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Pentax 16MP Optio RZ18 18x SuperZoom Review by ePhotoZine

2011-11-30 01:48 | Source
703 reviews
On September 12 2011, Pentax announced a 16 Megapixels 18x SuperZoom camera called the Pentax Optio RZ18. It features a 18x optical zoom lens covering focal lengths from 25mm wide angle to 450mm super-telephoto (in the 35mm format). An Intelligent Zoom function further extends the zoom range to approximately 130 times to cover the focal length of an approximately 3250mm super-telephoto lens. It also supports macro shooting down to 4 cm from the subject and a digital wide function for an ultra-wide-angle image (equivalent to 19mm lens in the 35mm format) from two separate images. The RZ18 is a slim and lightweight camera with 3-inch LCD screen with a resolutoin of 460K dots. The Face Detection AF & AE function can detect as many as 32 faces within the image field, then catches them in sharp focus and optimum exposure in 0.03 seconds. 
The RZ18 also comes with sensor-shift image stabilization, Auto Picture mode, 720p 1280 x 720 HD movie recording, Smile Capture mode and Blink Detection function. The Optio RZ18 is available in black, pearl white or metallic orange for $299.95. It's currently selling at around $270. Here's the summary of review by ePhotoZine, giving the camera a rating of 3.5 out of 5:

"The RZ18 produces images with pleasing colour reproductions and good detail, without too much blurring in the corners. The lens has a minimum focus distance of 4cm which allows the camera to take a detailed macro image. Noise at ISO 80 and ISO 100 is minimal with only a small amount appearing at ISO 200. Noise starts to kick in at ISO 400 with a slight loss of sharpness appearing as a result. Noise becomes very prominent at ISO 800 and at ISO 1600 it's even worse. As you'd expect noise is really bad at ISO 3200 and ISO 6400 but the image size is limited to 5 megapixels. There are occasions when the camera struggles to get the exposure correct, with under exposure fairly common, such as in the picture of the cupcake. Outside, the camera is capable of some fantastic looking landscape scenes. D-lighting has two options, highlight and shadow correction, where you can select one or both settings. Under the incandescent lighting in our studio the AWB preset produces an image with an orange cast, with the incandescent preset producing the better image. AWB does really well under our fluorescent lights, with an orange cast present when using the fluorescent preset.

The Pentax Optio RZ18 is available for £169.00. Other cameras with an 18x optical zoom lens are the Fujifilm FinePix S2950 (14 megapixels, £119.00), Olympus SZ-10 (14 megapixels, £148.00), Samsung WB700 (14.2 megapixels, £148.00) and Nikon Coolpix S9100 (12.1 megapixels, £194.00). Other cameras with not as optical zoom but still worth considering are the Fujifilm FinePix F600 EXR (15x optical zoom, 16 megapixels, £229.00), Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ20 (16x optical zoom, 14.1 megapixels, £234.95) and if you having a very large budget, the Leica V-Lux 30 (16x optical zoom, 14.1 megapixels, £549.00). The competition for mid-zoom cameras is hotting up, with most of the major manufacturers offering their own version. For its price, the RZ18 packs a versatile zoom lens and produces decent pictures. Video quality is good but there is no optical zoom available during video recording. The major problem is noise levels at ISO 800 upwards."

Photo Album: Pentax Announces 16 Megapixels Optio RZ18 18x SuperZoom Camera Priced $300

Pentax Optio RZ18 Camera Reviews Roundup

Photography BLOG - Dec 13 2011
"The Pentax Optio RZ18 is an appealing travel-zoom camera with a truly versatile 18x zoom lens, but it's unfortunately let down by average image quality, no-frills build quality and slow processing times. The RZ18 takes a similar approach to previous Pentax compacts that we've reviewed, being an inexpensive point and shoot camera that won't turn heads e..." More »
70out of 100
CNET UK - Nov 11 2011
"The RZ18 consistently impressed us with the sharpness and clarity of its results, particularly when shooting complex scenes. The shot below of a tree full of red leaves has a lot of fine detail in the foliage, with a definite sweet spot in the centre of the frame where the focus is particularly sharp. The areas behind and ahead of this are both slightly blu..." More »
70out of 100

Pentax Optio RZ18 Reviews Roundup [Total 3 Reviews] »

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