Pentax Optio VS20 review

Inexpensive travel zoom with controls for horizontal and vertical shooting

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The Pentax Optio VS20's build is the usual plastic and metal mix, with a gentle curve to one side of the faceplate providing a sort of grip, and a rubber patch that curves around the camera's opposite edge providing another.

While the black finish to the faceplate of our review sample lends it a cool sophistication, the grey plastic at the rear more obviously suggests a budget model.

Pentax Optio VS20 review

Likewise the pared-back control layout; we get a dedicated video record button, separate playback button, familiar four-direction control pad for tabbing through shooting icons and menu settings with a central 'OK' button for effecting changes, plus a menu and dual-use delete/easy mode buttons.

A press of the latter enlarges the screen icons, for example.

Pentax Optio VS20 review

But let's turn our attention to taking a photo. On a pro-level DSLR, a doubling up of key controls makes sense because of the bulk, especially when adding a battery grip at the base of an already chunky body.

Having a second shutter release button on a DSLR prevents an awkward stretch for your digits when turning the camera on its side to shoot in portrait fashion.

Pentax Optio VS20 review

But on an auto-everything pocket snapshot camera such as the Pentax Optio VS20, two sets of controls come across as funny rather than a functional necessity.

The controls at the side are unnecessary on a camera of this size, and indeed when we did try to use the camera up-ended, forefinger pressed against the secondary shutter release, we found our little finger waggling around in the way of the lens, because there's no vertical grip.

Tech Specs

Product TypeCompact Camera
Battery Size SupportedProprietary Battery Size
Maximum Video Resolution1280 x 720
Effective Camera Resolution16 Megapixel
Wide AngleYes
Product FamilyOptio
HD Movie ModeYes
Memory Card SupportedSecure Digital (SD) Card, Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC), Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) Card, Eye-Fi Card
Image StabilizationOptical
Optical Zoom20x
Digital Zoom7.2x
Brand NamePentax
FeaturesFace Recognition, Blink Detection, Smile Detection, Live View, Orientation Sensor, Continuous Shooting Mode, Self-timer
Screen Size7.6 cm (3")
Video FormatsMotion JPEG (AVI)
Viewfinder TypeNo
Weight (Approximate)170 g
Image Sensor Size1/2.33" (6.13 mm x 4.60 mm)
Maximum Image Resolution4608 x 3456
Display Screen TypeLCD
Height60 mm
Width108 mm
Depth34 mm
Focal Length5 mm to 100 mm
Image FormatsJPEG
External FlashNo
Focus ModesAuto, Manual
ManufacturerRicoh Imaging Company, Ltd.
Product ModelVS20
Product NameOptio VS20 Compact Camera
Product LineOptio
Exposure Control

Program AE

Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part Number14139
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

On top of its 20x wide-angle zoom (from 28 to 560mm), the Optio VS20 offer a second release shutter button on the side. This is a real help when taking portrait pictures.

The Optio VS20 is filled with the latest technologies, like one of the lastest generation 16MP sensor for exceptionnal sharpness, a 20X optical zoom and a large 3" coloured LCD screen. It also benefits from a new mode for low light conditions, offering less noise and better sharpness.

Thanks to its high end performance, the Optio VS20 is the ideal compact camera for everyday pictures as well as for travelling and sports images.

Package Contents
  • Optio VS20 Compact Camera
  • USB Cable I-USB7
  • AV-IAVC7 Video Cable
  • Rechargeable Battery Li-Ion D-DLI92
  • Battery Charger D-BC92
  • O-ST104 Strap
  • Software CD-ROM
Limited Warranty1 Year