January 13, 2006 The price-performance ratio of compact cameras continues to skyrocket as it seeks to maintain the performance gap to that of the fast-approaching camera phone, and the bar was raised higher at the 2006 Consumer Electronics Show last week when Pentax announced the Optio A10 and E10 compact digital cameras. Though the E10 offers a six effective megapixel CCD and a 3X optical zoom lens, it was the new flagship compact A10 which really impressed. The A10 will be the first model of a new high-end Optio series and will ship next month for under US$350 with eight megapixels, shake reduction and a new x3 zoom lens.
"The A10 represents a complete upgrade and overhaul of our digital camera series and will be the first model of our high-end Optio series," said Ned Bunnell, director of marketing, PENTAX Imaging Company. "With 8 megapixels, shake reduction and a new smc PENTAX zoom lens, the Optio A10 is our flagship model," added Bunnell.
PENTAX developed Shake Reduction to eliminate situations where camera shake typically causes blurred images such as telephoto or indoor shots without a flash. The Shake Reduction mechanism is made possible by two internal gyro sensors that detect camera shake while a dedicated CPU calculates the required correction to compensate for the level of camera shake while focusing. In turn, a proprietary mechanism adjusts the CCD automatically based on the calculation and compensates for the camera shake to help deliver sharper images.
PENTAX also announced the Optio E10, an affordable, entry-level compact digital camera with a 6.0 effective megapixel CCD and a 3X optical zoom lens. The Optio E10 features a Mode dial that permits a Simple mode selection and is packaged in a slim, lightweight body aimed at beginning photographers.
Both digital cameras use a new model naming system for PENTAX cameras based on a letter and model number description rather than the number of megapixels. The Optio A series, for example, designates a new high-end product line, while the Optio E series indicates easy-to-use products.
"Our aim with the new naming system is to make it easier for customers to understand our product line, from entry to high-end and allow us much more flexibility in expanding our product line as we move forward with these and other new digital cameras," said Bunnell.
The PENTAX Optio A10, and the Optio E10 are available now.