Pre-Photokina 2006: Pentax has announced today the Optio A20, one of two new compacts. The 10-megapixel Optio A20 is the successor to the A10 announced back in January. It features a 3x zoom lens, three types of anti-shake function, Face Recognition AF & AE and Auto Tracking AF.

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Press Release:

PENTAX Optio A20 — A compact digital camera with 10.0 effective megapixels and three types of anti-shake functions

August 22, 2006: PENTAX Corporation is pleased to announce the launch of the new PENTAX Optio A20, a compact digital camera featuring 10.0 effective megapixels and a fine, high-quality image.

The Optio A20 is the latest model in our high-grade Optio A series. In addition to offering 10.0 effective megapixels, this stylish, compact and lightweight model has many extra features, including three types of anti-shake function such as SR (Shake Reduction), which reduces camera shake.

Major Features

1. High-Quality Image

10.0 effective megapixels image quality
Despite its compact dimensions, the Optio A20 produces extremely clear, high-quality images thanks to the high resolution afforded by its 10.0 effective megapixels. This superb level of resolution makes it possible to produce prints with crisp detail even when the photo is enlarged to A3 size. As its image sensor, the Optio A20 uses a large 1/1.8-inch CCD with a wide light-sensitive area, which realizes superior tone reproduction, fine textures, and greater noise reduction.

High-performance smc PENTAX zoom lens
The Optio A20 is equipped with a high-quality smc PENTAX zoom lens, which is renowned for its clarity and high-contrast image performance. Its lens configuration, with seven elements in five groups, including three aspherical elements, effectively corrects for spherical aberration. The lenses are coated using a PENTAX-developed technique, which greatly reduces ghosting and flare.

New ASIC*1
A new ASIC supplies the Optio A20 with dramatically more image-processing power. Thanks to the ASIC’s high-speed processing capability, the Optio A20 attains a higher level of tone reproduction and color correction based on enormous amounts of actual photo data.
*1: Application Specific Integrated Circuit

2. Three Types of Anti-Shake Functions

SR (Shake Reduction)
The SR (Shake Reduction) mechanism, developed by PENTAX, features two gyro sensors that detect the amount of shake and an image sensor (CCD) that moves both horizontally and vertically to reduce the camera shake. The SR mechanism effectively prevents shake at the instant that the shutter is clicked to take a photograph.

Blur Reduction mode*2
In this mode, the camera automatically adjusts the sensitivity to as high as ISO 1600 according to the brightness of the subject. The higher sensitivities permit faster shutter speeds that reduce not only camera shake but also the blurring caused by moving subjects.
*2 The image recording size is fixed to 5M (2592 x 1944 pixels) when Blur Reduction mode is selected.

Movie Anti-Shake Function*3
Camera shake while taking a movie can also be corrected automatically by software, thanks to an electronic, movie anti-shake function.
*3 Using the movie anti-shake function results in a narrower field of view than during normal recording.

3. Face Recognition AF & AE for beautiful one-step portraits
The camera includes the new Face Recognition AF & AE*4 function, which allows you to take bright, beautiful photos of people with perfectly focused faces free of shadows caused by exposing for the background or for the colors of clothing. This useful function automatically detects the position of the subject’s anywhere in the photo frame and then adjusts the focus and optimizes the exposure for the detected position.
*4 This camera’s Face Recognition AF & AE function uses the Face Tracker face-recognition technology from FotoNation.

4. Auto-tracking AF continuously focuses on a moving subject
The Optio A20’s auto-tracking AF feature continuously focuses on subjects such as kids and pets that move around unpredictably. Since the focus frame automatically follows the movement of the subject inside the photo frame, you can be sure to capture those instantaneous photo opportunities.

5. High-quality movies with an anti-shake function
The Optio A20 smoothly captures movies at 30 fps (frames per second) at sizes up to 640 x 480 pixels with image quality rivaling camcorders. Since it employs the DivX® (MPEG-4 compliant) movie format,*5 the Optio A20 can record longer, high-quality movies.
*5 The Optio A20 is DivX® certified. Movie playback is not supported on Macintosh operating systems.

6. Auto Picture mode automatically determines the best settings for the shooting conditions
The Auto Picture mode lets the camera automatically determine the shooting conditions for Landscape, Portrait, Night Scene, and Program modes and choose the optimum settings for each subject. This PENTAX original function makes photography a lot easier for users since it eliminates the necessity of making a number of individual settings.

7. A wide range of exposure setting modes
In Programmed Exposure mode, the camera automatically determines the shutter speed and aperture. The camera also includes “Shutter-Priority AE” mode and “Manual Exposure” mode, which the user can set freely depending on the effect they are aiming to achieve.

8. Compact and lightweight body
Despite incorporating a large CCD and the SR system, we managed to create a slimmer and lighter body by using our unique Sliding Lens System*6 together with high-density mounting technology.
*6 PENTAX’s proprietary lens system: The central lens group slides upward from the optical axis and the front and back lens groups slip under them. Housing the lens in two steps in the lens cylinder reduces overall lens thickness, thereby minimizing body depth.

9. Supports the SDHC memory card for greater storage of high-quality images and longer movies
The Optio A20 supports two removable storage media: the conventional SD memory cards and the new SDHC memory cards.*7
*7 SD High Capacity; these memory cards have capacities in excess of 2 GB.

10. Red-eye correction available after shooting
The Optio A20 comes with FotoNation’s red-eye correction function, which can correct red-eye problems, a side effect of flash photography, after the photo is taken. With the ability to manually select the area to correct, this function allows for more precise correction of red-eye photos.

11.Other Features

  • Calendar Display function allows image retrieval based on the capture date
  • Easy image search and arrangement on a PC using a Date Folder function
  • Green Mode enables the use of fixed, automatic settings when taking a photograph
  • Digital zooming provides up to 4X magnification
  • Approximately 22MB of built-in memory
  • Pan-focus function for effortless snapshots
  • ACDSee for PENTAX image viewer/image management software
  • USB 2.0 (HI-SPEED) compatible
  • Supports PictBridge, DPOF functions, Exif Print, and PRINT Image Matching III

Pentax Optio A20 specifications

Sensor

• 1/2.5 " Type CCD
• 10.37 million pixels total
• 10.0 million effective pixels

Image sizes • 3648 x 2736
• 3072 x 2304
• 2592 x 1944
• 2048 x 1536
• 1600 x 1200
• 1024 x 768
• 640 x 480
Movie clips • 640 x 480 @ 30fps
• 320 x 240 @ 30fps
File formats • JPEG Exif v2.2
• DCF
• DPOF
• PRINT Image Matching III
• AVI MPEG-4
Lens • 38-114mm (35mm equiv)
• F2.8-5.4
Image stabilization • SR (Shake Reduction)
• Movie anti-shake
Conversion lenses No
Digital zoom up to 4x
Focus TTL contrast detection AF
AF area modes • 5-point multi AF
• Spot AF
• Tracking AF switchable
AF assist lamp Yes
Focus distance • Normal: 0.35m - infinity
• Macro: 0.12m - 0.4m (at full wide-angle setting to 11.5mm)
• Supermacro: 0.06m - 0.15m (at full wide-angle setting)
Metering • TTL metering
• Multi-segment
• Center-weighted
• Spot
ISO sensitivity • Auto
• ISO 64
• ISO 100
• ISO 200
• ISO 400
• ISO 800
Exposure compensation +/- 2EV in 1/3 steps
Shuttter speed 1/2000 sec to 4 sec
Aperture F2.8-5.4
Modes • One shot
• Self timer
• Continuous
• Remote Control
Scene modes • Auto picture
• Program
• Night scene
• Movie
• Voice recording
• Landscape
• Flower
• Portrait
• Kids
• Blur reduction
• Surf & snow
• Sport
• Pet
• Text
• Food
• Frame composite
• Shutter Priority
• Manual
White balance • Auto
• Daylight
• Tungsten light
• Fluorescent light
• Manual
Self timer 2 or 10 secs
Continuous shooting n/a
Flash • Auto
• Flash On / Off
• Soft Flash
• Red-eye reduction
• Range: Wide: approx 0.06m - 7.1m / Tele: approx 0.35m - 3.5m
Viewfinder No
LCD monitor • 2.5-inch TFT Low-reflective type
• 232,000 pixels
Connectivity • NTSC / PAL
• USB 2.0 Hi-speed
• AV out
• DC in
Print compliance PictBridge
Storage • 22MB built-in memory
• SD / SDHC card compatible
Power • Rechargeable D-L18 Lithium-ion battery
• Optional AC adapter
Weight (no batt) 125 g (4.4 oz)
Dimensions 88.5 x 54.5 x 23 mm (3.5 x 2.1 x 0.9 in)