Timed with CES (which starts this week), Pentax has announced two new cameras in their compact Optio line. The Pentax Optio A10, the flagship of the new "A" line brings an 8 megapixel sensor and "Shake Reduction" in the familiar Optio size. The beginner-friendly Pentax Optio E10 sports a 6 megapixel sensor. Both cameras will be available in February 2006 with the A10 at $350 and the E10 at $200.
Along with the camera announcements, Pentax is introducing a new naming scheme that they hope will make it easier for consumers to understand. The "A" line is the designation for the high-end product line and the "E" line is the designation for easy to use products.
No news yet from the Pentax/Samsung digital SLR collaboration, but I'm sure we will hear something soon with CES this week and the PMA show at the end of February.
Pentax Option A10
As mentioned above, the A10 has an 8 megapixel sensor - the first camera in the Optio line to capture 8 megapixels. Pentax has also introduced their "Shake Reduction" technology. Two internal gyros detect movement and a dedicated processor calculates the corrections needed. Another mechanism adjusts the CCD to compensate for the camera shake. During still image capture, the CCD mechanism is used, but during movie capture, the shake reduction is applied electronically.
The camera also features a 3x optical zoom lens, a 2.5 inch LCD, it has an SD slot, and uses an lithium ion rechargeable battery. Movies can be captured up to a resolution of 640 x 480 pixels at 30 frames per second. Available in February 2006 for less than $350.
Pentax Optio E10
The Optio E10 is an entry-level digital camera meant for beginners. With a Simple mode, the camera has a short learning curve for a first time digital photogprapher. The mode dial on the top of the lightweight, slim camera allows easy access to the eight camera modes (6 for still images, one for movie capture, and one for set up). Images are captured at up to 6 megapixels with a 3x optical zoom lens.
Images are framed with a 2.4 inch LCD and the camera is powered with two AA-sized batteries. Images can be stored on an SD card. Available in February 2006 for less than $200.