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Pentax debuts new snapshot cameras

Pentax debuts new snapshot cameras

Pentax is betting on small and steady winning the race. Its latest Optio, the A10, incorporates an 8-megapixel sensor and a 3X zoom lens into the tiny Optio design, along with antishake technology to improve low-light/slow-shutter performance. It works by shifting the CCD to compensate for gyro-sensed movement. Pentax claims its Shake Reduction is a "unique" implementation, but it sounds a lot like what Konica Minolta does--we'll have to check it out and get back to you on that. A 2.5-inch LCD, improved firmware, and tracking AF round out the more interesting features of the A10, which will cost $350 when it ships in February.

The company is also making some welcome changes to its naming conventions. The Optio A series will designate its ultracompact cameras, while Optio E will be its budget line. The first of the E-series cameras, the Optio E10, is a basic 6-megapixel snapshot camera with a 3X zoom lens and a 2.4-inch LCD; it runs on AA batteries.