Cameras

Pentax Announces Z10 and S10

Pentax launched two new point-and-shoot models today, the 10-megapixel Optio S10 and 7-megapixel Z10. As the first Pentax Z and S-series cameras, both include face recognition technology. The S10 and Z10 will retail for $249.95 and will be available exc

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August 23, 2007 – Pentax launched two new point-and-shoot models today, the 10-megapixel Optio S10 and 8-megapixel Z10. Both include face recognition technology. The S10 and Z10 will retail for $249.95 beginning next month; however, the S10 will be sold exclusively at Wal-Mart.

Pentax calls the new Optio S10 "one of the smallest, lightest 10-megapixel digital cameras in the world," according to a company press release. Measuring 3.4 x 2.1 x 0.8 inches, this Optio point-and-shoot weighs only 4.1 ounces without battery or memory card. The S10 features a standard 3x optical zoom Pentax extending lens.

The new Z10 features an 8-megapixel sensor and a 7x optical zoom lens for the same introductory price of just under $250. The Z10’s built-in, non-extending lens is the longest zoom in Pentax’s Optio line. The Pentax lens has an equivalent focal range of 38 to 266mm in 35mm format.

Even with the longer 7x zoom on the Pentax Z10, both new cameras possess digital image stabilization but not optical or mechanical image stabilization. The Z10 and S10 include Pentax’s Digital Shake Reduction system that boosts shutter speed and ISO sensitivity up to 3200 ISO to reduce blur. Users can also engage digital SR while in Movie mode.

The Z10 is fitted with a 2.5-inch, 230,000 pixel monitor with a 170-degree viewing angle. At 232,000 pixels, the S10 has a slightly higher resolution 2.5-inch monitor with a 160-degree angle view.

The Pentax Z10 and S10 also have Pentax’s Face Recognition AF&AE, standing for auto focus and auto exposure, detecting up to 15 faces in a given scene. The Optio Z10 camera, however, includes updated face detection to recognize portraits in nearly 0.03 seconds, faster than earlier Optio cameras, according to the release.

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While the S10 does not possess the improved speed rate of the face recognition system, it has a new function called Half-Length Portrait, enabling users to get closer photos of their subjects. Half-Length Portrait uses the Face Recognition AF&AE system to automatically capture subjects above the waist, cropping out subject matter below the waist. The Half-Length function records at a reduced fixed resolution of 3 megapixels.

The Pentax Optio S10 and Z10 are compatible with lithium-ion batteries and accept SD and SDHC media. 

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