Pentax Unveils Optio A10, Flagship of a New Point-and-Shoot Fleet

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Las Vegas, Nevada, January 3, 2006 - The new Pentax Optio A10 is Pentax’s flagship camera for their new series of high-end point-and-shoots. With the introduction of the 8 megapixel A10, Pentax has moved away from assigning model numbers based on megapixels. The new flagship digital camera offers a 3x optical zoom lens, a high-resolution 2.5-inch LCD screen, and two types of image stabilization – all in a 0.9-inch thick body. The Pentax Optio A10 will begin shipping in February for under $350.

The 8 megapixel camera is sheathed in a slim and lightweight brushed aluminum body with curved corners. It’s physically distinguished from Pentax’s other new line opener, the Optio E10, by being a little slighter of build with 3.5 x 2.1 x 0.9-inch measurements. The Pentax A10 also has 2 more megapixels than the E10. The Pentax Optio A10 wears an smc Pentax lens with an f/2.8-f/5.4 aperture and 7.9-23.7mm focal length range, equivalent to 37.5-112.5mm on a 35mm camera. The lens itself is constructed of seven elements, including three dual-sided aspheric elements, and is designed to reduce the appearance of ghosting and flare typical of point-and-shoot-style cameras when shooting toward light sources.

The Pentax Optio A10 features a shake reduction system that calculates the correct compensation with two internal gyro sensors. This CCD-shift shake reduction system is enabled when recording still images. When shooting video, the camera uses a digital image stabilization system. In still or video recording the shake reduction is particularly handy, especially for telephoto or low-light shooting.

Those attracted by more advanced features will appreciate the white balance options of daylight, shade, tungsten light, and fluorescent light. The A10 offers a custom white balance feature, as well as an adjustable ISO range of 50, 100, 200, and 400. The ISO range extends to 800 in the Candle scene mode as well. The Pentax Optio A10 also offers 10 self-explanatory scene modes: Night Scene, Landscape, Flower, Portrait, Surf & Snow, Candle Light, Text, Food, Sport, and Pet. These modes offer a nice range of choices for an entry level photographer and are a simpler selection than the 25 or more scene modes of minuscule variance and dubious necessity offered on other models likely.

The Pentax Optio A10 has a 2.5-inch TFT LCD monitor with 232,000 pixels and serves as both playback monitor and viewfinder with a histogram display. The A10 is powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that has a life of 150 shots. The Optio A10 has 24MB of internal memory, but also supports SD cards.

"The A10 represents a complete upgrade and overhaul of our digital camera series and will be the first model of our high-end Optio series," said Ned Bunnell, director of marketing for Pentax, in today’s press release. "With 8 megapixels, shake reduction and a new smc Pentax zoom lens, the Optio A10 is our flagship model."

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