Pentax has announced the new ultra-compact Optio S7, almost a year since the Optio S6. This new camera features a seven megapixel sensor with high sensitivity up to ISO 1600 (at 4 mp). In addition it also features Face Recognition AF & AE, a 2.5" LCD monitor, DivX Movie Mode and support for the new SDHC card format. The S7 will be available in September for under US$300.

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PENTAX ANNOUNCES OPTIO S7 WITH ADVANCED FEATURES

LATEST SLIM, STYLISH MODEL IN OPTIO S LINE

GOLDEN, CO. (July 24, 2006) PENTAX Imaging Company has announced the PENTAX Optio S7 compact digital camera. The Optio S7 is the latest model in the PENTAX Optio S series, which is known for slim, stylish, full-featured digital camera bodies.

In addition to an upgrade to 7.0 effective megapixels, this model features an easy-to-use Blur Reduction High ISO mode to help reduce the effects of camera shake and subject blurring for sharper images even in dim lighting conditions such as night scenes and indoor sporting events. In this mode, the camera adjusts shutter speeds automatically to an ISO as high as 1600 to match the brightness of the subject. The higher sensitivities permit faster shutter speeds.

Also featured in this newest Optio digital is Face Recognition AF & AE, a function that simplifies portrait-taking by automatically detecting the position of the subject's face and adjusting the focus and exposure based on the detected position.

Other features of the PENTAX Optio S7 include a 3X optical zoom, a high resolution 2.5 inch LCD monitor, MPEG-4 DivX® Movie Mode, and 23MB internal memory. In addition, the Optio S7 is the first compact PENTAX digital camera to accept the new SDHC (Secure Digital High Capacity) memory cards in addition to SD memory cards. SDHC (also know as SD 2.0) is a FAT32-compliant format designed for capacities up to 4GB or more.

PENTAX will ship the Optio S7 in September 2006 on a limited basis for under $300.00 US.

PENTAX Optio S7 Features and Facts  

Stylish and slim compact body

The thin, compact Optio S7 body features an attractive design that is comfortable and convenient to carry for travel, special events and everyday photography.  A 3X optical zoom lens housed in the slim, lightweight body features the PENTAX original Sliding Lens System* and high-density mounting technology.

*A PENTAX proprietary lens system which offsets the central lens groups from the optical lens axis and houses the lens in two steps in the lens cylinder for minimized overall body depth.

New Blur Reduction High ISO mode reduces camera shake and subject blurring

The Optio S7 is equipped with a Blur Reduction mode,* a new feature that allows photography at faster shutter speeds for sharper images even in dim lighting conditions such as night scenes and indoor sporting events. In this mode, the camera automatically adjusts the sensitivity to as high as ISO 1600 to match the brightness of the subject. The higher sensitivities permit faster shutter speeds that effectively reduce not just camera shake but also blurring caused by moving subjects.

*The image recording size is fixed at 4 MB (2304 x 1728 pixels) when the Blur Reduction mode is selected.

Face Recognition AF & AE for beautiful one-step portraits

The camera includes the new Face Recognition AF & AE* 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.

* This camera's Face Recognition AF & AE function uses the Face Tracker face-recognition technology from FotoNation.

Auto-tracking AF continuously focuses on a moving subject

The Optio S7 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.

High-quality movies with an anti-shake function

The Optio S7 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,* the Optio S7 can record longer, high-quality movies. Camera shake while filming can also be corrected automatically by switching on the movie anti-shake feature.**

* The Optio S7 is DivX® certified. Movie playback is not supported on Macintosh operating systems.
** Using the movie anti-shake function results in a narrower field of view than during normal recording.

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.

The image quality of 7.0 effective megapixels permits beautiful, crisp prints even at large-format sizes

The Optio S7 produces clear images with impressive quality thanks to the high resolution afforded by its 7.0 effective megapixels and to its high-performance smc PENTAX lens. This superlative resolution makes it possible to attain prints with crisp details even when the photo is greatly enlarged. Additionally, a high-performance ASIC*6supplies the camera with dramatically more image-processing power, giving more natural tone reproductions and textured portraits.

*Application Specific Integrated Circuit.

Supports the SDHC memory card for greater storage of high-quality images and longer movies

The Optio S7 supports two removable storage media: the conventional SD memory cards and the new SDHC memory cards.*

*SD High Capacity; these memory cards have capacities in excess of 2 GB.

Red-eye correction available after shooting

The Optio S7 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.

Other features

  • Approximately 232,000 pixels high-resolution, 2.5 inch non-glare LCD monitor with excellent outdoor visibility
  • Mode Palette provides quick access to 16 shooting modes and 15 playback modes
  • Frequently used functions can be assigned to the Green button
  • Digital zooming provides up to 4X magnification
  • Approximately 23 MB of built-in memory
  • Built-in AF spotbeam (on/off switching possible)
  • Includes the ACDSee for PENTAX image viewer/image management softwareSupports PictBridge, DPOF functions, Exif Print, and PRINT Image Matching

Pentax Optio S7 specifications

Sensor

• 1/2.5" Type CCD
• 7.4 million pixels total
• 7.0 million effective pixels

Image sizes • 3072 x 2304
• 2592 x 1944
• 2304 x 1728
• 2048 x 1536
• 1600 x 1200
• 640 x 480
Movie clips

• 640 x 480 @ 30 fps
• 320 x 240 @ 30 fps
• AVI (DivX compatible MPEG-4)
• With sound, movie anti-shake
• Limited by the capacity of the memory card

File formats

• Still: JPEG (3 compression levels)
• Movie: AVI (DivX, MPEG-4)
• Sound: WAV

Lens • 37.5 - 112.5 mm (35 mm equiv) 3x optical zoom
• F2.7 - 5.2
Digital zoom Up to 4x
Focus TTL contrast detection autofocus system with AF spotbeam
AF area modes • 5-point multi AF
• Tracking AF switchable
• Spot AF
AF assist lamp Yes
Focus distance • Normal: 0.4 m (1.31ft) - infinity
• Macro: 0.15 m - 0.5 m (0.49 ft - 1.64 ft)
• Pan focus: 1.1m (3.6 ft) to infinity at wide-angle setting/ 4.5m (15 ft) to infinity at telephoto setting
Metering • Multi-segment
• Center-weighted
• Spot
ISO sensitivity • Auto
• ISO 64
• ISO 100
• ISO 200
• ISO 400
• ISO 800/1600 (Blur reduction mode; 4 mp)
Exposure compensation • +/- 2EV
• 1/3 EV steps
Shutter speed 1/2000 - 4 secs
Modes • Auto
• Program
• Night scene
• Movie
• Voice recording
• Landscape
• Flower
• Portrait
• Kids
• Blur reduction
• Surf & Snow
• Sport
• Pet
• Text
• Food
• Frame composite
White balance • Auto
• Daylight
• Tungsten
• Fluorescent
• Manual
Drive modes • One shot
• Self-timer (10 / 2 sec)
• Continuous
• Remote control (3 / 0 sec)
Flash • Built-in
• Modes: Auto, on, off, soft flash, red-eye reduction
• Range: Approx. 0.15 m - 5.1 m (0.49 ft -17 ft) at 5.8 mm, Sensitivity
Auto
• Approx. 0.4 m -2.7 m (1.31 ft -8.9 ft) at 17.4 mm, Sensitivity Auto
Viewfinder No
LCD monitor • 2.5" TFT LCD
• 232,000 pixels
Connectivity • USB 2.0 (Hi-Speed)
• AV out
• DC in
Print compliance • DPOF
• EXIF 2.2
• PictBridge
Storage • SD / SDHC card
• 23 MB internal memory
Power • Rechargeable D-LI8 lithium-ion battery
• AC adapter optional
Weight • 100 g (3.5 oz) (no battery or card)
• 120 g (4.2 oz) (loaded and ready)
Dimensions 86 x 54 x 20 mm (3.4 x 2.1 x 0.7 in)