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Apr 04, 2007, 12:44 PM
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icebear's Avatar
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Pentax Optio A30 - new cam for AP


Hi,

I just got my Pentax Optio A30 in the mail today. I have used the s4,s5,s6 series for a long time (althoug most happy with s4/s5i) and I decided to give Pentax another shot since it is so convenient with the PRISM switch and the small format.

The A30 replace the A20 and has 10 M pixels, IR triggering (PRISM), continous mode, shutter priority AND a larger CCD sensor of 1/1.8" size compared to the 1/2.5" used in most previous Optios (I believe the A20 had the bigger CCD too).

I decided to make a quick test today so I took the camera out and took some long distance pics with 6 different cameras - my 5 AP cams and one standard SLR;

Pentax Optio S4 - 4MP
Pentax Optio S5i - 5MP
Pentax Optio A30 -10MP
Nikon 7900 - 7MP
Canon S80 - 8MP
Canon EOS 350D - 8 MP (SLR just as a reference)

First impressions are really promising but only real AP testing will of course reveal if it is a good AP cam or not.

See enclosed 400% blow ups from photos from the 6 different cams below...

More testing to follow!

/Icebear
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Apr 04, 2007, 01:45 PM
I'm Bonafide!
JediKnight2's Avatar
Full size pic looks to be clear...is there a huge weight, size difference between it and the other Optios?
Apr 04, 2007, 01:52 PM
Where's the Kaboom?
NeoLogic's Avatar
Get that bad boy up in the air! I look forward to your results. Thanks for the detail post!
Apr 04, 2007, 02:19 PM
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icebear's Avatar
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Hi!

Yes they seem clear! The weight is 5,3 oz - 1 oz more than the s4/s5/s6 and the size is slightly larger but still very practical.

I will post AP's soon I hope...!

/Icebear
Apr 04, 2007, 04:29 PM
Where's the Kaboom?
NeoLogic's Avatar
http://www.dpreview.com/news/0702/07022104pentaxa30.asp


I can't wait to see the Aerials. Any timeframe of when you'll have them Icebear?

Thanks
Apr 04, 2007, 05:03 PM
Electric Airplane Junkie
bhchan's Avatar
Bjorn,

Where is the AV out on the A30? On the M30, it is accessable on the outside, i.e. not hidden under the door in the battery/SD compartment.

Brian, an EAJ
Apr 05, 2007, 02:41 AM
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icebear's Avatar
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Hello again!

I should be able to do some aerials by the end of the weekend - a bit windy now but it is supposed to be better by sunday...

The AV out is under a small 'door' just below the ear where you attach the carrying strap on the right side of the camera. This door is about 0,75 inch long so it's a lot smaller than the door on the s6 for instance. It seems possible to just have this flap open to attach a video cable, i.e. it is not under the battery door.

/Bjorn

/Icebear
Apr 06, 2007, 05:26 AM
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icebear's Avatar
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Some A30 AP testing


Before the winds picked up this morning I mananged a quick AP sortie with my SOARstik and the Pentax Optio A30

The weather wasn't ideal - a bit gusty and partly cloudy but I think it is enough to make some conlsuions about the A30.

Here are some results;

The first 5 photos are just examples from the first test. Looks quite OK, BUT when examining closer I can see that the right 25% portion of the picture is less sharp. See the blow ups in the last two pictures.

I did see the same thing on the ground so while I like much of the quality of the pictures otherwise, I have decided to go back to the shop and try to exchange the camera for another unit IF I can find one that does not have this issue.

As many others have reported this is the case with some fo the Pentax cameras.

/Icebear
Apr 06, 2007, 07:36 AM
Where's the Kaboom?
NeoLogic's Avatar
Wow those are very nice pics, it's just too bad about that degree of sharpness of the right is somewhat lacking. I wonder why it's doing that. I can understand the edges being fuzzy, but only the right side?

I hope the new camera works out better for you! And thanks again for posting these so fast! Overall this camera is better than what I have now, lol. I just might consider buying one.
Apr 06, 2007, 07:39 AM
Where's the Kaboom?
NeoLogic's Avatar
Icebear-

What percentage of your photos were usable? On a calm day, my panasonic fx01 has about 50% usable, clear photos, as where my nikon 3700 was more like 80-90%.
Apr 06, 2007, 08:00 AM
Registered User
Wow! Great pix, I'm new to this and would have thought all those pix are 100% perfect!

Thanks for sharing!

Aobid
Apr 06, 2007, 08:46 AM
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icebear's Avatar
Thread OP
Thanks for the comments NeoLogic & Aobid.

I do think it is a nice camera and I like the performance, but I do feel that the right ahnd side is less sharp than the left. I think this has been seen by other too with earlier Optios so I guess it could be a variation in production. Pictures full wide angle and long idsyance is probably not what they optimized the lens for anyway.

I think I have a pretty good hope of finding a better unit at the shop - my other 2 optios are fine but I have seen some that are not. With the new high res 2.5" LCD it's easy top take some pics in the store and enlarge the image to reveal any issues without needing to use a PC.

I'll let you know how it goes!

Re. useable photos I can't really say after only 50-60 pics on a blustery day. I'd say 50-60% now but that's probably not fair due to the conditions. My experience is that the lower MP (3-5 MP) cameras have a higher useable percentage due to the fact that they need less light to provide sharp shots.

/Bjorn
Apr 06, 2007, 12:54 PM
Where's the Kaboom?
NeoLogic's Avatar
Is this camera capable of a burst shot. My Panasonic FX01, if I hold the shutter down, it will take 6 full rez photos, in 3-4 second time frame, and save them all to the SD card. Does this camera do anything similar?
Apr 06, 2007, 04:27 PM
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icebear's Avatar
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No, I dont think so. There is a continous mode, but that just shoots one picture every 1.2 secs or so until the card is full. Useful if you dont have a remote trigger...

/Icebear
Apr 07, 2007, 04:44 PM
Registered User
marckossa's Avatar

Pentax A20


I bought a Pentax A20 last month for AP, and I'm quite happy with it. Here are a few shots from this morning, taken from my brushless EasyStar. It doesn't seem to have a focus problem on the side (I hope not !).

I bought a Gentled IR switch, but for this first flight I put it to continuous shooting (1 frame every 3 secs) for easy of mind. It was my first flight with this camera doing photos. I was quite nervous. Last month I crashed my previous EZStar, destroying everyting including the Sony camera that was in it

Overall the A20 is perfect for AP the way I do it: compact, light, has a stabilizer, and "sport mode". Can also do DivX video.

Marc


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