Pentax is "breaking the seal" on what will probably be a rash of digital camera announcements surrounding this year's CES (Consumer Electronics Show) which starts next week. The 7.1 megapixel Pentax Optio E30 is an entry level model that accepts AA batteries, has a 3x optical zoom and a 2.4 inch LCD. The E30 will be available in February for $149.95.
To keep things "E"asy, the camera features a "Green Mode", as seen on exising Pentax cameras, that can be toggled on and off with a single button press. In Green Mode, shooting options are minimized for the easiest possible operation. If you don't want to use Green Mode, you can stick with auto or use one of the scene modes from the icon-based mode palette featured on many Pentax digital cameras.
Battery life looks to be impressive on the E30 as well. Using standard alkaline batteries, you can get up to 200 shots, but with lithium batteries, you can get up to 760 shots. More reasonably priced NiMH rechargeable batteries can get around 550 shots.
Images can be stored to 11MB of internal memory, or an SD or SDHC memory card.
The E30 is also capable of capturing 640x480 movies.
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