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Pentax announces cheap 10MP compact for fall

Optio E50 is an aggressively priced 10-megapixel model.

Pentax Optio E60
Pentax Optio E60 Pentax

When you're about ready to start carving your Halloween pumpkins, Pentax will be starting to ship the E60, a basic black budget compact point-and-shoot. At the moment, its most notable claim to fame is the price: less than $140, which is pretty aggressive for a 10-megapixel model.

With the low price comes the rest of the parade of budget features: relatively narrow 32-96mm 3x zoom lens, compared to the barrage of wide-angle lenses we'll be seeing this fall; smallish, low-resolution 2.4-inch LCD; and no physical image stabilization. It does run off AA batteries, which many consider a nice option, and supports the latest crop of convenience features, like Auto Picture mode for automatic scene selection and a misnamed Face Recognition AF & AE mode: it does face detection, not recognition (it knows there's a person in the scene, but not that she's grandma).

Today the company also announced the Optio M60, a 10-megapixel, 5x zoom model with a nice design and a couple other minor step-up features, but we won't be seeing it in the U.S., except in the hands of tourists from Europe.