Pentax Unveils Digicam Trio


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unveiled Thursday two Optio compact cameras, an entry-level d-SLR, and a new 35mm f/2.4 lens that can be used with it.

The Optio RS1000 ($150 suggested retail) and the RZ10 ($220) will both ship in October and bring a range of automatic features to simplify the picture taking process.

Meanwhile, the new model K-r ($800 body only) is Pentax's new answer to the midrange d-SLR segment, offering advanced processing and rapid shutter speeds.

For the point-and-shoots, the Optio RS1000 is billed as an easy-to-use camera that can be dressed to match the user's personality and style. The camera offers a range of customizable cosmetics using a removable faceplate that holds interchangeable skins that users can design themselves.

 Owners may skin this newest RS1000 with a camera faced-sized swatch to match a wardrobe or to carry a favorite logo or image.

Personalization options include dressing the camera in a choice of 11 standard skins that ship with the product; use the included Skinit gift card to design and order a free, high quality, pre-cut, 3M vinyl skins from

; or use an included stencil to trace cutout lines onto printed photos, wrapping papers, drawings, etc.

Users can download the Pentax Personal Skin Designer Adobe Air-based software from

(availability to coincide with product shipping).

They can also use the digital designer to import a photo or digital image, saving a skin as a PDF for printing on a color printer.

Features of the Optio RS1000 include 14-megapixel resolution, a 3-inch LCD monitor, a 4x optical zoom lens (27.5mm wide) and a compact credit-card-sized body.

Pentax' Optio RZ10 is another compact point-and-shoot digicam with a 10x optical zoom lens with macro focus settings, dual shake reduction (mechanical sensor-shift and digital) for effective blur reduction. and an upgraded Auto Picture mode for "hands-off" selection of appropriate settings.

The camera will be available in a choice of black, Pure White, lime and violet.

Improving on its increasingly popular d-SLR line, Pentax also unveiled a new midrange consumer d-SLR option in the K-r.

Features include a 12.4-megapixel low-noise CMOS sensor with a host of processing modes -- including Auto Picture, Scene, and Custom Image -- and manual and priority control.

Like the previous K-x, the K-r will be available in several color choices: Traditional Black, Classic White and Pentax's Flamboyant Red.

The camera displays images on a rear-mounted 3-inch 921,000-dot LCD. For fast shooting, the camera has an improved high-speed 6 fps frame rate that captures 25 images in a single sequence, and a maximum 1/6,000 second shutter speed.

Other features include a viewfinder focus point indicator, improved in-camera HDR image capture with Night Scene HDR mode, and a 100 to 25,600 ISO range with improved noise performance.

A dual-power-source design supports a choice of using either a rechargeable lithium-ion battery or four AA-size battery power (using optional AA Battery Holder D-BH109).

The company's IrSimple high-speed infrared data transmission system allows transfer of wireless data to the web or other IrSimple-compatible devices.

Video is captured in the 720p HD format at 25fps. The shake-reduction mechanism helps avoid blurry handheld images, and a dust-removal mechanism shakes dust off the CMOS image sensor to keep images clear.

The K-r features an 11-point SAFOX IX autofocus system with dedicated AF assist lamp. Also included is a range of in-camera image processing and special effects filters.

The K-r will ship in October in several kit options: the body only ($800 suggested retail), body and 18-44mm lens ($850), the body and an 18-55mm and 50-200mm lens ($900), and the body and an 18-55mm and 55-300mm lens ($1,000).

Pentax also announced the SMC Pentax DA 35mm F2.4 AL (shipping in October at $220) primary lens designed exclusively for use with Pentax d-SLRs. The lens captures high-resolution images and can work with relatively low levels of available lighting.


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