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Pentax Optio X

Aug 24, 2004 at 15:05 GMT

Pentax has today announced its first swivel lens compact in the shape of the stylish Optio X which echoes Nikon's early design of the 900 series. The right hand side rotates 180 degrees upwards and 90 degrees downwards. Manfactured from aluminium alloy and resin coating, the Optio X boasts five megapixels and is the slimmest camera in the range at 18mm. It will be available in October.

Press Release:

A true innovation in design, the PENTAX OptioX is a compact digital camera with a body divided into two for more than twice the versatility.

The PENTAX OptioX has a revolutionary design that divides the body into two distinct parts — with the lens on one side for free revolving during composition and a large LCD monitor on the other side for easy viewing when shooting.

August 25, 2004 PENTAX Corporation is pleased to introduce the OptioX, a compact digital camera with a unique design that divides the body into two distinct parts. On the left side (from the user) there's the lens, which can be easily revolved over a range of 180 degrees upward and 90 degrees downward according to your compositional demands. On the other side there's a large LCD monitor that can remain stable in the hand regardless of the movement of the lens side. The result? 5.0 effective megapixel clarity, 3X optical zooming and the freedom of above the head or from the hip shooting — all while confirming the composition or focus with confidence on the large, high-performance, 2.0-inch, 210,000-pixel (approx.), low-temperature poly silicon TFT color LCD monitor.

For further convenience, the depth of the OptioX body is a mere 18mm, making it the thinnest model in the entire Optio series. This has been achieved through incorporation of the Sliding Lens System — a unique PENTAX mechanism that allows the lens to be completely retracted inside the body as soon as the power is turned off, making it easy to carry in a bag or pocket.

The incorporation of the newly developed ASIC (Application Specific Integrated Circuit) results in improved image quality and enhanced processing speed. The power of 5.0 effective megapixels is the user's assurance of satisfying shooting with high-precision, high-quality imaging. Furthermore, the OptioX features a new "My Menu" function, which allows the user to group together frequently used functions and register them for fast access. Still image shooting functions can also be registered in My Menu for use even while the OptioX is being used to shoot movies or record audio. In fact, with such wide-ranging capabilities, the OptioX is more than a digital compact camera — it's a comprehensive personal digital imaging tool designed to be carried wherever, whenever.

Styling innovation
The design of the OptioX is revolutionary in that it separates the body into two distinct portions — one designed to move, while the other is designed to remain stationary. Each of the two parts has its own unique style, yet the camera has an attractive, unified appearance overall. Indeed, even when the side featuring the lens is being revolved, the OptioX still retains its smart, stylish look.

Alumite processed aluminum alloy has been used to form the attractive front and back panels of the OptioX, while the sides feature a resin coating. The camera also has a well thought out color scheme that combines silver and black in a sophisticated manner and both the strap loop and the tripod screw are mirror finished to become design accents.

Design elements from the 1950's, such as rectangulars with rounded corners, striking color schemes and simple geometric styling have been arranged in a manner that complements contemporary tastes in the design of the OptioX. And as a result of its development in line with the concept of being “a personal digital tool that makes people want to hold it in their hand,” the OptioX has been made much more than other compact digital cameras.

Major Features

1. Shooting while confirming the image, even when composing above the head or shooting from the hip
Revolving the lens side of the camera while keeping the large LCD monitor side in clear and stable view, the OptioX lets you compose shots with confidence while shooting from within a crowd or taking pictures of flowers or a baby, for example.

2. The slimmest of the Optio Series with a depth of 18mm
With a width of just 18mm, the OptioX features the slimmest body of all of the cameras in the Optio series. This is partially due to the unique PENTAX Sliding Lens System that reduces the length required by the lens cylinder by housing the lens in two parts. The innovative design of the OptioX as a whole, which separates the body in two, also plays a role in achieving such a slim design. When the power is turned off, the lens is retracts to become totally flush with the surface of the body, making it easy to carry anywhere or slip in and out of a bag or pocket.
3. 2.0-inch, 210,000-pixel (approx.) high-precision LCD monitor
Despite its compact and slim design, the OptioX features a large, 2.0-inch high-precision LCD monitor. Not only does this make for confident composition, extremely easy focusing, and convenient image confirmation after shooting, it also makes menu displays much easier to read.

4. Newly developed ASIC delivers enhanced image quality and processing speed
With the incorporation of the newly developed ASIC and a finely tuned image processing algorithm, the image quality achieved by the OptioX has been improved in comparison to conventional PENTAX compact digital cameras. It reproduces more natural gradations and more meticulous color compensation. Furthermore the processing speed of the CPU inside the ASIC has been made 1.5X faster than the conventional PENTAX systems, allowing the OptioX to process a much larger volume of data at a significantly faster speed.

5. High image quality
The smc PENTAX lens is renowned for its excellent performance and assures the user of the ability to bring out the finer details of subjects. The OptioX also features 5.0 effective megapixels to achieve high-precision imaging and incorporates a primary color filter as well as the new ASIC that together assure the user of superior PENTAX quality.

6. Standalone buttons for still shooting, movie shooting and voice recording
Because the OptioX features separate buttons for still shooting, movie shooting and voice recording, the user can directly access these modes with just the press of a button. This eliminates the need to display the menu on the monitor and switching among the three modes can also be done easily, again with a press of the relevant button.

7. Still shooting even during movie or voice recording
Still image shooting at a desired image size is possible even when shooting a movie or recording audio. The OptioX can also be used to record audio in a meeting and perform still shooting at the same time, making it exceptionally useful in a wide range of situations.

8. Quick menu
The Quick menu function offers quick access to different functions without the need to call up the menu screen. A simple touch of the stick lever positioned just below the LCD monitor displays the Quick menu, providing access to “REC start”, “shooting settings clear” and “key lock” when shooting still images, and to “still image shooting” and “key lock” when shooting movies.

9. Real-time warnings for “washed out” and “blacked out” areas
The OptioX displays washed-out and blacked-out areas by indicating those areas in real time while shooting. This allows the user to know which parts of the image are under- or overexposed at a glance.

10. Key lock
This function eliminates accidents when asking other people to control the OptioX, or when handing it to someone else to show stored images, literally locking and inactivating almost all buttons except for a few — namely the power button, zoom lever, center key and shutter release button during still shooting and the power button, stick lever and center key during movie shooting.

11. My Menu
In addition to the conventional three menu items of “shooting”, “playback” and “detailed settings”, “My Menu” has been added as the fourth menu. It functions as a shortcut for direct access to frequently used functions that have been pre-registered in My Menu. Indeed once functions have been registered in My Menu, they are then displayed as a priority.

12. 16 shooting modes to match different situations
The OptioX is equipped with 16 shooting modes for added user-friendliness. In shooting conditions where exposure and white balance can be tricky, all the user has to do to achieve a desired image is to select the mode that matches the situation at hand. Mode selection is also made easier with the Mode Pallet that displays all the mode icons on the LCD monitor at once. This enables the user to select the most appropriate mode from many in absolute minimal time.

13. PC camera function
The OptioX is also equipped with a PC camera function that allows the user to video chat in real time. Using Windows Messenger 5.0 with Windows XP SP1 or later, the user can use and enjoy the OptioX just as they would a videophone.

14. Other features
1) SD memory card compatibility
2) Exclusive lithium ion battery compatibility
3) Standard cradle that charges batteries while housed in the camera
4) Standard image viewer, ACDSee for PENTAX software
5) Built-in auto flash
6) Digital zooming up to 4X
7) Super macro mode that allows the user to shoot from as close as 6cm from the
subject
8) DPOF function, Exif Print and PRINT Image Matching III compatibility
9) Movie editing function

Pentax Optio X specifications

Sensor

• 1/2.5" Type CCD
• 5.4 million pixels total
• 5 million effective pixels

Image sizes • 2560 x 1920
• 2304 x 1728
• 2048 x 1536
• 1600 x 1200
• 1024 x 768
• 640 x 480
Movie clips • 320 x 240 (15fps)
• With sound
• Limited to the capacity of the card
File formats • Still: JPEG (Exif 2.2)
• Movie:MOV (QuickTime Motion JPEG)
• Sound: WAV (PCM monoaural)
Lens • 36 - 107 mm equiv.
• smc Pentax lens
• F2.6 - F4.8
• Six elements in five groups (2 dual-sided aspherical elements)
Digital zoom Up to 4x
Focus

• TTL contrast detection

AF area modes • 9-point multi AF
• Spot AF
• 9-point selectable AF
Focus distance

• Normal: 0.4 m to infinity
• Macro: 0.18 m - 0.5 m
• Super macro: 0.06 m - 0.2 m

Metering • Multi segment
• Center-weighted
• Spot
ISO sensitivity Unknown
Exposure compensation • +/- 2EV
• 1/3 EV stops
Exposure bracketing Yes
Shutter speed 4 - 1/2000 sec
Modes • Black and white
• Sepia
• Brightness
• Digital filters: Red, pink, purple, blue, green, yellow
Scene modes • Program
• Landscape
• Flower
• Portrait
• Night scene
• Panorama assist
• Surf
• Snow
• Self portrait
• Night scene portrait
• Food
• Museum
• Pet (white, grey, black)
• Sports
• Firework
White balance • Auto
• Daylight
• Shade
• Tungsten
• Fluorescent
• Manual
White balance bracketing Yes
Self timer Yes
Image parameters • Sharpness
• Saturation
• Contrast
Flash • Built-in
• Range: 0.18m - 3.6 m (W) 1.9 m (T)
• Auto, On/Off, Red eye reduction
Viewfinder None
LCD monitor • 2" TFT LCD
• 210,000 pixels
• Swivels 270 degrees vertically, 90 degree click stops
Connectivity • USB
• Video out (NTSC/PAL)
Print compliance • DPOF
• PictBridge
Storage

• SD/MMC card
• 14 MB built-in memory

Power • Rechargeable lithium ion
Weight • No batteries: 125 g (5.1 oz)
• With batteries and card: 145 g (4.4 oz)
Dimensions 112 x 54 x 18 mm (4.4 x 2.1 x 0.7 in)