San Antonio — The Progressive Retailers Organization was at the Westin La Cantera Hill Coun
Pentax will ship a pair of new point-and-shoot digital cameras and a new d-SLR lens to dealers in the next two months.
The 12-megapixel Optio A40 ships this month for a suggested $299. It sports a 2.5-inch LCD screen and a 3x optical zoom lens. It offers a CCD-shifting stabilization system and digital blur reduction in both still and movie modes. It captures MPEG-4 video at VGA resolution at 30 fps. Video can be edited in camera.
While the universe of digital SLRs steadily expands, camera manufacturers are quickly building out a selection of lenses to appeal to photo hobbyists.
Nikon added an updated version of its D40 d-SLR at the Photo Marketing Association (PMA) show while Panasonic and Pentax announced new lenses to compliment their existing interchangeable lens cameras.
Nikon will ship the 10-megapixel D40x in April.
Samsung recommitted itself to the digital-SLR market with the announcement of the new GX-20.
Due to ship in March for a suggested $1,399 (body only), the 14-megapixel GX-20 is geared toward a more advanced user, a new market for Samsung, pitting it against Nikon and Canon, amongst others, for the enthusiast dollar.
The GX-20 uses the same Samsung-developed CMOS sensor found in Pentax's new K20D. The two firms partnered in 2005 for digital SLR development.
Canon provided pricing and shipment details for its previously announced Rebel XS digital SLR.
The XS will hit store shelves in August with an EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS lens for $699. The lens will also be sold separately for $199.
While still occupying the rarefied realm of professional use, digital SLRs continue to edge closer to mainstream price points as Pentax became the second vendor to offer a model, with lens, for under $1,000.
Konica Minolta and Nikon also introduced new d-SLRs compatible with existing stores of film SLR lenses and accessories while keeping their sights on more sophisticated users.