Pentax Optio RS1500 review

Budget point-and-shoot model with changeable covers

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Optio rs1500 front facing

The RS1500's metering system does pretty much what's expected: good exposures when the conditions present no obvious challenges, and a sensitivity towards brighter and darker scenes respectively leading to slight under and overexposure. While the predictability of this behavior can be quite useful, for a camera pitched at this level it would probably be better if, like many similar compacts, it simply exposed more intuitively for the main subject at the slight expense of highlight and/or shadow details.

Elsewhere, the camera's white balance system generally gets it right too, although images of the same subject in quick succession occasionally display differing colour casts.

Colours themselves are fine, though, even if they do tend to be more saturated and vibrant than faithful. In terms of detail reproduction and sharpness the camera does well next to some of its peers, although the heavy processing artefacts visible throughout images taken on all sensitivities serves as a reminder that the camera isn't going to perform past its modest price tag.

At higher sensitivities the camera process out much of the noise which forms, but sadly it takes with it a lot of the colour and detail, too, leaving images lifeless.

There's significant barrel distortion at the wide end of the camera's lens, although the camera's processing engine does a good job to automatically correct for most of this.

Edge and corner sharpness is particularly impressive, too, even at the camera's widest aperture, although chromatic aberrations aren't quite as well controlled, being particularly prevalent towards the edges of the frame. Oddly, though, they tend to appear in areas of medium contrast rather than across the higher contrast – such as across the edges of buildings – where we would expect to see them the most.

Overall it has its flaws, but for the money the pentax RS1500 actually performs admirably.

Tech Specs

Product TypeCompact Camera
Battery Size SupportedProprietary Battery Size
Green CompliantYes
Maximum Video Resolution1280 x 720
Effective Camera Resolution14 Megapixel
Wide AngleNo
Product FamilyOptio
HD Movie ModeYes
Memory Card SupportedSecure Digital (SD) Card, Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) Card
Image StabilizationDigital
Optical Zoom4x
Digital Zoom6.7x
Brand NamePentax
FeaturesFace Detection, Smile Detection, Continuous Shooting Mode, Self-timer
Screen Size7.6 cm (3")
Video FormatsMotion JPEG (AVI)
Viewfinder TypeNo
Weight (Approximate)110 g
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityWEEE
Image Sensor Size1/2.33" (6.13 mm x 4.60 mm)
Maximum Image Resolution4288 x 3216
Display Screen TypeLCD
Height56 mm
Width92 mm
Depth22.5 mm
Focal Length4.90 mm to 19.60 mm
Image FormatsJPEG
Focus ModesAuto
ManufacturerRicoh Imaging Company, Ltd.
Product ModelRS1500
Product NameOptio RS1500 Compact Camera
Product LineOptio
Exposure Control

Program AE

Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part Number15959
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

Dress the easy to use PENTAX Optio RS1500 digital compact any way you want in three easy steps and make it your own.

Package Contents
  • Optio RS1500 Compact Camera
  • USB Cable I-USB98
  • Li-ion Rechargeable Battery D-LI108
  • Battery Charger Kit K-BC108E
  • Strap O-ST86
  • Software Media S-SW116
  • Set of 10 Pre-printed Skins O-AS2
  • Set of 5 pre-cut Printable Sheets of 10x15 Photo Paper
  • Set of 2 Interchangeable Lens Rings
  • Operating Manual
  • Quick Guide
Limited Warranty1 Year