Just before the PMA kicks off in Las Vegas Pentax decides to announce a new 4 Megapixels camera; the Optio S4i. This new model is very compact, but has all controls within the reach of ones hand. The S4i features a 1.8-inch TFT LCD monitor (resolution 85.000 pixels) offering 100% field of view. The 4 effective Megapixels resolution guarantees photo-realistic images and the 3x optical zoom, combined with a 4x digital zoom will give the user all-round comfort. The new Pentax Optio S4i has a stylish designed ultra-compact aluminum alloyed body that can even be used underwater (40 meters). With a total weight of only 120g (loaded and ready) and dimensions of 84x52x20.5mm you can carry this neat camera everywhere and anytime.
Despite its compact design the new Optio S4i is filled with the latest innovations. It employs a multi chip module system and an innovative Sliding Lens system that retracts to be flushed with the body of the camera. This innovative solution results in that compact dimension. The high quality zoom lens is a lens from the smc Pentax series, a well-known series and renowned for its excellent image quality. The zoom lens offers a 3x optical zoom with a focal range of 35-105mm compared to a 35mm camera. The lens exists of 5 groups of 6 elements crafted entirely from glass, with two lenses crafted to be aspherical on each side. Combined with the digital zoom the total zoom reaches an impressive 12x.
Beside being ultra compact the Optio S4i offers a user-friendly operation that is achieved using advanced processing circuitry and new software algorithm. The responsiveness regarding the shutter release is 0.01 second (taken from the moment the shutter release is fully depressed following focus lock to the moment the shutter opens, when the flash is switched off. The control buttons are at hand, the shooting modes are kept simple and straight forward. Another handy feature is the way the camera recharges; just set the camera in the unit to recharge the Lithium-ion battery. The built-in programs are: Program, Movie, Panorama Assist, Night Scene, 3D Image, Landscape Mode, Flower Mode, Portrait Mode, Self-portrait mode, Surf & Snow Mode, Autumn Color Mode, Sunset Mode, Museum, Text, Food, Soft and Posterization. The built-in Digital Filters enable shooting in black and white or in a range of colours like red, pink, yellow, green, blue and purple. The Optio S4i is also capable of recording voice, movies and voice-less movies under water. The images are stored on a Secure Digital Card.
Other features are: PictBridge support, Operation in 9 languages, Trimming, 10MB built-in memory, Exif print and PIM II support, histogram and 7-point AF or Spot AF. Optional accessories are: Waterproof case (O-WP2), AC adapter kit, 3D Image Viewer and Remote Control Unit. We are sure that we will see this new Pentax camera during our PMA 2004 visit, until then, stay focused at our special PMA 2004 report!