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Pentax Optio VS20 review

Inexpensive travel zoom with controls for horizontal and vertical shooting

Our Verdict

For

  • Inexpensive
  • Broad focal range
  • Easy to use
  • Automatic panorama stitching

Against

  • Autofocus easily confused
  • White balance varies
  • Some 'effects' look like mistakes
  • So-so battery life
  • Twin controls are a gimmick

Pentax Optio VS20 review

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When the light is in your favour, it is possible to achieve some razor sharp results handheld with the Pentax Optio VS20, as this telephoto shot shows.

Pentax Optio VS20 review

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Using the landscape mode option is supposed to boost greens and blues, but here it has delivered a rather unnatural-looking end result, with distinctly turquoise skies and burnt-out cloud detail.

Pentax Optio VS20 review

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For landscape and travel photography fans, the Pentax Optio VS20 offers the advantage of a Panoramic mode that takes three shots as you pan, automatically lining up the next and firing the shutter, then stitching them together. There are occasionally jagged joins, but here's one of our better attempts.

Pentax Optio VS20 review

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Another shot revealing the camera at its best when using the maximum 560mm equivalent telephoto setting and attempting to shoot handheld.

Pentax Optio VS20 review

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And here's the same scene from the same vantage point, but at the extreme wide-angle 28mm equivalent setting.

Pentax Optio VS20 review

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The Pentax Optio VS20 offers various digital effects filters. Here's one of our better attempts at using the Sketch mode, which mimics an artistic pencil drawing, rendering the shot in black and white but retaining the shape-defining outlines.

Tech Specs

Product TypeCompact Camera
Battery Size SupportedProprietary Battery Size
Maximum Video Resolution1280 x 720
TouchscreenNo
Effective Camera Resolution16 Megapixel
GPSNo
USBYes
Wide AngleYes
Product FamilyOptio
Image StabilizationOptical
ColourWhite
Optical Zoom20x
Digital Zoom7.2x
Brand NamePentax
FeaturesFace Recognition, Blink Detection, Smile Detection, Live View, Orientation Sensor, Continuous Shooting Mode, Self-timer
Screen Size7.6 cm (3")
Video FormatsMotion JPEG (AVI)
Viewfinder TypeNo
Weight (Approximate)170 g
Flash Memory Capacity16 MB
Minimum Focus Distance10 mm
Maximum Image Resolution4608 x 3456
Maximum Frame Rate30 fps
Number of Batteries Supported1
Battery Built-inNo
Battery RechargeableYes
Battery IncludedYes
Display Screen TypeLCD
Image Sensor TypeCCD
Total Camera Resolution16.6 Megapixel
HDMINo
HD Movie ModeYes
Battery Model SupportedD-LI122 / D-DLI92
Memory Card SupportedSecure Digital (SD) Card, Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC), Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) Card, Eye-Fi Card
Height60 mm
Width108 mm
Depth34 mm
Autofocus Points3
Focal Length5 mm to 100 mm
Image FormatsJPEG
Flash ModesAuto Flash, Flash OFF, Flash ON, Red-eye Reduction, Soft
Focus ModesAuto, Manual
ManufacturerRicoh Imaging Company, Ltd.
Product ModelVS20
Product NameOptio VS20 Compact Camera
Product LineOptio
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part Number14139
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.ricoh.co.uk
Marketing Information

On top of its 20x wide-angle zoom (from 28 to 560mm), the Optio VS20 offer a second release shutter button on the side. This is a real help when taking portrait pictures.

The Optio VS20 is filled with the latest technologies, like one of the lastest generation 16MP sensor for exceptionnal sharpness, a 20X optical zoom and a large 3" coloured LCD screen. It also benefits from a new mode for low light conditions, offering less noise and better sharpness.

Thanks to its high end performance, the Optio VS20 is the ideal compact camera for everyday pictures as well as for travelling and sports images.

Battery Life200 Shot
Package Contents
  • Optio VS20 Compact Camera
  • USB Cable I-USB7
  • AV-IAVC7 Video Cable
  • Rechargeable Battery Li-Ion D-DLI92
  • Battery Charger D-BC92
  • O-ST104 Strap
  • Software CD-ROM
Display Resolution460000 Pixel
Limited Warranty1 Year
Built-in DevicesMicrophone, Speaker