Pentax has announced the launch of the Pentax Optio E70L, describing it as an "entry-level compact ideal for first-time users looking for an affordable and easy-to-use camera".

The E70L gets a 10.1-megapixel CCD and a 3x optical zoom (equal to 32-96 mm in 35 mm format) and runs on AA batteries - angled as ideal for travellers.

There's also a 2.4-inch display, various scene modes and the ability to record video.

The point-and-shooter offers face recognition for up to 10 people and smile detection, while the digital shake reduction feature claims to reduce camera shake for sharp, blur free images.

The new Pentax Optio E70L will be available in March 2009 at £99.99 including case and batteries.