Details have been released of two new Pentax Optio cameras, which will be available in Australia in the next 3-8 weeks.


: Details have been released of two new Pentax Optio cameras, which will be available in Australia in the next 3-8 weeks.


The 5-megapixel Optio S5i (RRP $699) has many features in common with the popular Optio S4i model, including an ultra-compact aluminium alloy chassis and 3x optical zoom lens. However, the body and grip have been ‘texturised’ to add a quality feel and improve handling performance. The S5i also has a new Sport mode that sets the camera for shutter-speed priority and brings the scene mode total to 21. All scene settings are available through the Mode Palette, which displays all mode icons on the LCD monitor simultaneously. A new addition to the focus settings is pan focusing, which ensures clear focusing from close range to infinity.
A new battery charger stand charges batteries while they are in the camera and has a space for storing a spare battery plus facilities for charging the spare once the camera battery is fully charged. Other features include TV playback of shots using the supplied remote control, up to 4x digital zoom and a super macro setting that focuses to 6 cm from the subject.
The innovative Pentax Optio X (RRP $699) features a swivelling camera body with two distinct parts: the lens and the LCD monitor. Both can be adjusted independently, allowing users to shoot from difficult positions and view images even in bright ambient light. A novel sliding lens system reduces the length of the lens cylinder by housing it in two parts, making the Optio X the slimmest Optio model, at just 18mm wide. High image quality is ensured by partnering the smc Pentax optics with a 5-megapixel CCD sensor and improved image processing algorithm.


Image processing has been made 1.5x faster than conventional Pentax systems and separate buttons are provided for still, movie and voice capture, allowing still pictures to be taken while movie or voice clips are recorded. Live warnings are displayed to show washed-out or blacked-out areas in captured shots, allowing users to re-shoot, if necessary. The camera also has a key lock, which inactivates selected buttons so images are not lost through incorrect handling. Sixteen shooting modes are provided, along with a My Menu setting for menu shortcuts. The Optio X can also double as a PC camera for video chatting.
Full details of both cameras can be found at