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The compact aluminum alloy body of Pentax's Optio P80 features a twelve megapixel CCD image sensor that yields sensitivities as high as ISO 6,400 equivalent. The P80 places its imager behind a Pentax-branded 4x optical zoom lens with focal lengths ranging from a generous 27.5mm wide angle to a 110mm telephoto. The lens design features Pentax's Sliding Lens System technology, which removes elements from the optical path as the lens retracts so as to allow for a slimmer camera body. On its rear panel, a 2.7-inch LCD display with 230,000 dot resolution is the sole choice on which images are framed and reviewed, with the Pentax P80 design not providing for a separate optical viewfinder.

The Optio P80 features nine-point contrast detection autofocusing, as well as face detection capability that is linked to both the camera's autofocus and autoexposure systems. The face detection feature can detect up to 32 faces in just 0.03 seconds, and has been upgraded to better handle tilted or angled faces. The function is used to offer both Smile Capture and Blink Detection capabilities, which can trigger the shutter at just the right moment and warn when your subject blinks. Face detection is also used to provide what Pentax calls a "Small Face filter", which reduces the size of a subject's face in releation to the body so as to provide a more flattering look. Pentax includes its approachable Auto Picture mode for the P80, which can automatically select between eight different common scene types. In addition, the Pentax P80 includes a Digital Wide mode which can stitch together two images in-camera, as well as a Frame Composite function which can overlay one of 90 frames on your images in-camera. There's also a Dynamic Range Adjustment function that helps preserve highlight and shadow detail, plus a selection of digital filters including the retro Toy Camera filter that allow for fun in-camera effects. An Image Recovery function can allow the user to "undelete" images where possible.

The Pentax P80 can capture 720p (1,280 x 720 pixel) high definition videos with sound at a frame rate of 30 fps. No high-definition connectivity is provided on-camera though, with the Pentax P80 instead opting solely for NTSC / PAL standard-definition video output. The Pentax Optio P80 includes 33.6MB of built-in memory plus an SD / SDHC card slot, and draws power from a D-LI88 Lithium Ion rechargeable battery, with battery life said to be in the region of 200 images to CIPA testing standards. The Pentax P80 will be available in one of three body colors - black, pearl or mint. The P80 ships from September 2009, priced at US$200.