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Dennis Hissink : July 29th 2003 - 15:21 CET

First look on the new ultra compact Pentax Optio S

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PentaxWe had this brand new Pentax camera just for a short day in the office so we decided to go for a first look to give you an impression of the really ultra compact design of this new Pentax jewel. The OptioS has been announced during the CES show in the beginning of January this year. This new Pentax camera is small, but that is an understatement, it's ultra-small! Canon IXUS pack your backs, the OptioS from Pentax is taking over control! The Pentax OptioS has been developed for personal use, to be convenient enough to carry with at all time, but it also offering 3 Megapixel resolution and a 3x optical zoom as well. The new lens is the first SMC Pentax lens in a digital camera ever and it is also completely revised.
This results in a very compact boy with a 3x optical zoom lens. Together with the newly developed Multi Chip Module inside of the camera the total volume reduction reaches about 57%. Another thing you immediately notice when holding the camera for the first time in your hands is the surprisingly good grip. Surprisingly cause due to the ultra-compact design of the camera there seems to be no grip at all, but the "skin" of this new Optio feels a little bit rough and on the back of the camera there has been made some room for your thumb as well. The second thing you will notice is the light-weight of just above 100 grams (incl. battery). The dimensions (83x52x20mm) and the weight lets you carry this ultra compact camera everywhere you want to go.

The resolution of an effective 3.2 Megapixels is good enough to capture nice detailed images and let you print them on a 4x6" format paper. Next to the fully automatic function of the camera the OptioS offers the choice of eight shooting modes like Program Picture, Night Scene, Movie, Panorama Assist, 3D image, Digital Filter and User. When the movie function is activated the OptioS can record up to 30 seconds of video with sound at a frame rate of 12 frames per second and in a resolution of 320x240 pixels. The movie clips are recorded in the AVI format.

The new OptioS has a built-in memory of 11MB but is also equipped with a memory slot to let you expand this memory by bringing in a Secure Digital or MultiMedia card. These cards are getting more and more popular these days and the roadmap of Secure Digital shows us an expanding growth in storage capacity to no less then 4GB in the upcoming years.

The back of the camera is reserved for the control panel and for the 1.6" LCD display that will give you an accurate 100% view of the frame. Above of the display you will find a tiny little optical viewfinder with an image zoom. Despite the dimensions of this view finder it is easy enough to look through it so it will allow you to save the energy by turning of the LCD display. On the side of the camera we find two interfaces allowing you to connect the OptioS camera to an external AC adapter or to a computer for transferring all the data or for connecting the camera to a television set so you can view the still images or the movies.

The Pentax OptioS we used to give you a little preview was not a full production model, but our first look was really positive. We have handled dozens of camera throughout the years, but this camera is one of them where you can get easily be enthusiastic about. I think Pentax has a real jewel in its hands and is getting more and mature in the digital imaging market. We will expect some more news them in the upcoming weeks from them, so stay tuned and keep your eye focused on LetsGoDigital. We will expect some more news from them in the upcoming weeks, so stay tuned and keep your eye focused on LetsGoDigital.

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