Pentax shows tiny new 3mpix digicam! (UPDATED)|
(Sunday, March 25, 2001 - 16:12 EST)
New digicam looks set to pack a lot of punch in a small package...
The digitalcamera.gr.jp website has reported on a new digital camera shown by Asahi Optical at the PhotoExpo 2001 show in Japan, our friends at LetsGoDigital.nl tell us. The new reference design is being shown under Asahi's Pentax brand-name, and features a 3 megapixel class CCD and 3x optical zoom lens in a package that is apparently more compact than Canon's IXY Digital camera.
Dimensions aren't listed, but if our translation is correct, the comparison being made is to the PowerShot S100 (both the PowerShot S100 and S300 are sold in Japan as IXY Digital cameras). This would be an impressive feat since even the larger PowerShot S300 is a 2 megapixel camera, and the 2 megapixel S100 and Kyocera's 3 megapixel FineCam S3 (both very similar in size) feature only 2x optical zoom lenses. If Pentax has managed to pack a 3x zoom and 3 megapixel sensor into a camera in the same size range as the S100 and FineCam S3, the company could definitely have a winner on its hands!
The Pentax camera uses a rotary mode dial interface, and according to digitalcamera.gr.jp, as well as the goal of miniaturization, the company has also put a lot of thought into ease of use. A look at digitalcamera.gr.jp's picture (above, used by permission) of the front and back of Pentax's camera shows that it also features a real image optical viewfinder, built-in flash, and CompactFlash storage, and that it has a self-timer, burst mode and macro mode. Playback zoom is accomplished using the rocker switch that controls the zoom lens in normal mode. The Flash button doubles as a delete button in Playback mode; we can't make out the icon for the two buttons to the right of the flash button, although it looks like perhaps one is a key symbol (image protection?)...
Pentax / Asahi also showed their EI-3000 and unnamed digital SLR cameras which we saw at PMA. Nikon's D1X and D1H cameras are also at the show, as are Kyocera's FineCam S3, Canon's PowerShot S300, A10 and A20, Olympus' C-1 and C-700 UltraZoom, Minolta's Dimage 5, Dimage 7 and Dimage S304, and Ricoh's RDC-i500.
Our thanks to Yamada Kumio / digitalcamera.gr.jp for allowing us to use the photo above of the Pentax camera in this news item...
UPDATED 2001-03-25 11:37ET:Image of Pentax ultra-compact digicam prototype added by kind permission of Yamada Kumio / digitalcamera.gr.jp.
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