Pentax Announces Two Low-Cost Cameras

optio-p70Today, Pentax announced two additions to its Optio point-and-shoot line, both of which cost less than two hundred bucks. The P70 ($199, pictured at right), the higher-end of the two cameras, has a 12-megapixel sensor, 2.7-inch LCD, and 4X optical zoom (the 28mm lens should allow for some nice wide shots, too). Other features include rapid face detection for up to 32 faces, ISO up to 6400, Smile Capture, blink detection, and 720p movie recording (albeit, at a slow 15 frames per second). Vertical Snap Mode lets you use the four-way navigation pad to snap pictures as you would on a phone. The all-metal P70 will be available in February in white, red, and silver. As for the E70 ($139), it’s about as entry-level as entry-level gets: it has 10-MP resolution, 3X optical zoom, and a 2.4-inch LCD, and it takes AA batteries. However, it does share some features with the P70, including rapid face detection, blink detection, and Smile Capture. We like that it has Pentax Auto Picture, which selects one of seven scene modes automatically (we can remember, not long ago, when intelligent Auto modes were a premium feature in point-and-shoots). The E70 will ship in February, and will be available in Champagne, red, and Deep Blue.

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