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September 13, 2004 � PENTAX Imaging Company announced its release of the Optio MX4, a multi-purpose 4.0 megapixel digital camera that can also shoot high-quality movies in MPEG-4 format.
The 2.9 x 2.3 x 4.1-inch camera touts a 10x optical zoom lens with an additional 10x digital zoom, an expansive range for any hybrid camera on the market. It also boasts a 1.8-inch low-reflection LCD screen with 134,000 pixels. The new camera has a built-in flash that �extends as far as possible beyond the lens to help reduce �red eyes� during telephoto shooting,� according to PENTAX�s press release.
The Optio MX4�s LCD screen can be rotated 180 degrees horizontally and 210 degrees vertically for easy low and high-angle shooting. Sony released a similar hybrid-style camera, the Cyber-Shot DSC-M1, in late August. The M1 has only a 3x optical zoom lens, but records 30 frames per second with stereo sound. The M1 is 6.5 ounces, while the Optio MX4 is 12 ounces.
The Optio MX4 records movies with 640x480 recording pixels at the rate of 30 frames per second. Depending on the size of the SD/MMC card being used, the Optio MX4 can record up to two minutes. The camera can record up to two hours with the optional AC adapter.
Comfort and flexibility are paramount, as the gun-style grip can be rotated for maximum shooting ease. The function dial rotates to select the modes, which are Landscape, Flower, Portrait, Sport, Surf & Snow, Night scene, Sunset, Soft, Illustration and Panorama assist. Semi-automatic modes, such as Shutter-priority and Aperture-priority, as well as Manual mode, are also available.
The camera sports eight color filters � black & white, sepia, red, pink, purple, blue, green and yellow � that allow the user to change the mood when shooting or afterward.
The PENYAX Optio MX4 will officially be released September 20 at the PEPCOM Holiday Spectacular in New York City and will be available in October.