Pentax has a couple of new digital camera upgrades to announce today. The Optio E40 is an entry-level model with 8.1MP, 3x zoom (37.5 - 112.5 equiv) and clearly geared toward ease-of-use. Face Recognition is here along with Auto Picture mode, Digital Shake Reduction (increases ISO to achieve higher shutter speeds) and Pentax's fully-automatic 'Green Mode'. The Optio M40 meanwhile piles on the style with a slim alloy body measuring a mere 18mm (0.7") deep and is available in a variety of colors.

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Press release:

PENTAX Optio E40 – A straightforward entry-level compact digital camera

newly featuring “Face Recognition AF&AE” and “Shake Reduction” functions for easier enjoyment of high-resolution photography

PENTAX Corporation is pleased to announce the PENTAX Optio E40 compact digital camera. This entry-level model accepts widely available AA batteries and is designed for simple and intuitive operation so that even beginners can enjoy photography effortlessly. With the Optio E40, we have created a model that makes it easier than ever to enjoy high-resolution pictures with such new features as Face Recognition, handy for taking shots of people, and Shake Reduction, which reduces the effects of camera shake and subject blurring.

Main Features:

  • “Face Recognition AF&AE” function that is convenient when photographing portrait
    The Optio E40 newly features the Face Recognition AF & AE function*, which allows you to take beautiful pictures of people easily by letting the camera determine the focus and exposure. This “Face Recognition AF&AE” function* automatically detects and focuses on faces, regardless of where the people appear in the photo frame. In addition, optimal exposure settings are automatically conducted so that the areas with faces are not darkened even if there is backlighting.
    *Available when the photography mode is “Auto Picture”, “Program”, “Portrait”, and “Kids” and the camera is directed at people from the front
  • Digital SR (Shake Reduction)
    A mode that reduces camera shakes and blurring of the subject when photographing still images. The sensitivity is adjusted automatically, to as high as the high sensitivity of ISO1000, to match the brightness of the subjects. This enables for photography with fast shutter speeds, and images with less blurs can be obtained.
  • 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 Normal mode 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.
  • Compatibility with widely available AA batteries
    Since the Optio E40 accepts widely available AA batteries, you can shoot with confidence when away from home or whenever you want. Furthermore, the camera has been designed specifically to use less power so that you can take approximately 240 photos when running on alkaline batteries.
  • Equipped with the Green mode for automated setup
    The Optio E40 comes with the Green mode, which automates the camera setup when shooting still images, that allows even complete digital-camera beginners to enjoy picture-taking effortlessly. A single button press automatically sets the exposure, sensitivity, white balance, and other parameters according to the shooting conditions. This function is useful when asking someone else to take your picture or when you have simply lost track of the camera settings.
  • 8.1 effective megapixels produce exceptionally fine-detailed photos
    Despite being an entry-level camera, the Optio E40 delivers high-resolution photos that look sharp even at large magnifications thanks to its 8.1 effective megapixels, which precisely captures images down to the finest detail.
  • 3X optical zoom and 4X digital zoom for a maximum of about 12X magnification
    The Optio E40 features a 3X optical zoom lens with a focal range covering angles of view equivalent to those of a 37.5-112.5mm lens in 35mm format, which is ideal for a broad spectrum of subjects from landscapes, through sightseeing photographs, to portraits. Such zooming power can also be combined with 4X digital zoom to achieve a total of about 12X zoom capability

Other features:

  • Recording movie size is up to 640 x 480 pixels with images quality of rivaling camcorders
  • Large, high-resolution 2.4-inch LCD monitor with approximately 110,000 pixels provides an easy-to-view display
  • Calendar Display function allows easier image retrieval based on the capture date
  • More convenient to carry thanks to the slim design, which features a lens design that fully retracts when the camera is off
  • Continuous shooting mode can record up to 16 consecutive images (640 x 480 pixels per image) in a 2-second burst
  • Compatible with SDHC memory card in addition to conventional SD memory cards
  • Coming with about 10MB of built-in memory that allows internal image storage even when the memory card is full
  • New Panorama mode enables the camera to join the captured images into one picture
  • Frame composite function allows you to add a decorative frame around the image when shooting
  • Compatible with PictBridge, DPOF functions, Exif Print, and PRINT Image Matching III

PENTAX Optio M40 – An ultra-slim, standard-class, compact digital camera with a well balanced basic function and 8.0 effective megapixels

PENTAX Corporation is pleased to announce the PENTAX Optio M40, a standard-class compact digital camera that is easy to carry with ultra-slim and lightweight body. The Optio M40 is well-balanced with basic functions, and high resolution of 8.0 megapixels.

While the Optio M40 comes with an ultra-slim, metallic body of sophisticated sense, being equipped with enhanced basic functions such as 3X optical zoom, a large and easily viewable LCD monitor, and excellent operability, it also realizes much higher resolution. In addition, the Optio M40 also includes a face recognition function and an anti-shake function, for which there are high market needs, and has been created as a user-friendly model that can be broadly used by many people at various scenes.

Main Features:

  • An ultra-slim body with a sophisticated texture
    By using an exclusive slim battery and making the circuit board smaller, it is possible to realize an ultra-slim body of just 18mm. High quality aluminum alloy is also used for the outer cover, giving the camera a sophisticated texture.
  • 8.0 effective megapixels produce exceptionally fine-detailed photos
    Optio M40 delivers high-resolution photos that look sharp even at large magnifications thanks to its upgraded 8.0 effective megapixels, which precisely captures images down to the finest details.
  • Digital SR (Shake Reduction)
    A mode that reduces camera shakes and blurring of the subject when photographing still images. The sensitivity is adjusted automatically, to as high as the ultrahigh sensitivity of ISO3200, to match the brightness of the subjects. This enables for photography with fast shutter speeds, and images with less blurs can be obtained.
  • “Face Recognition AF & AE” function that is convenient when photographing portrait
    The Optio M40 is equipped with a “Face Recognition AF & AE” function* that automatically detects and focuses on faces, regardless of where the people appear in the photo frame. In addition, optimal exposure settings are automatically conducted so that the areas with faces are not darkened even if there is backlighting.
    *Available when the photography mode is “Portrait”, or “Natural Skin Tone” and the camera is directed at people from the front
  • Diversity of flash photography possible
    The Optio M40 is equipped with a powerful flash photography performance that enables for subjects in dark locations to be captured brightly and clearly at a distance of up to approximately 15.5m, due to a flash that uses a large amount of light and the ultra-sensitivity of “Digital SR”. It also comes with some functions such as “Soft Flash” function that prevents overexposure of people’s skin, when photographing at close distances by controlling the amount of light emitted. These functions allow diverse flash photography.
  • Auto Picture mode automatically determines the best settings for the shooting conditions
    The Auto Picture mode lets the camera automatically determines the shooting conditions for Landscape, Portrait, Night Scene, and Normal mode 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.
  • Variety of 16 different photography modes that can be selected according to the purpose
    Specific sense and subjects can be photographed using one of the 16 different photography modes such as new “Natural Skin Tone”, “Flower”, “Sport”, “Pet”, and “Food” that are set with the optimum exposure, white balance, etc., depending on the scene or subject. Selection of photography mode is very simple thanks to the unique “Mode Palette” icon displayed on the monitor.
  • 3X optical zoom and 4X digital zoom for a maximum of about 12X magnification
    The Optio M40 features a 3X optical zoom lens with a focal range covering angles of view equivalent to those of a 36-108mm lens in 35mm format, which is ideal for a broad spectrum of subjects from landscapes, through memorial photographs, to portraits. Such zooming power can also be combined with 4X digital zoom to achieve a total of about 12X zoom capability.
  • Large, easy-to-view 2.5-inch LCD monitor
    Although the body of the camera is compact, the Optio M40 comes with a large, 2.5-inch monitor with an improved pixel number of approximately150,000 pixels. This enables for not only photography and playback to be done easily, but for settings and operations for the camera to be carried out easily as well, since the menu display is large and easy to view. The Optio M40 is also equipped with an “Economy mode” that promotes energy saving by dimming the backlight automatically after a certain period of time has passed.

Other features:

  • Equipped with Movie SR (Shake Reduction) function, which enables movies to be delivered with high quality image rivaling camcorders
  • Auto-Macro mode allows for close-up photography as near as 10cm during the normal focusing mode
  • Auto-tracking AF continuously focusing on a moving subject
  • New Date Imprint function for easier images categorizing
  • World time function for 75 cities (28 times zones) worldwide
  • Calendar Display function allows easier image retrieval based on the capture date
  • Approximately 21.9MB of built-in memory
  • FotoNation’s red-eye compensation function for flash shots
  • Includes the ACDSee for PENTAX image viewer/image management software
  • Support PictBridge, DPOF functions, Exif Print, and PRINT Image Matching III