Pre-Photokina 2006: Pentax also announced today the latest in the M-series line-up of cameras, the M20, a 7-megapixel upgrade to the M10. The M20 also sports a 3x zoom, anti-shake function, Face Recognition AF & AE, and is claimed to be able to offer up to 700 shots on two AA batteries.

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Press Release:

PENTAX Optio M20 — A compact, lightweight digital camera with impressive battery life

August 22, 2006: PENTAX Corporation is pleased to announce the launch of the new PENTAX Optio M20, a compact digital camera boasting extended battery life.

The Optio M20 is the latest of our Optio M series, a well-balanced compact digital camera family with a wide range of basic features. In addition offering extended battery life from only two AA batteries, this model features a new Blur Reduction mode, which allows you take sharper photos without camera shake or subject blurring, as well as an upgrade to 7.0 effective megapixels. Using easily-available. As it uses only AA batteries, the Optio M20 lets you can take photos with high quality photos with the Optio M20 anytime anywhere, while on trips and for everyday snapshots.

Major Features

1. Outstanding battery life
Thanks to its comprehensive energy-saving design, the Optio M20 provides exceptional battery life (approximately 220 images with AA-size alkaline batteries,*1 or approximately 700 images with AA-size lithium batteries*1) Since it accepts the globally available AA-size batteries, the user will have no worries about obtaining fresh batteries on the road.
*1 Measured under testing conditions prescribed by CIPA standards.

2. New Blur Reduction mode reduces camera shake and subject blurring
The Optio M20 is equipped with a Blur Reduction mode, a new feature that lets you take photos 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 sensitivity permits faster shutter speeds that effectively reduce not just camera shake but also blurring caused by moving subjects.

3. 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 simplifies shooting for users since it eliminates the necessity of making a number of individual settings.

4. High-Quality Movies with Anti-Shake Function
The Optio M20 captures movies at 30 fps (frames per second) at resolutions up to 640 x 480 pixels and with an image quality rivaling that of camcorders. Camera shake while filming can be corrected automatically using the movie anti-shake function.*2
*2 Using the movie anti-shake function results in a narrower field of view than that during normal recording.

5. Face Recognition AF & AE for beautiful one-step portraits
The camera includes Face Recognition AF & AE, which allows you to take bright, beautiful photos of people with perfectly focused faces free of shadows caused by backlighting. This useful function automatically detects the position of the subject’s face anywhere in the photo frame and then adjusts the focus and optimizes the exposure for the detected position.

6. The image quality of 7.0 effective megapixels permits beautiful, crisp prints even at large-format sizes
The Optio M20 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.

7. Auto-tracking AF continuously focuses on a moving subject
The Optio M20’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 capture those instantaneous photo opportunities.

8. Easy to View LCD Monitor
The Optio M20 comes with a 2.5-inch LCD monitor, which displays subjects’ movement with very little time delay (60 fps). Its easy to view, large monitor and menu display make operation, setting, monitoring, and playback comfortable and easy.
The camera also has an auto LCD dimmer function that automatically dims the backlight to optimize the checking of the screen, both indoors and outdoors.

9. Easy to use 3X optical zoom
The Optio M20 includes a 3X optical zoom lens with a focal length from 38 to 114 mm for 35-mm film, which is ideal for a broad spectrum of subjects from landscapes, through sightseeing photographs, to portraits.

10. Supports the SDHC memory card for greater storage of high-quality images and longer movies
The Optio M20 supports two removable storage media: the conventional SD memory cards and the new SDHC memory cards.*3
*3 SD High Capacity; these memory cards have capacities in excess of 2 GB.

11. Compatibility with the ImageLink printing system
The Optio M20 is compatible with the ImageLink printing system, which allows wireless connection of a digital camera to ImageLink-compatible printers. By simply placing the Optio M20 on the printer’s dock, the user can take advantage of simple, push-button printing of recorded images, without requiring a personal computer.

12. Other features

  • World time function for 71 cities (28 time zones) worldwide
  • Calendar display lets you choose photos by date
  • Mode Palette provides quick access to 15 shooting modes and 13 playback modes
  • Soft flash function avoids overexposure during close-up flash photography
  • Macro mode allows close-up photography as near as 5 cm
  • Digital zooming provides up to 4X magnification
  • Approximately 21.9 MB of built-in memory
  • Includes the ACDSee for PENTAX image viewer/image management software
  • Supports PictBridge, DPOF functions, Exif Print, and PRINT Image Matching III

Pentax Optio M20 specifications

Sensor

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

Image sizes • 3072 x 2304
• 2560 x 1920
• 2304 x 1728
• 2048 x 1536
• 1600 x 1200
• 1024 x 768
• 640 x 480
Movie clips • 640 x 480 @ 15/30fps
• 320 x 240 @ 15/30fps
File formats • JPEG Exif v2.2
• DCF
• DPOF
• PRINT Image Matching III
• QuickTime Motion JPEG
Lens • 38-114mm (35mm equiv)
• F3.1-5.9
• 3x optical zoom
Image stabilization Movie anti-shake
Conversion lenses No
Digital zoom up to 4x
Focus TTL contrast detection AF
AF area modes • 9-point multi AF
• Spot AF
• Tracking AF switchable
AF assist lamp n/a
Focus distance • Normal: 0.4m - infinity
• Macro:Wide: 0.1m - 1.0m
• Super macro: 0.05m - 0.4m
• Pan focus: Wide: 0.5m - infinity / Tele: 2.0m - infinity
Metering TTL: Choice of multi-segment metering
ISO sensitivity • Auto
• ISO 64
• ISO 100
• ISO 200
• ISO 400
• ISO 1600
Exposure compensation +/- 2 EV in 1/3 steps
Shuttter speed 1/2000 sec to 4 sec
Aperture F3.1-5.9
Modes • One-shot
• Self-timer
• Continuous
Scene modes • Auto picture
• Program
• Night scene
• Movie
• Voice recording
• Landscape
• Flower
• Portrait
• Surf & snow
• Sport
• Blur reduction
• Kids
• Pet
• Food
• Self-portrait
• Frame composite
White balance • Auto
• Daylight
• Shade
• Tungsten light
• Fluorescent light
• Manual
Self timer 2 or 10 sec
Continuous shooting n/a
Flash • Built-in series control auto flash
• Flash on / off
• Red-eye compensation
• Range: Wide: approx 0.5m - 4.0m / Tele: approx 0.6m - 2.0m
Viewfinder No
LCD monitor • 2.5-inch TFT
• 115,000 pixels
Connectivity • AV out
• USB
• Printer dock terminal
• NTSC / PAL
Print compliance PictBridge
Storage • 21.9MB built-in memory
• SD / SDHC card compatible
Power 2xAA batteries (lithium, alkaline, nickel, rechargeable Ni-MH))
Weight (no batt) 130 g (4.6 oz)
Dimensions 94 x 61 x 23 mm (3.7 x 2.4 x 0.9 in)