Visit our Business Solutions website >>

Pentax Optio S

alaTest has collected and analyzed 726 reviews from magazines and websites. Opinions about the battery and portability are generally positive. The image quality and usability also get good comments, whereas views about the contrast and reliability are different. The energy efficiency and storage get negative reviews.

size, usability, image quality, portability, battery

features, memory, shutter, storage, energy

We analyzed user and expert ratings, product age and more factors. Compared to other Digital Compact Cameras the Pentax Optio S is awarded an overall alaScore™ of 82/100 = Very good quality.

Review analysis

(Based on 726 reviews)

Expert Reviews  

User Reviews  

Showing 126 review(s)

Expert Reviews User Reviews
Showing 1 - 10 of 126 Show Reviews: in English | in other languages (318)

Expert review by:

Pentax Optio S


An adorably small camera with features adequate for large point-and-shoot models.

Expert review by:

Pentax Optio S Digital Camera Camera


WHAT'S HOT: Weighing only 4.1 ounces, the Optio S is the lightest and smallest digital camera we've tested to date. It's so small, in fact, that it fits inside an Altoids mints tin. The eye-catching camera sports a ridged aluminum-alloy body and a...

The Optio S comes with 11MB of internal memory, but no memory card (though it does have a slot for Secure Digital media). Pentax provides a rechargeable lithium ion battery, which lasted for 260 shots in our tests-below average, but better than we...

Expert review by:

Pentax Optio S


Pentax announced the ultra-compact (in the most accuratesense of the phrase) OptioS at CES 2003 in January 2003. The Optio S measures just 83 x 52 x20 mm (3.3 x 2.0 x 0.8 in) and weighs in at just 115 g (4.1 oz) readyto shoot, specifications we'd...

Average three megapixel resolution ; Good reliable metering, if slightly conservative (worth checking live histogram) ; Low image noise at ISO 50 and 100 ; Excellent macro focus performance (for an ultra-compact) ; Wide range of focus options including...

Lens softness, especially at corners and bottom of frame ; Some chromatic aberrations visible (although average for this size of camera) ; Some vignetting / light fall off in right-hand corner of frame at maximum aperture ; Power and shutter release...

The Optio S is a camera which has immediate 'consumer appeal'. By this I'm talking about its design, size and weight. The ultra-slim lightweight aluminium body and flat front and rear mean the Optio S truly is a carry anywhere camera that is so light...


Expert review by:

Pentax Optio S


The Pentax OptioS (shown above larger than life) is smaller than the size of an average credit card and just over 3/4-inch thick. The OptioS fits neatly into an empty tin of Altoids®. It's a high-quality 3.2 effective megapixel 3X zoom digital camera

If compact is what you want, three megapixel cameras don't come any smaller than the OptioS (as of April 2003.) SD / MMC cards are now readily available up to 256MB and soon in 512MB capacities. The OptioS may be just what you're looking for if you want a

Expert review by:

Digital Cameras - Pentax Optio S Digital Camera Review, Information, Specifications


The Optio S has a 3x zoom, 5.8-17.4mm lens, the equivalent of a 35-105mm lens on a 35mm camera. The lens is where Pentax made their real innovation with this camera, in that its internal elements actually "unstack" as the lens retracts, arranging...

Expert review by:

Pentax Optio S


Fancy engineering alone doesn't make a great camera. How did the Optio S perform in our tests? Find out now

Incredible design and engineering ; Good value at under $400 ; Good battery life for a tiny camera ; Quite a few controls for a point-and-shoot ; Impressive playback mode ; Unique 3D photo, fast forward movie features

Photo quality -- blurry edges/corners, some noise ; Poorly designed four-way controller; Power/shutter release buttons too close together, too similar ; No AF illuminator ; Redeye ; Body scratches easily ; No memory card included; paltry 11MB of...

Food for thought -- I hope.

Consumer review by:

Owners Opinion: Pentax Optio S (Ron Collman, 2 Nov 05)


I bought this camera to have a small ready-to-shoot camera in my pocket all the time and, boy, this fits the bill. It takes great snapsots although it is only fair for higher quality images, but you can't beat the size, portability and ease of use....

I had one problem, where the lens failed to retract properly, and it was ; repaired promptly under warranty

Consumer review by:

Owners Opinion: Pentax Optio S (cme4brain, 23 Jan 05)


I have had this camera for over a year and it has been wonderful. The compactness of it actually fitting in an Altoid tin is great- in fact I use the tin as the camera case, slip it in my pocket, and forget about it. Size does matter (in this case the...

On two occasions the autofocus was not spot on and took a picture anyway. The small joystick "OK" button is small, but this is a small camera. The battery door looks a little easy to open (no actual problems) and could have a better hinge

Consumer review by:

Owners Opinion: Pentax Optio S (Cascade70, 11 Dec 04)


I never go out without the Optio S! Although it is so small that you don't even feel it in your pocket, it shoots fine pictures. I was amazed when I saw the first pictures I took. It come with more completely equipped than you would expect from a...

Some complain about the very small buttons. OK, they are not really easily accessed, but they are mainly problematic for clumsy fingers, sorry! You can use the Optio S without difficulties

Consumer review by:

So good I bought one for my mother


takes good photos whilst you learn more tricks and improve

none really, but i have small hands

Product Specifications

When you first lay eyes on the OptioS, its compact size will surprise you. Small enough to fit within the palm of your hand, it weighs a mere 98g. It has a width of 83mm, a height of just 52mm, and a depth of only 20mm. Small and light enough to take anywhere! This incredibly small size is realized only by the use of revolutionary PENTAX technology: the innovative Sliding Lens system and the miniaturization of the Multi-Chip Module (MCM). Take the OptioS in your hand, and the speed of its functions will thrill and surprise you. From the moment you turn it on to the time you're able to take your first photo is almost instantaneous; the shutter release time is only 0.01 seconds. The speed is perfect for allowing you to take the pictures you want when you want. Use the OptioS, and you will be both surprised and convinced by the quality of the pictures. The OptioS sports the renowned smc PENTAX zoom lens, known as an imaging standard. With the independently developed lens coating methods that work to favorably improve various chromatic aberrations, you will see images with high contrast levels and clarity. Furthermore, the OptioS offers excellent image quality with the power of 3.2 effective megapixels and the high-performance 3X optical zoom lens. And with approximately 11MB of memory built into the camera, you can save photo data even before you insert any media. The OptioS, with its extreme compact size and its promise of incredible resolution, exceeds all expectations for a digital camera. PENTAX has made it all possible. With a form and design that never fails to please, your happiness can only grow as you take it in hand and begin to take pictures with it.

Audio Input

Microphone Operation Mode:Mono
Microphone Technology:Electret condenser

Camera Flash

Red Eye Reduction: Yes
Type:Built-in flash

Digital Camera

Supported Flash Memory:MultiMediaCard / SD Memory Card

Dimensions & Weight


Display (Projector)

Diagonal Size:1.6in
Diagonal Size (metric):4.1cm
Display Form Factor:Built-in
Technology:TFT active matrix
Type:LCD display

Exposure Parameters

Shooting Programs:3D image / Autumn leaves / Flower / Landscape / Night scene / Panorama assist / Portrait mode / Self-portrait / Sunset & moon / Surf & snow

Flash Memory

Form Factor:Integrated
Storage Capacity:11MB


Packaged Quantity:1
Product Line:Pentax OptioS

Lens System

Lens Aperture:F/2.6-4.8
Max Focal Length:17.4mm
Min Focal Length:5.8mm
Optical Zoom:3
Type:Zoom lens

Optical Sensor

Optical Sensor Size:1/2.5"
Optical Sensor Size (metric):10.2 mm ( 1/2.5 ) / 10.2 mm ( 1/2.5" )
Optical Sensor Type:CCD
Sensor Resolution:3.2Megapixel

Optical Viewfinder

Type:Real-image zoom

Service & Support

Type:1 year warranty

Storage Floppy Drive

Type: None

Video Input

Digital Video Format:AVI
Digital Zoom:2
ISO (Max):200
Light Sensitivity:ISO 100 / ISO 200 / ISO 50
Shooting Modes:Frame movie mode
Special Effects:Black & White / Sepia / Slim
Still Image Format:JPEG
Type:Digital camera


Viewfinder Type:Optical