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Pentax Optio VS20

Reviews Views Date of last review
2 11,620 Mon February 3, 2014
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
50% of reviewers $100.00 7.50
Pentax Optio VS20

Pentax Optio VS20
Pentax Optio VS20
Pentax Optio VS20
Pentax Optio VS20

The Pentax Optio VS20 is a 16 MP point and shoot camera with a versatile 20x zoom range (28 - 560 mm in 35mm format equivalent). With digital zoom engaged, the zoom range stretches all the way out to 4032mm eqv. (144x). The lens has a macro function that focuses as close as 1 cm from the lens.

A novel feature in this camera class is a second shutter button and zoom lever that makes shooting vertically much more convenient. There is even a second tripod mount allowing for mounting the camera for vertical shooting and the camera has a digital level to help you avoid tilted images.

The camera incorporates Pentax' sensor shift shake reduction technology.

In auto-picture mode the VS20 selects the exposure mode most suitable for the scene at hand. The VS20 has three new scene modes, where the night snap mode for handheld night photography probably is of most interest. The camera has face detection (up to 10 faces, smile capture, and face recall.

Like on the Pentax DSLRs, the VS20 includes settings for extended dynamic range that helps prevent washed out high lights and provides more detail in the shadows.

The camera has a wide array of drive modes: One shot, self timer (2s and 10s), continuous (1 fps for 6 frames), burst (5M, H/L), Multi-burst (5M, 16 VGA frames), remote control (3s), auto-bracketing

The VS20 is compatible with Pentax' infrared remote control F and WP-1 (see our accessory database).

Camera nameOptio VS20
Sensor16 MP 1/2.33 inch CCD
ISO rangeAuto: 100 - 1600, manual: 100 - 6400
Aspect ratio4:3, 1:1, 16:9
Shake reductionSensor shift combined with software based (digital SR)
Exposure modesAuto picture, Program, Green mode, 20 scene modes hereunder handheld night snap
Exposure compensation+/- 2 EV (1/3EV steps).
 3 image autobracketing available.
Expanded dynamic rangeHighlight and shadow correction
Light meterMulti-segment
Shutter speeds1/4s to 1/2500s. Night scene modes up to 4s
Drive modesSingle, continuous, burst, self timer (2 and 10 s), remote control, 16 frame shooting (13 fps), auto-bracketing
Lens20x optical zoom, 5 - 100 mm F3.1 - F4.8 (28 - 560 mm eqv.)
Optics11 elements in 8 groups (1 aspherical element)
Digital zoom7.2x
Auto focusNormal, macro, super macro.
 Focusing area: Large, spot, tracking.
 In Sport scene mode target tracking is enabled by default.
 AF assist light.
Manual focusManual, fixed infinity
Closest focus distance40 cm (wide angle), 160 cm (telephoto), 10 cm (macro), 1 cm (super macro)
White balanceAuto, Daylight, Shade, Tungsten light, Fluorescent light, Manual setting
Digital filters12
In-camera picture editingYes: Resize, crop, red-eye removal, apply digital filters
FlashBuilt-in: 0.2 to 5.1 m (wide angle), 1.6 - 3.3 m (telephoto)
MovieHD (1280 x 720), VGA (640 x 480), QVGA (320 x 240), all at 15 and 30 fps.
 Dedicated record button
Movie shake reductionElectronic movie SR
In-camera movie editingYes
LCD monitor3 inch 460,000 dots
Storage mediaSD, SDHC, SDXC, 40 MB built-in
File formatStill: JPG, Movie: AVI
ConnectivityUSB 2.0, PC/AV
BatteryD-LI122 rechargeable lithium-ion
Battery life200 images
Special featuresFace detection, smile capoture, blink detection, face recall.
 A second shutter button and zoom control for vertical shooting.
 Electronic level.
 Date imprint.
Size (W x H x D)112 x 61.5 x 38.5 mm
Weight234 g with battery

A discussion about this new camera can be found in our news section.

Launch MSRP is $249.95.
Megapixels: 16 MP, 1/2.33 inch interline transfer CCD with primary color filter
ISO Range: 720p HD Video (1280 x 720 pixels) at 30 fps
Weight: 235 g/8.3 oz with battery and SD card
FPS: 20x, 5 - 100mm (28 - 560mm eqv.), f/3.1 - 4.8, 11 elements in 8 groups
LCD: 3 inch, 460,000 dots (half VGA)
In Production: No

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Registered: October, 2012
Location: Colorado
Posts: 1,427
Review Date: February 3, 2014 I can recommend the Pentax Optio VS20: No | Price: $120.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Nice zoome, good image quality, acceptable video, solidly built, great screen
Cons: Very big by compact standards, hard to hold when zooming, lots of image shake at long zoom lengths
New or Used: New   

I bought this camera for my girlfriend's Christmas present in 2012. I don't know what these go for new now, but it shouldn't be as much as my listed new price.

I struggled with whether to say I would or would not recommend this camera. Ultimately, I picked not because it's very large by compact standards and the high ISO performance is really poor compared to contemporary competitor cameras.

I like the image quality at 100 ISO. The lens is very good but zooming in makes the camera very hard to hold steadily and image shake is a MAJOR issue at long focal lengths.

This camera was also always expensive considering what it delivered. If you can obtain one for a reasonable price, you'd be happy. That said, for a few extra bucks you can pick up an X-5 and that's definitely worth the upgrade.
New Member

Registered: July, 2012
Location: Perth, Australia
Posts: 17
Review Date: September 4, 2013 I can recommend the Pentax Optio VS20: Yes | Price: $80.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros: 20 x zoom, Good IQ, 2 x shutter button, value for $$
Cons: Large. Lack of tech. Dull screen,
New or Used: Used   

I purchased this second hand on ebay Australia. I wanted a reasonable compact zoom and familiar with pentax operating system. When it arrived, struck me that it was fairly big (thick, and wide) for a compact. This may be due to the second shutter and tripod mount.

Have tested it and found it to produce acceptable image quality. The 20 x zoom was a bonus, compared to my partners 18 x zoom Samsung which is also smaller and more pocketable.

I found at wide open there is a bit of distortion at the top corners. The screen is not very bright, but gives adequate information. The colours in the jpegs aren't very striking, but can be adjusted if needed in computer later, but for those who literally want a point and shoot, not quite the best out there.

The second shutter button at the top of the camera, I found to be immensely helpful when using portrait mode and keeps fingers from in front of the flash. My partner reacted straight away and liked the idea also (coming from a female,, who thought it very practical) This concept was given a cool reception by many reviewers but I believe it to be a big tick. It also helps you keep your portrait shots one way only, so you don't end up having to change endless photo directions in the computer later.

The implementation of a second tripod mount means anyone with a bit of understanding can use a mini pod to great effect either landscape or portrait and get nice sharp images.

It has an electronic level in the screen, which I find to be a bit fussy in use but a good idea for holiday snapshots and those annoying leaning horizon shots (once you get use to it)

Typical array of Pentax compact modes with a few minor changes from the X90 and WG2 i'm use to. The 1cm Macro, again a welcome addition to Pentax compacts gives you great close ups of flowers, bugs, those ebay close up details needed etc.

The VS 20 is never going to be the best in its class, but is a capable shooter for most peoples needs. It has typical easy to understand Pentax menu, with pictures and words, I find to be almost idiot proof and again, my partner found it much easier to understand than her Samsung menu. Great macro, great zoom and pretty much everything the average user will need. Very good value for the money.
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