"Excellent take everywhere camera"4.0 starson by jjacobus
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.