The Pentax Optio LS465 is a tiny digital camera where you can replace the front panel with a different skin. It has a 16 megapixel sensor, 5x optical zoom lens and is available in black, pink and purple for £84.95. The Pentax website shows the camera alongside a lipstick, so does this mean it's a camera for the ladies?
Pentax Optio LS465 Features
The LS465 has a 16 megapixel sensor and 5x optical zoom lens, which is a 35mm equivalent of 28-140mm. Intelligent zoom extends the zoom range 36x. The dress-up sheets on the front can be exchanged to match your preferred look, with 10 provided with the camera.
To make picture taking easy there is Auto Picture mode, which automatically selects the correct settings for the scene, choosing from 14 modes. There is also Face Detection AF & AE which detects human faces and optimises the focus and exposure. Smile Capture automatically releases the shutter when the camera detects the subject’s smile with Natural Skin giving the subject a smooth, healthy skin tone.
When you have finished shooting you can apply nine different digital filters through the playback menu with effects such as Toy Camera, HDR and Miniature.
The LS465 records videos in 720p HD at 30 fps with Movie SR (Shake Reduction) there to compensate for camera shake during recording.
16 megapixel sensor
5x optical zoom (35mm equiv: 28-140mm)
Digital shake reduction
2.7 inch 230k dot LCD wide-screen monitor
Customisable with interchangeable provided skins
720p HD video recording
5cm minimum focusing distance
Nine digital filters
Available in black, pink and purple
Pentax Optio LS465 Handling
The design of the camera is fairly unique, it's not particularly tall, but this hasn't meant that Pentax haven't been able to find room for a fair number of buttons. The rear of the camera hosts the zoom rocker, playback, movie record, d-pad with OK, menu and green buttons. The latter allows access to Green mode which automatically optimises all camera settings (exposure, sensitivity, etc.) for a given scene. On the top is the on / off button and shutter release.
To change the skin you just have to pop the rubber ring off which surrounds the lens, there is a clear plastic cover which then comes off, take out the skin and put a new one in. Then you have to replace the clear cover, easy, the fun comes when putting the rubber ring back on, this is a bit of a fiddle.
The body is made from plastic, with access to the battery and memory card on one side, with both ends ridged which makes it a little easier to grip. One issue we did find, when you attach the camera to a tripod plate, the camera won't fully switch on! The screen is decent, although 4:3 pictures do look a little small (due to large black borders either side of the photo), but it's easy to see even in sunny conditions. The menu system is simple enough to navigate, with options placed in logical places.
The battery has a CIPA rating of 200 shots, we managed over 500 during testing. We tested the camera's performance at focusing, shutter response, shot-to-shot time, continuous shooting etc. and have posted the results below. To test this we took 6 or more shots and calculated the average.
Wide - Focus / Shutter Response
Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response
Switch on Time to Taking a Photo
Shot to Shot (without flash)
Shot to Shot with Flash
Continuous shooting records at full 16 megapixel resolution, with burst shooting at either 4 or 5 megapixels.
Pentax Optio LS465 Performance
Additional sample photos and product shots are available in the Equipment Database, where you can add your own review, photos and product ratings.
Pentax Optio LS465 Sample Photos
Sample Photos - Images tend to be well exposed with decent colour reproduction. Skin tones are good when shooting portraits, they are also free of red-eye when using the flash.
Pentax Optio LS465 Lens test images
Lens Performance - Detail is decent enough when shooting at both ends of the lens, the pictures will look fine if you are into sharing images on social networks. The camera also controls purple fringing well. The lens has a minimum focusing distance of 5cm, this allows you to get close enough for a good macro shot. There is noticeable barrel distortion as well, which is more obvious in our white-balance test shots and the text mode examples below.
Pentax Optio LS465 ISO test images
ISO Noise Performance - Images are free of noise at ISO 64, but just stepping up to ISO 100 does introduce a little and again at ISO 200. Noise at ISO 400 causes images to become softer, with a few black dots appearing. Image quality is further reduced at ISO 800, with images becoming significantly worse at ISO 1600. If you use ISO 3200 and 6400, image size is limited to 5 megapixels, but they are best avoided, even for use on the web, with a purple cast appearing at ISO 6400.
Pentax Optio LS465 White-balance test images
White Balance Performance - The AWB setting takes a good picture under the incandescent lights, producing a very similar image when using the incandescent preset. Under the fluorescent lights there is again a very similar image produced with the AWB and fluorescent presets, there is a very slight green cast.
Pentax Optio LS465 Scene modes
Above are some further examples using some of the scene modes available. HDR mode takes a colourful, artistic image. Blue Sky mode is designed to enhance a blue sky, but we didn't see much difference from the landscape mode. The last image uses text mode.
Pentax Optio LS465 Digital filters
Digital Filters - There are nine different digital filters which can be applied to your image, some of which have different options, there are examples of each above.
Video - Below is a video shot at 720p HD, you can't use optical zoom during recording, although there is the option to use digital zoom.
Value For Money
The Pentax Optio LS465 is available for just £84.95, making it one of the cheaper compact cameras available. A number of similar cameras are shown below, with their score and latest price information:
It does appear that Pentax have very much designed this camera with the ladies in mind, it's picture with a lipstick on their website and is available in pink and purple, possibly not the ideal choice for many men! But for the gents, there is the black version and it certainly won't leave you feeling embarrassed. The LS465 isn't the most feature packed camera, but it is easy to use and takes a decent shot.
Pentax Optio LS465 Pros
Customisable skins is a fairly unique feature
Extremely compact body with plenty of buttons
Good value for money
Decent image quality
Pentax Optio LS465 Cons
Won't switch on when attached to a tripod / tripod plate
Poor noise performance from ISO 400 upwards
4:3 pictures look really small on screen