Pros Dust and water proof (even underwater) Easy to use while rock climbing. Panorama and wide modes work really well. Picture quality very good at high ISO levels. Excellent travel camera especially for use in adverse conditions. Good value for price.
Cons Can't figure out how to turn off the face detection mode while in auto mode.
LCD screen can be difficult to see in bright light conditions (common with just about any camera).
Wish the case had a little better grip.
Summary Got this camera specifically for use while rock climbing and hiking. Wanted something that was easy to use with one hand, water proof, and dust resistant. I've had to Optio for a few weeks now and I'm very pleased. Lately I've been taking this camera with me everywhere.
Picture quality is very good even at high ISO levels. There are a lot of preset modes that make it easy to use.
I especially like the panorama and wide modes which stitch together multiple shots in the camera. No need to post process to create panoramas. This is really useful for outdoor activities.
Macro mode is better than I thought. Photos of insects, leaves, etc. turn out well. It doesn't have the resolution you'd get from a quality SLR, but this is an ultracompact camera.
I've taken a few short videos and am impressed with the 1280x720 video resolution. Did a good job a cantering horse and our dog doing agility. It's not a steadycam so you have to pick your angle since camera doesn't have a good grip to move smoothly.
LCD screen dims after 5 secs, but that value can be reset so you can frame a shot in bright settings.
Dislike the face recognition/smile option. Can't turn off in auto mode. It wants to meter/focus in on the wrong inanimate object. You can get around it by switching modes.
The case is a smooth rectangle. Wish it had a small grip or ridge on the right side to make it easier to hold. (But I was on a rock face pulling the camera out of my pack, turning it on, selecting mode and shooting with one hand.)
Also been using this camera at work to document equipment setups (factory floor & computer rooms). The wide angle mode helps with this too. It's difficult to get back far enough with an ordinary camera. Macro mode works will documenting equipment serial number plates. So it also does a good job indoors in bad lighting conditions.
Bottom line: Execellent take anywhere camera especially for the price. Great photo quality, easy to use, water and dust proof.
Pros Takes pictures when it works
Cons The entire image processor had to be replaced after 3 months. It's now not working again!
Summary Either I got a lemon or it's just not well designed or built. Buy Olympus!I received my camera back after it's second repair in the first week of February. Today is February 28 - it quit working already. My next update will be when I hear back from Pentax with their next suggestion.
Updated on Feb 28, 2010
DO NOT BUY THIS CAMERA!
Pros So many features and editing options
Waterproof to average use depth for most users.
Love the 1cm macro setting
Nice and easy to use software
Cons The motor sound while zooming during video shooting extremely annoying
Battery life before having to recharge could be a bit better but acceptable for my use.
Summary I must say that I was impressed with this camera as was my wife.
We have owned a few name brand digital cameras before but this is by far the best we have tested so far.
We bought the camera for the underwater capabilities but ended up playing around with all the features like 2 little kids at christmas.
I was impressed with all the editing features that can be accomplished right on the camera itself: things we used to have to do on the PC or at the camera shop after.
The only real drawback was the sound that is recorded from the motor that zooms during video recording. Wow...it was very loud on our camera. It was so loud that it drowned out most other sound recorded. We will not use the zoom during video recoding if we happen to do any video recording ( we have a digital HD camcorder already).
All in all, this camera is outstanding and one of our best investments yet.
I think you'll be impressed!
Pros Waterproof/dustproof. Small, compact, easy-to-use. Lots of functions.
Cons No manual exposure settings as implied in CNET review.
Summary I bought this camera for the sole purpose of having a smaller camera with aperture-priority and shutter-priority when I don't feel like lugging the DSLR around. Turns out it doesn't have it. Although it is a nice camera, I am going to be returning it.
Pros Sturdy and small, you can take it anywhere. I bought it for motorcycle trips and it's holding on well.
Cons One star less for the grainy image, especially with low lighting conditions.
Summary For the price and the size, quite a decent camera.