Pentax Optio S1
14 megapixels; CCD sensor; 5x optical zoom; Optical image stabilization (sensor-shift); 2.7-inch LCD; Max ISO 6400; 72p HD video; Captures to SD/SDHC/SDXC media cards; Rechargeable lithium-ion battery
The S1 is Pentax's latest ultra-compact (and as far as we can tell, the only one that will see the light of day in 2011). It looks an awful lot like a Canon ELPH from the outside, but don't judge a book by its cover: Pentax point-and-shoots are known for unimpressive image quality and uninspiring performance. The specs do seem decent: 5x optical zoom, 720p HD video, and optical image stabilization (sensor-shift). But in this day and age, none of that is enough to justify its $200 price tag, especially paired with the pedestrian 14 megapixel CCD sensor. We love Pentax dSLRs, but unless Pentax surprises us (and the rest of the world) with some unexpected performance boost (we won't hold our breath), we can't find a good reason to recommend the S1.