If you're heading to the beach this winter, you might want to pack the Pentax
Optio W20 or the Olympus Stylus 720SW in your beach bag to capture your
Neither camera's menu system logic and layout is perfect, but the Olympus 720SW deserves a special award for obfuscation with its extremely confusing configuration. Tapping the Menu Button, which brings you to a screen with Camera Menu as the default-highlighted item, can change image settings. Tap Set/Func in the middle of the multi-button array to arrive at a screen to adjust ISO, White Balance, and so on, and a submenu screen pops up to make image setting adjustments. Then you can click through and make changes to these settings, but Set/Func doesn't bring you back to shooting mode after making an image setting adjustment from the Camera Menu, Instead, it toggles back and forth between the main menu and the specific adjustment menu screen. Menu brings you back to shooting, though, and menu must be tapped once for each level of submenu you are in to get back to shooting, which is just plain odd.
To add to the weirdness, pressing the Set/OK button first while in shooting mode brings up a similar command set for adjusting white balance, ISO, Drive Mode, etc., which is overlaid on the live preview. You must make your selection, then click Set/OK to return to shooting. Menu does nothing here.
Furthermore, while in Scene shooting mode, tapping the Menu button will bring up that Menu screen and pushing the down/timer button on the multi-controller will allow you to change scene modes, but only if you are already shooting in Scene Mode. After scrolling through and selecting a Scene Mode, tapping Set/Func sets the mode and returns the camera to live preview mode. Menu brings you back to the screen where you can choose Scene, Camera Menu, Image Quality and Setup. Tapping Menu again will return you to shooting without having changed your Scene mode.
On the other hand, if you are in Program or Anti-shake shooting mode, the Scene Mode command is grayed back via the Menu button command path. Meanwhile, if you are in Scene mode and in shooting preview, tapping the P/anti-shake/SCN button will toggle you through the other two modes before getting you back to the SCENE setting, to change from one Scene mode to another.
Confusing, isn't it? Try figuring this out a couple of hundred yards offshore!
Straight out of the box, the biggest flaw with the Pentax menu layout is that White Balance, ISO, and Exposure Compensation are not top-level commands. You've got to change these via the Menu button, which brings up the Image Quality screen. ISO and Exposure Compensation, two very frequent adjustments, are deep on this list. However, under the Set-up menu Green Button options, these three controls, along with others including image size, focusing area, and metering can be made into quick commands accessible while shooting via the Green button. Up to four of these image quality adjustments can be assigned to the Green button, which will then toggle through your assigned functions.
While shooting, Down/Mode on the multi-button array is a one-touch operation to get to the Scene modes screen, and you can navigate the display on two axes, either vertically or horizontally to more speedily jump from one scene setting to another. It's a long, single axis scroll on the Olympus to get through the list of modes.