Cameras

Pentax Launches Optio V20 Point-and-Shoot

March 18, 2008 - Pentax has announced the Optio V20 point-and-shoot, a mid-range camera that features automatic Smile Capture, Blink Detection, and Scene mode detection in the Auto mode. The 8-megapixel Option V20 will retail for $279.95 when it is releas

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March 18, 2008 - Pentax has announced the Optio V20 point-and-shoot, a mid-range camera that features automatic Smile Capture, Blink Detection, and Scene mode detection in the Auto mode. The 8-megapixel Option V20 will retail for $279.95 when it is released in May.

The slim point-and-shoot has a 5x optical zoom lens and large 3-inch LCD with industry-standard 230,000-pixel resolution. It has a wide viewing angle of 170 degrees so the screen can be viewed from all directions. The V10 which was announced last year has the same megapixel count and LCD, but a shorter 3x zoom lens; it costs $249.95.

The V20 features digital image stabilization, which automatically increases the ISO to compensate for blur in images. This isn’t the ideal image stabilization - many similar cameras (such as the $249 Canon SD1100IS we reviewed recently) have optical image stabilization, which shifts part of the lens to compensate for hand shake and is generally the more effective image stabilization method. The V20’s ISO ranges from 80 to up to ISO 6400 in Digital SR mode, up from the V10’s ISO range of 50 to up to ISO 3200 in Digital SR mode.

The Optio V20 has face detection, which automatically exposes and focuses on detected faces, and Smile Capture, which automatically snaps a photo when a smile is detected. The Blink Detection function works by detecting when a subject has blinked, so the image can be recaptured.

The Optio V20 also has an Auto Picture mode that detects shooting conditions and automatically adjusts the settings to the proper Scene mode to fit the conditions – the Auto mode can recognize Landscape, Portrait, Night Scene, Normal, Flower, and Sports mode.

The Pentax Optio V20 also features a Movie mode with digital image stabilization, Panorama mode to stitch together images, an Auto Macro mode shots as close as 4 inches, and tracking autofocus for moving subjects.

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The camera runs on a rechargeable lithium-ion battery, comes with 52 MB of internal memory, and accepts SD and SDHC memory cards.

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