Seven megapixel camera heads new Pentax Optio range

A 7Mp camera is just one of several cameras in Pentax's Optio range that will be available to the Australian market in the coming weeks.

The company will release three cameras during September/October: the Pentax Optio 750Z, with 7Mp and 5x optical zoom; the 5Mp Pentax Optio S5i, with 3x optical zoom; and a slim-bodied 5Mp Pentax OptioX.

The $999 Optio 750Z, which features an aluminium alloy exterior, is equipped with a new Application Specified Integrated Circuit (ASIC) which Pentax says provides more natural reproduction of gradations and better colour compensation. It has a 7.8-39mm lens (37.5-187.5mm equivalent in 35mm format). The camera features 10 shooting modes and saves images in JPEG and TIFF formats. It also has USB connectivity and is PictBridge compatible.

The Optio S5i weighs just 105gms and measures only 84x52x20.5mm. Despite its small size, it features a 1.8in LCD monitor, which can swing out 180 degrees horizontally and 270 degrees vertically.

It is also quick. Pentax claims a 0.01 sec shutter release time lag on the Optio S5i. It supports SD memory cards and has 10MB built-in memory. Priced at $699, it comes in two colours -- Cool Silver and Indigo Blue.

The $699 OptioX has the slimmest body in the Optio camera series. It is only 18mm wide, yet features a large, 2in LCD monitor.

Optio 750Z

Like Sony's F717 and F828, the OptioX offers a real-time warning for "washed out" and "blacked out" areas, which allows users to know on-the-fly what are the under-exposed or over-exposed parts of an image. The OptioX has a 4x digital zoom and a rechargeable lithium-ion battery. The OptioX also features a PC camera function. By using Windows Messenger 5, users can connect the camera to a PC and use it as a videophone.

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