The CES electronics show in America always heralds a small wave of new camera launches. We've already seen Kodak's new toys, and now it's the turn of Pentax. Proving that rumours of its withdrawal from the compact camera market are somewhat exaggerated, Pentax has announced two new ultra-compact cameras.
First up is the impressive-looking Optio P70, a new premium 12-megapixel model with a 4x zoom lens and 2.7-inch monitor. It will be one of the slimmest and lightest cameras on the market, measuring 97 × 54 × 21.5mm and weighing just 125g including card and battery. Features include a 27.5-110mm equivalent zoom range, HD video mode, a strong and stylish aluminium body, advanced digital shake reduction and a special vertical shooting mode similar to a mobile phone. The P70 should be in the shops very soon, with a recommended price of £179.99 (not £149.99 as you may have read in other reports).
The other new Optio model is the E70, an entry-level 10-megapixel model powered by two AA batteries. It has a 3x zoom lens equivalent to 35-110mm, a 2.4-inch monitor, digital shake reduction, nine-point autofocus and an ultra-fast face detection system. It measures 97.5 × 60 × 23.5mm and weighs 160g including standard alkaline batteries and SD memory card. The E70 is designed to be easy to use, and feature Pentax's popular Green Button mode as well as Auto Picture scene selection mode. Price and availability of the E70 are yet to be confirmed.