Pentax Optio LS465 review
1/2.3in 16.0-megapixel sensor, 5.0x zoom (28-140mm equivalent), 122g
Just in case there was any doubt as to who the LS465 is aimed at, Pentax's website shows it next to a stick of pink lipstick. It's available in a choice of black, purple or pink finishes and comes with 10 front panel designs. These acrylic inserts fit under a clear plastic cover, and include polka dots, Dalmatian print, a leather effect and a relatively dull address label. Thirty-something IT journalists aren't best placed to second guess the tastes of teens and tweens, but for what it's worth we think Pentax has done a fine job with the design, even if it makes no secret about the low price.
The rounded ends and low height make it easy to slip into jeans pockets. This also limits the screen size, which is a 2.7in widescreen affair. That's great for the 720p video mode, but it means that photos appear just 2.2in across on the screen. The small design also limits the battery size and life – 200 shots isn't much.
Children and teenagers aren't likely to be interested in manual settings but the LS465 offers surprising amount of control, with ISO speed, white balance, exposure compensation, focus area, contrast, sharpness and saturation controls. They only appear when Program mode is selected, though. Auto Picture mode limits control to ISO speed and little else.
There's a wide selection of scene presets, such as landscape, flower, food and kids, and short on-screen descriptions explain when to use them and what the effect will be. The Natural Skin Tone scene preset worryingly promises to "Enhance skin tones while smoothing blemishes". This sends a terrible message to children, so we were relieved to find that it had no discernible effect whatsoever. The Miniature Filter preset is more wholesome and effective, blurring the top and bottom of the frame to give photos the appearance of macro photography.