Pentax Optio 50

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Pentax Optio 50

The PENTAX Optio50 is a compact, lightweight digital camera that makes digital photography easy for virtually anyone. Incorporating a handy "Simple" m...

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87% positive

8 reviews from the community

Review of "Pentax Optio 50"

published 14/05/2006 | Kazzay
Member since : 31/07/2003
Reviews : 18
Members who trust : 8
About me :
Pro It's sleek, smart, lightweight and handles well
Cons You need a degree to be able to use it in the dark!
very helpful
Picture Quality
Range & Quality of Features
Ease of Use

" I'm a digital Convert!"

My best piccy taken in the dark!

My best piccy taken in the dark!

Finally I've been initiated into modern photography and have my very own digital camera, which was bought for me on my 30th birthday last year!

Goodbye all those promises that I would stay true to my faithful old Zenith SLR or my handy compact camera. Goodbye to having to traipse to the shops to have my films processed only to mutter at how expensive it is. (£6.99 on my last visit for 24 measly photos over an hour). Goodbye to all that and hello Pentax Optio 50 Digital Camera!!

In the box
A sleek, shiny silver 5.0 megapixel camera which is lightweight and very nice to handle with rounded corners. A black, velvety type soft case, strap, manual, CD Rom and video cable, 2 x AA batteries plus inbuilt memory of 12mb.

My initial thoughts on receiving it were about things I thought I would miss, for instance;
Whether I would still use my other cameras. The excitement of not knowing whether photos will come out ok or not. The anticipation of opening the packet of photos not knowing what will be a good shot. The loading of the film and trying to actually think about how to take the photo, use the aperture and shutter speed properly etc.

I was also very excited and keen. My partner sat me down (made me sit down) at the computer to read through the information provided on the CD Rom that comes with the camera. (He knows how I rush straight in). It was helpful identifying the parts of the camera but for points of actual help taking pictures with this particular model it didn't help much in identifying its weaknesses.

Apparently this camera is a good starter camera for amateur photographers. I know this because I read a few reviews on photography web sites to see what kind of camera it was and that was the predominant thing they mentioned, although at that time there were hardly any reviews about it around. Anyhow that was fine by me as I was a digital amateur. Would I agree with that now? Yes, it's a great starter camera which I can highly recommend although it has it's little quirks which you have to get used to.

I believe in April 2005 the camera cost around £150 (but my partner wouldn't tell me exactly). I went out almost immediately after receiving it to buy a rechargeable battery kit to go with it because the camera goes through batteries quickly and this is a much cheaper option. I bought the charger plus 4 batteries for under £20 and they're still working excellently now after a year's use. Also bought an essential memory card and there are many other accessories you can buy such as a different case, stand etc.

The first time I used it I found it easy to use and was impressed. You can manage to take a picture straight away without too much know-how. To turn it on there's a small round button located in the middle of the mode dial on the top of the camera which can be turned to chose different picture taking options. You have all sorts of scene modes available such as Program, Simple (which lets the camera do the work), Landscape, Night scene, Portrait and Sport. I mostly use Simple mode but you do have to learn to use other modes if you want to take action or evening shots.
There's a large oblong button to take pictures which is easily found. On the back of the camera you can see how much battery life you have available by an icon appearing on the screen. The screen itself is a large, pleasing size (1.8 inch LCD). You can look at this to take your picture or you can use the view finder, it's up to you but for me looking at the screen is much easier. Also located on the back of the camera are zoom buttons for when you're viewing the pictures themselves, a menu button to go into more detail when choosing how you're going to take a picture with white balance options amongst others (Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Tungsten light, Fluorescent light and Shade). These are great to play around with but I find I do most things like this on the PC rather than camera itself.

The buttons on the back of the camera you have to learn how to use (as they weren't obvious to me), however the button with a picture of a trash can was obviously the delete option. There are some different options of how to view the screen, ie: with grids or not, with no symbols on the screen at all. Finally there is a round button with which you can move backwards and forwards between you're pictures. You can also use this to chose your flash options of automatic flash or red eye reduction.

There's also a movie option which was really fun to use at the start but my enthusiasm petered off after a while. The picture quality isn't that great especially in low lighting situations. In fact my main gripe with the camera on a whole is that while being superb in daylight it is difficult to use in any other kind of light. At first I thought it was me. I bought my camera into London at Christmas time to take pictures of the lights but failed miserably. Try as I might to change the ISO options and put the camera in night time mode I couldn't get on with it and was confused as a compact camera would've done the job admirably. I went home deflated but bought it back again to take pictures of the tree in Trafalgar square and did get one stunning picture after a long time of playing about, and playing about is the key to this camera I think. You really have to try things out and not give up because it is actually capable of taking brilliant pictures in the dark. I have since managed to take great views of London at night from the London Eye. But you also have to know it's limitations. Whenever I'm in a low lit atmosphere such as a restaurant or home at night I know that my camera struggles to take good pictures with the flash of someone quite close. I know that the video option is great outdoors in daytime but less so at night. I have also noticed that you must put the camera into sport mode if you have the slightest movement in a shot or else it'll blur.

Having said all this I really do love my camera, partly because it was my first digital but partly because it does take very good pictures most of the time and for what I need it for it works great. I know it's limitations fairly well so I have to think about certain pictures before taking them. The camera seems to have a good sense of colour (if that's the correct way to put it), the colour of the pictures does reflect what I felt they were at the time. I have used this camera far more than I did my others and love the fact I can view the pictures on my PC, print them off myself if I want to and order however many I like when I want them printed. It is cheaper to print digital pictures than film and you can manipulate the pictures if you so want without any hassle. So perhaps more than anything I'm a convert to the digital age of photography but at the end of the day that's all thanks to my lovely Pentax.

Features include:
Lens smc PENTAX 5.4-16.2mm f2.6-4.8 zoom lens
[32mm to 96mm equiv. in 35mm format]
6 elements in 5 groups (2 dual sided aspheric elements)

Auto Focus
TTL Auto Focus
Normal 50cm to infinity
Macro 6cm to infinity at wide angle

TTL Multi segment metering
Exposure compensation +/- 2 EV in 1/3 EV steps
1/1000 sec. to 1/2 sec. shutter speeds

Auto flash, flash on, flash off, red-eye reduction

White Balance
Automatic, Daylight, Cloudy, Shade, Tungsten, Fluorescent

5.19 megapixel, 5.0 megapixel (effective)
1/2.5" interline transfer CCD with primary colour filter, 12 bit x 3 colours

12MB built in memory
Takes SD memory cards

Movie mode
.mov format, 320x240 @ 20 fps with sound, 1 sec. to memory card capacity

1.8" LCD colour monitor with 130k pixels
AV output for TV connectionUSB output

DPOF, DCF, JPEG (Exif 2.2)
Pictbridge for direct printing

Power source
2x AA batteries
Optional AC Adaptor

Dimensions and weight
91 x 61 x 27mm
180g operational

Community evaluation

This review was read 2908 times and was rated at
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> How to understand evaluation of this review
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Comments on this review

  • Veronica115012 published 19/10/2009
    I am absolutely amazed that you have been able to take a photo this good with Optio 50. I have this camera as well and have never managed to take a decent picture in the dark :(
  • jolmartyn published 03/01/2007
    Very helpful. Lots of info a good read and a good picture. Please add some more!
  • susie191 published 17/05/2006
    Sounds great for a first digi cam! Susie x
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Product Information : Pentax Optio 50

Manufacturer's product description

The PENTAX Optio50 is a compact, lightweight digital camera that makes digital photography easy for virtually anyone. Incorporating a handy "Simple" mode, it allows the user to quickly choose an icon that matches the subject at hand and have the camera select all the optimal settings automatically for the best possible results. And to ensure easy use continues no matter where you go, the Optio50 has also been designed to be powered by AA batteries, which are widely available internationally. But to be worthy of the PENTAX name, of course, ease of use is simply not enough. Indeed, the Optio50 offers the power and clarity of a 3X optical zoom lens and the sheer detail and high-level resolution of 5.0 effective megapixels, making it as sharp at shooting as it is easy to use.

Product Details

Product Description: Pentax Optio 50 - digital camera

Product Type: Digital camera - compact

Memory Card Slot: SD card

Sensor Resolution: 5.0 Megapixel

Lens System: 3 x zoom lens - 5.4 - 16.2 mm - f/2.6-4.8

Focus Adjustment: Automatic, manual

Min Focus Distance: 50 cm

Digital Zoom: 4 x

Camera Flash: Built-in flash

Viewfinder: Optical - real-image zoom

Display: LCD display - 1.8"

Supported Battery: 2 x AA alkaline battery ( included ) ¦ 2 x AA NiMH rechargeable battery ( optional )

AV Interfaces: Composite video

Dimensions (WxDxH): 9.1 cm x 2.7 cm x 6.1 cm

Weight: 0.2 kg


MPN: 18363

Product Type: Digital camera - compact

Sensor Resolution: 5.0 Megapixel

Optical Sensor Type: CCD

Total Pixels: 5,190,000 pixels

Effective Sensor Resolution: 5,000,000 pixels

Optical Sensor Size: 1/2.5"

Optical Zoom: 3 x

Digital Zoom: 4 x

Auto Focus: TTL contrast detection

Digital Video Format: AVI

Image Recording Format: JPEG

AV Interfaces: Composite video

Exposure & White Balance

Light Sensitivity: ISO 100, ISO 200, ISO 50, ISO auto

Exposure Metering: Multi-segment, centre-weighted, spot

Exposure Modes: Programme, automatic

Shooting Programs: Landscape, portrait mode, night scene, sports mode

Special Effects: Black & White, Sepia

White Balance: Automatic, presets

White Balance Presets: Fluorescent, cloudy, tungsten light, daylight, shade

Max Shutter Speed: 1/1000 sec

Min Shutter Speed: 1/2 sec

Exposure Compensation: ±2 EV range, in 1/3 EV steps

Lens System

Type: 3 x zoom lens - 5.4 - 16.2 mm - f/2.6-4.8

Focal Length Equivalent to 35mm Camera: 32 - 96mm

Focus Adjustment: Automatic, manual

Min Focus Distance: 50 cm

Macro Focus Range: 6cm

Zoom Adjustment: Motorised drive

Lens Construction: 5 groups / 6 elements

Features: Aspherical lens

Camera Flash

Camera Flash: Built-in flash

Flash Modes: Fill-in mode, auto mode, flash OFF mode, red-eye reduction

Effective Flash Range: 0.5 m - 2.5 m

Additional Features

Additional Features: Audio recording, direct print, RGB primary colour filter, date/time stamp, DPOF support, PictBridge support


Viewfinder Type: Optical - real-image zoom


Type: 1.8" LCD display

Resolution: 130,000 pixels

Display Features: Built-in


Microphone Operation Mode: Mono


Connector Type: 1 x composite video/audio output ¦ 1 x USB ¦ 1 x DC power input

Memory Card Slot: SD card


Software: Drivers & Utilities, ACD Systems ACDsee

System Requirements for PC Connection

Operating System Support: MS Windows XP, MS Windows 2000, MS Windows ME, MS Windows 98, MS Windows 98 SE, Apple MacOS 9.0 or later

Peripheral Devices: USB port, CD-ROM Drive


Included Accessories: Carrying strap, USB cable, audio / video cable


Battery Type: AA

Details: 2 x AA alkaline battery ( included ) ¦ 2 x AA NiMH rechargeable battery ( optional )

Memory / Storage

RAM Installed: 12 MB

Memory Card Slot: SD card

Supported Memory Cards: SD Memory Card

Image Storage: Super-fine JPEG 2560 x 1920 : 4 - with 12MB built-in memory ¦ Fine JPEG 2560 x 1920 : 8 - with 12MB built-in memory ¦ Economy JPEG 2560 x 1920 : 17 - with 12MB built-in memory ¦ Super-fine JPEG 2304 x 1536 : 6 - with 12MB built-in memory ¦ Fine JPEG 2304 x 1536 : 13 - with 12MB built-in memory ¦ Economy JPEG 2304 x 1536 : 27 - with 12MB built-in memory ¦ Super-fine JPEG 1280 x 960 : 17 - with 12MB built-in memory ¦ Fine JPEG 1280 x 960 : 33 - with 12MB built-in memory ¦ Economy JPEG 1280 x 960 : 64 - with 12MB built-in memory ¦ Super-fine JPEG 640 x 480 : 64 - with 12MB built-in memory ¦ Fine JPEG 640 x 480 : 128 - with 12MB built-in memory ¦ Economy JPEG 640 x 480 : 257 - with 12MB built-in memory

Video Capture: AVI - 320 x 240 - 20 fps - 56 sec - with 12MB built-in memory

Dimensions & Weight

Width: 9.1 cm

Depth: 2.7 cm

Height: 6.1 cm

Weight: 0.2 kg

Environmental Parameters

Min Operating Temperature: 0 °C

Max Operating Temperature: 40 °C


Listed on Ciao since: 04/05/2005