Pentax have launched an upgrade to its Optio range: the stylish Optio A30

Pentax have launched an upgrade to its Optio range: the stylish Optio A30
An upgrade on the A20, the new addition has changed colour from sleek silver to stylish black, whilst retaining the high-end capability of the previous model. Shake reduction is present to aid on-the-go photography, alongside a 2.5? LCD with improved brightness for viewing in strong sunlight

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See below for full press release

PENTAX launches the Optio A30 a 10 Megapixels digital compact with enhanced shake reduction technology

February 2007 – Pentax today launches its new stylish, high-end digital compact, the Optio A30. Featuring 10.0 effective megapixels, the latest optics and Pentax’s enhanced anti-shake reduction technology, this camera produces superb quality images in a compact body. Both style-conscious novices and photographic enthusiasts will benefit from the Optio A30’s superior shake reduction feature that helps users perfectly capture images, even in the most challenging of circumstances.

The Optio A30 combines 10.0 effective megapixels, with a 1/1.8 inch CCD and an smc PENTAX zoom lens, creating images with class leading detail and colour reproduction. The camera boasts enhanced anti-shake technology that features three new functions; improved shake reduction accuracy; a Digital SR mode that automatically changes the camera’s sensitivity according to the brightness of the subject, to effectively reduce camera-shake and subject blurring; and a Movie SR shake reduction function exclusively for capturing movies.

The 3x optical zoom camera also features a new 2.5 inch LCD monitor that offers improved screen brightness, for easier viewing outdoors, particularly in strong sunlight. Housed in a tough, lightweight aluminium casing and finished in a stylish black, the Optio A30 will be on sale from March at a guide price of £199.99.

Major Features

1. High-quality images

The Optio A30 achieves some of the highest quality images available on a compact digital camera, thanks to features such as 10.0 effective megapixels; a 1/1.8-inch CCD with a wide light-sensitive area for superior tone reproduction; an smc PENTAX zoom lens, renowned for its high resolution power; an image processing engine that produces rich colour reproduction and three different types of anti-shake function.

2. Enhancement of anti-shake functions
(1) SR (Shake Reduction)
The shake detection accuracy of the Optio A30 has been further enhanced, by incorporating a new, high-accuracy gyro sensor and a control algorithm used for shake correction technology in our digital SLR cameras, into the shake reduction mechanism in this compact. This consists of a shifting CCD system developed exclusively by PENTAX. When photographing still images, highly corrective effects can be applied that are equivalent to shutter speeds of approximately 2.5 to 3.5 steps.

(2) Digital SR (Shake Reduction)*1
The Digital SR mode automatically changes the camera’s sensitivity according to the brightness of the subject and effectively reduces camera shake and subject blurring. The maximum sensitivity has been improved to ISO 3200 on the Optio A30 and with faster shutter speeds it is possible to reduce photography blurring.

*1 The image recording size is fixed to 5M (2592 x 1944 pixels) when the Digital SR mode is selected.
(3) Movie SR (Shake Reduction)*2
An electronic shake reduction function exclusively for capturing movies, effectively corrects distortions in images caused by camera shake using software.

*2 When using “Movie SR,” the field of view is narrower than that available during normal video recording.

3. New LCD monitor that is bright and easily viewable
The Optio A30 is equipped with a high-intensity LCD monitor with an LCD booster function enables users to improve the brightness of the screen as necessary. The monitor is now even easier to view outdoors, particularly in strong sunlight. With a 2.5-inch screen, with a high resolution of 232,000 pixels, it is easy to confirm picture compositions and focus. Due to its wide viewing angle, the screen can also be easily seen diagonally, since there is little change in brightness and colours.

4. Convenient “Face Recognition AF & AE” function for photographing

The Optio A30 is equipped with a convenient “Face Recognition AF & AE” function*3 that automatically detects and focuses on faces, regardless of where the people appear in the frame. In addition, optimal exposure settings are automatically conducted so that the areas with faces are not darkened even if there is backlighting.

*3 Available when the photography mode is on “Portrait” or “Kid” and the camera is directed at people face on.
*This camera’s Face Recognition AF & AE function uses the Face Tracker face-recognition technology from FotoNation.

5. Swift operation speeds
Various operation speeds for photography and playback have been increased, making it possible to use the camera more swiftly. In addition, to a 0.02-second release lag, the camera’s focus and start-up time has been speeded up.

6. “Intelligent zoom” function
The Optio A30 is equipped with an “intelligent zoom” function, which is an extension of the digital zoom, enabling images to be magnified even larger and stored, whilst maintaining the image quality of the optical zoom.

7. Video recording function enabling high-quality recording for long
periods of time

The Optio A30 smoothly captures movies at 30 fps (frames per second) at sizes up to 640 x 480 pixels with image quality rivalling camcorders. Since it employs the DivX® (MPEG-4 compliant) movie format*4 the Optio A30 can record longer, high-quality movies.

*4 The Optio A30 is DivX® certified. Movie playback is not supported on Macintosh operating systems.

8. A wide range of exposure setting modes
In Programmed Exposure mode, the camera automatically determines the shutter speed and aperture. The camera also includes “Shutter-Priority AE” mode and “Manual Exposure” mode, which the user can freely set depending on the effect they are aiming to achieve.

9. Compact and lightweight body
Despite incorporating a large CCD, the SR system and a 3x optical zoom lens, Pentax has still managed to create a slimmer and lighter body by using our unique Sliding Lens System*5 combined with a high-density mounting technology.

*5 PENTAX’s proprietary lens system: The central lens group slides upward from the optical axis and the front and back lens groups slip under them. Housing the lens in two steps in the lens cylinder reduces overall lens thickness, thereby minimising body depth.

10. Other Features
(1) Auto-tracking AF continuously focusing on a moving subject
(2) Compatible with new SDHC memory cards, in addition to conventional SD
memory cards
(3) Mode Palette provides quick access to 15 shooting modes and 15 playback
(4) A “Green button” that enables users to assign functions that are frequently
used, and recall them at a single touch
(5) Approximately 22MB of built-in memory
(6) Calendar Display function allows image retrieval based on the capture date
(7) Easy searching and organising of images on a PC using the Date Folder function
(8) FotoNation’s red-eye correction function for correcting red eye after shooting,
which occurs easily when photographing with flash
(9) Includes the ACDSee for PENTAX image viewer/image management software
(10) Supports PictBridge, DPOF functions, Exif Print, and PRINT Image Matching III