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Pentax goes old timey with new I-10 compact cam

Though its features are fairly basic midrange fare, Pentax puts them in a standout body design.


With the Pentax Optio I-10, it's definitely more about the design than the features (not that there's anything wrong with its shooting abilities). The look was inspired by classic film SLR cameras and really helps it stand out from the myriad look-alike compacts coming in 2010. It would have been nice to find an optical viewfinder and manual shooting options to round out the retro styling, but here's hoping Pentax will add one to a future model. Instead you get a flash above the lens and opposite it in back, a speaker.

The core features are in line with other midrange point-and-shoots: 12 megapixels, 2.7-inch LCD, a 5x f3.5-5.9 28-140mm-equivalent lens, sensor-shift image stabilization, HD-quality movie capture at 720p and 30fps. There's integrated support for Eye-Fi wireless SD cards and an optional wireless remote control.

Pentax includes a few nice in-camera extras such as a set of filter effects (Monochrome, Sepia, Toy Camera, Soft filters, and Starburst) that can be piled on top of one another and a unique picture-in-picture option for keeping a thumbnail of a previously taken photo in the upper left corner of the LCD so you can reference to frame other shots. There's also improved face detection that works on cats and dogs, too.

Look for the white one pictured and a classic black version in February for around $299.95.