Pentax Optio MX4 - Pentax Optio MX4



A 1.8in LCD screen acts as a viewfinder and can either be placed above the camera or swivelled round and clipped to the back. This gives easier access to the controls at the top, including a dial that switches between the fully automatic program mode or a ‘Pict’ (Picture) mode, which offers a number of presets for taking pictures under different conditions.

There are also aperture priority and shutter priority modes and for the control freak a fully manual mode. Pressing halfway down on the still image button activates the focus lock and brings up on screen settings information. From here you can adjust the aperture priority or shutter priority settings depending on which mode you have the dial set to. The aperture size can be adjusted between f2.9 and f8.0, while the shutter can be set between 1/2,000 of a second and four seconds. As you press down these settings are displayed in red if the camera thinks that they are not suitable for the light conditions. Pressing the ‘Ok’ button also brings up various useful information such as the white balance and a histogram.

There are also options for adjusting exposure compensation and for choosing between ISO settings of 100, 200 or 400. Additionally, there’s a continuous shooting option. In standard speed mode (approximately 0.5 fps) this is activated by holding down the shutter button and takes images until the memory card is full. In high-speed mode you can capture a burst of three images in about a second. This option however, turns off the flash. Down the side are buttons to engage a Macro mode and a Super Macro mode, which can take snaps of objects pressed right up against the lens.

In daily use, I found myself grabbing the Pentax more readily than my Sony PC105 DV camcorder, which next to the Optio MX4 seemed relatively bulky and heavy. Movie files are recorded as .mov files, which most video editing packages, such as Ulead Video Studio 8, will happily edit. Quality wise results were acceptable, without being spectacular. The Pentax generally appreciated good light conditions but quality tended to suffer in low light.

On the video side, there was an unmistakable step down in quality compared to a DV camcorder, with picture being far grainier and noisier. Another issue was focusing, which took a significant amount of time especially after camera panning.

At maximum quality overall still image quality was acceptable, but tended to suffer from noise, even at ISO 100. At ISO 400 noise was excessive and the setting should best be avoided. However, the 10x zoom was highly impressive for a device this size.

If you’re really bothered by image quality I wouldn’t rely on the Optio MX4 to replace your digital camera and camcorder. However, as long as you are aware of its limitations, then the Optio MX4 is a fantastic device to have around. Having the abilty to shoot video or take pictures on a device with a 10x zoom that you can easily carry around, quickly becomes addictive.


We like the Pentax Optio MX4 a lot. It’s superbly compact and easy to use, and its abilty to take both MPEG4 video and high resolution stills is a killer combo. However, ultimately reservations about the quality of its output prevent it from garnering an award but if ease of use and portability are more of a concern than out-and-out quality, then the multi-talented Pentax should definitely be considered, especially as it can be picked up online for as little as £300.

More from TrustedReviews

LG Q8 finally brings the V20’s promise to Europe

Atari is now in the speaker business… and the hat business

Thinner Moto Z2 Force could come with a huge trade-off

HyperLoop One

Elon Musk’s Hyperloop gathering pace as NY-DC link gets ‘OK’


Is this proof an N64 Classic will follow the SNES?

Agents of Mayhem preview

cats 17

Why you’ll want to download this OnePlus 5 update today

Golf rory

British Open Golf Live Stream: How to watch online for free

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare for Xbox One down to under £9

Samsung Gear S3 finally gets Samsung Pay support in UK

Welcome to the all new Trusted Reviews

Netgear Arlo

Netgear Arlo Pro

Cat Amazon

Are you kitten me? Pet translation devices tipped for future smart homes

fire emblem warriors

Fire Emblem Warriors


Pokkén Tournament DX

TP-Link Smart Wi-Fi LED Bulb 5

TP-Link Smart Wi-Fi LED Bulb

Samsung Pay

Samsung Pay now lets you use your PayPal funds at the checkout

assassins creed origins

Ubisoft teases new games for Nintendo Switch, coming ‘quite soon’

amazon echo

Ask Vodafone: Mobile network’s first Amazon Alexa voice skill is revealed

Google Feed

The Google app’s new personalised feed might just drag you off Facebook

z2play 9

Moto Z2 Play

Mira Prism

For just $99 you can bring AR to the iPhone 7

Samsung Galaxy S8

Samsung Galaxy S9 displays may be the same, save one major new feature

movie theatre

The Netflix Effect: ‘Binge-watching’ is coming to movie theatres

Porsche MIssion E

Porsche’s latest electric car chargers put Tesla to shame

EE logo

EE’s new 20GB SIM-free deal is the best value tariff you’ll see all summer


These are the first images from the ISS – as captured by a zero-gravity drone

iMac 21.5-inch 4K (2017)

LG V30 case

LG V30 design ‘confirmed’ ahead of IFA 2017 launch

iPhone 7 vs iPhone SE

Waiting for the iPhone SE 2? Sadly, it could be a one-and-done

Google Glass Enterprise

Google Glass 2 has arrived, sort of

Denon AH-C621R

Denon AH-C621R

BBC Proms

Get ready to listen to the BBC Proms like never before

Fender Newport Monterey Bluetooth speakers

Fender’s new Bluetooth speakers look just like tiny guitar amps

Garmin Vivosmart 3

Garmin Vivosmart 3


Is the laptop travel ban dead? Electronics restrictions lifted by TSA but UK fails to follow suit

KitSound Immerse

KitSound Immerse Wireless Headphones


It’s World Emoji Day and Apple is showing off all of its newcomers

Porn Block

Privacy fears as UK plans age verification for porn sites


New WhatsApp feature could give Apple’s iMessage a run for its money