Panasonic, Pentax Introduce Digital Cameras

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Panasonic and Pentax have introduced digital cameras that are geared toward the mid to high-end consumer.

Panasonic will ship its first digital camera with a 3-inch touchscreen LCD to dealers in May.

The 10-megapixel DMC-FX500 will feature a 25mm, 5x optical zoom lens with optical stabilization, 1,280 by 720p/30 fps video recording, 21 scene modes and the company's previously announced “advanced intelligent auto” mode.

The camera has a joystick control and comes with a stylus pen for making adjustments on the touchscreen. Camera functions such as manual exposure and autofocus can be adjusted using the stylus.

In playback, the FX500 features a new “easy organization” menu for viewing photo thumbnails and editing image titles with an onscreen keyboard. Also new is autofocus (AF) tracking, which maintains focus if a subject moves after the AF set.

It features a burst mode of 2.5 fps to five full resolution images, 50MB of internal memory and a maximum ISO of 1,600.

The camera will be sold in black and silver for $399.

Pentax will introduce the 8-megapixel Optio V20, which will also ship in May.

The V20 sports a 5x optical zoom lens, a 3-inch LCD, face detection and a smile capture function that can automatically detect a smile and release the shutter to record the image.

The camera also offers a blink-detection feature that kicks on after an image has been captured to alert consumers if a subject had their eyes closed when the photo was recorded.

The $279 V20 offers auto-tracking auto focus, 52MB of internal memory and an automatic macro mode.


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