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Cameras

Pentax Optio I-10: Old-school snapper

Remember the good old days? Pentax does, with the design of the new Optio I-10 camera harking back to a simpler time

Ah, the good old days. Before the Internet, Celebrity Big Brother and happy slapping. Things were just so much quieter then -- and we tell you what, kids knew their place an' all. The Pentax Optio I-10 camera harks back to those halcyon days with its deliciously retro looks.

Despite looking like an old-timey dSLR -- sharing its aesthetic roots with the Olympus E-P1 -- the I-10 is a 12-megapixel point-and-shoot with 5x optical zoom lens and CCD-shift image stabilisation. The distinctive front end sports a wide-angle 28mm lens, equivalent to a 35mm camera.

The I-10 shoots 16:9 high-definition 720p video at 30 frames per second. You can extract still frames from a movie and add titles at the beginning or end.

A new feature is a picture-in-picture function, so you can display a previous shot while framing the next one on the 69mm (2.7-inch) screen. Handy for photographing a series of objects in the same way, or making stop-motion animation, or whatever it is you young people get up to these days. Pentax has also beefed up the effects line-up, adding a starburst filter that adds different-shaped highlights to an image. Multiple filters can be added to each image.

I-10

Face detection finds up to 32 faces. There's a new 'small face' feature, which disappointingly doesn't make your pictures look like they were taken on a Lazy Sunday in Itchycoo Park. It was proper music back then. Instead, the I-10 recognises the faces of cats and dogs.

We'll be interested to see if other manufacturers continue this latest trend in the recent proliferation of camera gimmicks, as legacy brands such as Olympus and Pentax draw on their history of camera development. For now, the Pentax I-10 comes in your choice of black or white and is available in February for £200. Everything's so expensive these days.