The S5z has the same 16 scene and shooting modes as the S5n, including night scene, landscape, portrait, self-portrait, sunset, food, pets, text copying, sports/action and beach/snow. It also has a special effects mode that includes soft focus, posterisation, stretching/compressing the image, and adding a white border at the bottom of the frame for a caption or label. Other functions include two-level macro focusing (6cm or 18cm), manual focusing, infinity focusing and pan-focusing, which gives the maximum possible depth of field for wide-angle shots.
Also available are a time-lapse movie mode and colour filters that can be added in playback mode after the shot has been taken. Other playback options include cropping and resizing, copying, brightness adjustment, movie editing and DPOF print ordering. You can also select one of your shots to be used as the start-up screen. For a camera in this price bracket, the range of features offered by the S5 models is extremely impressive. The only things missing are manual exposure options, but with the range of shooting modes available they are not really necessary.
Talking about start-up brings us onto performance. Like the S5n, this camera starts up in approximately three seconds, and in continuous shooting mode it can capture approximately one shot every two seconds at maximum quality. Lowering the image quality slightly increases the shooting rate to about one shot a second. This isn’t particularly fast by recent standards, and as I have mentioned before it is something that Pentax needs to address in its next series of compacts. The autofocus system is extremely quick so there is no appreciable shutter lag, and thanks to the AF illuminator it can focus in complete darkness at a range up to a few meters.
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