Save & earn with MPB; trade-in and buy pre-loved

Pentax Espio 160 Film Compact Review

Pentax Espio 160 mini view

| Pentax Espio 160 in Film Compacts

While it was not the most attractive, this was the nicest camera to use. It had the desirable characteristic of not really needing an instruction book as it is sensibly designed. The longer end of the zoom may have an immediate appeal compared to some other cameras and importantly it does not sacrifice the wider focal length setting to reach it with the widest aperture of f4.5/12. However, the Espio 160 is not strictly a pocket able camera, but because of this may appeal to those with bigger hands as a consequence. It is in direct comparison to the Olympus that reaches the same telephoto focal length but goes for a petit package.

Pentax have used a feature common to other cameras in their line up with a pop out flash that extends horizontally from the body regardless of flash use or not, as soon as the camera is switched on. It then becomes a good inhibitor to getting your fingers in its way. Operating modes are set on the top plate control dial; off, auto, flash on, flash off, slow sync, bulb with and without flash. Bulb operates from 1/2th sec to 5 minuets. But presumedly in order not to clutter up the dial, there are further control buttons nearby on the top plate. These are for red eye reduction, one for self timer and multiple exposures and optional remote control, plus a third for focusing options either a spot focus area, a wide area or infinity focus.

Another unique aspect is the parallax guide in the finder. As the focus becomes closer, a mask automatically appears to show the approximate recording area. It is too light for some conditions, but it works well compared to alternative designs and somehow is easier to note as it is not a permanent fixture in the finder. This is carried to its most noticeable when the panoramic format is activated by a lever on the rear of the body next to the eye piece then the mask crops for that indication.

The two auto focus areas were really useful and quick to set. But the smallest of things can make a camera pleasant in use and in this case that was the automatic low light illumination of the top plate LCD. In dark interiors it meant this camera could be adjusted and the frame count read when others could not.

Other things were also confidence inducing, like a six zone metering pattern that gave some fine exposures. It was also good to know that the top shutter speed was a decent 1/400th sec so would enable sharp telephoto shots to be hand held comfortably. Not so good is a non DX coding setting for 25 ISO film only. A well thought out and capable camera, not the best lens but the best overall package. It is supplied with battery, case and strap and is our recommendation.

Buy Now

We don't have the latest price however the link below will take you to the most relevant items.


We don't have the latest price however the link below will take you to the most relevant items.


We transform the way that people buy, sell and trade in photo and video kit.


Support this site by making a Donation, purchasing Plus Membership, or shopping with one of our affiliates: Amazon UK, Amazon US, Amazon CA, ebay UK, MPB. It doesn't cost you anything extra when you use these links, but it does support the site, helping keep ePHOTOzine free to use, thank you.


Photographs taken using the Pentax Espio 160

At The GallopDawn DogsSnowdon horseshoe

Other articles you might find interesting...

Fujifilm Instax Mini 40 Instant Film Camera Review
Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 Instant Film Camera Review
Fujifilm Instax Square SQ6 Review
Lomo'Instant Automat Camera Review
The Creator Of This Analog 3D Pinhole Camera Wants To Revive...
Lomography Has Launched A £40 Reusable Underwater Film Camera
Leica SOFORT Available In Black
Fujifilm Instax Square SQ6 Announced

There are no comments here! Be the first!

Sign In

You must be a member to leave a comment.

ePHOTOzine, the web's friendliest photography community.

Join For Free

Upload photos, chat with photographers, win prizes and much more.