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Pentax goes 40-deuce with new compacts

Pentax has announced two new 8-megapixel compacts-- the Optio M40 and Optio E40--set to hit stores this August and September, respectively.

Pentax's new 8-megapixel Optio E40.
Pentax's new 8-megapixel Optio E40. Pentax

'Tis the season for compact camera introduction, and Pentax is getting in on the action with its new Optio E40 and M40 models. Both include 8-megapixel CCDs, face recognition, and Pentax's ISO-bump Digital Shake Reduction.

The Optio E40 slightly edges out its sibling lens-wise with its faster 3x optical, 38mm-to-113mm f/2.8-to-f/5.2 zoom lens, but its 2.4-inch LCD checks in with 110,000 pixels (40,000 fewer than the M40), and its autofocus system relies on three focus points as compared to the nine points found in the M40. The M40 also bests the E40 in terms of sensitivity. The M40 ranges from ISO 50 to ISO 1,600, but offers ISO 3,200 in its Digital Shake Reduction mode. The E40 offers ISO 80 to ISO 800, with a boost up to ISO 1,000 in its Digital Shake Reduction mode. If you're choosy about your power supply, take note that the E40 runs on AA batteries.

Pentax's new 8-megapixel Optio M40.
Pentax's new 8-megapixel Optio M40. Pentax

The M40 is expected to hit stores in August for about $200, while the E40 will follow in September for about $150.