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Pentax Slims Down Point-And-Shoots

Pentax introduced a pair of svelte 7-megapixel point-and-shoot digital cameras last week and one entry-level model just prior to International CES.

Both the Optio T30 and M30 will ship in March and are less than an inch thick. They are also compatible with the new SD High Capacity (SDHC) memory card format as well as standard SD cards.

The T30 sports a 3-inch touch-screen LCD, 3x optical zoom lens, face-recognition autofocus/auto exposure for shooting portraits and an ISO-boosting shake reduction mode with sensitivities as high as ISO 3200. There is also an electronic shake-reduction mode for movie recording that narrows the field of view to reduce the impact of jittery hands.

Using the touch screen and included stylus, consumers can draw or write on images in the My Drawing mode. A Stamp function lets users add illustrations to photos in-camera. Other menu functions can be accessed via the touch screen as well.

The camera is 0.75 inches thick and features 16 scene modes, an image recover function for restoring deleted images, 19MB of internal memory and red-eye correction. It will retail for a suggested $349.

The Optio M30, for a suggested $199, will be the first in a redesigned M-series with a thickness of 0.7 inches. It features a 3x optical zoom lens, 15 scene modes, an ISO-boosting digital shake-reduction mode (ISO 3200) and an auto-macro mode for focusing from 4 inches away and closer. There is also a super macro mode for focusing on subjects as close as 2 inches.

The M30 also incorporates face-recognition AF/AE for exposing portraits, VGA/30 fps movie recording with digital stabilization, 21MB of internal memory and red-eye reduction.

Finally, the company announced the 7-megapixel E30 just days before International CES. The camera replaces the E10 and can capture up to 760 images when using lithium AA batteries. The camera features a 3x optical zoom lens, a 2.4-inch LCD, 11MB of internal memory and 15 scene modes.

The camera is compatible the SDHC memory format and with Kodak printer docks through the ImageLink print system. It can also add frames to photos in-camera and capture VGA video.

The Optio E30 ships in February for a suggested $149.