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Pentax's Optio E60 digital camera is designed for value pricing first and foremost, but still manages to fit in a fairly interesting feature set. With the combination of a ten megapixel CCD image sensor, 3x optical zoom lens and 2.4-inch LCD display, the Pentax E60 has a relatively compact body that's just 1.0" / 25mm thick. As well as providing the camera's images, the Pentax E60's 1/2.33" CCD image sensor is also used to offer a three-point contrast detection-type autofocus system.

The Optio E60's 3x zoom lens provides focal lengths equivalent to 32 - 96mm on a 35mm camera - which ranges from a not hugely generous wide angle to a moderate telephoto. Maximum aperture is f/2.9 at wide angle. Sadly there's no optical image stabilization, with the Pentax Optio E60 instead offering only what Pentax refers to as "Digital Shake Reduction". Essentially this raises sensitivity to as high as ISO 6400 equivalent, in an attempt to prevent shake at the expense of image noise and subject detail.

The LCD display is the sole method of framing or reviewing images, given that the Pentax Optio E60 has no provision for an optical viewfinder. At a total of 112,000 dots, the Optio E60's 2.4" display offers about the norm in terms of resolution for this pricepoint. Images are stored in a somewhat pointless 6.3MB of built-in memory, as well as on Secure Digital flash cards (including the newer high-speed, high-capacity SDHC types).

Power for the Optio E60 comes from two AA batteries - either alkaline or lithium disposables, or NiMH rechargeables. The Pentax E60 ships with a pair of alkaline disposables, which Pentax rates as good for around 250 shots. Alternatively, you can expect around 280 minutes of continuous playback time, 100 minutes of movie recording or 530 minutes of audio recording on a pair of alkaline AA disposables. Doubtless the best bet would be to purchase a set of NiMH rechargeables plus a decent charger, which are likely to offer even better lifetimes and a significant savings over the lifetime of the camera.

The Pentax Optio E60 includes a range of features that help customise the look of images, such as fifteen user-selectable scene modes plus a "catch-all" Auto scene mode (which automatically selects between the Normal, Landscape, Portrait, Night Scene Portrait, Night Scene, Flower and Sports scene modes as appropriate), a macro function which allows focusing to 4" / 10cm, and face recognition technology which is linked to both the autofocus and autoexposure systems to ensure pleasing portraits. The face detection system is capable of detecting up to 10 faces in a scene, and in addition Pentax has included two options that take further advantage of this ability. The E60's Blink Detection function warns if your subjects closed their eyes, and a Half-Length Portrait function automatically crops images based on the detected face location, so as to yield a pleasing head-and-shoulders photo of your subject.

Pentax's Optio E60 digicam ships from October 2008 in a bundle including ACDSee for PENTAX 3.0 image viewer/image management software. US pricing has been set at about US$140.