Pentax Optio RZ18 Review: An Affordable and Feature-Packed Camera

If you're looking for a budget-friendly camera that doesn't skimp on features, the Pentax Optio RZ18 should definitely be on your radar. This compact camera packs in a powerful zoom lens, 16-megapixel sensor, and tons of shooting modes to satisfy both amateur and pro photographers alike. In this review, we'll take a closer look at the Optio RZ18's features, performance, and usability to help you decide if it's the right camera for your needs.

Written by Victor Chan | Updated: Mon May 01 2023

Pentax Optio RZ18 article cover photo

Key Features

Sep 12 2011


16 megapixels


Sensor Type1/2.3-inch

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Overview of the Optio RZ18

Are you in the market for a camera that can handle a wide range of shooting situations without breaking the bank? Look no further than the Pentax Optio RZ18. This versatile camera offers a 18x optical zoom lens that covers the equivalent of a 25-450mm zoom on a 35mm camera, making it perfect for everything from landscapes to portraits. Its 16-megapixel sensor captures images with great detail and clarity, and the camera's image stabilization ensures sharp photos even in low light conditions. Plus, with features like face detection, panorama mode, and full HD video recording, the Pentax Optio RZ18 packs a lot of punch for its affordable price point. Let's dive into the details of this impressive camera and see what makes it a standout in its category.

Pentax Optio RZ18 Pros and Cons

Now, we will look more closely at our review of the Pentax Optio RZ18 camera. We will see what it can do and compare it to other cameras like it. We will tell you what's good about it and what's not so good. This way, you'll know if it's the camera for you!


High resolution (16MP)
Large zoom range (18x)
Compact and lightweight
Good price point
720p HD video recording
Dual image stabilization
Face detection and smile capture feature
Wi-Fi connectivity


Slow autofocus
Limited low-light performance
No manual control options
Limited battery life
Limited lens aperture range
No optical viewfinder
No RAW image format support.

Build and Construction

Body and dimensions

Pentax Optio RZ18

Weather sealed
Dimensions97 x 61 x 33mm

Weather Sealing

The Pentax Optio RZ18 camera is equipped with environmental seals that make it resistant to weather, preventing water and dust from entering the camera. If you enjoy outdoor photography and need a camera that can handle extreme conditions, the Optio RZ18 is an excellent choice.

Design and Handling

Main design features

View FinderNone
Screen TypeFixed Type
Screen Resolution460k dots
Body typeCompact

Suitable for:

PhotographyAbove Avg.
VideographyAbove Avg.
TravelAbove Avg.

LCD Screen

This camera has a fixed type 3.00" screen, with a display resolution of 460k dots. This makes the Pentax Optio RZ18 not as suitable for those looking for a vlogging camera as you cannot view yourself while shooting selfies easily. Unfortunately, the camera does not have a touch screen, which may make it less user-friendly.


Pentax Optio RZ18 does not include a viewfinder. The lack of a viewfinder on the Optio RZ18 camera may make it less suitable for outdoor photography in bright conditions.

Image Quality

Pentax Optio RZ18 has a 16MP sized CCD sensor. You can shoot at maximum resolution of 16 pixels. Pentax Optio RZ18 has a native ISO range of 80 - 6400 which can be boosted to null - null.

Key Features

Sep 12 2011


80 - 6400

ISO Range

Extended ISOnull - null
Max resolution4608 x 3456 pixels

DXO Sensor Scores


not tested

Color Depth

not tested

Dynamic Range

not tested

Low Light ISO

not tested

DXO mark sensor scores

The DXOmark rankings indicate that the Pentax Optio RZ18 camera has excellent color depth performance, which refers to the number of colors the sensor can distinguish. Additionally, its dynamic range is also excellent, allowing it to retain high amounts of details in both bright and dark areas of a scene. The camera's low light ISO performance is excellent, which is an important factor to consider if you plan to use it in dimly lit indoor environments or at night. Overall the image quality of the Optio RZ18 is excellent

Crop Factor

Camera crop factor (or focal length multiplier) refers to how a camera's sensor size affects the apparent field of view of a lens. Crop factor is determined by comparing the size of a camera's sensor to that of a full-frame sensor, which is a standard reference size for camera sensors.

Size comparison

Medium FormatFull FrameAPS-C (Sony, Nikon)

Crop factor calculator

Crop factor


Full frame equivalent


This camera: 1/2.3-inch



Connectivity, storage, battery

StorageSD/SDHC/SDXC, Internal
Battery Life
Battery ModelD-LI92
Wireless Connectivity


The Pentax Optio RZ18 supports SD/SDHC/SDXC, Internal with 1 slots for storage. This may suffice for everyday use. However, for professional applications such as wedding photography, it is not recommended as a memory card malfunction could lead to the loss of all footage.


The Pentax Optio RZ18 uses the D-LI92 model of undefined. This is rated for undefined shots which is high. If you intend to take photos or record videos for an extended period, it might be a good idea to bring along additional batteries.

Photography Features


The Pentax Optio RZ18 has built in flash which is great for event photography and in low light situations. However it lacks an external flash shoe, which limits you to using the built-in flash.


The Pentax Optio RZ18 boasts a maximum mechanical shutter speed of 1/2000s, which is ideal for shooting fast-moving subjects in bright environments, such as in sports photography. Faster shutter speeds enable you to freeze the action and capture every detail, making it easier to get the perfect shot.

With a continuous mechanical shutter speed of n/a or an electronic shutter speed of n/a, this camera is not capable of capturing the perfect moment more easily, making it not as suited for wedding, sports, and wildlife photography. Higher shutter speeds make it easier to capture fast-paced action, ensuring that you never miss the perfect shot.


The Pentax Optio RZ18 includes contrast detection autofocus (AF), with 9 number of focus points.

While contrast detection is generally more accurate and precise, phase detection autofocus is faster and more effective in most situations, particularly when photographing moving subjects.

Phase detection autofocus works by dividing the incoming light into pairs and then analyzing how they intersect on the camera's sensor. This method allows the camera to determine not only if a subject is in focus but also the direction and distance needed to adjust the focus to achieve perfect sharpness.

On the other hand, contrast detection autofocus works by analyzing the contrast of an image and adjusting the focus until the highest contrast is detected. While this method is very accurate, it can be slow, especially in low light conditions or when photographing moving subjects.

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What is the sensor size of the Pentax Optio RZ18?

The Pentax Optio RZ18 features a CCD sensor

Is the Pentax Optio RZ18 weather sealed?

Yes the Optio RZ18 does have weather sealing.

When was the Pentax Optio RZ18 announced?

The Pentax Optio RZ18 was announced on Sep 12 2011

Does the Pentax Optio RZ18 have in-body image stabilization?

Yes the Optio RZ18 does have in-body image stabilization that can compensate for camera shake, making it easier to shoot handheld in low light conditions.

What is the ISO range of the Pentax Optio RZ18?

The Optio RZ18 has a native ISO range of 80-6400, which can be expanded to ISO null-null for even greater sensitivity in low light conditions.

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