PC.
A resize function allows the data size of recorded shots to be reduced. This frees up space to capture more shots without having to delete ones already taken, and resized data can be stored as new files or used to overwrite the previous images.
The useful Trimming function allows images to be cropped and parts to be selected for storage on their own as individual files.
Voice memo function
Up to 30 seconds of sound can be attached to recorded images, allowing situations to be captured in a much more memorable manner.
Two frequently used functions can be selected from a choice of 12. These can then be assigned to the left and right positions of the four-way controller for easier access in the future.
AV (video/audio) output terminal
Thanks to the incorporation of an AV output terminal and a provided AV cable, the Optio S4 makes it easy to display recorded shots on a TV screen.
The Optio S4 even offers a choice of power sources, with exclusive rechargeable lithium-ion battery compatibility and an AC adapter available as an option.
Operation in 8 languages
All menus and messages of the Optio S4 can be set for display in the user’s choice of English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Chinese, or Japanese.