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Pentax's Optio A10 digital camera. Courtesy of Pentax, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Pentax: 8mpix digicam with image stabiliser
(Tuesday, January 3, 2006 - 17:00 EST)

A press release from Pentax Imaging Co. in the runup to this year's Consumer Electronics Show announces a new compact digital camera that features a pairing of some interesting technologies.

The Pentax Optio A10 combines the company's 'Sliding Lens System' technology seen in some of the company's past models (which removes elements from the optical path as the lens retracts, allowing a slimmer profile when the camera is powered off), along with a newly developed 'Shake Reduction System' that uses two gyro sensors coupled with focusing information and a proprietary CCD shift mechanism to reduce blur caused by camera shake. It looks set to be a strong rival for Konica Minolta's DiMAGE X1 - both cameras feature similar pricing, both have the same resolution of eight megapixels from a 1/1.8" imager, and both offer image stabilisation. While the X1 is just a few millimeters slimmer, Pentax wins in overall size with a body that's almost 13% smaller by volume (based on the listed dimensions). Both cameras sport large 2.5" LCD displays, but Pentax's choice of display offers about twice the pixel count, at 232,000 pixels. Other notable features on the Optio A10 include an ISO sensitivity range from 50 - 400 (or 800 in Candle mode), Secure Digital card storage plus 24MB of built-in memory, and both USB data and NTSC / PAL switcheable video connectivity.

The Pentax Optio A10 will ship in February at a price of US$350. Full specifications, a product photo, and a "fact sheet" provided by Pentax follow below, along with the official press release.


High Image Quality With A Large CCD
The Optio A10 is equipped with a new large 1/1.8-inch CCD boasting 8.32 total megapixels. Featuring approximately 1.6 percent more light receiving area of conventional PENTAX compact camera CCDs, this CCD offers advantages in superior tone reproduction, texture delineation, and noise reduction.

High-Performance smc PENTAX Zoom Lens
Constructed from seven elements in five groups, including three double-sided aspherical lenses, the newly developed smc PENTAX zoom lens produces clear, high-contrast images. The design corrects effectively for spherical and other aberrations and original coating cuts out ghosting and flare.

A new ASIC equips the Optio A10 with dramatically more image-processing power. The ASIC’s high-speed processing capability assists the Optio A10 in attaining a higher level of tone reproduction and color correction based on enormous amounts of actual photo data.
* Application Specific Integrated Circuit

Shake Reduction System (SR)
A Shake Reduction system unique to PENTAX delivers stability in shooting conditions that are sensitive to camera shake, such as telephoto shots or indoor shots without a flash. Specifically, the SR mechanism features:

  • Two internal gyro sensors that detect the amount of camera shake.
  • A dedicated CPU calculates the necessary correction from the amount of camera shake and the focusing data of the lens.
  • A proprietary mechanism adjusts the CCD based on the calculated correction to compensate for the camera shake.

Super-Compact, Lightweight Body
PENTAX maintains the slim dimensions of the Optio A10 despite completely redesigning the lens unit including the optical lens and the image sensor, enlarging the CCD, and adding an anti-vibration mechanism to absorb camera shake. Furthermore, using the PENTAX Sliding Lens System and high-density mounting technology, PENTAX offers dimensions of 3.5 x 2.1 x 0.9 inches (88.5 ´ 54.5 ´ 23 mm) and a weight of 4.4 ounces (125 g) body with an efficient layout that leaves almost no spaces between components.
Note: PENTAX’s proprietary lens system offsets the central lens groups from the optical axis and houses the lenses in two separate stages in the lens barrel to reduce the overall lens length and thereby minimize the body depth.

Elegant, Stylish Design
The Optio A10 features refined highlights including a highly textured aluminum alloy exterior, a multi-faceted accent lens ring, and a connector cover designed to blend in with the camera.

Intuitive Mode Palette
The Mode palette lists various modes on the LCD monitor to allow quick navigation and selection from the 15 shooting modes and 15 playback modes through the translucent display, which superimposes mode icons over the LCD monitor image. So, changing settings while framing the subject is simple.

Auto Picture Mode
Auto picture mode makes taking photos easy and fun. Selecting the Auto picture mode from the shooting Mode palette has the camera automatically select the mode from Portrait, Landscape, Night Scene, or Standard according to the shooting conditions.

High-Quality Movie Mode With Long Recording Times
The Optio A10 smoothly captures movies at 30 fps (frames per second) at sizes up to 640 ´ 480 pixels with image quality rivaling camcorders. Since it employs the DivX® MPEG-4 movie format,* the Optio A10 can record longer, high-quality movies. Camera shake can also be corrected automatically by switching on the Movie anti-Shake feature.**
* The Optio A10 is DivX® certified. Movie playback is not supported on Macintosh operating systems.
** Using the Movie anti-Shake feature results in a narrower field of view than normal.

High-definition, easy-to-view LCD monitor
Despite the slim body, the Optio A10 manages to fit in a large 2.5 inch LCD monitor with the clarity of approximately 232,000 pixels. The monitor is easy to see even in bright locations because of its backlight and low-reflection type. All of this means it is easier to navigate menus, make settings, and compose shots as well as to display crisper, more beautiful images.

Other features

  • Precise autofocus with a tracking AF function feature
  • Candlelight mode allows high-sensitivity shooting at a Standard Output Sensitivity of 800
  • Approximately 24 MB of built-in memory; supports external SD memory cards
  • Built-in AF-assist light (can be switched on or off)
  • Frame composite function can add decorative frames to images
  • Pan-focus function for effortless snapshots
  • Convenient image-rotation display for confirmation of vertical shots
  • ACDSee for PENTAX image viewer/image management software
  • FotoNation’s red-eye compensation function for flash photography
  • USB 2.0 (HI-SPEED) compatible
  • DPOF functions, Exif Print, and PRINT Image Matching III compatible
  • PictBridge compatible

PENTAX, Optio are trademarks of PENTAX Corporation.

“DivX” is trademark for DivX, Inc. and is used under license.

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.

Design and Specifications are subject to change without notice.

All other brands or product names are trademarks of registered trademarks of their respective companies.

Pentax Optio A10
Pentax's Optio A10 digital camera. Courtesy of Pentax, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Camera TypeCompact
Model NumberA10
Dimensions3.5 x 2.1 x 0.9"
88.5 x 54.5 x 23.0mm
Weight145.0 g
5.1 oz
Planned Price$350.00
Image Capture
Sensor Type1/1.8
8.32 megapixels (total)
8.00 megapixels (effective)
Filter TypeRGB
Aspect Ratio4:3
Image Dimensions3264 x 2448 (8.0 megapixels)
2592 x 1944 (5.0 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)
648 x 480 (0.3 megapixels)
Image Preview / Review
LCD2.5", 232 pixels
Playback Zoom8.0x max
Lens Typesmc Pentax Power Zoom
3x optical zoom
Image StabilizationYes
Focal Length7.9 - 23.7mm (actual)
37 - 112mm (35mm equivalent)
Aperture Rangef/2.8 (wide) - f/5.4 (tele)
Focusing System5 point AF, Spot AF, Tracking AF, Infinity Landscape, Pan Focus
Manual Focus possible (0) steps
Focusing RangeNormal: 14" - infinity (35 cm - infinity)
Macro: 4.9" - 16" (12 cm - 40 cm)
ISO SensitivityAuto, 50, 100, 200, 400, 800
Shutter Speed4 - 1/2000 second
Exposure ModesProgram
Metering ModesMulti, center, spot
Exposure Compensation+/- 2.0EV in 0.3EV increments
White BalanceImage Sensor - Auto, Daylight, Shade, Tungsten, Fluorescent, Manual, Manual
Internal FlashModes: Auto, Flash-off, Flash-on, Auto+red-eye reduction, Flash-on +red-eye reduction, Auto backlight compensation
Scene ModesNight Scene, Landscape, Flower, Portrait, Surf & Snow, Candle, Text, Food, Sport, Frame composition, Pet
Digital Zoom4x
Self TimerYes, 10 seconds
Movie FormatMPEG4 Divx with audio
640x480 and 320x240
Max. frame-rate: 30 frames per second
Max. clip length: 323 seconds (640x480) / 1,052 seconds (320x240)
Recording MediumSD/MMC, Built-in
File SystemComplies with Design Rule for Camera File System (DCF)
File FormatJPEG (EXIF 2.2)
VideoYes, NTSC / PAL switchable
ComputerUSB 1.1
Battery TypeD-LI8 Li-Ion
Battery Form FactorLithium-Ion pack
Product Bundle
SoftwareSoftware (S-SW42)
Battery / ChargerLi-Ion battery and charger
Flash Memory24.0MB Internal
Digital Print Order Format (DPOF) compliantYes
PictBridge CompliantYes
Internal MicrophoneYes
Internal SpeakerYes
Remote ControlYes
Operating Syst em CompatibilityWindows, Mac OS

Original Source Press Release:


Golden, CO (January 3, 2006)…PENTAX Imaging Company has announced two compact digital cameras in advance of the 2006 Consumer Electronics Show opening Thursday, January 5, 2006 in Las Vegas.

The Optio A10 camera is the first PENTAX compact digital with an 8.0 effective megapixel CCD packaged in the signature slim, lightweight, stylish design of the Optio digital camera line. PENTAX also introduces an innovative Shake Reduction system in the A10 to help ensure sharper images.

“ The A10 represents a complete upgrade and overhaul of our digital camera series and will be the first model of our high-end Optio series,” said Ned Bunnell, director of marketing, PENTAX Imaging Company. “With 8 megapixels, shake reduction and a new smc PENTAX zoom lens, the Optio A10 is our flagship model,” added Bunnell.

PENTAX developed Shake Reduction to eliminate situations where camera shake typically causes blurred images such as telephoto or indoor shots without a flash. The Shake Reduction mechanism is made possible by two internal gyro sensors that detect camera shake while a dedicated CPU calculates the required correction to compensate for the level of camera shake while focusing. In turn, a proprietary mechanism adjusts the CCD automatically based on the calculation and compensates for the camera shake to help deliver sharper images.

PENTAX also announced the Optio E10, an affordable, entry-level compact digital camera with a 6.0 effective megapixel CCD and a 3X optical zoom lens. The Optio E10 features a Mode dial that permits a Simple mode selection and is packaged in a slim, lightweight body aimed at beginning photographers.

Both digital cameras use a new model naming system for PENTAX cameras based on a letter and model number description rather than the number of megapixels. The Optio A series, for example, designates a new high-end product line, while the Optio E series indicates easy-to-use products.

“ Our aim with the new naming system is to make it easier for customers to understand our product line, from entry to high-end and allow us much more flexibility in expanding our product line as we move forward with these and other new digital cameras,” added Bunnell.

Both models will be on display in the PENTAX Imaging Booth number 35335 in the South Hall 4 during CES. The PENTAX Optio A10 will ship in February 2006 for under $350 US, and the Optio E10 will ship that same month for under $200 US.

PENTAX Imaging Company is an innovative leader in the production of compact and digital SLR cameras, binoculars, lenses, eyepieces, mobile 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.

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