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Pentax Optio LS465 review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £90
inc VAT

A fun design, but better image quality is available at this price


1/2.3in 16.0-megapixel sensor, 5.0x zoom (28-140mm equivalent), 122g

Pentax is right to keep the price low, but it’s disappointing that there isn’t sufficient budget for optical stabilisation. Cheap cameras rarely perform well in low light, and the lack of stabilisation sets this one back even further. It also omits an orientation sensor, so portrait-shaped photos must be rotated manually. There’s no autofocus-assist lamp, either. It struggled to focus in low light as a result, but it also struggled at the long end of the zoom even in reasonably well lit conditions. This sometimes manifested itself in a delay of well over a second between pressing the shutter button and a shot being captured. At other times, the camera took an out-of-focus photo.

Pentax Optio LS465
This shot is nicely exposed and looks sharp, but textures in the leaves and the swan’s feathers have been lost – click to enlarge

When the focus was accurate, image quality remained basic. 16 megapixels is an excessively high resolution for this sort of camera, and as usual, the result was high noise levels rather than sharp details. Photos taken in bright light looked a little blotchy in the shadows, and subtle textures often had a mushy quality. Details became heavily smeared in low light, but to its credit, the camera managed to produce photos that looked OK when resized to fit a computer screen.

Pentax Optio LS465
Zooming in has resulted in soft focus, and noise is quite pronounced even in this relatively well-lit shot – click to enlarge

Videos are recorded at 720p, but the inefficient M-JPEG compression generates big files. The soundtrack was clear but even brightly lit clips fizzed with noise, and the zoom and autofocus were fixed for the duration of clips.

Pentax Optio LS465
The camera has pushed up the ISO sensitivity to avoid blur in this shot, but colours are drab and subtle details have all but vanished – click to enlarge

This camera doesn’t make for a significant upgrade to a camera-phone. The 5x optical zoom is one feature that phones can’t match, but the unreliable focus when zoomed in and the lack of optical stabilisation limit its appeal. Unless the interchangeable designs are too tempting to resist, we’d recommend the Canon PowerShot A3200 IS instead.

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Basic Specifications

Rating ***
CCD effective megapixels 16.0 megapixels
CCD size 1/2.3in
Viewfinder none
Viewfinder magnification, coverage N/A
LCD screen size 2.7in
LCD screen resolution 230,000 pixels
Articulated screen No
Live view Yes
Optical zoom 5.0x
Zoom 35mm equivalent 28-140mm
Image stabilisation none
Maximum image resolution 4,608×3,456
File formats JPEG; AVI (M-JPEG)


Memory slot SDXC
Mermory supplied 42MB internal
Battery type Li-ion
Battery Life (tested) 200 shots
Connectivity USB, AV
Body material aluminium, plastic
Lens mount N/A
Focal length multiplier N/A
Kit lens model name N/A
Accessories USB and AV cables
Weight 122g
Size 47x101x22mm

Buying Information

Warranty one-year RTB
Price £90

Camera Controls

Exposure modes auto
Shutter speed auto
Aperture range auto
ISO range (at full resolution) 64 to 1600
Exposure compensation +/-2 EV
White balance auto, 4 presets, manual
Additional image controls contrast, saturation, sharpness
Manual focus No
Closest macro focus 5cm
Auto-focus modes multi, centre, face detect, tracking
Metering modes multi, face detect
Flash auto, forced, suppressed, red-eye reduction
Drive modes single, continuous, self-timer