Flashback Friday—Retro Digital P&S: Pentax Optio M50

Flashback Friday—Retro Digital P&S: Pentax Optio M50


Digital Imaging Reporter’s Flashback Friday posts spotlight retro, colorful point-and-shoot digital cameras from the early 2000s. These models have a cool vibe and offer a different imaging experience than today’s advanced P&S. In fact, camera stores big and small are seeing an interest in these “old school” digital point-and-shoot cameras. Everyone from gen z and alphas to millennials are in on it. Today we look at the Pentax Optio M50 stylish compact, which launched in January 2008.

Pentax Optio M50

A standard 8-megapixel model with enhanced basic functions encased within a compact, lightweight body, the Optio M50 is user friendly. Inside a palm-sized body is a 5x optical zoom, 36–180mm-equivalent lens. It lets you take zooming photographs from landscapes to portraits. In addition, using the lens with the camera’s digital zoom function (1x to 5.1x) gives you a maximum zoom equivalent to 25.5x. Pentax-Optio-M50-back-silver-w-Lil

Moreover, the camera’s face recognition AF/AE function is convenient when photographing portraits. It automatically detects and focuses on faces and sets the optimum exposure. What’s more, a smile capture function distinguishes smiles and automatically takes photographs. Other automatic functions are also available. For example, auto picture mode determines the best settings for the shooting conditions. This includes landscape, portrait, night scene, normal as well as flower and sports modes.

Further, Pentax’s digital SR (shake reduction) mode reduces the effects of camera shake and blurring of subjects when photographing still images. The sensitivity is adjusted automatically.

Pentax Optio M50

Additionally, even with its slim body, the Optio M50 features a 2.5-inch LCD monitor with 230,000-dot resolution. Other features include a movie recording function with shake reduction and a mode palette that provides access to 16 shooting conditions and 15 playback modes. The camera also offers a panorama mode and auto-macro for close-up photography as near as 4 inches without changing the normal focusing mode.

The Pentax Optio M50 was available in three color choices: silver, light blue and pink. It had a suggested retail price of $229.95 at launch.

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