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Pentax's pretty pocket-friendly Optio P80, wallet-friendly E80 announced

Pentax refreshed two of its point-and-shoot Optio cameras Wednesday.


Pentax's dSLRs may be the attention-getting cameras for the company, but its point-and-shoot Optio line deserves some recognition, too. Even if it's only for their lenses and prices.

The P80 is a refresh of the Optio P70, a decent ultracompact camera that had the unique feature of letting you shoot vertically using the control pad on back for a camera phone-like experience. It looks like most of the specs are the same, too: 12 megapixels, 2.7-inch LCD, and a 4x, f2.6-5.8, 27.5-110mm-equivalent lens. There's still no optical or sensor-shift image stabilization, but at least it now records movies at 720p at 30 frames per second.

The P70 was also slow and its photo quality was lacking above ISO 200. Here's hoping those have improved a bit on the P80, too.

Available in the black, pearl, and mint, the Optio P80 will be available in September at $199.95.


Also announced was an update to the company's entry-level, AA-battery-powered E70, the Optio E80. Unlike the P80, there are some noticeable spec changes.

The E80 gets a larger 2.7-inch LCD, a brighter, wider 3x, f2.9-5.2, 31.5-94.5mm-equivalent lens, and the ability to capture 720p movies, though only at 15fps. What's retained are the previous model's large controls with easy-to-read markings making this a good choice for first-time digital camera users. Unfortunately, Pentax took away its Pixel Track SR shake reduction.

Available in silver or black, the Optio E80 will also be out in September for $129.95.