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Pentax's Optio RS1500 digital camera. Photo provided by Pentax Imaging Co. Pentax RS1500: A refresh for the fashion-friendly skinnable digicam
(Wednesday, March 16, 2011 - 18:00 EDT)

Pentax Imaging Co. has today announced its new Optio RS1500 digital camera, an update to the existing RS1000 model that was announced last September.

The Pentax Optio RS1500 still features an ultracompact body with eye-catching interchangeable, customizable front-panel "skins", but they now attach more simply, negating the need for the bundled hex-key tool. Instead of the previous screw-on design, the ten included skins -- or those you create yourself -- are now exchanged by removing a snap-on faceplate that's held in place by a ring around the lens barrel, with two ring colors included in the product bundle.

Underneath the customized exterior, the Pentax RS1500 is extremely close to its predecessor's hardware design, retaining a 14 megapixel CCD sensor behind a Pentax-branded 4x optical zoom lens. 35mm equivalent focal lengths for the RS1500's lens range from 27.5mm to 110mm. The Pentax RS1500 doesn't include any form of optical or mechanical image stabilization, instead relying on software deblurring and the use of high ISO sensitivities to freeze camera and subject motion.

On its rear panel, the Optio RS1500 provides a 3.0-inch TFT LCD display. The RS1500 stores its images and movies on Secure Digital cards or in 21.6MB of available built-in memory. Connectivity options include USB 2.0 High-speed data, and standard-definition NTSC / PAL video output. Power comes from a D-LI108 lithium ion rechargeable battery pack.

The Pentax Optio RS1500 ships from April 2011, priced at about US$150. More details on this camera and the differences from the previous model are available in our Pentax RS1500 preview.

Pentax Optio RS1500
Pentax's Optio RS1500 digital camera. Photo provided by Pentax Imaging Co. Click for a bigger picture!
Model NumberNorth America: RS1500
Dimensions3.6 x 2.2 x 0.9 in.
(91 x 56 x 23 mm)
Weight4.5 oz (128 g)
Planned Price$150
Planned AvailabilityApril 2011
Image Capture
Sensor TypeCCD
1/2.3" (approx. 0.43 in. diagonal)
14.53 megapixels (total)
14.00 megapixels (effective)
Filter TypeRGBG
Aspect Ratio4:3, 16:9
Image Dimensions4288 x 3216 (13.8 megapixels)
4224 x 2376 (10.0 megapixels)
3072 x 2304 (7.1 megapixels)
1920 x 1080 (2.1 megapixels)
640 x 480 (0.3 megapixels)
Image Preview / Review
LCD3.0 in. diagonal
230,000 dots (approx. 77,000 pixels)
Playback Zoom10.0x max
Lens TypePentax Zoom; 6 elements in 5 groups, 3 aspheric
4x optical zoom
Image StabilizationYes
Focal Length4.9 - 19.6mm (actual)
28 - 110mm (35mm equivalent)
Aperture Rangef/3.2 (W) / f/5.9 (T) - ???
Focusing SystemContrast Detection; 3-point AF, Spot AF, Auto tracking AF
Focusing RangeNormal: 16" - infinity (40 cm - infinity)
Macro: 3.3" - 20" (8 cm - 50 cm)
ISO SensitivityAuto: 100-800, Digital SR 100-6400 (ISO 3200-6400 at 5M) Manual: 100-6400 (ISO 3200-6400 at 5M)
Shutter Speed4 - 1/2000 second
Exposure ModesProgram
Metering ModesTTL Multi-segment
Exposure Compensation+/- 2.0EV in 1/3EV increments
White BalanceImage Sensor - Auto, Daylight, Shade, Tungsten, Fluorescent, Manual
Internal FlashModes: Auto, Flash Off, Flash On, Auto + Redeye, On + Redeye
Range: Auto ISO: 16ft (wide), 8.5ft (tele)
Scene ModesPortrait, Night Scene Portrait, Night Scene, Movie, Landscape, Blue Sky, Sunset, Flower, Sport, Pet, Digital SR (ISO 3200-6400 5M), Natural Skin Tone, Kids, Frame Composite, Food, Candlelight, Text, Surf & Snow, Digital Panorama (2M per frame), Half Length Portrait (3M)
Digital ZoomUp to approx. 6.7x
Self TimerYes, 2 or 10 seconds
Time LapseNo
Movie FormatAVI (Motion JPEG) with audio
Recording MediumSD/MMC including SDHC, Built-in
File SystemFAT16, FAT32, complies with Design Rule for Camera File System (DCF)
File FormatJPEG (EXIF 2.3)
VideoStandard definition: Yes, NTSC / PAL switchable
ComputerUSB 2.0 High Speed
OtherOptional K-AC119 AC adapter kit
Battery TypeLithium-ion rechargeable
Battery Form FactorProprietary D-LI108
Product Bundle
SoftwareSoftware CD-ROM S-SW116 with MediaImpression 3.0 for PENTAX (Windows) / MediaImpression 2.1 for PENTAX (Mac)
Battery / Charger1 x Proprietary D-LI108 lithium-ion rechargeable battery and charger
Flash Memory21.6MB Internal
Digital Print Order Format (DPOF) compliantYes
PictBridge CompliantNo
Internal MicrophoneYes
Internal SpeakerYes
Tripod MountYes
NotesVery closely related to RS1000. Only differences are clip-on (screwless) face plates rather than screw-on kind, slightly more internal memory, newer software CD, and slight differences to scene and Auto Picture modes.
More Photos
Pentax's Optio RS1500 digital camera. Photo provided by Pentax Imaging Co. Click for a bigger picture!
Pentax's Optio RS1500 digital camera. Photo provided by Pentax Imaging Co. Click for a bigger picture!
Pentax's Optio RS1500 digital camera. Photo provided by Pentax Imaging Co. Click for a bigger picture!
Pentax's Optio RS1500 digital camera. Photo provided by Pentax Imaging Co. Click for a bigger picture!
Pentax's Optio RS1500 digital camera. Photo provided by Pentax Imaging Co. Click for a bigger picture!
Pentax's Optio RS1500 digital camera. Photo provided by Pentax Imaging Co. Click for a bigger picture!
A selection of face plate skins for Pentax's Optio RS1500 digital camera. Photo provided by Pentax Imaging Co. Click for a bigger picture!

Original Source Press Release:

Pentax Introduces Second Generation Infinitely Customizable Optio RS1500

Newest PENTAX Easier Than Ever to Personalize

Golden, CO. (March 16, 2011)…PENTAX Imaging Company announced the infinitely customizable Optio RS1500 digital compact camera. The new PENTAX Optio RS1500 is easy to use and easy to dress to match the personality and style of its owner. This cosmetically customizable digital camera features a new removable PENTAX-original faceplate system featuring a no-hassle screwless faceplate design and interchangable lens ring snap (choice of orange or black included) to hold custom skins of any personal choice or design. Now, users may change the camera’s appearance in three easy steps without the need for additional tools.

The design possibilities for the Optio RS1500 are infinite. Owners may skin this newest Optio to match an event, a sports team, a milestone, a corporate identity, a season, and so much more.

There are a couple of ways to personalize the PENTAX Optio RS1500:

  1. Immediately dress the camera in a choice of 10 skins with contemporary designs that ship with the product simply by adding a skin, replacing the faceplate panel, and snapping on the lens ring.

  2. Visit the PENTAX SKINS Gallery at www.rs.pentaximaging.com or download the PENTAX PERSONAL SKIN DESIGNER Adobe Air-based software from www.pentaximaging.com . Use the digital designer to import a photo or digital image and save a skin as a PDF for printing on a color printer.

Besides a unique, completely customizable design, the Optio RS1500 features 14 megapixels, a large three inch LCD monitor, a high-performance 4X optical zoom lens covering 27.5mm wide angle to 110mm telephoto and simple, user-friendly operation. Encased in a lightweight body about the size of a credit-card, the Optio RS1500 is compact enough to carry anywhere. Available in pearl white or silver, this latest PENTAX Optio will ship in April 2011 at $149.95 USD.

PENTAX Imaging Company is an innovative leader in the production of a variety of digital cameras including weather resistant digital SLRs and stylish, compact, waterproof cameras, as well as lenses, flash units, binoculars, scopes, and eyepieces. For over 90 years, PENTAX 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.

# # #

PENTAX OPTIO RS1500 Fact Sheet

New-generation, easier, faster skin change system
The Optio RS1500 features an easier than ever, simplified faceplate change system to add and remove skins. The transparent acrylic panel may now be affixed or removed without any special tools or screws. Equipped with a choice of 10 included skins, and a new, removable lens ring in a choice of two colors, the Optio RS1500 is easy and fun to dress right out of the box.

Exceptional image quality
With 14 megapixels, superior noise reduction and a high-performance smc PENTAX optical zoom lens, the Optio RS1500 delivers brilliant, high-quality images with well-defined details and edge-to-edge sharpness even when images are enlarged.

Digital filters for creative expression
The Optio RS1500 features nine digital filters including Toy Camera, Retro and Sepia to add a variety of visual effects to images without the need for a computer. Multiple filters may also be applied to a single image for even more unique, creative visual effects.

Automatic face detection with user-friendly features
The Optio RS1500 features the advanced automatic Face Detection AF &AE function to instantly and accurately detect human faces within the image field and optimize focus and exposure settings. The Optio RS1500 also offers more convenient features designed for the easy capture of beautiful snapshots including:

  • Smile Capture mode automatically releases the shutter the moment the camera detects the subject’s smile

  • Natural Skin mode to give the subject a smooth, healthy skin tone

Large, easy-to-view 3.0 inch LCD monitor
The compact Optio RS1500 features a large 3.0 inch high-brightness color LCD monitor with approximately 230,000 dots providing large, detailed images and menus.

Optical 4X zoom lens with wide-angle coverage
A high-performance 4X optical zoom lens covering focal lengths from 4.9mm to 19.6mm (equivalent in the 35mm format to approximately 27.5mm wide angle to 110mm telephoto) is featured on the RS1500. With this wide zoom range, the camera captures a wide variety of subjects and scenes — from wide-angle shots such as spectacular landscapes, majestic architectural images and group shots in small spaces to telephoto images such as tightly cropped snapshots taken from a distance. Combined with an Intelligent Zoom function, the camera provides tighter zoom on subjects and extends the zoom to approximately 26.8 times without compromising image quality.

Auto Picture mode automatically selects the appropriate shooting mode
The Optio RS1500 features PENTAX-original Auto Picture mode to automatically select the most appropriate shooting mode for a given subject or scene by accurately assessing various photographic conditions affecting the subject. This user-friendly mode instantly and unfailingly selects one of the 15 shooting modes (including Blue Sky and Sunset) and optimizes various camera settings such as sensitivity and shutter speed for optimal results with minimal effort.

High-quality HD movie recording
The Optio RS1500 captures beautiful, high-definition movie clips (1280 x 720 pixels)* and features Movie SR (Shake Reduction) mode to automatically compensate for camera shake during movie shooting.
* When the Optio RS1500’s AV output terminal is used, movie clips are output as normal-image-size data. If the user wishes to play back movie clips at high-definition-TV proportions (1280 x 720 pixels), the data must be transferred to a personal computer for playback. When movie shooting, the angle of view becomes narrower than normal shooting.

Additional features

  • A new Digital Blur Removal function to effectively compensate for camera shake during still-image shooting

  • Digital Panorama mode to automatically stitch a single panoramic picture from as many as three images

  • Green mode to dramatically simplify camera operation with a fixed set of shooting settings.

  • Frame Composite function (with three frames stored in the camera) to shoot or compose images with decorative photo frames

  • Burst shooting at a speed of 16 images (fixed at 640 x 480 pixels) in two -Auto-tracking AF mode to keep constant focus on a moving subject

  • Image viewing, editing and filing software package compatible with latest operating systems such as:

    • Windows 7 and Mac OS X10.6:

      • MediaImpression 3.0 for PENTAX (Windows version) and

      • MediaImpression 2.1 for PENTAX (Macintosh version)

PENTAX, Optio and smc PENTAX are trademarks of HOYA CORPORATION.
Windows is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation in the United States 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.
Macintosh and Mac OS are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.
All other brands or product names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies.
Design and Specifications are subject to change without notice.

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