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Pentax's Optio 430 digital camera. Courtesy of Pentax. Pentax USA announces Optio 430!
(Thursday, September 27, 2001 - 14:20 EDT)

World's smallest/lightest 4 megapixel digicam, recently announced in Germany, will reach US shores...

Pentax USA has now officially announced the Optio 430 digital camera which we first told you about when it was announced in Germany a week ago. Pricing and availability information have not yet been disclosed, but we now have full specs with which we have updated our database entry on the camera.

Once we have info on US pricing and availability, we'll post that news here. In the meantime, the full US press release follows...

Original Source Press Release:


DENVER, Colorado (September 26, 2001) . . . PENTAX Corporation announces the innovative Optio 430 digital camera. It becomes the world's smallest, lightest compact digital camera in its class* and offers sophisticated styling and high-level performance. Within its sleek stainless steel exterior, the Optio 430 features a 4.0 megapixel (effective pixels) CCD and an optical 3X zoom lens. It has an array of shooting modes to match a variety of shooting conditions, and offers a selection of settings for exposure, focus, and flash. Precise imaging is achieved with the powerful 4.13 megapixel (total pixels) primary color filter CCD and a superior PENTAX lens. Infinite creative possibilities are opened through simple connection to a PC.
* As of September 17, 2001, the Optio 430 was the smallest, lightest camera within the 4.0 megapixel, optical 3X zoom lens category.

Major Features:

Ultra-compact dimensions
The Optio 430 is more compact and lightweight than any other camera within its class*. It is just 3.6" (92mm) wide, 2.3" (59mm) high, and 1.2" (31mm) deep** and weighs only 7.2 ounces (205g). Such a compact design was made possible by incorporating an ultra-compact zoom lens and integrating the CPU, ASIC, and memory chip into an MCM (MultiChip Module). The Optio 430 even incorporates smaller circuit boards which were created using super-high density mounting technology.
** Maximum depth =1.4" ( 34.5mm)

High performance 3X zoom lens and a 4.0 megapixel CCD
The 3X zoom lens of the Optio 430 (equivalent to 37.5-112.5mm in 35mm format) provides high-resolution images and realizes a surprisingly low level of image distortion for a camera of such compact proportions. This lens combines two dual-sided aspherical elements and employs a new lens barrel retraction mechanism. Accuracy at the recording stage is achieved with a 4.0 megapixel CCD and advanced image processing technology. The Optio 430 is ideal for a wide range of shooting situations thanks to its vast array of user-friendly functions and features.

Smoother operation
The Optio 430 allows smooth, stress-free operation via its image processing circuitry and software. A simple turn of the dial controls the selection of shooting and playback modes (Standard, Night Scene, Metered Manual, Movie, multiple exposure and Playback). DPOF and protection settings can be adjusted and images can be deleted with direct key operation. A variety of other operations can be undertaken conveniently with the four-way controller and its central "OK" button, which also provides access to the "Easy View" function that displays the most recent image at a touch. All of these factors contribute to simplified composition and shooting, making for more satisfying images with reduced preparation time.

Simple connection to PC*** with USB Mass Storage Class compatibility
Photographic data can be transmitted to a PC by simply connecting a USB cable to the USB port of the Optio 430. This allows further options for data storage, and because a range of common PC applications can easily access the transmitted data, the potential for your shots is virtually infinite.
*** System requirements: PC running Windows 98/2000 Professional/Me or Mac OS 8.6 or higher (installation of the included driver software is required).

Compose and review shots with the precision LCD monitor
The high resolution, 1.6 inch LCD monitor has a brightness setting so that it can be adjusted to suit your viewing conditions. It is ideal for composing and reviewing images on the spot.

Built-in auto flash
Pleasing results can be achieved in a range of lighting situations thanks to the selection of several flash functions. The Optio 430 has auto flash for automatic discharge under low-light conditions, flash-on, flash-off modes, red-eye reduction mode****, and Night Scene modes.
**** This feature does not eliminate "red eyes" in all instances.

Optical Viewfinder
The viewfinder of the Optio 430 offers actual image zoom. This means that you can save power by switching off the LCD monitor. Diopter adjustment of -3m-1 to +1m-1 is also possible to allow more precise manual focus, allowing you to compose with clarity and accuracy.

Digital zoom
Not only is the Optio 430 capable of 3X optical zooming, it also provides 2X digital zoom for a combined capacity of 6X zooming.

Nine-image display / Zoom display
The display can be used to display nine recorded images simultaneously in playback mode. This transforms the search for specific images into a faster, simpler procedure. The screen is also capable of displaying images with 4X magnification in playback mode, allowing you to check more closely for focus and subtle details.

A variety of shooting modes
The Optio 430 offers a selection of shooting modes consisting of Standard, Night Scene, Metered Manual, Movie, and multiple exposure.

A movie can be recorded using the Optio 430. Clips can be created up to 30 seconds in length at 15 frames per second with a resolution of 320 x 240 pixels. And because the clips are recorded in AVI format, they can be easily played back on a PC.

Drive modes
Additional convenience is realized with the self-timer function. It allows longer exposures with reduced camera shake and allows you to get in the picture for group shots. An optional remote control is also available which allows remote zooming and shutter release.

Infinity-landscape mode and macro shooting mode
Infinity-landscape mode is ideal for shooting landscapes and scenery, and works well when shooting through windows. Macro shooting mode allows shots to be taken from a distance of just 0.46 feet (0.14m) in the wide-angle position.

Manual focus
For situations where the subject is not at the center of the composition or only occupies a minimal part of the frame, the manual focus function allows the subject to be focused exactly as you wish while viewing the shot on the LCD monitor.

Autofocus areas
The Optio 430 offers a choice of autofocus settings. Seven-point autofocus covers a wide area of the frame and allows the subject to come into clear focus. Spot AF allows you to pinpoint the focus in the center. Free autofocus provides greater compositional freedom, allowing you to place the center of focus anywhere within the frame that you choose.

White Balance Mode
The Optio 430 possesses white balance mode for Auto, Daylight, Shade, Tungsten Light, and Fluorescent Light. It also offers Manual selection. This can be selected when the camera is in auto modes, allowing shots to be taken which preserve natural colors, regardless of the kind of light involved.

DPOF function
DPOF compatibility can be activated with a simple setup procedure. If set, the DPOF function activates automatically when using DPOF-compatible printers***** to give control over the number of printouts and the date function. It also allows the user to crop prints as desired.
***** Some printers may not support the above functions. Please consult the supplier of your printer for more information.

Histogram display
Some shots require more accurate exposure than can be achieved when using the LCD monitor alone. On such occasions, the Optio 430 allows light levels to be checked in detail by displaying exposure in histogram format during shooting and playback.

Alarm clock
The Optio 430 was designed with a particular emphasis on convenience. In fact, it even has its own Alarm Clock function, which allows three different alarms to be set. An image can be set to display when the alarm sounds, allowing the user to awake to the face of a family member, or a picture of something related to their schedule.

World Time function
A World Time function completes the sense of all-round convenience. It is capable of displaying the time in 62 cities around the world and can be set to display the local time, wherever you may be traveling.

Mode Memory function
Mode Memory function allows not one, but a combination of settings to be saved. Simply save the arrangement of settings which are used most often and return to them automatically when the power is next switched on.

PRINT Image MatchingTM compatibility
PRINT Image Matching gives the finished print a closer resemblance to the picture you originally desired. It achieves this through creating a stronger link between camera and PIM enabled printers and gives you significantly greater control over output.

The Optio 430 utilizes ACDSee imaging software. This convenient application makes it easy to view pictures, convert graphics, and share images. It even offers simple thumbnail display and album creation. ACDSee also can display Exif data, which makes the viewing of picture data considerably easier.

CompactFlash"! compatible
The Optio 430 is CompactFlash compatible and comes equipped with a Lexar Media"! 16 MB CompactFlash card that can store approximately 5 images (recording pixels: 2240 x 1680, quality level: Best), to approximately 200 images (recording pixels: 640 x 480, quality level: Good).

Video output
The Optio 430 makes it easy to view recorded images on a TV screen with simple connectivity to a TV via video cable. It can be set to display a slide show of your favorite shots and can be used in combination with a wide-screen TV or an LCD projector.

Power sources
The Optio 430 can be powered by its own exclusive rechargeable lithium-ion battery (battery and charger included) or by an optional AC adapter.

PENTAX Corporation is a wholly owned subsidiary of Asahi Optical Company, Ltd., of Japan. Corporate headquarters are located in Englewood, Colorado. PENTAX markets cameras, lenses, sport optics, surveying equipment, closed circuit television lenses, and a wide range of specialized lenses and accessories.

# # #

All referenced product names are trademarks of their respective companies.

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