Pentax updates its skinnable ultracompact camera

A new screwless faceplate design on the Pentax Optio RS1500 makes it even easier to customize its appearance.

Pentax

The Pentax Optio RS1500 is nice-looking out of the box, but its removable faceplate also lets you quickly change its appearance as often as you want by covering it with whatever color or design you choose.

The camera ships with 10 standard skins, but you can also download an Adobe Air-based Pentax Personal Skin Designer to import an image and save a skin as a PDF for printing. It was a pretty solid idea when Pentax launched its predecessor, the RS1000, last year.

This update improves the skin-changing process by eliminating the need to remove screws to swap faceplates; it's now a screwless design with an interchangeable lens ring (choice of orange or black included).

Under the skin is a fairly basic 14-megapixel point-and-shoot. In front is a 4x27.5mm-equivalent wide-angle lens; in back is a 3-inch LCD. Shooting options include auto scene recognition, 720p HD movie capture, creative digital photo filters, tracking autofocus, and a Digital Panorama mode.

All that for a sub-$150 price in a credit-card-size body sounds like a sweet deal. Look for it in April.

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