Pentax Optio NB1000

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 12 December, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 12 December, 2010, 12:00am

The Pentax Optio NB1000 looks like a digital-age version of Lego. It's actually a collaboration between the electronics maker and Japanese firm Kawada, which makes a miniature version of the popular construction toy, called Nanoblocks.

With the NB1000, you'll find the whole front covered in little stubs that let you clip on additional Nanoblocks to customise your camera. There are two basic colours for the base layer - white or green - but that doesn't really matter as you can cover them up with additional Nanoblocks.

Design suggestions from the manufacturers include a lion or a dog, but the look is really up to you. You can build your own grip to make it easier to hold, or even build a lens protector, or simply create your own pattern with the coloured blocks.

Besides this neat trick, you get a pretty decent, but basic, point-and-shoot camera, with 14-megapixel images, 4x zoom that goes from 28mm to 112mm, and a 3-inch LCD display.

Of course, there are limitations. In auto mode, you only get an ISO range of 100-800, which means it probably won't work very well in dim light conditions. You have to put the camera in a specific scene setting called Digital SR to access the higher ISO range of 3200-6400, but at a reduced image resolution of 5-megapixels. The Pentax Optio NB1000 is priced at HK$1,990.

Pros: Build your own digital camera body with Nanoblock cover

Cons: very limited manual features, limited ISO access in full auto mode