To me this camera is perfect for those who wants a camera just to take photos. The same people who doesn't bother about having a state-of-the-art newly released cameras. So Optio P80 is really for the fuss free people :) Besides, that's what point and shoot/compact camera is all about. Letting the camera do the job for you rather than the other way around.
However, the photos tend to be noisy when there's no sufficient light to feed the lens. Image quality is alright in it's category. Of course, the higher end models are far better. I have no complains for the lens, it's sharpness is fairly good.
It does have some cool settings that you need to experiment with like half-length portrait mode (you see this sort of style during the coming out of Facebook era), panoramic and wide angle modes which automatically stitches the photos together. There is this smile detection mode that I find interesting. It captures the photo the moment the camera recognises the smiles. Which is great on some level but I also realise, all of us smile differently and this mode only detects a certain way, I think it has to do with the way the eyes and lips moves up as one smiles. So it's not an ideal mode if you're in a rush.
With good lighting, I find it easy to use the 12x optical zoom but when the light starts to go dimmer, it struggles to focus but can do wonders in the club/brightly lit atmosphere.
Above all, I was impressed with Optio P80 HD video recording. Because it's sets in high definition, it takes only 4:40 minutes worth of video in 1GB memory card. This changes drastically when you set the resolution lower. Not one to really use the video mode, I actually thought this was a good feature to use when the need arises :)
What I like the most about Optio P80 is the slim design. It fits in my pocket easily during my night outing that I don't have to worry about carrying it anywhere I go :) So that's a definite thumbs up from the person who lunges her DSLR everywhere she goes.
I think this quote describes Pentax Optio P80 very well :)
For every beauty there is an eye somewhere to see it. For every truth there is an ear somewhere to hear it. For every love there is a heart somewhere to receive it. - Ivan Panin