Pentax Optio 60
With the development of digital photographic equipment, two main trends are steadily observed – an abrupt increase in the resolution of CCDs and a gradual decrease in prices in each of the categories of cameras. However, there are a number of market niches in which the price remains the same, but at the same time there is a constant qualitative improvement in cameras. By “quality improvement” we should understand not only the increase in sensor resolution, but also the improvement of lenses, ergonomics, a set of service functions – in short, all that allows you to get good pictures without extra effort on the part of the user. In one of these market niches can be attributed cameras, the cost of which ranges from 200 to 300 $. In the second half of the nineties of the last century, for the amount mentioned, it was possible to purchase a product of a little-known brand from Southeast Asia, equipped with a plastic similarity to the lens and a CMOS sensor with a resolution of less than a megapixel, moreover, the manufacturer often considered the flash and LCD display to be an excess and did not equip their products. With the beginning of the third millennium, the well-known “brands” actively mastered this niche, the result of which was the disappearance of “plastic” and the emergence of high-quality autofocus lenses, all cameras were equipped with powerful flashes and bright LCD displays. At the moment, the equipment in this category is distinguished by well-thought-out ergonomics and an abundance of service functions that allow you to flexibly control the exposure, white balance and other important shooting parameters. Among the most promising ways of developing these models are equipping lenses with increased (4X or more) magnification, as well as switching to CCD arrays with a large diagonal.
Switching to an oversized sensor allows manufacturers to increase resolution and at the same time avoid narrowing the dynamic range and increasing noise. Pentax, which has always been among the leaders in innovation in film photography, adheres to similar tactics in the field of digital photography. That is why in the summer of 2005, the Pentax Optio 60 camera appeared, equipped with a matrix whose diagonal corresponds to the “1 / 1.8 inch” form factor. The term “form factor” is used because the indicated fraction does not correspond to the actual size of the matrix, in fact, the diagonal of the sensor is about 2/3 of the specified number (for the matrix of the standard “1 / 1.8” the diagonal is 9 mm). The mismatch is caused by the fact that the parameter describing the size of the recording element migrated to a digital photograph from the television equipment. In the cameras for image recording, cathode ray tubes were used, in which a rectangular region with an aspect ratio of 4: 3 was used from the entire frontal area of the bulb, the diagonal of which was approximately 2/3 of the bulb diameter. It is this virtual “bulb diameter” that is used as a parameter that describes the physical size of the CCD.
The case of the Optio 60 silver and its panels do not bend when pressed, so it seems that it is made of metal. In fact, lightweight and compact (91x61x38 mm, 150 g) the housing is made of durable plastic. The front panel of the body has a protrusion, but its dimensions force us to consider it as a decorative detail, but not as an ergonomic element – at least, this protrusion did not help in a situation where the photographer’s right finger accidentally rested on top of the flash.
But the “pupil” of the telescopic viewfinder is located so that it is impossible to obscure it. Almost all camera controls are “in place” – it is not a problem to reach each of them with the thumb of your right hand. An exception is the zoom control lever – it is quite difficult to “find” it, however, it responds flawlessly to pressing. The absence of sharp corners and protruding parts ensures that the Optio 60 fits in your shirt pocket without any problems, and the swivel strap located on the right panel of solid dimensions allows you to fix the lanyard strap.
Although the magnification of the Optio 60 zoom lens cannot be called outstanding, its range (36-108 mm in the equivalent of a 35 mm camera) covers the needs of most beginner amateur photographers, and the aperture ratio (f / 2.8 – f / 4.8) allows you to shoot with not-too-slow shutter speeds . The design of the optical system is standard for compact digital cameras – in the off state, the movable part of the lens is located inside the case and is covered by an automatic shutter. When the camera is turned on, the shutter is pushed back and put forward, consisting of two segments, the “trunk”, and the interval between pressing the power button and the full readiness for shooting is only 3 seconds, which is especially important for a camera that claims to be an “everyday satellite”. It takes even less time to completely change the focal length of the lens – in just a second you can switch from wide-angle to long-focus range, while the length of the extended part of the lens practically does not change.