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on 29 December 2011
I've been delighted with my OptioRZ18 as an upgrade from the previous OptioS12 that I used. The panoramic and wide angle stitching facilities of the new model are features I particularly enjoy in my landscape work. It's 16 megapixel resolution in combination with the impressive 18x optical zoom means that I can pick out compositions of interest in a much wider range of situations than before. The much improved screen size and brightness are a joy. It's excellent image resolution for such a compact camera is also especially valuable when it comes to printing at A3+ sizes.
55 comments74 of 74 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 6 February 2012
This is really a 4.5* review. I have used the camera now for about 6 weeks and delighted I chose it for the job I wanted it for which was, big review screen 3", long lens 18x, lots of pixels 16Mp, Movie mode HD, 180 degree triple shots, inexpensive for work use ie a pocket camera or one to throw in the car, light weight and small.

The Pentax hits all these points and the price I got it at was very low (I caught in between two price reductions before it went back up after Christmas. Even at the current price it is a good bargain.

I have compared the fully zoomed in image to other more expensive cameras I have and it is very good. Slightly more grainy but for the price no complaints and how often do you fully zoom a pocket camera.

All positives to be honest, easy to use and understand and a simple point and shoot come up with great pictures in all lights, including indoors with no flash. I haven't read the handbook.

No real negatives, perhaps a small one hence the 1/2 point lost out of 5 the camera feels very "plasticy" (but looks like carbon)thus it is very light and is no real issue (one of the reasons for buying it). Ideal for a ladies handbag if buying for a present.

I hope this helps someone. Good Luck John West End Southampton.
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on 26 April 2012
Years ago I had a popular brand SLR film camera, I went touring with a friend who had bought a tiny Pentax for the trip. When our prints were developed I was amazed how much better my friends prints turned out, all bright and vibrant, in comparison mine looked dull and drab. I remembered that trip when I was looking for a new camera and decided there and then that it had to be a Pentax.

The Optio RZ18 is a powerhouse in a small package, from Macro to full Zoom the images and colour rendition are amazing. It has more features than you can shake a stick at or you can use it in manual mode if you want total control. Indoors or outdoors the camera handles the light perfectly with it's excellent zoom lens, autofocus is always spot on. The large screen is nice and bright and the controls all fall to hand and are easy to master without having to refer to the operating manual.
For myself it does all I require of it, and more. Bought as a replacement for my old 4 mega pixel 3x optical zoom camera the difference is staggering, although costing roughly twice the price the RZ18 is in a totally different league.

Battery life is very good and the battery can be recharged with the supplied charger in less than two hours.
It would have been nice to have a little basic pouch supplied with it but I suppose these days manufacturers are looking to produce products at the best price in a competitive market.
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The camera specification tells you what you need to know here. It is a very high spec camera for the price. The obvious draw is the 18 x zoom and that it has a genuine wide angle setting for landscapes. Its apparent weakness is a strength too: that is its light weight and portability. Many complain of its plasticky feel and that it could be easily broken. Well you get what you pay for and if you want it to last then treat it with respect.

I agree with the complaint that the battery life isn't adequate so if it is possible to buy a second battery as back-up it would be useful if you're expecting to take many pictures in a day. It is a real weakness but I'm not docking a star for that when it is so competitively priced. There is, however, a benefit in the lighter weight compared to AAA rechargeable batteries. It only makes this camera even more portable. The other day I wondered whether I'd packed my camera in my camera case. the case not only included the camera but a spare battery too - so you get teh point. It is amazing to think that something so light could have so much clout.It's certainly worth investing in a spare or two for long days out.

For me, like many others, the powerful zoom and portability was a real eye catcher but now that I possess it I'm finding many of the modes and setting options to be the real advantage. I was at first put off by the apparent complexity but there's an auto setting so it's as complicated or simple as you want it to be. There are many options and I'm finding the super macro opition excellent for garden flower and other close up pictures; especially when combined with a vivid colour setting.

My only other compact is a Fuji AX280. It didn't cost much less (£70) but only has a 5 x zoom, really is quite fragile and has a poor flash. It's indoor images are often very grainy. For the price it still wasn't a bad buy so this Pentax, with a much better flash and endless setting options and 18 x zoom puts it in the shade. remember though not to use flash at great distance on the telezoom: there's only so much a small camera flash can do. That's just common sense.

In terms of the lens it certainly isn't bad but not in the same league as an SLR or high end spec compact camera. You can't expect it for this price. Even so, it is pretty decent. Some speak of less definition on high zoom but that will happen with any camera not using a tripod. The shake reduction option certainly helps. For most shooting opportunities it will be fine. As is usually the case with small compact cameras, their convenience makes them excellent creative tools that don't require much set up time or planning. Some of th ebest images are taken on a whim. For a serious photographer a compact like this can be like a sketch book: capturing ideas that can be revisited at a later date with a more heavy duty camera if necessary. More often than not though, the Pentax will provide a shot that won't need to be improved on by its weightier competition.

I return to the camera's apparent build weakness here because as a keen photographer I often take a heavy bag load of equipment to go photographing landscapes. That can be hell when climbing a mountain. Taking pictures can be a slow business, when taken seriously and often only viable when you're on your own. This camera will be more than adequate for most situations and a must when with other company. My back is not going to suffer so much in future.

The wide variety of shooting modes is excellent and the editing options too though these generally duplicate what is available on your pc anyway. They are easy to use though. The wide and panorama options I have yet to use so cannot comment other than I've not used them because I've not been impressed with the results on other cameras - it feels like a gimmick. One tip though: you can use the panorama mode to make a three in one image - i.e. a series, say three pictures together of the same scene or people - it looks good.

Its early days but I realise I will have to purchase a camera case because this camera is well worth looking after. If you're unfortunate enough to purchase a faulty one it's worth persisting and getting a replacement I'll report back more when I've used it more: So far it's highly recommended.
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on 17 January 2012
Years ago I bought Pentax SLRs because I couldn't afford Nikon. Now I have a Nikon SLR, perversely I've bought a Pentax compact to replace my Nikon Coolpix compact and it was a good decision.
The Pentax Optio RZ18 Digital Camera - Orange (16MP, 18 x Optical Zoom) 3 inch LCD Screen is a cracking camera and a more than worthy replacement for the Coolpix. It is slightly bigger than most compacts but will still fit easily in a coat pocket. I've only had it a month but in that time it has handled everything I've throw at it from a SuperMacro picture of my watch face to 180 degree panoramas. It is especially good in low light showing none of the 'noise' sometimes associated with this type of digital photo. the lens itself is so good 16Mp is overkill for getting good enlargements but it does mean you can crop away till your heart's content and still end up with a good quality image.
Movies are taken in avi format whereas mpeg4 would have been better but a nice touch is the ability to extract a frame from a movie 'in camera' and save it as a still.
Auto focus is accurate, manual focus possible & via any of the multiple program modes exposure is always accurate.
I only have two small gripes. The playback volume isn't very loud and although the camera has the sensor to use a remote control, no remote was supplied with the camera.
All in all I'm a Happy Bunny.
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on 28 July 2012
Having lost or had stolen my Pentax Optio L30 during a recent holiday in Majorca I decided to order a replacement. I had a look at several other manufacturers but decide that as my previous Pentax had given me reliable service for the last 6 years I would get another Pentax. Spotted this one good price fantastic spec. Read the reviews nearly put of by the comments that it is plastic, but remembered that my son has a £700+ Canon DSLR which is plastic. My old Pentax looked to be metal but was plastic with a thin metal skin. I believe that most digital cameras now use enginnered plastic. In any event if you drop it it doesn't matter whether its plastic or metal it will damage it. My old Pentax had a number of marks small indentations in its metal skin. In my view there is nothing wrong with the finish or appearance of the camera. Another comment regarding the complexity of the camera was ignored, yes there are a lot of options but you don't have to use them all, you can if you so choose use it like the old Kodak Brownie point and shoot. The very bright view finder is a vast improvement on my old camera and the quality of the photos is first class. Its slightly larger than my old camera but it packs a whole lot more in and I find it easier to hold securely. Looking forward to taking 1000's of pictures on my 8GB SD card that I purchased at the same time. Before I forget well done Amazon ordered 23rd delivered 27th 2nd class post, everything that I have ever order from you seems to come Post Haste.

Update, I found a remote control for £1.80 inc P&P from Tmart a Hong Kong based company expect extended delivery time but works extremely well.
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VINE VOICEon 23 February 2012
I bought this for £115.99, at which price it is an absolute steal. The operation is simple and the layout quite ergonomic. It has an outrageous 18 x zoom, a good anti-shake and menus which are easy to use. There are a variety of modes, of which the panorama is the stand-out. It is really easy to control the flash between different modes and the HD video works well, though you can't zoom while shooting. The optics produce good resolution and work well with the 16mp sensor. I'm not technical enough to discuss noise, but the results I have had so far have been impressive. I'm going to carry this everywhere and am looking forward to using it at a wedding in May. It would have been nice to have a viewfinder, but very few modern compacts do. The metallic orange colour is less boring than black and white.
Troubled Waters (Walter and Godiva)
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on 17 April 2012
My wife's Fine pix battery compartment broke so I had to find a new camera for her,
She wanted a simple one but which would take good party photo's as well as ones of her new niece.
This camera do's this and more, simple to use she can take pic's in a array of formats from macro to panoramic.
After showing her how to use it she was a way and the pictures are as good as my bigger SLR.

I even want one for carrying around.

No more AA batteries as it comes with its own rechargeable pack.
Its a good idea to buy another one though.
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on 5 March 2012
I have bought Nikon SLR in the past but the latest versions are too pricey for my needs today.I decided on the Pentax as it is small enough to fit into a pocket, 16MP with a super 18X zoom which allows great pictures to be taken. The large view screen is also an added bonus. Build quality is great as I would expect from Pentax so I am very pleased and satisfied with this camera. You do need to add cards to save pictures and video but that is normal these days.This is very good value for money in my opinion with lots of photo shooting options.
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on 8 August 2012
I already had a Pentax in the past, so I wanted to upgrade to a more modern one. For the price I bought it (about £110 if I remember), it has a spectacular zoom and the pictures are incredibly still even at night outside or with moving subjects. The videos are OK, altough they seem me too small to be HD, possibly I didn't get the settings right. The time for recording data and showing the picture on screen is really short, so I'm happy with its response speed. The battery has a very good endurance and can shoot a lot of pictures and videos before exhausting. I generally use it intensely for 5 days and it lasts even much more (I'd say... a 100 pictures at best quality and a 30 minute video with no problems). It's quite light and the orange colour is really stylish. There are many presets, so it's quite easy to swich from one to another in different situations.
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