Pentax RZ18

Pentax Optio RZ18 front
  • 16MP - 1/2.3" Sensor
  • 3" Fixed Display
  • ISO 80 - 6400
  • Sensor-shift Image Stabilization
  • 1280 x 720 video
  • 25-450mm (F3.5-5.9) lens
  • 178g - 97 x 61 x 33mm
  • Launched September 2011
  • Read full specs
  • Alternatives
  • Size Comparison
  • FAQ

Pentax RZ18 overview

Pentax RZ18 is Pentax's Small Sensor Superzoom camera initially launched on September of 2011. The camera uses a 16MP, CCD 1/2.3" size sensor with a maximum resolution of 4608 x 3456.

The RZ18 is ranked #165 out of 244 in Small Sensor Superzoom cameras and all around #791 out of 1465 for cameras in our list. Remember to check out our Advanced camera filter to get camera ratings based on your custom requirements.

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Below is a chart of multiple criteria used in the scoring system.

Pentax RZ18 family

The Pentax RZ18 comes with a history of related cameras. Down below, you can discover all earlier and most recent models along with key features.

ModelVisualizeLensResolutionSensor SizeReleased
Pentax-Optio-RZ18 front thumbnailPentax RZ1825-450mm
Pentax-Optio-RZ10 front thumbnailPentax RZ10
RZ18 vs RZ10
Photography Glossary
Pentax-Optio-RS1500 front thumbnailPentax RS1500
RZ18 vs RS1500

Pentax RZ18 Pros and Cons

Here is a collection of advantages and drawbacks of the Pentax RZ18 based on factors which are typically viewed as essential in a camera.

amazing zoom range (25-450mm 18.0 x zoom)
decently wide (25mm)
environment sealing
features tracking focus
flash built-in
focusing manually
good resolution (16MP)
great zoom (450mm)
has image stabilization (Sensor-shift)
lighter than competition in class (178g)
screen size is good (3 inch)
very good min ISO (80)
can't use external flash
cannot change lens (fixed lens mount)
display isn't selfie friendly
fixed screen
lack of manual exposure
lack of phase detect autofocus
lack of RAW format
max frames per second low (1.0 frames/s)
missing HDMI port
missing headphone port
missing mic port
missing Time Lapse recording
no aperture priority mode
no shutter priority mode
screen has low resolution (460 thousand dot)
sensor size is small (1/2.3")
sluggish at long end (f5.9)
sluggish max aperture (f3.5)
video resolution low (1280 x 720 pixels)
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Pentax RZ18 Sensor features

The sensor spec on the Pentax RZ18 is 6.08mm x 4.56mm (1/2.3"). The 28 mm² sensor can resolve 4608 x 3456 pixels using aspect ratios of 1:1, 4:3 and 16:9. The camera boasts Image Stabilization (Sensor-shift). Optical stabilization is superior than digital stabilization since the latter may cause cropping.

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The CCD sensor boasts 16MP and supports a native ISO range of 80 to 6400. Unfortunately, RAW format is not saved which means that the user has less margin for error.

The image underneath displays the RZ18's sensor size when compared to other common sizes. The RZ18 sensor comes with a crop factor of 5.9 and is shown in green.

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To get a sense of different aspect ratios, you should refer to the visual below.

Camera sensor aspect ratios

Pentax RZ18 dimensions

Pentax RZ18 is 0.39 pounds (178 grams / 6.28 oz) and the physical size of the camera is 97mm x 61mm x 33mm (3.8" x 2.4" x 1.3"). The weight of normal Small Sensor Superzoom camera is 387 grams and the Pentax RZ18 is lighter as compared with various competitors.

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Underneath is a image of the Pentax RZ18 with a softdrink to help you to have a sense of its size.

Pentax Optio RZ18 dimensions scale

The top view just below will provide the button arrangement on the RZ18.

Pentax Optio RZ18 topview buttons dials

Pentax RZ18 Lens features

The RZ18 offers an inbuilt lens having a focal range of 25-450mm making it a 18.0 x zoom which is amazing and will make it easier to zoom all the way in.

At it's widest 25mm, it will have an aperture of f3.5 which will be somewhat sluggish and not the best in low light circumstances and you will find it difficult to capture a shallow depth of field. You would also have to raise your ISO setting resulting in noisy files. On the long end, 450mm is terrific zoom and comes to f5.9 which is really slow and you will have to go with slow shutter speeds.

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Pentax RZ18 Connectivity

The RZ18 has the following connectivity:

  • USB Yes
  • Wireless Yes

Cameras with NFC and Bluetooth connectivity are able to be controlled wirelessly through smartphones. You can easily send photos and at times change camera settings without the hassle of connecting directly with the camera.

Many apps also stream a Liveview and click the shutter when you aren't near the camera. If the camera provides a HDMI out, it can easily be connected to an external screen. Many cameras enable you to recharge the battery using the USB socket.

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Pentax RZ18 Video features

The maximum video quality on the Pentax RZ18 is 1280 x 720 and it can record in Motion JPEG format. 720p is terrible by today's standards. You should really go for at least 1080p quality for video recording. The body doesn't feature a mic and headphone jack which means you get absolutely no control over your audio. It is perhaps best to order another model if you want better audio in your video clips.

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Pentax RZ18 Weather Sealing

Pentax RZ18 comes with environment sealing which makes it a good candidate to use in rough environments. This can be especially useful any time you are uncertain about the conditions you might face in outdoor photography.

Pentax RZ18 Display and Viewfinder

The Pentax RZ18 houses a 3 inch fixed display screen having a resolution of 460 thousand dots.

Please be aware that the display offers no touch support.

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The ViewFinder details regarding Pentax RZ18 are as follows:

  • ViewFinder None

In those sunny outdoor conditions that make the camera screens washed out and tough to view, viewfinders are pretty helpful.

Pentax RZ18 Shutter features

Pentax RZ18 continuous shooting rate is 1.0 frames/s. The maximum shutter speed is 1/2000s.

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Pentax RZ18 Flash and Hot shoe features

Pentax RZ18 boasts just built-in flash lacking external flash ability.

Pentax RZ18 Autofocus features

Pentax RZ18 boasts only Contrast Detect Autofocus and is missing Phase Detect Autofocus. Phase Detection focusing is more quicker & precise as compared with Contrast Detect focusing.

The Sensor boasts 9 focus points to select from. It also features Tracking Autofocus for objects that move. Pentax RZ18 can use manual focus if required in low light occasions or you need to have more accurate focus control.

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Pentax RZ18 Battery life

The general Small Sensor Superzoom camera battery life is 316. Fujifilm HS35EXR offers the highest possible (600) battery life in this category of cameras.

Following is a list of Small Sensor Superzoom cameras that come with the highest battery life:

Pentax RZ18 for specific kinds of photography

The following chart displays a summation of the Pentax RZ18 for specific kinds of photography. To view more, have a look at the specific section underneath.

Pentax RZ18 Portrait photography details

The Pentax RZ18 has a points tally of 36 which is horrible, and means the camera is not suitable for portrait images. Photographing portrait images favors greatly towards sensor specs, RAW support together with the capability to use external lighting.

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focusing manually
sensor resolution is decent (16 megapixels)
manual exposure not available
external flash not possible
sensor is very small (1/2.3")
no RAW support

Pentax RZ18 as a Street photography camera

With a nice points tally of 65, the Pentax RZ18 is a good choice for street photography. A good street photography camera comes with a good balance of picture quality and portability.

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has image stabilization (Sensor-shift)
weather proofing
lighter than competitors (178 grams)
no moving screen
small sensor size (1/2.3")
lack of RAW files

Pentax RZ18 Sports photography advice

A modest sports photography points total of 47 indicates the Pentax RZ18 is relatively acceptable for photographing sports. A camera needs fantastic tracking and fast shutter speeds for sports photography.

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amazing zoom range (25-450mm 18.0 x zoom)
built in image stabilization (Sensor-shift)
decent MP (16MP)
offers tracking focus
environment proofing
slow frames per second (1.0 frames per second)
no shutter priority
sensor size is very small (1/2.3")
doesn't have phase detect auto focus

Pentax RZ18 as a Travel photography camera

Weight is very critical when selecting a camera for travel. In general, the Pentax RZ18 gets a above average 71 as a travelling camera which is a respectable fit to purchase for your holidays.

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lighter than competition (178 grams)
environment proof
resolution is good (16MP)
has built in flash
fairly wide (25mm)
very long zoom (450mm)
does not have Timelapse function
display isn't selfie friendly
sluggish maximum aperture (f3.5)

Landscape photography with Pentax RZ18

For anyone planning to buy a digital camera for landscape pictures, the most significant factor will be image quality. The Pentax RZ18 and it's modest score of 49 as a landscape camera is somewhat adequate compared to its competitors.

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manual focus
reasonably wide (25mm)
pretty good screen size (3 inches)
has image stabilization (Sensor-shift)
MP count decent (16 megapixels)
weather proofing
fixed lens (fixed lens mount)
slow max aperture (f3.5)
no manual exposure
small sensor (1/2.3")
doesn't have RAW format
no Time Lapse recording

Pentax RZ18 Vlogging info

A vlogging camera preferably should have a articulating display screen, microphone port and ideally image stabilization. Taking all things into account, the Pentax RZ18 is not suitable as a vlog camera as it receives a horrible score of 30.

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fairly wide (25mm)
image stabilization (Sensor-shift)
lighter than competitors in class (178 grams)
somewhat slow maximum aperture (f3.5)
display is not selfie friendly
low quality video (1280 x 720 pxls)
doesn't have microphone port

Pentax RZ18 Alternatives

If you are looking for replacements to the RZ18, here is a list of the top ranked cameras that fall into the class of Small Sensor Superzoom.

The graph just below shows you a bird's eye view of the RZ18 versus it's top ranked competitors listed earlier.

There are more cameras you may look into as alternatives. To go through a full comparison, just click on the "compare" link.

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General Information
Pentax Optio RZ18
Small Sensor Superzoom
Body design
Sensor Information
Sensor type
Sensor size
Sensor dimensions
6.08 x 4.56mm
Sensor surface area
Sensor resolution
Anti aliasing filter
Aspect ratio
1:1, 4:3 and 16:9
Maximum resolution
4608 x 3456
RAW format
Maximum native ISO
Minimum native ISO
Focus manually
AF touch
Continuous AF
Single AF
AF tracking
AF selectice
Center weighted AF
AF multi area
Live view AF
Face detect AF
Contract detect AF
Phase detect AF
Number of focus points
Lens mounting type
fixed lens
Lens focal range
25-450mm (18.0x)
Maximum aperture
Macro focus distance
Focal length multiplier
Range of display
Fixed Type
Display size
3 inch
Display resolution
460 thousand dot
Selfie friendly
Touch operation
Display technology
TFT color LCD with Anti-reflective coating
Viewfinder Information
Viewfinder type
DXO scores
DXO All around score
not tested
DXO Color Depth score
not tested
DXO Dynamic range score
not tested
DXO Low light score
not tested
Slowest shutter speed
4 seconds
Maximum shutter speed
1/2000 seconds
Continuous shooting speed
1.0 frames/s
Shutter priority
Aperture priority
Manually set exposure
Change WB
Image stabilization
Built-in flash
Flash range
2.80 m
Flash settings
Auto, On, Off, Red-eye, Soft
Hot shoe
Auto exposure bracketing
White balance bracketing
Multisegment metering
Average metering
Spot metering
Partial metering
AF area metering
Center weighted metering
Video features
Supported video resolutions
1280 x 720 (30, 15 fps), 640 x 480 (30, 15 fps), 320 x 240 (30, 15 fps)
Maximum video resolution
Video data format
Motion JPEG
Mic jack
Headphone jack
Eye-Fi Connected
USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
Environmental seal
Water proof
Dust proof
Shock proof
Crush proof
Freeze proof
178 gr (0.39 pounds)
Physical dimensions
97 x 61 x 33mm (3.8" x 2.4" x 1.3")
Battery model
Self timer
Yes (2 or 10 sec)
Time lapse recording
Storage media
SD/SDHC/SDXC, Internal
Storage slots
Retail cost