DigitalCameraReview.com
Pentax rolls out Optio P80, E80 compacts
by David Rasnake -  8/5/2009

Pentax will be bringing a pair of new Optio cameras – the entry-level E80, and the performance-minded P80 – to market next month. Targeting budget conscious buyers, the new Optios look to draw in shoppers with features including large high-res displays and slim, stylish bodies.

P80 serves up 720p, wide-angle shooting
The latest model in Pentax's performance oriented P series, the Optio P80 sports a 12.1 megapixel CCD sensor and a 4x wide-angle lens covering the equivalent of 27.5-110mm.

Pentax Optio P80

Patterned after other recent P-series models, the extremely slender P80 comes in "three fashionable colors including Black, Pearl, and Mint." Encased within this glossy exterior, users get a 2.7-inch, 230,000 dot display, an Auto Picture scene detection system, Smile Capture, ISO 6400 shooting, and high-speed 32-face face detection.

As noted, the P80 is also capable of capturing HD video, shooting 720p frames at a full 30 fps.

The P80's biggest potential oversight, in our opinion? Pentax's decision to equip the camera with Pixel Track and Digital Shake Reduction technologies only, rather than providing some kind of optical or mechanical image stabilization.

Entry-level E80 also announced
Pentax has also updated its entry-level E line with the announcement of the Optio E80.

Pentax Optio E80

A 10 megapixel imager joins the camera's 3x (32-96mm) zoom and 2.7-inch LCD, providing a relatively high level of specification for a camera at this price point. Like the P80, the E80 features 720p video capture as well – albeit at 15 fps in this case – and high-sensitivity shooting to ISO 6400.

Like previous E-series models, the E80 uses a pair of AAs for power.

Pricing and availability
Both new Optios are scheduled for retail roll-out in September. Suggested prices are $199.95 for the P80, and $129.95 for the E80.