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Pentax Optio E30
There's no shortage of digicams out there, both in the value and high-end ranges. See where your budget lies and decide of course. Pentax's E series seems to employ user friendliness in a relatively decent price range. Compared to the Optio M30 that performed almost as well, this budget camera seems a worthy competitor in the series, but lets just see if the performance of their E30 is good enough for you to part with your hard earned dough.
The design is of the E30 is sadly nothing out of the ordinary. But then again, how elaborate can the design of an average digicam be right. On the plus side it's light weight at 138g, and although not compact, it's slim enough to fit into your pockets with out too much of a bulge considering its dimensions are 95 x 62 x 35 mm.
The shutter release and power switch are located on the top and on the bottom is the battery compartment that houses 2 AA batteries and the external memory card (SD). There's also the cradle connection and the mount slot.
The AV out/PC connectivity outlet is located at the bottom of the left hand side of the E30 and the strap holder on the right.
At the rear is the clear 2.4-inch LCD display and all the necessary keys that serve various functions. The placement of the keys are no different than most digicam models out there. That's actually a good thing, as navigation is easy. So no worries.
Features and Performance
Just like the Optio M20, the E30 is also equipped with plenty of settings for a plethora of occasions. What makes the E30 so easy to use are the large icons that depict each of the options available. It seems that Pentax has pretty much tried to make sure that all your needs in various environments are taken care of. There are settings for taking portraits of others and yourself. Presets for taking pictures in snow, of fireworks, and if you need to get a little odd, there's even a setting for taking pictures of your food.
But here's something you may be a little bewildered by, pet owners and animal lovers will simply love this. The E30 has settings for animals, well specifically dogs and cats. But it doesn't end just there. You have the choice of colors (black, gray or white) for each animal. Hmm...
There are also a few weird frames you can use for fun. They were a little too girly for my taste except maybe this one.
For those of you who don't like to stress out on those absolutely perfect shots you can always switch to Green Mode. This puts the camera in a totally automated setting so it’s literally as simply as Pointing and Shooting.
Night mode picture quality, although you need a steady hand obviously, is not too bad. You can of course make out that there’s plenty of noise. But look at it this way, for a camera of this caliber, I think it's ok.
Sports mode is great too if you need to get those quick pics of some awesome car or bike you may see zipping by. I didn’t see any but I did get a truck zipping by though.
Close-ups are great. You can use the flower mode or even Macro. The colors are crisp and clear. The focus is good and you can see the detail. It does lack the really close close-up feel to get in really close to the object, but the outcome nevertheless is still good.
Normal daytime shots are good, not great. But like I said, this isn't a high-end camera. The colors don't appear faded and you can't really make out any pin-cushioning.
Now in case you want to make a few adjustments or alterations to your existing images simply select the image and you have a few options there too. These include resizing, cropping, rotation, adding a voice memo and even protecting the image so you wont delete it by mistake. The E30 also gives you an option of viewing all the images on the camera in a slideshow.
If you set the camera right i.e. without the opening screen etc. the start up is quick. The timing between shots is negligible so you know the E30 is fast.
Here's the biggest problem with this camera. It's battery hungry! Maybe that sounds a bit strange so let me be more specific. Although the picture quality is good, you’re going to have to carry a rather large supply of AA batteries with you wherever you take the E30. For some strange reason it drains batteries like Popeye downs cans of spinach. I think the Energizer bunny just met it’s Kryptonite.
The bottom line is, it's a good digicam for the price of approximately Rs. 7,500, but if you're regular traveler who's a real photo-buff, just remember to stock up on those batteries. Or you could opt for rechargeable cells. But you'll need a lot of those too and perhaps a portable charger just in case.
|Dimensions||95 x 62 x 35 mm|
|Connectivity||Pict-Bridge/USB 2.0, AV out|
|Storage||Internal (11MB)/SD/SDHC card|
AA (2) batteries (NiMH recommended)
|LCD Type||2.4", 112,000 px|
|ISO Sensitivity||Auto, Manual - 80, 160, 320, 400|
|Shutter Speed||4-1/2000 sec|
|Aperture||F2.7 - F4.8|
|Format||JPEG (EXIF 2.2)|
|Scene Modes||Pet (cat/dog and colors), Food, Text, Flower, Landscape, Night, Sports, Snow, Portrait, Frame composition, Macro, Fireworks|
5 positions, plus manual
|Flash||Auto, On, Off, Red-eye reduction|
|Self Timer||2 - 10 secs|
|Street Price||Rs. 7,500|