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Old May 3, 2004, 3:36 PM   #1
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I was looking for a compact camera mainly for using during hiking trips. So my eye fell on the Optio 43WR.

Does anybody already have this camera? How is picture quality? Anybody knows where I can find a good review?

What is like compared to the canon S500 or the olympos C50/C60?

Both here in the forum and from two friends at home I've heard stories of the very bad service of pentax. Is it really that bad or are these just some "special cases"?

many thanks

peter




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Old May 5, 2004, 12:45 AM   #2
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I don't have a 43 and have not seen a review, but have shot about 1700 photos with a 33WR and really like it. JPEG image quality is excellent, close-focusing ability is amazing (you can focus to 1 cm, and the flash will actually work at that range, although they do not say it will in the manual), compact, water resistant, uses AA batteries, and has a reasonable range of controls over sharpening, contrast, saturation, image size, compression. Also has manual focus mode, which is a pain to use though as the magnified image for focusing disappears 2 seconds after you stop changing the focal point, not enough time to make a decision about focus IMO. Movie mode works nicely and has no time limit, camera has time-lapse movie mode and built-in intervalometer--you can set it up and it will take 3-MP pictures at intervals from seconds to an hour or more automatically, going to sleep between frames.

The 33WR stores about 150-160 typical highest-res 3MP photo on a 256 MB card, the 43 should do 120 or so I would guess. The manual says less, but this is my experience.

I am going to buy a 43 and pass the 33 on to someone else very soon--the 43 has higher resolution, but also has a movie mode that should be better than digital video--640 X 480 X 30 fps. Very useful for unexpected interesting scenece in the field, but consumes lots of storage space.

Example 33WR closeup photo is attached. An Australian Eyelash gecko, Diplodactylus ciliaris, in case you're interested.
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Old May 15, 2004, 3:21 PM   #3
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Hello,



Many thanks for your email. The pictures do look very good and close-ups are obviously a very strong point of the camera. How does it handle low-light situations?

If you'd buy an 43WR, I'd be very interested in your experiences!



regards



Peter
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Old May 16, 2004, 12:47 PM   #4
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I'm no photography expert but I was happy enough w/the 33WR to give it to my girlfriend & order the 43WR for myself. It should be here tomorrow & I've already picked up a 512Mb stick of SanDisk Ultra II so I can take full advantage of the 43WR's 640x480/30fps movie mode.

Tomac
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Old May 17, 2004, 12:30 PM   #5
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That looks good!

I'm very interested in your experiences with th camera, particularly how it behaves *n difficult outdoor situations (low-light and rain) and in the movie quality ...

Thanks in advance!



Regards



Peter
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Old May 17, 2004, 9:57 PM   #6
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I've now ordered a 43 but haven't got it yet. The 33 is pretty good in low light--I have not encountered as many focusing problems with it in low light as I usually find with my other digital compact, a Nikon Coolpix 5000. In fact in general focusing is a strong point; unlike the CP5kthe 33WRhas relatively little tendency to ignore the thing in the center of the frame if there is some other, more contrasty thing nearby. I have had a far lower proportion of images that need to be deleted because the camera focused on something other than the main subject with the Optio 33WR than I do with the CP5K.

It might not be perfect if you're really into situations that require high ISOs, such as moving people or animals in closed canopy forests on cloudy days without flash. ISO 50 has very little noise, 100 is just fine too, 200 starts getting noisy but is generally useable, and 400 should be saved for emergencies, reminds me of how 35mm color looked when pushed to very high speeds, but can produce useable images, particularly if they are postprocessed with a noise reduction program like NeatImage. That said, no point and shoot digital cameras that I know of are particularly low-noise at higher ISOs, so this is not a flaw of the Optio in particular.

I'm impatient to get my hands on a 43WR and shoot some photos!
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Old May 18, 2004, 1:24 AM   #7
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Ross,

You said that you have ordered a 43WR andI notice that you are in Australia. I too am in Australia and yesterday I was told by a camera store and CR Kennedy (the Pentax distributor) that the 43WR is not available yet and won't be for some time. Who did you order it from and - if you don't mind me asking -how much did they charge?

Regards

Nenad
Perth, West Australia

PS - I am in the market for a camera that uses AAs and ideally is weather resistant for use hiking and trekking. I just returned a Optio S40 which I thought might fit the bill but it had appalling low light focussing (among other disappointments - see other posts). I am glad to hear that the 33WR is a good performer in this regard and hope the 43WR is as good. It sounds exactly what I am looking for.
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Old May 18, 2004, 3:00 AM   #8
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There is a Norwegian review (!!) at http://www.itavisen.no/art/1303534.html, but if you cannot read it, click on the link behind the image and you find more sample images!!:-)
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Old May 18, 2004, 7:24 AM   #9
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ndi wrote:
Quote:
Ross,

You said that you have ordered a 43WR andI notice that you are in Australia. I too am in Australia and yesterday I was told by a camera store and CR Kennedy (the Pentax distributor) that the 43WR is not available yet and won't be for some time. Who did you order it from and - if you don't mind me asking -how much did they charge?
Sorry I got your hopes up--I am about to take a trip to the USA and have ordered it through Adorama Camera, to be delivered to me while I'm there.

Ordering direct from the States to Australia is an option; I'm not sure about Adorama, but B&H Photo will ship to Australia, and in my experience and the experiences of many others they are utterly reliable and very good to deal with. I have done enough business with B&H over the years that they send their catalogs to me at my home address here. The Optio 43WR is available from them now and is $US 349, not too bad at present exchange rates; of course you may have to pay duty + GST on top of that, but still probably not a lot more than a 33WR at the usual higher Aussie prices.

Before doing anything that drastic you might want to wait for reviews; I'm a bit worried myself--I've had great experiences with the 33 but who knows, they may have stuffed up in the upgrading to a higher res sensor and better video...
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Old May 18, 2004, 8:08 AM   #10
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I received my 43WR from B&H yesterday (fast service!) and although the price on their website says USD$349 they actually charge USD$319 so even with shipping it only cost USD$334 total. At first glance it's a 33WR with a different color casing but the 640x480/30fps movie mode (7.5 minutes recording time on a 512 stick)is *much* nicer than the 320x240/15fps of the 33WR. The speed of theSanDisc Ultra II 512Mb stick I'm using seems to make a significant difference in overal speed. I no longer have my 33WR for comparison but the 43WR has a "Memory" selection in the menu for saving settings that I don't remember being in the 33WR's menu.

Tomac
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