Pentax has become the latest digital camera manufacturer to jump on the 12-megapixel bandwagon, with the announcement of the new Optio A40 compact camera. The design of the new model is clearly based on the excellent 10-megapixel Optio A30, and features some advanced technology that should ensure optimum picture quality.
The core of the camera is a 1/1.7-inch 12.0-megapixel CCD sensor, very likely the same sensor as the Casio EX-Z1200. One concern often voiced about very high resolution compact camera sensors is their limited dynamic range, due to the inferior light-gathering capability of the microscopic photocells. Pentax has attempted to address this concern with the addition of "Dynamic Range Adjustment", a feature which is supposed to prevent loss of detail in highlights and shadows, especially in high-contrast shots.
Other advanced features include the same moving-sensor image stabilisation system as the A30, as well as high-ISO anti-shake and electronic image stabilisation in video mode. It also features what the press release describes as "Face Recognition AF&AE", although whether this is simply face detection, or the advanced Family and Friends face recognition system of the Casio Z1200 remains to be seen. The A40 also features a 2.5-in 232k monitor, a high quality 3x optical zoom SMC Pentax lens, and manual exposure options.
The Pentax Optio A40 will be available from November, with a guide price of £219.
Link: Pentax UK