New Optios More Than Megapixel Jumpers

Still better buy a bigger memory card.

The latest trend in the digital camera sector is the ‘Megapixel Jump’: update an old model within six to eight months of release changing almost nothing but the megapixel rating. Thankfully, these two models aren’t guilty of this.


Sure, the newly announced A20 and M20 from Pentax do bump the numbers: from seven to ten in the case of the former and six to eight with regards to the latter but just enough new technology means they escape this troublesome tag.

The A20 makes steps forward by adding shake and blur reduction modes, face recognition technology a la the Optio S7 and boosted a ISO range to 800. SD High Capacity (SDHC) cards are also now supported though the rest of the specs remain stagnant with 22MB of built in memory a 2.5in LCD, VGA video recording at 30fps and a 3x optical zoom.

The name of the game with the M20 is stamina. Running off just two AA Lithium batteries Pentax boasts the camera can shoot up to 700 shots off a single charge though AA alkalines drop that to just 220. Blur reduction, anti shake and face recognition wizardry also get a run out here and SDHC cards now work just dandy. Naturally enough the boxes beside ‘2.5in LCD’, ‘3x optical zoom’ and ‘30fps VGA video’ all find a big red tick in them.

The M20 will also be first on the scene, flashing subjects from September if they have a spare $200. The A20 follows a little later in October for a more wallet lightening $350 though they both look fairly good value. Of course, this frugality is offset somewhat by the fact you now need to buy larger memory cards but that’s cos life ain’t fair.

Pentax UK

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