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Pentax Opens Year with ''Amphibious'' Point-and-Shoot OptioWP

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*January 4, 2005, Las Vegas, Nevada *� Pentax opens the year with the release of the slim, durable 5.0 megapixel OptioWP. The rugged OptioWP maintains a sense of style in its flexible, weather-resistant veneer. Capable of withstanding submergence in up to five feet of water, the OptioWP is a vacationer�s delight, providing recreational flexibility and strong image performance in a variety of shooting situations.

�Our latest camera blends digital elegance into outdoor lifestyles,� described Michelle Martin, Public Relations Coordinator. �The beautiful, high quality Pentax OptioWP appeals to anyone who wants a powerful digital camera they will be proud to use everywhere.�

Designed to apply to a wide range of users in varied scenarios, the OptioWP�s solid 4� x 2� x 0.9� aluminum alloy frame blends slight dimensions and pocket portability with a rigid weather-resistant structure. Tagged as �amphibious� by Pentax, each seam in the camera�s interlocking design is reinforced with rubber sealant. Water-tight casing secures crucial ports like the battery and memory card slot, and a rust-resistant interior surrounds the camera�s mechanical components. This ensures complete weather and water resistance.

Along with its reliable, rugged construction, Pentax has added substance to the OptioWP�s sleek two-tone aluminum design, equipping the camera with a 3x optical/4x digital zoom and a 38-114mm (equivalent) lens leading to the camera�s 5.0 megapixel CCD sensor. The camera�s startup time is 0.6 seconds and the shutter release has been reduced to .05 seconds. Rapid shooting speeds, expansive zoom range, and increased resolution on the OptioWP work to provide sharp, instantaneous images that can be printed up to 11� x 14�.

To appeal to point-and-shoot enthusiasts, the OptioWP includes 20 shooting modes, 15 of which can be displayed as icons on the camera�s shooting Mode palette. There is a textual help reference available to provide brief explanations of the various modes and functions when necessary. A �green mode� button has been included on the OptioWP, providing options for customization and four shortcut function combinations. The customized preset �green mode� enables users to personalize settings to their preferences and conserve time when shooting on the go.

When facing fleeting subjects or objects in constant motion, the user can opt to utilize the OptioWP�s preset Pet or Sport options to engage the camera�s new automatic AF tracking and follow the motion. This advanced AF system has been integrated into the camera�s shooting layout to improve automatic image capture, regardless of the setting or subject.

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While the OptioWP does not attempt to delve into the hybrid-imager market, full motion video can be recorded at 30 frames-per-second using the camera�s Movie Mode setting. Video captured can be altered immediately using the camera�s movie editing options. Individual frames of video can be saved as still images, and sequences can be cut into separate files or merged into one -- a rarity on current point-and-shoot cameras. Two digital shooting effects are also included for video application, rendering captured video in black & white or sepia tones if desired.

For clear viewing on land or underwater, the majority of the OptioWP�s diminutive rear face is dedicated to the camera�s 2-inch, low-reflection LCD screen. Designed to minimize stray glare resulting from extreme sunlight and brightness, the included LCD monitor continues the OptioWP�s strong structural design motif, emphasizing flexibility and reliability.

The Pentax OptioWP is slated for late March release, entering the market with a $400 (USD) price tag.

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