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Pentax's Optio W20 digital camera. Courtesy of Pentax, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Pentax announces Optio W20
By Michael R. Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Monday, August 7, 2006 - 18:00 EDT)

Pentax has today announced a new digital camera that continues its lineup of W-series models that will go almost anywhere their owners will, without fear of harm from dust and water.

The Pentax Optio W20 is an update of the existing Optio W10 model. As with that model, the Pentax W20 is rated as "JIS Class 8" waterproof - meaning it can actually be used to shoot photos up to five feet underwater for durations up to thirty minutes, without the need for a separate underwater housing. It also carries over the "JIS Class 5" dustproof rating, the second highest rating on that scale. Changes from the older W10 to the new Optio W20 include a higher resolution seven megapixel CCD imager, higher maximum sensitivity of ISO 1600 in Blur Reduction mode, increased flash range at ISO auto, and just over twice as much (21.9MB) built-in memory. As well as the Blur Reduction mode, there's also a new Auto Picture mode which chooses the relevant scene mode automatically. Candle and Sunset modes have been removed to accomodate these additions. The Pentax W20 is also listed as 5 grams lighter when fully loaded and ready to shoot, and adds support for the new SDHC (Secure Digital High Capacity) standard, which extends the maximum flash card capacity to a theoretical 32GB (4GB cards being the largest at the time of this writing), with sustained transfer rates of up to six megabytes per second.

Other features of the Optio W20 include a 3x optical zoom lens, 2.5" LCD (but no optical viewfinder - something which is sadly becoming rather rare on a lot of digicams these days), and a 30 frames per second movie mode that includes audio and has no limits on clip length (other than available memory and battery life, of course). Images are stored on Secure Digital (SD) memory cards, and cConnectivity includes both USB (type unspecified) and NTSC / PAL video, and power comes from a D-LI8 Lithium Ion rechargeable battery.

Pricing and availability have not been announced at this time.

Pentax Optio W20
Pentax's Optio W20 digital camera. Courtesy of Pentax, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
General
Camera Type Compact
Manufacturer Pentax
Model Number W20
Dimensions 4.2 x 2.2 x 0.9"
107.0 x 55.0 x 23.0mm
Weight 150.0 g
5.2 oz
Image Capture
Sensor Type 1/2.5" CCD
7.41 megapixels (total)
7.00 megapixels (effective)
Filter Type RGBG
Aspect Ratio 4:3
Image Dimensions 3072 x 2304 (7.1 megapixels)2560 x 1920 (4.9 megapixels)2304 x 1728 (4.0 megapixels)2048 x 1536 (3.1 megapixels)1600 x 1200 (1.9 megapixels)1024 x 768 (0.8 megapixels)640 x 480 (0.3 megapixels)
Image Quality 3 levels
Image Preview / Review
Viewfinder No
LCD 2.5", 115,000 pixels
100% field of view
Playback Zoom 8.0x max
Lens
Lens Type PENTAX power zoom
3x optical zoom
Image Stabilization No
Focal Length 6.3 - 18.9mm (actual)
38 - 114mm (35mm equivalent)
Aperture Range f/3.3 (wide) / f/4.0 (tele) - ???
Focusing System 9-point Contrast Detection w/ tracking and face priority
Manual Focus possible (0) steps
Focusing Range Normal: 16" - infinity (40 cm - infinity)
Macro: 0.4" - 24" (1 cm - 60 cm)
Exposure
ISO Sensitivity Auto, 64, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600* (Blur Reduction / Report modes only)
Shutter Speed 4 - 1/2000 second
Exposure Modes Program
Metering Modes TTL multi-segment w/ face recognition AE
Exposure Compensation +/- 2.0EV in 1/3EV increments
White Balance Image Sensor - Auto, Daylight, Shade, Tungsten light, Fluorescent light, Manual, Manual
Internal Flash Modes: Auto, Flash-off, Flash-on, Auto + Red-eye reduction, Flash-on + Red-eye reduction, Soft flash
Range: ISO Auto: Wide: 0.98 ft - 16.4 ft (0.3m - 5m); 1.64 ft - 13.2 ft (0.5m - 4m)
Creative
Scene Modes Program, Landscape, Flower, Portrait, Night scene, Surf & snow, Self-portrait, Food, Museum, Sport, Underwater, Underwater movie, Pet, Soft, Natural skin tone, Fireworks, Kids, Report, Text, Frame
Digital Zoom 4x
Self Timer Yes, 2 or 10 seconds
Time Lapse No
Movie Format MOV (QuickTime MotionJPEG) with audio
640x480 and 320x240
Max. frame-rate: 30 frames per second
Storage
Recording Medium SD/MMC, Built-in, SDHC
File System Complies with Design Rule for Camera File System (DCF)
File Format JPEG (Exif 2.2)
Connectivity
Video Yes, NTSC / PAL switchable
Computer USB 1.1
Other DC In
Power
Battery Type Lithium Ion rechargeable
Battery Form Factor Proprietary D-LI8
Product Bundle
Software Software S-SW58 (CD ROM) with ACDSee for PENTAX
Battery / Charger Proprietary D-LI8 Lithium Ion rechargeable battery and charger
Flash Memory 21.9MB built-in memory
Other
Digital Print Order Format (DPOF) compliant Yes
PictBridge Compliant Yes
Internal Microphone Yes
Tripod Mount Yes
More Photos
Pentax's Optio W20 digital camera. Courtesy of Pentax, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Pentax's Optio W20 digital camera. Courtesy of Pentax, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Pentax's Optio W20 digital camera. Courtesy of Pentax, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Pentax's Optio W20 digital camera. Courtesy of Pentax, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Pentax's Optio W20 digital camera. Courtesy of Pentax, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Pentax's Optio W20 digital camera. Courtesy of Pentax, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Pentax's Optio W20 digital camera. Courtesy of Pentax, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
 

Original Source Press Release:

PENTAX ANNOUNCES OPTIO W20 WATERPROOF DIGITAL CAMERA

GOLDEN, CO. (August 7, 2006) PENTAX Imaging Company has announced the new PENTAX Optio W20, a compact digital camera featuring excellent waterproof performance with a slim, flat body design.

The Optio W20 is the latest model in the PENTAX Optio W series of cameras that are capable of underwater photography without requiring a waterproof case or other accessories. The waterproof design of the Optio W20 meets the JIS Class 8 waterproof standard, enabling it to withstand up to 30 minutes of continuous operation at an underwater depth of up to five feet.

In addition, this model features a new Blur Reduction High ISO mode that selects ISO up to 1600, and an upgrade to 7.0 effective megapixels to offer improved image quality in a fun, easy-to-handle package.

PENTAX Imaging Company is an innovative leader in the production of digital cameras, lenses, scopes, eyepieces, binoculars, mobile and laser printers, scanners and Internet cameras. 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.

Visit all our websites at:
www.pentaximaging.com
www.h20camera.com
www.pentaxslr.com
www.pentaxsportoptics.com

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PENTAX Optio W20 FACT SHEET

Water and dust protection for worry-free use in all kinds of environments
The Optio W20 features a waterproof design that meets the JIS Class 8 waterproof standard, enabling it to withstand up to 30 minutes of continuous operation at an underwater depth up to five feet, without needing a waterproof case. The Optio W20 also meets the JIS Class 5 dustproof standard, and is ideal for use skiing, marine sports, fishing, and enjoying other outdoor events.

3X optical zoom lens and 7.0 effective megapixels deliver outstanding pictures
The Optio W20 includes a 3X optical zoom lens that covers focal lengths from 6.3 to 18.9 mm (equivalent to 38 to 114 mm for 35mm film) and features a “folding” optical system so the lens never protrudes from the camera while zooming. The 7.0 effective megapixels produces extremely high-quality prints with crisp detail even when the photo is greatly enlarged.

Macro photography at less than an inch
The Optio W20 can be used at less than an inch away from a subject for stunning close-up photography. Macro photography provides many exciting photo options that allow you to fill the photo frame with subjects such as flowers, insects, and jewelry.

2.5 inch LCD monitor with superb visibility even outdoors
The Optio W20 comes with a 2.5 inch LCD monitor that is easy to view even in sunny outdoor conditions. The LCD cover is finished with a non-glare coating and features adjustable LCD backlight strength. The camera also has a Power Saving mode that automatically dims the backlight to save battery power.

Optio W20 automatically adjusts ISO as high as 1600
The Optio W20 is equipped with a Blur Reduction High ISO mode, a new feature that lets you take photos at faster shutter speeds for sharper images even in dim lighting conditions such as night scenes and indoor sporting events. In this mode, the camera automatically adjusts the sensitivity to as high as ISO 1600 to match the brightness of the subject. The higher sensitivity permits faster shutter speeds that effectively reduce not just camera shake but also blurring caused by moving subjects.

Face Recognition AF & AE for beautiful one-step portraits
The camera includes Face Recognition AF & AE, which allows you to take bright, beautiful photos of people with perfectly focused faces free of shadows caused by backlighting. This useful function automatically detects the position of the subject’s face anywhere in the photo frame and then adjusts the focus and optimizes the exposure for the detected position.

High-quality movies with an electronic anti-shake function
With the Optio W20, you can smoothly capture movies at 30 fps (frames per second) at sizes up to 640 x 480 pixels that rival those shot with camcorders. It also has additional features that make taking movies easier and more enjoyable, including the movie electronic anti-shake feature,* which automatically compensates for camera shake while taking movies, and the Mermaid Movie mode, which optimizes the settings for filming underwater.
*Using the movie anti-shake function results in a narrower field of view than during normal recording.

Auto-tracking AF continuously focuses on a moving subject
The auto-tracking AF feature of the Optio W20 continuously focuses on subjects such as kids and pets that move around unpredictably. Since the focus frame automatically follows the movement of the subject inside the photo frame, you can capture those instantaneous photo opportunities.

Supports the SDHC memory card for greater storage of high-quality images and longer movies
The Optio W20 supports two removable storage media: the conventional SD memory cards and new SDHC memory cards.*
*SD High Capacity; these memory cards have capacities in excess of 2 GB.

Digital filters add all kinds of fun expressions
A number of creative digital filter functions are built into the camera that you can use to customize your photos. In addition to a B&W filter, a Sepia filter, a Soft Focus filter, and six Color filters, there is a Fish-eye filter, which dramatically distorts the image so it appears to have been taken with a fish-eye lens. With these filters, you can obtain a rich assortment of digital effects without needing a computer.

Auto Picture mode automatically determines the best settings for the shooting conditions
The Auto Picture mode lets the camera automatically determine the shooting conditions for Landscape, Portrait, Night Scene, and Program modes and choose the optimum settings for each subject. This PENTAX original function simplifies shooting for users since it eliminates the necessity of making a number of individual settings.

Other features

  • Calendar display lets you choose photos by date
  • Mode Palette provides quick access to 25 shooting modes and 15 playback modes
  • Image Recovery function lets you retrieve accidentally erased pictures
  • Soft flash function avoids overexposure during close-up flash photography
  • Digital zooming provides up to 4X magnification
  • FotoNation’s red-eye compensation function for flash shots
  • Approximately 21.9 MB of built-in memory
  • Includes the ACDSee for PENTAX image viewer/image management software
  • Supports PictBridge, DPOF functions, Exif Print, and PRINT Image Matching III

SD Logo and SDHC Logo are trademarks.
PENTAX and Optio are registered trademarks of PENTAX Corporation.
All other brands or product names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies.
QuickTime and QuickTime logo are trademarks used under license. The QuickTime logo is registered in U.S. and other countries.
This product supports PRINT Image Matching III. PRINT Image Matching enabled digital still cameras, printers and software help photographers to produce images more faithful to their intentions. Some functions are not available on printers that are not
PRINT Image Matching III compliant.
Copyright 2001 Seiko Epson Corporation. All Rights Reserved.
Print Image Matching is a trademark of Seiko Epson Corporation.
The PRINT Image Matching logo is a trademark of Seiko Epson Corporation.
Designs and Specifications are subject to change without notice.

# # #

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