Pentax has launched the latest entry-level model in its basic Optio E series, the Pentax Optio E60.
Pentax touted the Optio E60's predecessor, the E50, as the "perfect choice for digital newbies and travelers," and the E60 looks to have similar low-cost, easy-to-use appeal. The 10.1 megapixel E60 adds more resolution to Pentax's basic point-and-shoot, along with a wider 3x zoom that now covers an equivalent range of 32-96mm. A 2.4-inch LCD handles shot composition and menu navigation tasks.
Several automatic shooting functions are among the E60's headline features. Pentax's Advanced Auto Picture mode automatically selects the best scene preset to respond to scene-specific conditions. Face Recognition AE and AF can detect up to ten faces in a frame and adjust focus and exposure accordingly; a related Blink Detection system alerts the shooter if detected subjects' eyes were closed during an image capture.
Pentax's super-simplified Green mode has traditionally about as basic as auto shooting modes get, automatically setting all exposure parameters with no user input. This highly simplified shooting mode should make the E60 an ideal choice for first-time digicam users.
There's no optical/mechanical image stabilization in Pentax's most basic model, but the E60 does feature a Digital Shake Reduction mode that automatically boosts ISO to allow faster shutter speeds and compensate for camera shake.
Powered by conventional AAs, the E60 claims to capture up to 200 shots using alkaline cells, or more than 600 shots with lithium AAs.
The E60 should hit stores in October with a price tag under $140.
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