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Dennis Hissink : September 14th 2004 - 00:20 CET

Pentax announces the OptioSV

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PentaxPENTAX Corporation introduces the new OptioSV, a compact digital camera with 5X optical zoom and the image quality of 5.0 effective megapixels. It also has particularly compact dimensions, bringing such zooming power together with portability. Such compact dimensions are made possible through use of the unique Sliding Lens System, which makes a significant difference to the depth of the entire camera. The OptioSV also demonstrates PENTAX expertise in locating all parts not only for practicality but also for the ultimate in space efficiency. The end result is a camera with more than merely compact dimensions. It is a camera with a revolutionary reduction in size.
Pentax announces the OptioSVFurthermore, designed in line with the same basic development concept as all other PENTAX digital cameras of having "excellent portability and ease of use", the OptioSV also delivers a powerfully high zoom ratio and achieves outstanding image quality.

The aforementioned Sliding Lens System that makes such minimized dimensions possible works by offsetting the central lens groups - taking them out of alignment with the optical axis and housing them in the cylinder in two steps - thereby significantly decreasing overall length. This leads to significantly reduced depth for the entire body. First incorporated in the OptioS launched last year, this innovative system has since been employed in an array of PENTAX digital cameras. Now the OptioSV incorporates a refined version of this system, enabling the powerful 5X optical zoom lens to be housed within a body depth of a mere 28mm.

Pleasing image quality worthy of the PENTAX name results from the combination of the high-performance smc PENTAX lens with a newly developed ASIC (Application Specific Integrated Circuit). And in terms of operability, the OptioSV features a mode dial that literally makes mode selection as simple as the turn of a dial. The OptioSV also features Picture mode, which allows the user to simply select an icon on the LCD monitor that matches the scene at hand to achieve excellent results with no further preparation. The OptioSV additionally has an exterior with the rich texture of an aluminum alloy that gives the camera an overall sense of uncomplicated attractiveness.

Major features

1. Compact dimensions with a 5X optical zoom Sliding Lens System

The OptioSV incorporates a 5X optical zoom Sliding Lens System, which is a further refined version of the Sliding Lens System employed in the OptioS launched last year. The Sliding Lens System offsets the central lens groups from the optical axis and houses them in two steps in the lens cylinder. The result is a significant reduction in lens length and drastically minimized body depth. Furthermore, PENTAX expertise in mounting assists in the achievement of minimized dimensions through maximum space efficiency. As a result, the OptioSV boasts the body dimensions of 91.5 (W) x 56 (H) x 28 (D)mm and weighs a mere 150 grams - thus constituting an impressive reduction in both size and weight.

2. Excellent image quality

The OptioSV delivers the high-level image quality consumers have learned to expect only from PENTAX. It incorporates a 1/2.5-inch CCD with 5.36 total megapixels and uses a primary color filter. The OptioSV also employs a high-contrast smc PENTAX lens renowned for high-level clarity. It is made up of 10 elements in 8 groups and includes two aspherical lenses. It is also highly effective in compensating for spherical and other forms of aberration, while its unique coating reduces ghost and flare to a bare minimum. Furthermore, the newly developed ASIC (Application Specific Integrated Circuit) reinforces image processing performance to deliver more natural gradations and vivid color compensation.

3. Flexible composition with 5X optical zoom

The OptioSV incorporates a 5.8mm-29mm 5X optical zoom lens offering a focal range covering angles of view equivalent to those of a 36mm-180mm lens in 35mm format. With its generous zooming range it offers impressive compositional freedom and it can also be combined with 4X digital zoom, to offer up to 20X total zooming capability. The OptioSV additionally features Super macro mode, which allows the user to shoot from as close as 3cm from the subject.

4. Simple selection of shooting modes

For intuitive mode selection, the OptioSV employs a mode dial. By turning the dial, the user can simply choose Program, PICT (picture), Night scene, Movie, Voice recording, USER, and M (Manual) modes. The user can also select PICT mode to activate the mode palette function, which displays icons for all 12 picture modes at once on the LCD monitor to enable easier selection of the desired mode.

5. High-quality aluminium alloy body

The exterior of the OptioSV is created from aluminum alloy and has an attractive appearance. For the front, this alloy has been treated to give it a hairline texture that catches the light in an attractive manner and the camera also features a rubber grip with a linear design. Such a simple approach to styling not only makes the OptioSV more attractive, it is also highly practical.

6. Function settings tailored to individual users

A handy short cut function allows the user to gain fast access to settings for recording image size, white balance, sensitivity and other frequently used functions. The M (Manual) position on the mode dial can also be altered to function as Tv (Shutter-priority AE) or Av (Aperture-priority AE) according to user preferences. All of these settings can be accessed through use of the Fn (Function) button and the stick lever, and such customized operation makes the OptioSV even more user friendly overall.

7. Large, easy-to-see 1.8-inch LCD monitor

Despite its highly portable and compact dimensions, the OptioSV features a large, 1.8-inch TFT LCD monitor with approximately 118,000 pixels. This makes it easy to confirm composition, focusing and other elements as well as enabling the viewing of recorded shots anywhere.

8. USB2.0 (HI-SPEED) compatibility

Among digital cameras, the number of recording pixels increases and recording media capacity continues to grow. Responding to such trends, not only does the OptioSV offer the clarity of 5 megapixels, but it also delivers smooth image data transfer at high speeds too, with transfer rates that are accelerated further when used with PC's featuring a USB2.0 port.

9. Battery stand that charges spare batteries as well as ones still in the camera - wherever you are in the world

The battery stand is capable of charging batteries while they are still inside the camera. What's more, it can also house spare batteries too, which begin charging as soon as the ones inside the camera are fully charged. Compatible with 100V to 240V (50/60Hz) current, it also ensures smooth charging wherever the user travels around the world when used with the appropriate adapters.

10. Other features

- Movie recording with sound, voice recorder function
- Connectivity to a TV via AV cable
- 5 types of auto bracketing (exposure, white balance, sharpness, color saturation, contrast)
- Built-in auto flash with red-eye reduction function
- SD memory card compatibility
- Actual-image optical viewfinder
- World time function (for 68 cities around the world)
- ACDSee for PENTAX standard image viewer and ACD Showtime! for PENTAX movie editing software
- PictBridge compatibility
- DPOF, Exif Print and PRINT Image Matching III compatibility

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