Pentax has launched the X70 superzoom digital camera, a bridge cam which boasts a 24x optical zoom lens and wide-angle to super-telephoto coverage.

With 12 megapixels, SLR-like styling and flexible exposure modes, the Pentax X70 is being aimed at intermediate photographers looking to step up from compact cameras without forking out all the cash for a true DSLR.

The X70 will apparently offer the ease-of-use of a compact, but with powerful shooting options such as aperture/shutter priority and metered manual modes, image sensor shift, shake reduction, fast operation, and a high quality zoom lens.

The 24x zoom lens promises a focal-length coverage between a wide-angle 26mm to a super telephoto 624mm. Couple this with the intelligent zoom function and the X70 zoom range can be extended to around 150 times - up to 3900mm - without compromising image quality.

Other features on the camera include a 2.7-inch anti-reflection screen, electronic viewfinder, auto sensitivity control up to an ISO of 6400, fast face detection of up to 32 faces in 0.03 seconds, smile capture and blink detection.

The X70 also offers continuous shooting of up to 11 images per second, an auto-tracking AF mode, high-definition movie capture (1280 x 720) at 15 frames per second and an auto picture mode for the automatic selection of one of seven different shooting modes.

The X70 will cost $399.95 and is set to ship to the US in April. We'll get European details to you when we have them.