Pentax Optio S1: Compact Camera with Big Capabilities

If you're looking for a compact camera that offers high-quality images and advanced features, the Pentax Optio S1 might just be the answer. With 14 megapixels, 5x optical zoom, HD video recording, and a sleek design, this camera is perfect for capturing life's moments on the go. And with its affordable price tag, it's a great value for any amateur photographer.

Written by Victor Chan | Updated: Mon May 01 2023

Pentax Optio S1 article cover photo

Key Features

Mar 02 2011


14 megapixels


Sensor Type1/2.3-inch

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Overview of the Optio S1

The Pentax Optio S1 is a compact camera with big capabilities. With its 14-megapixel sensor, 5x optical zoom, and HD video recording, this camera packs a punch in a small package. But what sets it apart from other compact cameras is its sleek design and affordable price tag. Whether you're looking for a camera to capture family memories or to take on your next adventure, the Pentax Optio S1 is a versatile option that won't break the bank. In this blog post, we'll dive into some of the key features of the Pentax Optio S1 and why it's a great choice for amateur photographers looking for a compact camera that still delivers quality results.

Pentax Optio S1 Pros and Cons

Now, we will look more closely at our review of the Pentax Optio S1 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 images
Compact and portable
User-friendly interface
Good low-light performance
Affordable price


Limited zoom range
No viewfinder
Average battery life
Slow autofocus
Limited manual control options

Build and Construction

Body and dimensions

Pentax Optio S1

Weather sealed
Dimensions114 x 58 x 28mm

Weather Sealing

The Pentax Optio S1 is not sealed against water and dust, so it's important to be careful when using it in such conditions. If you often shoot in environments with water or dust, it's recommended to check out another camera with weather sealing.

Design and Handling

Main design features

View FinderNone
Screen TypeFixed Type
Screen Resolution230k dots
Body typeCompact

Suitable for:

PhotographyAbove Avg.
VideographyAbove Avg.
TravelAbove Avg.

LCD Screen

This camera has a fixed type 2.70" screen, with a display resolution of 230k dots. This makes the Pentax Optio S1 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 S1 does not include a viewfinder. The lack of a viewfinder on the Optio S1 camera may make it less suitable for outdoor photography in bright conditions.

Image Quality

Pentax Optio S1 has a 14MP sized CCD sensor. You can shoot at maximum resolution of 14 pixels. Pentax Optio S1 has a native ISO range of 80 - 6400 which can be boosted to null - null.

Key Features

Mar 02 2011


80 - 6400

ISO Range

Extended ISOnull - null
Max resolution4288 x 3216 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 S1 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 S1 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 Life260 shots
Battery ModelD-LI92
Wireless Connectivity


The Pentax Optio S1 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 S1 uses the D-LI92 model of battery pack. This is rated for 260 shots 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 S1 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 S1 boasts a maximum mechanical shutter speed of 1/1500s, 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 S1 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 S1?

The Pentax Optio S1 features a CCD sensor

Is the Pentax Optio S1 weather sealed?

No the Optio S1 does not have weather sealing.

When was the Pentax Optio S1 announced?

The Pentax Optio S1 was announced on Mar 02 2011

Does the Pentax Optio S1 have in-body image stabilization?

Yes the Optio S1 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 S1?

The Optio S1 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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