January 6, 2009 Digital still image and video continue to converge with Pentax announcing the US$200 Optio P70 at CES. The ultra-slim P70 takes 12 megapixel still images and 720p video, sadly at just 15 FPS, but it’s a start. There’s a 4X optical zoom (equivalent to 27.5mm-110mm), a 2.7 inch high-resolution, wide-angle view LCD panel, and new Pixel Track Shake Reduction technology to assure sharp images with low noise even in poor lighting.

There’s also Advanced Face Recognition that tracks up to 32 faces in 0.03 seconds, and both Smile Capture that automatically releases the shutter when subjects smile, and Blink Detection to alert you if your subject’s eyes are closed. Digital Shake Reduction sets the sensitivity up to ISO 6400 to prevent subject blur and a Vertical Snap mode allows image capture with the ease of a cell phone camera.

The PENTAX Optio P70 will be available for US$200 in a choice of three colors: white, red and silver in February 2009.