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Pentax Optio RZ18 Lens Extended
The Pentax Optio RZ18 was announced in September 2011 and is available in a range of three colours including classic black, pearl white and metallic orange, available for £169.00.
Pentax Optio RZ18 Front
The RZ18 has Auto Picture mode which automatically selects the correct settings for the detected scene making it easy for the novice photographer to take good pictures easily. The Digital Wide Function stitches two pictures together to create a wider image. Other features include Digital Panorama, Face Detection AF & AE function, Small Face filter, Smile Capture, Blink Detection and Pet Mode.
The RZ18 shoots videos at 720p HD with Movie SR (Shake Reduction) mode to help take shake free videos. The camera can also record VGA and QVGA quality videos. Unfortunately the camera doesn't utilise the optical zoom lens during recording.
Pentax Optio RZ18 Top
- 18x optical zoom lens (35mm equiv: 25-450mm)
- 16 megapixel sensor sensor
- 3 inch LCD screen with 460,000 dots
- Sensor-shift Shake Reduction
- Pixel Track SR
- 720p HD video
- Face Detection AF
- Pet mode
- Wireless remote-control shooting with an optional Pentax remote controller
- Burst shooting of up to 40 images, at a maximum speed of 9 images per second
- Digital filters, including Miniature and Toy Camera
- Three image sizes (4:3, 16:9 and 1:1)
- D-Range setting
Pentax Optio RZ18 Screen
The menus are clear, well laid out and easy to use. If you struggle to see the small text you can increase the size of it to make it easier to read. On the rear of the camera is a 3 inch LCD screen with 460,000 dots and although it is grainy, it is clear to view in most lighting conditions.
The battery has a CIPA rating of 240 shots and the camera is ready to take photos within 2 to 3 seconds of switching on. Focus speed is good, although a bit slower when using the lens at its longest length. In continuous shooting mode the camera shot full 16 megapixel images at 0.6fps, with Burst Shooting taking 5 megapixel images with three different options: L managing 2.3fps, M 6.7fps and H 9.1fps.
Pentax Optio RZ18 Battery
Pentax Optio RZ18 Lens test images
Wide-angle | 1/400 sec | f/3.5 | 4.5 mm | ISO 100
Full optical zoom | 1/250 sec | f/5.9 | 81.0 mm | ISO 100
Digital zoom | 1/250 sec | f/5.9 | 81.0 mm | ISO 100
Macro | 1/10 sec | f/3.5 | 4.5 mm | ISO 80
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.
Pentax Optio RZ18 ISO test images
ISO 80 | 1/6 sec | f/4.8 | 14.1 mm
ISO 100 | 1/8 sec | f/4.8 | 14.1 mm
ISO 200 | 1/13 sec | f/4.8 | 14.1 mm
ISO 400 | 1/30 sec | f/4.8 | 14.1 mm
ISO 800 | 1/60 sec | f/4.8 | 14.1 mm
ISO 1600 | 1/125 sec | f/4.8 | 14.1 mm
ISO 3200 | 1/200 sec | f/4.8 | 14.1 mm
ISO 6400 | 1/400 sec | f/4.8 | 14.1 mm
Below are example images taken using some of the scene modes available. 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. Pet mode has been used to capture the picture of the dog.
Pentax Optio RZ18 Scene modes
Landscape | 1/1000 sec | f/3.5 | 4.5 mm | ISO 160
Landscape with building | 1/800 sec | f/4.0 | 7.0 mm | ISO 80
Portrait | 1/60 sec | f/4.4 | 9.5 mm | ISO 400
Pet mode | 1/100 sec | f/3.8 | 6.0 mm | ISO 125
D-lighting | 1/640 sec | f/3.5 | 4.5 mm | ISO 160
Food | 1/4 sec | f/4.7 | 12.3 mm | ISO 200
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.
Pentax Optio RZ18 White-balance test images
AWB preset - incandescent lighting | 1/13 sec | f/4.0 | 7.0 mm | ISO 100
Incandescent preset - incandescent lighting | 1/13 sec | f/4.0 | 7.0 mm | ISO 100
AWB preset - fluorescent lighting | 1/4 sec | f/4.0 | 7.0 mm | ISO 100
Fluorescent preset - fluorescent lighting | 1/4 sec | f/4.0 | 7.0 mm | ISO 100
The RZ18 can apply a range of filters to photos during playback rather than when shooting. Many of them have varying options as to how much effect is applied to maximise the creative opportunities.
Pentax Optio RZ18 Digital filters
Black and white | 1/4 sec | f/4.7 | 12.3 mm | ISO 80
Colour | 1/4 sec | f/4.7 | 12.3 mm | ISO 80
Colour emphasis | 1/4 sec | f/4.7 | 12.3 mm | ISO 80
Extract colour | 1/4 sec | f/4.7 | 12.3 mm | ISO 80
High contrast | 1/4 sec | f/4.7 | 12.3 mm | ISO 80
Retro | 1/4 sec | f/4.7 | 12.3 mm | ISO 80
Sepia | 1/4 sec | f/4.7 | 12.3 mm | ISO 80
Soft | 1/4 sec | f/4.7 | 12.3 mm | ISO 80
Starburst | 1/4 sec | f/4.7 | 12.3 mm | ISO 80
Toy camera | 1/4 sec | f/4.7 | 12.3 mm | ISO 80
Frame composite | 1/4 sec | f/4.7 | 12.3 mm | ISO 80
Video ModeThe following video has been shot a 720p HD. Videos can also be shot in VGA and QVGA, but unfortunately the camera doesn't allow the use of optical zoom during recording.
Value For MoneyThe 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).
Pentax Optio RZ18 ProsKeenly priced
Good video quality
Pentax Optio RZ18 ConsNo optical zoom when shooting videos
Noise significant at ISO 800 upwards
|VALUE FOR MONEY|
Pentax Optio RZ18 Specifications
|Max Aperture||f/3.5 - f/5.9|
|35mm equivalent||25mm - 450mm|
|CCD pixels||16.1Mp (Megapixels)|
|Sensor Size||1/2.33 inch|
|Sensor Size (width)||6.08mm|
|Sensor Size (height)||4.56mm|
|Screen resolution||460,000 dots|
|Shutter speeds shortest||1/2000sec|
|Shutter speeds longest||4sec|
|ISO sensitivity||80 - 6400|
|Video FPS||30, 15|
|Optical Zoom with Video||No|
|Battery Type||Rechargeable Li-Ion battery D-LI92|
|Box Contents||USB Cable I-USB7, AV Cable I-AVC7, Li-Ion Battery D-LI92, Battery Charger Kit K-BC92, Strap O-ST104, Software CD-ROM S-SW121|