The Good Ultracompact design; high resolution; easy to use; good value; some uncommon but useful features.
The Bad No uncompressed mode; auto-focus slow to react; doesn't support add-on flash or lens attachments.
The Bottom Line A great value for the price, this camera is a good option for both novices and experienced shooters.
Pentax Optio 430
A small 4-megapixel camera indeed! Pentax combines simplicity, good image quality, and lots of useful camera controls in the tiny Optio 430. It offers easy operation to digital novices while providing more advanced shooters with lots of interesting features--all at a competitive price. A small 4-megapixel camera indeed! Pentax combines simplicity, good image quality, and lots of useful camera controls in the tiny Optio 430. It offers easy operation to digital novices while providing more advanced shooters with lots of interesting features--all at a competitive price.
With its ultracompact steel body and retractable 3X zoom lens, the Optio 430 will appeal to fans of 21st-century pop-culture designs. Although its construction gives the camera a solid feel, it weighs in at a mere 8.5 ounces with the battery and included 16MB CompactFlash card installed. Putting a steel body on such a diminutive digicam also gives it a tendency to warm up when you've been shooting for a little while--just about enough heat to serve as a hand warmer in winter but not enough to burn your fingers.
A simple mode dial encircles the Optio 430's shutter-release button, while six well-spaced and clearly marked buttons and a four-way controller provide access to the rest of the camera's features from the rear. The LCD is adequately bright, and its menus are organized clearly in plain English without cryptic symbols or initials, making it less intimidating to experiment with settings beyond the default. There's also a helpful Memory menu that lets you check off the settings that you want saved when you turn off the camera.
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