Pentax Optio 550 Brief Review

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REVIEW SUMMARY

Specifications

  • 5.0 megapixels (effective)
  • 5x optical zoom/4x digital zoom
  • auto and manual focus
  • program and manual exposure
  • JPEG and TIFF file format
  • ISO range 64-400
  • proprietary Lithium-Ion battery
  • movie mode with sound
  • Release Date: 2003-10-10
  • Final Grade: 0 0.0 Star Rating: Recommended

0.0 Star Rating: Recommended

Pentax Optio 550
5.0 megapixels (effective); 5x optical zoom/4x digital zoom; auto and manual focus; program and manual exposure ; JPEG and TIFF file format; ISO range 64-400; proprietary Lithium-Ion battery; movie mode with sound
By , Last updated on: 5/18/2014

The Pentax Optio 550 manages to cram a 5-megapixel sensor and a 5x optical zoom into body little bigger than a deck of cards. This long zoom sets the Optio 550 apart from other compact 5-megapixel cameras, most of which offer only 3- or 4x optical zoom. Offering an impressive suite of manual controls, and a durable metal body, this camera combines form and function remarkably well.

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Pentax/Ricoh Reviews

Pentax, who just recently merged with Ricoh, has long been a sort of underdog—but not necessarily in performance or quality. Pentax/Ricoh offers some quirky cameras, but for the most part, we've found that to be a good thing.

The Pentax/Ricoh DSLR’s are mostly weather-sealed, giving them a unique advantage over competing manufacturers that don't offer anything similar. When we tried out models like the K-50, we were quite impressed with the image quality. The autofocus was a bit noisier than a Nikon, but the weather-sealing and often better price is hard to resist when the image quality is so good. Pentax continued to add in innovations by adding an anti-aliasing filter that can be turned on and off to the 2013 K-3.

Pentax hasn't jumped into the mirrorless battle too much, but they do offer the tiny and colorful Q7. With a smaller sensor and a smaller price point, the Q7 and similar models are more of a consumer mirrorless than one for the enthusiasts, but it's an extremely small camera with a whole lot of color options.

Pentax has a few solid compact models out too. The Pentax MX-1 earned our Best Budget Advanced Compact for 2013 for its advanced features yet small price tag. They offer a waterproof line that includes macro ring lights built in, something unique to the WG cameras.

Pentax/Ricoh may be a bit quirky, but many of their cameras are well worth a look and offer excellent image quality for the price.

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