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Pentax Announces Optio M50 and E50

Jan. 23, 2008 – Pentax today announced the Optio M50 and E50, pocket-friendly point-and-shoots with a number of the latest trends, including face recognition for up to 15 faces and an Auto Picture mode that automatically recognizes conditions for six Sc

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Jan. 23, 2008 – Pentax today announced the Optio M50 and E50, pocket-

friendly point-and-shoots with a number of the latest trends, including face recognition for up to 15 faces and an Auto Picture mode that automatically recognizes conditions for six Scene modes without having to adjust the mode dial. The M50 will be available for $229.95, and the E40 will be available for $149.95; both will ship in March.

The 8-megapixel M50 keeps 2.5-inch LCD found on its predecessor, the M40, but ups the LCD’s pixel count from 150,000 to an industry-standard 230,000 pixels to provide a better view. The LCD screen on the M50 can be viewed from approximately 170 degrees in all directions. The M50 also features a 5x optical zoom, up from the 3x zoom on the M40.

The E50 keeps the3x optical zoom lens and 2.4-inch LCD with 110,000 pixels found on its predecessor, the E40.

Both cameras feature face detection that automatically focuses and exposes on up to 15 faces in a frame. A Smile Capture mode also automatically snaps a photo once a smile has been detected in the frame.

An Auto Picture mode on both cameras automatically recognizes shooting conditions for Landscape, Portrait, Night Scene, Normal, Flower, and Sports mode, so users can take photos in these conditions without having to change to the appropriate Scene mode on the mode dial. Similar modes are being released on Sony’s new W150 and W170 point-and-shoots.

The W50 and E50 have digital image stabilization, which automatically adjusts the camera’s sensitivity to up to ISO 6400 to reduce blur in low-light shooting situations. The W40 also features digital image stabilization, but caps the ISO at ISO 3200, and the E40 caps the ISO at ISO 1000.

Both cameras also feature a Green mode, Pentax’s version of the Auto mode, which locks out most manual settings to make capturing images easier for beginners.

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Both capture movies with sound in 640 x 480 and 320 x 240 at 30 or 15 frames per second, and the M50 can shoot in color, sepia, or black and white. Further Movie mode specifications for the E50 have not yet been announced.

Both cameras have a Panorama mode for automatically stitching three images into one panoramic image, and feature FotoNation’s red-eye reduction. The M50 has 51.1 MB of internal memory, and the E50 has 10 MB. The M50 runs on a rechargeable lithium-ion battery, and the E50 runs on two AA batteries. Both are PictBridge compatible for printing directly from the camera. The M50 will be available in silver, light blue, and pink, and the E50 comes in silver.

  

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