Pentax Announces New Optio P&S Cameras

PENTAX Announces Colorful Optio M50, Tiny Optio S12, Travel-Ready Optio E50; Optio A40 to Ship

GOLDEN, Colo. –(Business Wire)– Jan. 23, 2008 PENTAX Imaging Company announced three new compact camera models and confirmed the Optio A40 is scheduled to ship in February 2008.

The PENTAX Optio M50, with a 5X optical zoom housed in an ultra compact body with fun color options, is the ideal combination of style, function and price for both customers looking to update their camera and new digital users. The camera features a unique Smile Capture function, which distinguishes smiles on a subject and automatically releases the shutter. Available in three color choices including silver, light blue and pink, the Optio M50 will ship in March 2008 for US $229.95.

The PENTAX Optio S12 is the smallest, most stylish 12MP camera in its class. An ideal choice for the experienced digital camera user looking for an extremely compact camera with advanced features, the PENTAX Optio S12 is scheduled to ship in April 2008 for US $279.95. The Optio S12 will be available in silver and black.

The PENTAX Optio E50 has advanced functions and high resolution with simple operation that appeal to customers looking for the maximum features and a minimal price – making it an ideal gift. The Optio E50 is also an excellent travel camera due to compatibility with easy to find AA batteries. This camera will ship in March 2008 for US $149.95.

The PENTAX Optio A40 appeals to the advanced digital user who wants the most from their compact camera including a high resolution sensor, mechanical Shake Reduction system, and advanced capture settings. Previously announced in the fall of 2007, the Optio A40 will ship in February 2008 for US $299.95.

“PENTAX’s goal with our compact digital cameras is to offer customers advanced features in the most compact bodies at a reasonable price,” said Ned Bunnell, President, PENTAX Imaging Company. “Every compact offering from PENTAX includes the popular face recognition feature, Digital Shake Reduction, PENTAX’s own Auto Picture mode and high quality design.”

All of these latest PENTAX compact digital products will be displayed at PMA 2008 Trade Show from January 31 to February 2 in Las Vegas.

PENTAX Imaging Company is an innovative leader in the production of digital SLR and compact cameras, lenses, flash units, binoculars, scopes, eyepieces and mobile printers and scanners. For more than 80 years, PENTAX technology has developed durable, reliable products that meet the needs of consumers and businesses. With headquarters in Golden, Colorado, PENTAX Imaging Company is a division of PENTAX of America, Inc.

Pentax K20D and K200D Official Images

Official images of the Pentax K20D and K200D are now floating around. It’s only a matter of time before the news becomes official now. These Japanese ads have been leaked onto the net and are now widespread. Stay tuned to the Pentax K20D and K200D page for the latest news updates.

Also, the new lenses are as follows:

  • SMC PENTAX-DA* 200mm F2.8 ED [IF] SDM – 7th February 2008
  • SMC PENTAX-DA* 300mm F4 ED [IF] SDM – end of March 2008
  • SMC PENTAX-DA 35mm F2.8 Macro Limited – middle of March 2008
  • SMC PENTAX-DA 55-300mm F4-5.8 ED – end of March 2008
  • SMC PENTAX-DA 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 AL II – end of February 2008

Pentax K20D Sample Images

Rumored sample images appeared today in the forums.  See this post on DPReview.com.  Here are some thumbnails of the leaked samples, click on each image for the original file that I’ve mirrored for you (Careful though, it’s a 14.5 MP file):

ISO 100

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ISO 3200

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Stay tuned to the latest info on the Pentax K20D on this page.

[tags]pentax, k20d, sample, images, pics[/tags]

Pentax K20D and K200D Specs

Does Let’s Go Digital have the scoop on the Pentax K20D and K200D specs?  I don’t know, but they’ve got  spec pages up that don’t have a public link-through yet.  Here’s the important stuff:

K20D:

  • Resolution 15.10 Mpixel
  • Maximum resolution 4672×3120
  • Minimum resolution 1824×1216
  • Sensor size 23.4×15.6mm
  • Sensor type CMOS
  •  ISO ratings auto, 100 – 6400
  •  Sequence (fps) 3
  •  Video function No
  •  LCD size 2.7-inch
  • LCD resolution (pixels) 230,000
  •  Weight 715g.
  • Sizes (mm) 141.5x101x70

K200D

  •  Resolution 10.75 Mpixel
  • Maximum resolution 3872×2592
  • Minimum resolution 2400×1600
  • Sensor size 23.5×15.7mm
  • Sensor type CCD
  •  ISO ratings aut0, 100-1600
  •  Minimum shutter (sec) Bulb+30
  • Maximum shutter (sec) 1/4000
  • Sequence (fps) 2.8
  •  LCD size 2.7-inch
  • LCD resolution (pixels) 230,000
  •  Energy
  • 4x AA
  • Weight 630g.
  • Sizes (mm) 133.5x95x74

Thanks to forum poster kukitos over at DP Review forums for the creative effort and find.  Click the link for a description of the links on Let’s Go Digital. I’ve pulled them up myself and can tell you that they exist as of 7:30 a.m.

Follow the latest on the Pentax K20D and K200D on this post.

[tags]pentax, k20d, k200d, rumor, specs[/tags]

Pentax K20D Sample Images?

There are some purported sample images taken with a beta version of the Pentax K20D floating around on DPReview forums right now. You shouldn’t put too much credit on this one; however, I promised to keep you posted on the K20D rumors. You can follow all of the K20D news and rumors on this page.

[tags]pentax, k20d, sample, pics, images, photos[/tags]

Samsung GX-20 Reviews and Resources

Samsung has announced the new GX-20, the fraternal twin of the Pentax K20D, both of which tout nearly identical features but come in a different body, some display variations and other subtle differences.

The Samsung GX-20 will be available in body-only configuration in March for $1399 USD.  For further details on the new Samsung GX-20, check out the press release and other resources below.  Also, check out the Pentax K20D for corresponding info.

Key Features

  • 14.6 megapixel CMOS sensor
  • 14-bit RAW images
  • 3 FPS
  • 2.7 inch LCD monitor
  • Live View mode
  • ISO 100-6400
  • Dust Alert System
  • X-sync socket for studio flash systems
  • Built-in sensor-based Shake Reduction system
  • Spot metering
  • 11-point AF
  • Enhanced Digital Filter offering a greater dynamic range
  • 5 new Schneider D-XENON lenses

Reviews

Think Camera

Just because Samsung are relatively new to the photographic game is by no means an excuse to ignore what the GX-20 is – a powerful little DSLR that will give other manufacturers a good run for their money.

Buy-n-Shoot

Overall, the Samsung GX-20 is well-priced and well-put-together. It is an attractive, solid unit, both in terms of its build as well as its performance, and it is unlikely to disappoint. Highly recommended.

PhotographyBLOG

The shutter release mechanism and auto-focusing system are still noisy, and we’d upgrade the supplied 18-55mm kit lens as soon as possible to get the best out of the sensor, but overall the GX-20 remains one of the most innovative and well-built mid-range DSLRs currently available, which we can easily highly recommend.

DPReview Hands-On Preview

Like the K20D (and the K10D / GX-10) the GX-20 feels solidly built and fits the hand very comfortably with all the important controls in the right place and a large grip. The grip is actually slightly different on the GX-20 and the K20D, and which you prefer will be a matter of taste (and possibly the size of your hands).

Press Release:

Samsung Introduces Next-Generation DSLR at PMA 2008

GX-20 Boasts CMOS Sensor, Improved Shake Reduction, and Live View LCD

Ridgefield Park, NJ (January 24, 2008) – At the 2008 Photo Marketing Association Show, (PMA 2008) Samsung will introduce the GX-20 – its highly-anticipated, next generation DSLR. A 14.6 mega-pixel DSLR, the GX 20 extends the range of Samsung’s acclaimed GX-Series and boasts an impressive feature set that will garner the attention of any professional or photographer or enthusiast.

The GX-20 improves on many of the advanced qualities of its sibling DSLR, the 10.2 mega-pixel GX-10; however a host of new features and firsts truly set this camera apart from any other GX Series model previously introduced by Samsung. The GX-20 is highlighted by its proprietary, high performance CMOS sensor. The Samsung CMOS sensor is equipped with 14 mega-pixel resolution, can capture 14-bit RAW images, and maintains outstanding noise performance, even at a high ISO setting of 6400. The GX 20 also incorporates improved sensor-based shake-reduction as well as a double dust-removal system, which is designed to prevent miniscule specs of dust from ruining a perfect image.

“This is an exciting time for Samsung,” said Stewart Henderson Vice President Marketing, Samsung Opto-Electronics America. “The DSLR market is one of the fastest growing segments of the imaging industry, one which Samsung has served quite well over the past few years with our previous GX-Series DSLRs. With the introduction of the higher-end, professional-grade GX-20, Samsung can now address the needs of the more advanced photographer with a DSLR bearing an impressive list of state-of-the-art photographic technologies.”

Designed for the advanced amateur and professional photographer, the GX-20 is the fourth model in Samsung’s rapidly growing DSLR range. The premier model of the GX family, Samsung’s new GX-20 takes performance to a whole new level with an array of new and improved features, all which will allow users to capture images of uncompromising quality in any environment or setting. Photographers of all skill levels will appreciate the GX-20’s large 2.7 inch Live View LCD screen, which allows users to check composition and focus directly on the LCD in real time.

The GX-20’s improved sensor-based shake reduction system, dubbed Optical Image Stabilization (OIS), helps photographers overcome the detrimental effects of hand shake and helps minimize blur in situations where the camera is unstable or in low-light conditions. Because it resides in the camera body, as opposed to the lens, the OPS feature works with a wide range of lenses, including Samsung’s Schneider D-XENON family and the full range of Pentax, KAF2, KAF and KA mount lenses.

Samsung’s full range of optics include two zooms, the 18~55mm and 50~200mm Schneider D-XENONs, as well as five new Schneider D-XENON lenses (introduced in 2007). The new Schneider D-XENON lenses are available for use with the entire GX-Series of DSLRs and consist of a 10~17mm, F3.5-4.5 fish-eye zoom, a 12~24mm, F4 ultra-wide zoom, a 16~45mm, F4 wide zoom, a 35mm, F2 fixed focus and a 100mm, F2.8 macro lens.

Additionally, the GX-20 features a Pentaprism viewfinder that yields a 95 % wide field of view and provides photographers with a bright and accurate view of their subject, allowing them to properly frame and fine tune out-of-focus areas. Furthermore, with a maximum shutter speed of 1/4000 second, shooters can rest assured that they’ll never miss the perfect shot, especially when it comes to fast-moving events.

The GX-20’s revolutionary new double dust-removal system is designed to prevent dust from threatening the quality of images captured with the GX-20. Samsung has incorporated an advanced dust-removal system that can be set to automatically vibrate the CMOS sensor when the GX-20 is powered on or engaged independently by the shooter, and has also manufactured the GX-20’s proprietary sensor with a special dust resistant coating, further eliminating the possibility of unwanted specs or blemishes ruining an otherwise perfect picture. As if that weren’t enough, the GX-20 boasts a specially designed body that was made to stand up to the elements. Every button, gap and other potentially vulnerable area on the camera’s body has been fortified with special seals and silicone to protect against damage from water, sand and a host of other elements.

Another attractive feature for advanced photographers is the GX-20’s superb RAW image format support. The exclusive one-touch RAW shooting button enables users to quickly capture 14-bit RAW images, which can then be quickly be viewed on the LCD screen. If the shooter desires, the RAW image can also be converted to JPEG format directly on the camera. The GX-20’s intuitive and easy to use interface makes even the most advanced tasks easy to accomplish for just about anyone. The GX 20’s continuous shooting mode is capable of capturing up to three pictures per second (pps). Depending on available memory, shooters can capture an unlimited number of JPEG images in continuous shooting mode, and up to nine images in RAW format.

For accurate auto focusing in any shooting condition, shooters can take advantage of the GX-20’s 11-point TTL, wide-area Auto Focus system. For added versatility and to compliment their shooting style, users have a choice of AF single or AF-continuous. The GX-20 also features a TTL open-aperture 16-segment metering system for accurate exposures, as well as center weighted and spot metering.

Samsung GX-20: $1399.95 MSRP – Available March 2008

Samsung Opto-Electronics America, Inc., Ridgefield Park, N.J., is the U.S. subsidiary of Samsung Techwin Co., Ltd., Sungnam Kyungki-Do, Korea. Samsung Opto-Electronics markets a full line of auto focus cameras, zoom and digital cameras for the amateur as well as the professional under the Samsung brand name.

[tags]samsung, gx-20, pma 2008[/tags]

Pentax Press Conference in Dubai on January 10, 2008

Info from Reflex.it indicates that Pentax will hold a press conference in Dubai on January 10th. English translation from Italian (via DPR forum member):

Pentax will hold an international press conference on the 10th of January in Dubai. In all likelyhood, on this occasion it will be possible to confirm the rumours about two new reflex cameras (evolutions of the excellent K10D and K100D with 14MP and 10MP CMOS sensors), and evaluate in which ways the “new” Pentax company intends to move in a market still dominated by Canon and Nikon. Further considerations will shed light on whether the 645D project will ever be restored, how much time it’ll take to integrate and renovate the lens system/offering and, if, as it looks like, the collaboration with Samsung for reflex cameras will go on.

See more on the K20D and K200D rumors here.

[tags]pentax, k20d, k200d, rumor, press, conference, news[/tags]

Pentax K20D and K200D Rumor Archives

There are some rumors floating around the web (finally! – albeit in Chinese) that Pentax will announced the much sought after follow-up to the K10D at a press conference on January 24, 2008 – just in time for PMA.

The new camera is rumored to be called the Pentax K20D and will include the following features:

  • Pentax Proprietary 14MP CMOS Sensor
  • 14 bit RAW A/D Processor
  • 3″ Live View LCD
  • Improved In-Body Shake Reduction
  • Body Design Similar to K10D
  • Significant Custom Functions (including AF trimming/programming for different lenses)
  • PC Sync

The K100D is also scheduled for replacement by the new Pentax K200D, which is rumored to include the following features:

  • 10MP Sensor from Sony
  • PRIME 12-bit Image Processor
  • 3 FPS (10 Max RAW; Infinite JPEGs)
  • Larger LCD (3 inch?)
  • 11 AF Points

Rumors for now – time will tell. When there’s more, I’ll keep you posted. If you gotta sift through every whisper now, check out 1001 Noisy Cameras’ recent post. I’ve also updated the PMA Preview as promised.

UPDATES

1/21/08: Sample images from the Pentax K20D. (Read more)
Pentax K20D and K200D specs leaked? (Read more)

1/15/08: Rumored sample images from the beta version of a K20D.

1/9/07: Samsung GX-20 revealed and is likely the 14MP twin of the K20D. (Read more)

1/6/07: Press conference from Pentax on January 10 in Dubai. (Read more)

12/29/07: Purported photos of the Pentax K200D surface. (Read more)

[tags]pentax, k20d, k200d, rumor, release, announcement, pma[/tags]

Pentax K20D and K200D Reviews and Resources

Pentax has announced the K20D and K200D, which are the successors the previous generation K10D and K100D, respectively. The K20D has 14.6 megapixels and the K200D gets 10.2 megapixels and they are priced at $1299 and$799, respectively.

K20D Reviews

Think Camera

All in all, the Pentax K20D is a decent camera with enough features to keep top-end enthusiasts, travel photographers and possibly even some pros happy. It’s not the 14.6megapixel sensor that makes this the camera what it is, that almost doesn’t matter – it’s the combination of intuitive layout, functions and relative ease of use.

Cnet

Pentax’s 14MP K20D is a great choice for a midlevel SLR and offers a lot of bang for the buck.

Camera Labs

It really does capture a great deal of detail and unlike Sony’s 14 Megapixel sensor and processing engine, this detail remains at higher sensitivities.

PhotographyBLOG

If you have a collection of Pentax lenses, you’ll love the new AF Adjustment custom function, which allows you to precisely calibrate each one to the K20D, and the Dust Alert feature shows you exactly where the dust is on the sensor. Studio photographers can now seriously consider the K20D because of the welcome addition of an X-sync socket, and the camera still offers dust and water-resistance and effective anti-shake and dust-removal systems.

Trusted Reviews

With the launch of the K20D Pentax is taking on the top players in the semi-pro DSLR market. It has a class-leading specification, with build quality, handling and performance to match, and has exactly the sort of features that will appeal to advanced amateurs and semi-professionals.

Dale Cotton

Steady, well-exposed landscapes at ISOs from 100 to 400 are stunning at 16″ x 24″ (A2) print sizes.

Neocamera

The bottom line is that the K20D has one of the most complete feature set of any DSLR. It brings some unique features and exposure modes into a very thoughtful and ergonomic design. Plus, since image quality and performance are great, there is no doubt the K20D is a worthy digital SLR.

Photo Review

Resolution remained high at all ISO settings up to (and including) ISO 1600 but declined sharply thereafter. . . .  Image noise became visible at ISO 1600 when shots were enlarged to 100% but was increasingly obvious as sensitivity was increased.

PopPhoto (full test)

Impressive specs? Yes, but the K20D produced impressive results in the Pop Photo Lab, especially in resolution and detail at most ISOs. At 2350 lines of resolution at ISO 100-400, the K20D delivers slightly higher resolution than the Nikon D300.

PopPhoto First Look

We’ve just begun our full lab test with an early production Pentax K20D and out initial findings show that the Pentax K20D is very class competitive (particularly at ISOs 100-1600) against other cameras in this category including the Canon EOS 40D, Sony Alpha 700, and the Nikon D300.

ePhotozine First Look

Some of the upgrades and additions are good and will be useful, but there are some that seem to be hardly worth the effort. Would it have been too difficult to fit a 3in screen? Then they could have given it a better pixel count than 230,000 keeping it in line with the newer DSLRs from other manufacturers.

DPReview Hands-On

Pentax has been kind enough to let us soend a little time with an early sample of its latest DLSR, the K20D. It’ll be familiar to anyone who’s held a K10D but has a number of added features to keep it competitive in its increasingly crowded market segment.

K20D Sample Images

Pre-Production Samples at PhotographyBLOG

Other K20D Resources

K20D Video Walkthrough

K200D Reviews

Imaging Resource

The Pentax K200D is a capable digital SLR, a very good choice for consumers who are starting to chafe against the limitations of a point-and-shoot digital camera and want to work with a more advanced camera.

Megapixel.net

With its agreeable mix of automatic and customizable features and its top-shelf image quality, the Pentax K200D is an excellent camera for DSLR newcomers and more sophisticated lensslingers who want robust performance in a compact interchangeable lens format.

Camera Labs

While there are a number of aspects to weigh-up, the choice between the K200D and rival DSLRs really boils down to how much you value build quality and Live View. If you want a tough, weatherproof DSLR at a low price, then buy the K200D. If however you’d prefer a smaller, lighter DSLR with Live View capabilities, then go for one of its rivals.

Photography Review

The Pentax K200D is a great digital SLR for beginner, amateur or casual photographers. It’s a very well built camera that reaches out to the beginner crowd. But there are also plenty of “pro” level features that a photographer can grow into.

PhotographyBLOG

Just like the Pentax K100D Super, the K200D ticks very nearly all of the boxes for those wanting an easy to use DSLR that delivers images you’ll want to keep straight out of the camera, and with the minimum of user input and effort to boot.

Cnet

Pentax’s K200D entry-level SLR gives a lot of bang for the buck and has better performance than last year’s model. Despite low noise and pleasingly detailed images, technically inaccurate colors keep it from capturing the gold medal for image quality.

Trusted Reviews

The handling of the K200D is very simple yet it maintains a reassuring, more professional build quality. Images are sure to please even the most critical photographer, with few serious problems bar slight underexposure on rare occaisions.

Photo Review

Pictures from the test camera had a superficial resemblance to our test shots from the K20D, particularly with respect to the extended dynamic range provided by both cameras. However, the K200D showed less inclination to bias exposures slightly in favour of recording highlight details and the yellow-brown cast we found in test shots taken with the K20D shots was much less evident.

Where to Buy

If you’re buying online, I recommend sticking with Amazon, B&H Photo or Adorama. These three vendors are reliable, trustworthy and generally have the best (legitimate) prices.

Pentax K20D Amazon

Pentax K200D Amazon

Press Release

PENTAX Announces K20D with 14.6 Megapixels, K200D with Advanced Technologies and Five Digital Lenses

GOLDEN, Colo. –(Business Wire)– Jan. 23, 2008 PENTAX Imaging Company announced today two new digital SLR camera models including the PENTAX K20D digital SLR camera with 14.6 megapixels and the PENTAX K200D digital SLR with 10.2 megapixels. Both cameras are equipped with advanced features including dust-proof and weather-resistant bodies, an improved PRIME image processor, and PENTAX developed Shake Reduction that works with any of the 24 million PENTAX lenses ever manufactured. [Read more...]