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Pentax to roll out four Optio compacts
by David Rasnake -  1/23/2008

The Pentax Optio M50, Optio S12, and Optio E50, in addition to the previously announced Optio A40, should all begin finding their way to store shelves in the coming months.

In a press release this afternoon, Pentax Imaging Company president Ned Bunnell stated that, "Every compact offering from Pentax includes the popular face recognition feature, Digital Shake Reduction, Pentax's own Auto Picture mode and high quality design." The new cameras bring new power and more color to the company's lineup of compacts, though whether they offer the specs to compete in the highly competitive compact camera market remains to be seen.

Step-up Optio M50 features 5x zoom

The 8.0 megapixel M50 builds on a basic compact platform, adding a 5x zoom lens and several body color options to expected specs like a 2.5-inch LCD. Like many new releases we're seeing this year, the M50 comes with a Smile Capture feature, which fires the shutter when subjects are smiling.

Pentax Optio compacts

Priced at $229.95, the M50 should begin shipping in March.

S12 is small, stylish

Billed as the "smallest, most stylish 12 MP camera in its class," the Optio S12 draws its design inspiration from previous tiny S models from Pentax. Sporting a 12 megapixel sensor, an SMC Pentax 3x zoom, and manual control options, the S12 appears to offer lots of power in an easily pocketable package.

Pentax Optio compacts

Look for the S12 in April, at around $279.95.

Budget Pentax E series gets a makeover with E50

Emphasizing easy of use, flexibility, and appeal for travelers looking for a no-worries compact camera, the 8.1 megapixel Optio E50 appears to be a basic point-and-shoot with a 3x zoom, though several key specs are still TBA at the time of this writing.

Pentax Optio compacts

What is known, however, is that the camera should be available in March, with a bargain-basement MSRP of $149.95.

Optio A40 release announced

The official press release for the Optio A40 came a few months ago, but in addition its new cameras, Pentax has made it known that the 12 megapixel A40, which was intially anticipated last October, should begin hitting store shelves next month for a suggested price of $299.95. This advanced-user model features mechanical Shake Reduction and lots of manual control, putting it into direct competition with the likes of Canon's PowerShot A series.

For more information, check out our Pentax Optio A40 announcement.

Pentax Optio M50 specifications:

Sensor8.0 megapixel, 1/2.35" CCD
Zoom5x (36-180mm) zoom, f/3.5-5.6
LCD/Viewfinder2.5", 230K-pixel TFT LCD
SensitivityISO 64-6400
Shutter Speed4-1/2000 seconds
Shooting ModesAuto Picture, Program, Movie, Voice Recording, Digital SR, Digital Wide Angle, Green Mode
Scene PresetsFinal list TBA
White Balance SettingsAuto, Daylight, Shade, Tungsten, Fluorescent, Manual
Metering ModesMulti, Center, Spot
Focus ModesMulti AF, Spot AF, Auto Tracking AF, Manual, Macro
Drive ModesOne Shot, Continuous, Frame Composition
Flash ModesAuto, Forced On, Red-Eye, Forced Off
Self Timer Settings
10 seconds, 2 seconds, Off
Memory FormatsSD, SDHC
Internal Memory
51MB
File FormatsJPEG, AVI, Mono WAV
Max. Image Size3264x2448
Max. Video Size
640x480, 30 fps
Zoom During Video Not Specified
BatteryRechargeable lithium-ion, 210 shots
ConnectionsUSB 2.0, AV output
Additional FeaturesFace Detection, Digital Shake Reduction, Pentax Auto Picture Mode

 

Pentax Optio S12 specifications:

Sensor12.0 megapixel, 1/1.7" CCD
Zoom3x (37-111mm) zoom, f/2.8-5.4
LCD/Viewfinder2.5", 232K-pixel TFT LCD with LCD Bright Mode
SensitivityISO 64-3200
Shutter Speed4-1/2000 seconds
Shooting ModesAuto Picture, Program, Movie, Voice Recording, Digital SR, Digital Wide Angle, Green Mode, Dynamic Range Adjustment
Scene PresetsFinal list TBA
White Balance SettingsAuto, Daylight, Shade, Tungsten, Fluorescent, Manual
Metering ModesMulti, Center, Spot
Focus ModesMulti AF, Spot AF, Auto Tracking AF, Macro, Super Macro, Manual
Drive ModesOne Shot, Continuous, Frame Composition
Flash ModesAuto, Forced On, Red-Eye, Forced Off
Self Timer Settings
10 seconds, 2 seconds, Off
Memory FormatsSD, SDHC
Internal Memory
21MB
File FormatsJPEG, AVI, Mono WAV
Max. Image Size4000x3000
Max. Video Size
640x480, 30 fps
Zoom During Video Not Specified
BatteryRechargeable lithium-ion, 270 shots
ConnectionsUSB 2.0, AV output, DC input
Additional FeaturesFace Detection, Digital Shake Reduction, Pentax Auto Picture Mode

 

Pentax Optio E50 specifications:

Sensor8.1 megapixel, 1/2.5" CCD
Zoom3x (37.5-112.5mm) zoom, f/2.8-5.2
LCD/Viewfinder2.4", 110K-pixel TFT LCD with LCD Bright Mode
SensitivityISO 100-1600
Shutter Speed4-1/2000 seconds
Shooting ModesAuto Picture, Program, Movie, Voice Recording, Digital SR, Green Mode
Scene PresetsFinal list TBA
White Balance SettingsAuto
Metering ModesMulti
Focus ModesMulti AF, Spot AF, Continuous AF, Macro
Drive ModesOne Shot, Continuous, 16 Frame Composite
Flash ModesAuto, Forced On, Red-Eye, Forced Off
Self Timer Settings
10 seconds, 2 seconds, Off
Memory FormatsSD, SDHC
Internal Memory
9.5 MB
File FormatsTBA
Max. Image Size3264x2448
Max. Video Size
640x480, 30 fps
Zoom During Video Not Specified
Battery2 AA batteries, 250 shots
ConnectionsUSB 2.0, AV output
Additional FeaturesFace Detection, Digital Shake Reduction, Pentax Auto Picture Mode