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Old Apr 10, 2009, 10:15 AM   #1
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Hi, this is my first post. I am an old geezer in the UK who is currently using a Pentax Optio 50L (5mp) camera. I appreciate that some my laugh at this, but it is ideal for me. In a few weeks we're off to Mauritius and I'd like a flatter camera, preferably a Pentax because, this moring I took five pics with it and five pics from the same position with someone's Casio Eximlr (or something like that) (6mp).

I much preferred the picture colour/clarity of mine, hence my preference for Pentax, but the size of the Casio. So, I wonder what if any suggestions you can come up with. I'd like to stay under £160 if possible. Thanks in anticipation.
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Old Apr 11, 2009, 7:59 PM   #2
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Steve's lists the Pentax Optio M50 (8 MP) under the Best category for ultra compacts;


Might as well just upgrade to the latest version, unless it isn't flat enough. Then you could just run over it a couple of times with your vehicle until you achieve the desired size. ;-)

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Old Apr 12, 2009, 1:36 PM   #3
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Morning Islandman, I use Pentax dSLRs (K20 and K100) and have no real experience with their P&S, but since the boys are grown (away at college) and the Easter Bunny did not visit leaving any eggs hidden around the house, I thought I would post an answer.

I would suggest the Pentax Opto A40 for several reasons. It is newer than your 50, still available (Amazon etc.) for about $140 US, so it should be within your price range. It was released in 2007 and has been on the market for well over a year, so if there are any problems they would be known (no hidden surprises). I believe that it fits your criteria of being flat (but not credit card thin), as the lens only protrudes when in use (just like your 50), and pulls back into the body when it is off. It is also a bit thinner (0.2 inches) and weighs less (about 2 oz) than your present Opto 50. The A40 appears to be the same size as the Casio - about 0.8" in thickness.

The reason why it might be a bit better than the just announced model is that its sensor is physically larger, and thus the pixels are not jammed as close together, resulting in less electronic noise in the picture - better image quality. Its 12MP - personally I would like to have seen 10MP, but over a year ago everyone was still marketing more MPs as better. The ISO (film speed) goes down to a low of 64 - again helping with the image quality, but goes up to 1600 so if your in a dark place, you might still be able to get an acceptable photo. The lens is not quite as wide as the 50 (wide angle), but is a bit longer (telephoto). The shutter is faster 1/2000 sec, and also slower (4 seconds) if you want to do some night photography and hold the camera down on a railing or bench so as to not move it. It also has a much larger 2.5" rear screen. It also has image stabilization, so it is pretty good at eliminating camera shake in the photos.


I also found it in the UK for around £100.

What ever camera you wind up getting, you would probably want at least a 2GB if not 4GB memory card (or two) and maybe an extra battery.

Pentax gave the A40 away over Christmas with their top of the line K20 dSLR (I bought my K20 much later and did not receive the A40) as a promotion. I do not think that Pentax would give an inferior camera to their best customers buying their best camera bodies.

Hope that helps, Cheers!
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