February 15, 2006 – Pentax introduced the Optio M10 today, the first in Pentax’s new mid-range line of digital cameras. The 6 megapixel model has a silver body that looks somewhat traditional and boxy, but still packs in decent features at an affordable price. The Pentax Optio M10 will retail for $229 in March.
The M10 has a 3x zoom lens that extends from 35-105 mm. The auto focus system has been upgraded to a 9-point system rather than the 5-point system on most previous Optio models. The compact M10 keeps the QVGA movie mode that operates at 30 or 15 frames per second. This Pentax model includes 22 MB of internal memory and the camera is compatible with optional SD cards.
The Pentax Optio M10 has a 2.5-inch LCD screen with 115,000 pixels on its 3.5 x 2.3 x 1-inch frame. The camera is small, but has a fairly prominent right-hand grip considering its size. The compact M10 has 12 scene modes, but not many manual exposure controls. It is powered by AA batteries and is rated to last for 200 shots with alkaline cells. With the rechargeable NiMH batteries, this model can reportedly get 640 shots per charge.
With the M10, T10, and W10 released today by Pentax, the manufacturer reveals a new naming methodology. New cameras will be named with a letter indicating their series and a number that represents a model number rather than megapixel count, as has been the case previously.
"Our aim with the new naming system is to make it easier for customers to understand our product line, from entry to high-end, and allows much more flexibility in expanding our product line as we move forward with these camera lines," said Ned Bunnell, director of marketing at Pentax Imaging Company, in today’s press release.
The Pentax Optio M10’s mid-range series fits in a step above the Economy E-series digital cameras and just below the Advanced A-series models.