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Pentax Optio S6
Pentax Optio S6

Hey! You should know that Pentax has released a newer version of this product: the Pentax Optio S12.

Pentax Optio S6

We've given the S6 a grade of C+.

Editor's Review

Smaller is better. With 19 millimeters of thickness, The Pentax Optio S6 is a barely there ultracompact, though you won't be able to tell that from the sharp photos taken by its 6 megapixel sensor. The camera's Tracking Autofocus keeps the most fidgety subjects from showing up as a blur, but we figure that most people will be too transfixed by the elegant, stylish design of the camera to wander very far.  For the most recent model, check out the Pentax Optio S12.


  • 6 megapixels
  • 3x optical zoom / 4x digital zoom
  • autofocus
  • program exposure
  • ISO 64-400
  • lithium ion battery
  • movie mode with sound
  • Part Number: CNETOPTIOS6
  • UPC: 027075114180
  • Release Date: Sep 06, 2005

Shop for S6 Accessories

Pentax Optio S6 Reviews

Pentax Optio S6 Reviews by Digital Camera-HQ Users

  • 1.0 out of 5
junk (RV — 07/09/2007)

Day one "fast shooter" turned out to be the slowest of the bunch. "Auto flash" will discharge even in broad daylight. Pictures turn out too flash mode - you need tripod to get pic, that isn't blurry.Focus always questionable.
over all : nice camera to play with or look at.

  • 4.0 out of 5
Style and Substance (Helen Bao — 03/15/2007)

I've owned two of s6 and am in the process of getting the LCD on the second one(which I crushed and broke) fixed. There's just something extremely irresistible about this camera. The tiny size but huge LCD are by far its best features.

That being said, there are a few caveats. The shutter delay is admittedly quite annoying, especially if you're asking someone else to take a photo who isn't prepared for this. The optical zoom tends to blur if zoomed too quickly to its maximum. Also, it is extremely difficult to get an un-blurred shot using the night setting.

I've decided that I can live with these problems given the camera's many other assets, such as very user-friendly display menus and accompanying software. Ultimately, a little bit of patience with this camera to learn all its tricks and habits really pays off in fantastic photos.

  • 2.0 out of 5
do not like (Cara — 12/28/2006)

This is my 3rd digital camera and i am not all. like others have said, the delay is rediculous, not only when taking pictures but as well as viewing them after. The Flash isn't very effective in low lit places and the auto flash has a mind of it's own, pictures are blurry and overall not that great for a 7MP camera. I would buy a different camera if i had the chance

  • 4.0 out of 5
My Optio S6 camera (Jennifer — 12/11/2006)

I was given my camera to me last Christmas, so I have now had a full year's 'practice' with it. Overall, it takes a good picture BUT the hassle I have with it is not being able to see what I am taking in sunlight unless you are in the shade taking a subject in the sunlight. So many times I have taken photos 'pot luck' and hope that they turn out. It frustrates me to no end. I have not used all the features yet, but with the macro feature on, it has taken very clear photos .. not blurred at all.
Another problem I have is taking photos at stage shows. Whether it is because you have to focus first then take, I don't know, but I never have any success in taking these types of photos.
Overall, I am happy with the camera and draws a lot of comments from people who have not seen a camera so small.

  • 4.0 out of 5
Works Better Now--Less BLURR when shutter is depressed properly (Rick Froese — 10/27/2006)

One you get the hang of the shutter button, one gets better pictures. press the right side of shutter, then when picture is set up—slowly slide finger to the left and you will get a better picture with LESS blurr.

  • 4.0 out of 5
Great take-along and party camera (mary spears — 10/17/2006)

My 4th digital camera and first tiny point-n-shoot. No#1 is now a digital SLR, but the Optio gets to go more places because of convenience and for taking movies. Movies are easy to do and huge fun, especially for spur-of-the-moment grabs of parties, children, and pets. Recommend a second battery (as with any digital), a 1-gig card, and a card reader for transfer to your computer.
Picture quality is good tho I have a rose-colored flare in bright sunlight and snow. Camera controls are easy to use but the LCD monitor is difficult to see outdoors in bright sunlight. I miss a real viewfinder — still, the size trade-off is worth it. Seems quite durable and well-put-together.

  • 3.0 out of 5
Poor Focus, Delay (Kristin — 10/16/2006)

Lots of good things about this camera, but am frustrated by the delay in taking the pics, and in the autofocus. Often in autofocus the pic comes out blurry, and when i turn off auto FLASH, auto focus turns off as well and every picture is blurry!

  • 2.0 out of 5
Repair time is too long (Seline — 10/13/2006)

This camera broke down completely and was told that the main board is dead. But that is not the worst part of it. I dropped it for for repair on August 17, 2006 and to this day, October 12, 2006 I was told by the company that represents Pentax from Japan that the part from Japan be here at the end of October.Rediculous, I thought. Tranportation is so advanced these days and plus this camera is pretty new in the market right. Why would it be so long. I would never buy from Pentax because of its after service sell. If you do buy from Pentax, just hope it would not break down.

  • 3.0 out of 5
Small, but Maybe Too Small in Low Light (Rick Froese — 10/13/2006)

This little camera is small and therefore convenient. good camera when weight is real issue, like mountain climbing; but maybe too small when the light gets dim. The shutter really has to be depressed HARD to get the photo, but in doing so without flash, one tends to push the camera as well as the shutter button—result is BLURR. If the automatic flash decides not to flash, one ends up with blurr as well. no ISO settings are available as well-all automatic. But great photos for its size.

  • 4.0 out of 5
Great Camera (Caroline Coffey — 10/11/2006)

This is my first digital camera so I can't base my comparison with other digital cameras but going on first experiences this is a great camera. What attracted me was the large screen which is really clear. It's also a really nice looking camera. The only negative about it is the battery life, which is not very good. So I've had to buy a second back up battery incase the orig dies on me when I'm out and about. All in all I'd highly reccommend this camera.

  • 3.0 out of 5
Delayed picture capture and review (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

I've owned the Optio S6 for about 9 months, and haven't been as impressed with it as I was with older Optio S models. There is a distinct delay in taking pictures in any mode (about 3-6 seconds) and there is also a delay in reviewing pictures (it takes about 3 seconds to switch from one picture to another in review mode). Size and weight of camera are great, but the delays are wearing me down... I wouldn't buy this camera again.

  • 3.0 out of 5
Not Bad Few Disturbing Things About Camera So Far. (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

Had this camera for a week so Far. Battery Life Doesn't seem that Great to start with.Movie Mode sound Seems poor , some times it is o.k then at others the sound will drop and Disappear.Unsure if this is a Camera Fault of my Camera alone.Had a Weird Thing happen on first day of camera , took a picture screen went all multi Coloured , had to turn off to get rid of it. Hasnt happened again yet But im just waiting for it to happenagain. Some pics turn out poor and Blurry while others willo turn out o.k,\.Seems very sensitive , and flash needed even when there is a half decent light source around. Apart from that the Big viewing screen is great , most of the picture quality seems good and it is a great size camera. Wouldnt thouroughly recommned for the price paid so Giving it an average score.!

  • 5.0 out of 5
Optio S6 is worth the money (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

I bought an Optio s6 after losing an Optio S5. While in some ways I like the s5 better — aa batteries — but the s6 is an awesome camera worth the full retail price (~$350). Anyone who can get it for a decent discount should jump on it. The software that comes with the camera is easy to install and use. Great photo editing. A 1 gig memory card is an excellent investment too.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Fantastic ... no money wasted here. (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

Wow a real looker ...
5 words to describe:
huge screen for such a tiny camera

I LOVE IT! But being my anxious, excited self I am when I am excited and get a new big ticket item ... I used it for a little while before doing the initial battery charge. big mistake. I mean I would rate the battery life an 8 out of 10 ... but so I don't know what it is when youa ren't stupid and use it before they say you should. I would say that the battery I have, fully charged, would last me a good day. But not if its contantly on ... I would maybe turn it on, take 5 pictures then turn it off ... maybe 10 min later do the same, give or take. Thats the only thing ... its fantastic. So many great features the play with ... I would consider thought to buy the accesory pack with the extra battery just for convenience. It is pretty pricey, but comes with a leater case, screen wipe, extra battery etc. it would turn the pricey 70$ into a good investment ... all in all .. BUY THIS SUCKER!

  • 5.0 out of 5
Great pictures and movies (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

Easy camera to use. Really like ACDSee Software that comes with Pentax. Have owned Pentax, Canon, Nikon digital point & shoots. This one is most pleasing. I'd buy it again. Mostly use Picasa2 for editing, printing and downloading, but ACDSee allows me to clone, etc. Highly enjoy this camera.

  • 3.0 out of 5
final vote still pending (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

My wife and I bought this camera after losing two digital cameras to water damage. When I say water damage it really was a slight misting that toasted both. We enjoyed the functions of the camera, however, the first time in 12" of water put the camera in the same place as the first two digital cameras we have owned- the junk pile. I have sent the camera back to Pentex with my fingers crossed.

  • 1.0 out of 5
Don't waste your money (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

I have owned this camera three weeks. It does not do well in low light. It changes the skin colors of the people you are attempting to photograph, and it takes a while to focus, shoot. It also does not shoot well in 'sport' mode. The pictures are blurry.

The AC software is the worst. I have been trying for two days to get this software up and running, with no success. I have to get the pictures printed out somewhere else. I have three different camera manufacturers in my computer, and all of those cameras come up immediately, without even installing software, all, but this Pentax.

I tried to make this thing work three ways from Sunday, no go. Everytime I attempt to import my photo's, the program throws me into AOL, then onto a webpage. I have to then download a trial for this stupid software, which then tells me I need an 'unlock' key, which then takes over 20 hours to send, which then won't let you get back to the original page without downloading again. My scanner/wizard doesn't recognize the camera.

This has been a waste of time for me and an exercise in complete frustration. I am going to return this to Costco and get my Canon repaired. At least THAT camera lasted four years before getting an error.

  • 3.0 out of 5
Pentax optio S6 (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

I had pentax optio s4 and after a bot pentax optio s4i wich I use for a vile... Some how I bot pentax optio S6 and I found that all pentax cameras have a same problem with night mode, takes for so long (around 6 seconds) to shoot and if you move even a bit during this time photos comes out so bad. Good camera if you use a flash with distance 200cm ,only this mode is good. Batery so poor !

  • 4.0 out of 5
Great Little Camera (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

This Camera is amazing for such a small camera. It takes good quality pictures that are so easy to transfer. It is a great value and I would not trade it for any other camera.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Error in "a different experience (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

The review titled " a different experience" is not a review for the pentax S6. The pentax does not ship with AA batteries. It does not use AA batts at all. This review should be removed.
Thank You

  • 3.0 out of 5
Great yet disappointing (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

I am now on my second s6 and am overall rather sad that Pentax hasn't been able to live up to my expectations with this camera.

The first s6 from start up was defective. It randomly went into what I ended up calling dark mode. In this mode the picture previews displayed everything as if it was night time. If you took a picture while it was in this mode your picture ended up just as dark.

Because I fell in love with the many other options/functions this camera had (not to mention the obvious fact that this camera is tiny), I exchanged the camera for another s6.

The new s6 doesn't seem to have the dark mode problems, however, the sound quality in movie mode is terrible. Along with clicking noises associated with stopping the movie mode, it records a very high pitched static sound even in quiet environments.

This is truly disappointing and I'm having a hard time justifying another exchange versus complete replacement with another brand.

  • 2.0 out of 5
A Different Experience (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

I bought this camera on brand, specs, and price, but returned it within a week. I lost all of my stills, both from internal and SD memory. I suspect an electrical problem. The camera would not reliably operate on fully charged AA batteries—as measured by a voltmeter. Sometimes on, sometimes off. These problems are probably not representative of the line itself, but here are some issues that are generic:

o very poor AF in normal room lighting—many of my indoor stills were out of focus.
o video is MPEG4, but at 320 and 15fps, this camera will not replace your camcorder by any stretch. Video focus was very good without exception. Go figure.
o camera eats regular alkaline AAs like popcorn—a dozen stills and 3 or 4 minutes of video and you're out of juice. The manual says that nonrechargeable alkaline AAs may damage the camera, yet it ships with 2 nonrechargeable alkaline Duracells!

All-in-all, this camera was not what I expected from Pentax. I returned it and started shopping again.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Great little Camera (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

I received this before x-mas, as an early gift. I can't say enough about it. Great screen, super photo's, easy to navigate, and very nice size. Highly recommended.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Great photos and video! (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

Have owned two cameras for many years, a Sony 3.1 MP camera and a Sony Camcorder. Everytime I went on vacation I had to lug both cameras with me.

When my Sony 3.1 MP saw its last day I was forced with the need to buy a new camera, after several hours of searching online and talking to the retail experts I settled on the Optio S6 both for the photo capabilities and its ability to replace my Sony camcorder with fantastic quality divx videos. Thanks Pentax!

If any one wants a Sony camcorder I have one for sale.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Tiny but a powerhouse (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

This camera rocks. I took it to Europe and amazed my friends. I had an old remote for my film Pentax camera bought 10 years ago - it worked great for this camera. I bought a Corair 2GB 133x SD memory card - formats in 1 second and is faster than a SanDisk 256MB I started with. You won't be disappointed.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Awesome Camera!!! (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

Have upgraded to the S6 from an older Canon Powershot, no comparison! I love the ease of use, compact size, and the crisp clear screen on the back which make composing a picture even in bright sunlight a breeze. The prints it produces are nothing short of breathtaking. An absolute winner!

  • 5.0 out of 5
Best Ever (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

Lost my Olympus digital in taxi in Miami, bought this in St. Thomas (paid more there). Love this camera, can carry in my purse, or husband's pocket, takes great pictures, easy to use,

  • 5.0 out of 5
Pentax beauty. (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

I wanted a camera with a larger screen. Works great. excellent photo's. Great little size for my pocket. I like the little notch on the front for holding camera. Very pleased.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Awsome package (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

I love this camera!!!

Small package, big features.

I bought the camera to replace my damaged Fuji and I can't go on about how great of a camera it is. I am impresed with all of its features as well as its tiny size.

I highly reccomend

  • 5.0 out of 5
Great little camera for all around use, takes great pictures (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

It was time I updated to a decent digital camera that I wouldn't mind carrying around (I have a older Olympus model I occasionally used).

This camera is tiny, but has a nice large view screen on the back that is very bright.

Controls are easy, such as the zoom control at the top right corner - just where you expect it. And an easy playback button to quickly switch to a picture view mode.

It takes great pictures in all the modes I have tried so far (has quite a few modes to choose from). Even in the generic mode it takes great shots at night without having to make any adjustments, so don't feel like you would always have to change modes just because they are there (although the landscape mode has a really sweet "overlay" feature that makes wide shots amazingly cool and easy).

I'm very pleased with this camera, it is very easy to take anywhere - and starts up quickly so you can turn it on and snap a picture without delay.