Excerpt: To be honest, when I got the Pentax A20 for review I expected it to be a simple point-and-shoot ultra-compact with probably a few manual exposure features, like most higher-end ultra-compacts out there. But then again, this wasn't the first time my first impressions were wrong. Build As I said in the introduction—by the looks of it there isn't anything on the camera that would separate it from the other ultra-compacts out there.
Excerpt: Test: Pentax Optio A2019161PentaxOptio A20The Pentax Optio A20 (street $300) doesn't look all that special on the outside, but beauty is on the inside, and this 3x zoom (38-113mm equivalent), 10MP point-and-shoot has a few features that really stand out. Of the five cameras in this test, the A20 is the only one with a physical shake reduction technology for still imaging.
Conclusion: To quote from my own review of the A10, 'As someone who first got hooked on photography with a 30 year old Pentax and who has had a soft spot for the brand ever since, I just hope the next generation of Optio can build on the A10's undoubted strengths, and iron out the wrinkles and give us a camera that offers overall performance to match its excellent output'. So does the A20 deliver the necessary improvements? The sad answer is not nearly enough.
Pros: Good resolution, natural accurate color, subtle processing, Subtle noise reduction holds onto detail higher up the ISO scale, Excellent all-metal construction, Good white balance, Good flash performance, Very compact, Shake Reduction, Useful 'green button' offers good degree of interface customization, Decent macro mode, DivX movie mode very space-efficient (see below, however), Lots of 'fun' features, Image corrections and effects in playback mode, Shutter priority a...
Cons: Slow focus, Fairly high shutter lag, Slow flash recycling, Shake Reduction not as reliable as some competitors, Noise visible even at ISO 64, especially in low light, very noisy at higher ISOs (see above, however), Images a little soft - and not that clean - if you look too close, Screen impossible to see in bright light, no optical viewfinder, Using manual exposure controls fiddly and over-complicated, Slightly higher than average number of exposure and focus errors,...
Excerpt: If the emperor bought a digital camera to go with his set of new clothes, it would certainly be a 10-megapixel model. Few 'advances' in photography have raised so many problems as the leap from 7MP and 8MP sensors to 10MP.
Summary: Whether you're willing to tolerate hefty shooting and interminable processing delays will depend on how highly you value the A20's gorgeous colours, fine detail and low noise. The competent anti-shake and manual shooting features might help you make up your mind.