Pentax was not very strong on powerful zoom compact cameras. But with the Optio RX18 they unveiled today, they changed the game and now offer the highest zoom range in a compact camera along with Nikon’s Coolpix S9100 and Samsung’s WB750.
18x, that is the total zoom range the Pentax RX18 offers. It covers from 25mm to 450mm, from very wide angle to quite powerful telephoto. Its image is stabilized by a CCD shift mecanism and the lens gets a SuperMacro mode, enabling the camera to focus as near as 4cm from the subject.
It gets a nice 3″/460 000 dots TFT screen and al modern features like 32 face detection, 7fps shooting (yet in 5 megapixels resolution as it uses a CCD sensor). Video is shot in 720p (yes, CCD over CMOS again…) and stills can be optimized to either lighten the shadows or preserve highlights in a dynamic range optimizer mode. Yet, this mode is far from Sony’s DRO which on Exmor sensor based cameras (NEX-7, SLT-A77, HX9…) takes 3 frames in continuous shooting to actually use multiple exposures.