Pentax has announced that is has released two new digital cameras to replaces models in its Optio A and Optio M ranges.
Top of the pile is the Pentax Optio A20 which like the Casio Exilim EZ-1000 features a 10 megapixel sensor and three anti-shake functions including Shake Reduction, Blur Reduction High ISO mode, and a Movie Anti-shake all designed to improve image quality.
Sporting Red-eye correction available after shooting and approximately 22MB of built-in memory, the camera includes an ISO setting up to 1600, and a new Face Recognition AF & AE function that according to Pentax "helps ensure bright, beautiful photos of people with perfectly focused faces free of shadows caused by exposing for the background or for the colours of clothing".
The Optio A20 also doubles up as a camcorder capturing movies at 30 fps (frames per second) at sizes up to 640 x 480 pixels. Formats supported include DivX (MPEG4 compliant).
The Auto Picture mode lets the camera automatically determine the shooting conditions for Landscape, Portrait, Night Scene, and Program modes and choose the optimum settings for each subject.
The Optio A20 supports two removable storage media: the conventional SD memory cards and the new SDHC memory cards.
Pentax has also announced the latest model in the Optio M series with what it is saying is "a compact, affordable digital camera".
The PENTAX Optio M20 sports a more approachable 7.0 megapixels, a 2.5-inch LCD screen, 3x optical zoom, 22Mb of internal memory and is powered by two AA batteries, of which Pentax says you can get approximately 220 images from.
Like the Optio A20, the Optio M20 is equipped with a High ISO Blur Reduction mode, a new feature that lets you take photos at faster shutter speeds for sharper images even in dim lighting conditions such as night scenes and indoor sporting events.
While the Auto Picture mode lets the camera automatically determine the shooting conditions for Landscape, Portrait, Night Scene, and Program modes and choose the optimum settings for each subject
It too offers movies at 30 frames a second at 640 x480 however there is no support for DivX.
The Optio M20 supports two removable storage media: the conventional SD memory cards and the new SDHC memory cards.*
The Optio A20 will ship in October 2006 for under US $350.00, while the Optio M20 will ship in September 2006 for under US $200.00.
Pentax in the UK have said that pricing and release dates will be announced at a later date.
We will keep you posted.