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Pentax Optio M900 Compact Camera Review

Daniel Bell reviews the Pentax Optio M900 with a 5x optical zoom and 12.1Mp sensor.

Posted: 12/11/2010 - 14:16

Features
Handling
Performance
Verdict
Specification

Pentax Optio M900 front

The Pentax Optio M900 is designed to be easy to use, as well as being light-weight with advanced basic functions. It is available in black and burgundy red from around £99. The M900 has a 5x optical zoom, equivalent to 28 - 240mm in 35mm format and a 12Mp sensor. At this price range you may be considering a wide range of cameras such as the Samsung PL90 or the Nikon Coolpix S3000.

Pentax Optio M900 Features

  • Pentax 5x optical zoom lens 5.1 - 25.3mm f/3.5 - 5.9, (equ. to 28-140mm in 35mm format)
  • 12.1 Megapixel sensor
  • 2.7in TFT LCD screen
  • 2 - 1/2000 second shutter speed (dependent on mode)
  • ISO80 - 1600
  • Easy-to-use button interface
  • Face detection
  • Auto picture mode
  • Digital panorama mode
  • Movie mode

Pentax Optio M900 Handling

After switching on the camera it is ready within a couple of seconds to take pictures. Most of the controls for the camera are on the rear, where there are the typical buttons found on a compact, such as the zoom rocker, menu, playback and a d-pad with a central OK button. Also on the rear is the 2.7in TFT LCD screen which is easy to view in all conditions.

When changing the length of the lens, the zoom rocker is simple to control as is navigating through the cameras menu system. Overall, the camera looks and feels great and all users from beginners to advanced will enjoy using it.

Pentax Optio M900 Performance

Although the colours are well represented accurately by the M900 but the quality of the images leaves something to be desired when viewed at full size. The best images are produced at the wide-angle length but there is some detail missing. The performance does worsen at the telephoto length. Images produced are more suited to the web, such as Facebook and Flickr or as 6x4 prints.

ISO and noise performance

Noise is handled extremely well at ISO80 and ISO100. There is increased noise at ISO200 and ISO400 but again the images produced are acceptable. Beyond this, at ISO800 and ISO1600, the images produced are poor and not ISO settings I'd recommend using.

White-balance

Under the incandescent lighting in our studio the white-balance performance whether using auto or the incandescent preset the performance is good. Under the fluorescent lights the images were both quite dark although performance was again similar using the auto or fluorecent preset. You can rely on the auto white-balance performance but may need to use a higher ISO in fluorescent lighting.

Scene modes

There are a fair amount of scene modes available on the Pentax Optio M900 such as auto, p-mode, panorama, smile catch, sport, landscape, night landscape, portrait, self portrait, night portrait, museum, snow, sunset, fireworks, beach, party, foliage, kids & pets, copy, backlight and frame composite.

The landscape mode increased the green and blue in the image slightly but not by much. The copy mode was quite impressive, the newspaper article is readable even on the thumbnail. The panoramic mode was easy to use but it is possible to see where the images have been joined.

Pentax Optio M900 Verdict

Even though the M900 only costs around £99 it is fair to say that there are other cameras out there that can produce better images for this price. If you are looking for a camera to take with you when out with friends and like sharing images on social networking sites then the Pentax Optio M900 is worth your consideration.

Pros

  • Looks good
  • Light-weight
  • Easy-to-use
  • Noise performance at ISO80 and ISO100

Cons

  • Image quality at full size
  • Noise performance at ISO800 and ISO1600

Features: 3.5/5
Handling: 3.5/5
Performance: 3/5
Value: 3/5
Overall Verdict: 3.5/5


Pentax Optio M900 Specifications

Manufacturer Pentax
Lens
Max Aperture f/3.5 - f/5.9
35mm equivalent 140mm
Optical Zoom No Data
Image Sensor
Pixels 12.1Mp (Megapixels)
Pixels (W) 4000
Pixels (H) 3000
Sensor Type No Data
Sensor Size No Data
Sensor Size (width) No Data
Sensor Size (height) No Data
Aspect Ratio
LCD Monitor
LCD Monitor 2.7in
Screen resolution 230,000px
Touch Screen No Data
Focusing
Min Focus No Data
Focusing modes
Exposure Control
Shutter speeds shortest No Data
Shutter speeds longest No Data
Bulb mode No Data
Exp modes
Metering
ISO sensitivity No Data
White balance
Exposure Comp No Data
Shooting Options
Continuous shooting No Data
Video
Movie mode No Data
Video Resolution
Video FPS No Data
Stereo Sound No Data
Optical Zoom with Video No Data
Other Features
Image Stabilisation No Data
Interface
HDMI No Data
USB No Data
Wi-Fi No Data
Storage
Card Type
File Type
Power Source
Battery Type No Data
Battery Life (CIPA rating) No Data
Box Contents
Box Contents No Data
Dimensions
Weight 133g
Width 97.5mm
Height 58.5mm
Depth 23mm

Members gallery photos using: PENTAX Optio W90

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