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Pentax announced the Optio RZ18 compact superzoom camera last night. Vital specs include an 18x optical zoom lens (25-450mm equivalent), a 16-megapixel CCD sensor, sensor-shift stabilization, a 3-inch LCD, and 720p HD video. It will also be compatible with Pentax remote controls. It replaces last year’s RZ10, which had a shorter zoom range, smaller LCD, and lower resolution.
Its 18x zoom ratio is one of the longest seen on a compact zoom yet, matching the Nikon S9100 and Samsung WB700. Pentax has not yet released performance specs, though it’s built around a CCD sensor, so it’s unlikely to offer the same speedy burst rates as CMOS-based cameras.
The RZ18 will be available in October 2011 in black, red, and white at an MSRP of $299.