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Pentax Optio W20

By dpreview staff on Aug 7, 2006 at 22:05 GMT

Pentax has announced today the Optio W20.The replacement for the popular waterproof Optio W10, the W20 has been upgraded to 7 million pixels and adds a blur reduction mode. The W20 also features a 2.5-inch LCD, Face Recognition AF and a 3x zoom.

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Press Release:

PENTAX Optio W20 — A waterproof compact digital camera capable of underwater photography featuring a slim body and a new Blur Reduction mode

PENTAX Corporation is pleased to announce the launch of the new PENTAX Optio W20,
a compact digital camera featuring excellent waterproof performance with a slim, flat
body design.

The Optio W20 is the latest model in the PENTAX Optio W series of cameras that are waterproofed for underwater photography without requiring a waterproof case or other accessories. This model features a new Blur Reduction mode, which allows you take sharper photos without camera shake or subject blurring even of low-light scenes or fast-moving subjects, and an upgrade to a 7.0-effective-megapixel. All told, this camera boasts better image quality in a fun, easy-to-handle package.

Major Features

1. Water and dust protection for worry-free use in all kinds of environments
The Optio W20 features a waterproof design that meets the JIS Class 8 waterproof standard, enabling it to withstand up to 30 minutes of continuous operation at an underwater depth of 1.5 meters, without needing a waterproof case. Furthermore, it meets the JIS Class 5 dustproof standard. Thus, this camera is ideal for use when skiing, taking part in marine sports, going fishing, or enjoying other outdoor events as well as gardening, cooking, or in other places where you would normally worry about water or dirt.

2. New Blur Reduction mode reduces camera shake and subject blurring
The Optio W20 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. Macro photography as near as 1 cm
The Optio W20 can be used as close as one centimeter away from a subject for stunning close-up photography. Macro photography provides many fun photo options because you can fill the photo frame with subjects like flowers, insects, or jewelry.

4. 2.5-inch LCD monitor with superb visibility even outdoors
The Optio W20 comes with a 2.5-inch LCD monitor that is easy to view even in sunny outdoor conditions. The LCD cover is finished with a non-glare coating and you can adjust the LCD backlight strength as needed. The camera also has a Power Saving mode that automatically dims the backlight to save battery power.

5. High-quality movies with an anti-shake function
With the Optio W20, you can smoothly capture movies at 30 fps (frames per second) at sizes up to 640 x 480 pixels that rival those shot with camcorders. It also has additional features that make taking movies easier and more enjoyable, including the movie anti-shake feature,*1 which automatically compensates for camera shake while taking movies, and the Mermaid Movie mode, which optimizes the settings for filming underwater.
*1 Using the movie anti-shake function results in a narrower field of view than during normal recording.

6. 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.

7. Auto-tracking AF continuously focuses on a moving subject
The Optio W20’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. Digital filters add all kinds of fun expressions
A number of creative digital filter functions are built into the camera that you can use to customize your photos. In addition to a B&W filter, a Sepia filter, a Soft Focus filter, and six Color filters, there is a Fish-eye filter, which dramatically distorts the image so it appears to have been taken with a fish-eye lens. With these filters, you can obtain a rich assortment of digital effects without needing a computer.

9. 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.

10. 3X optical zoom lens and 7.0 effective megapixels deliver outstanding pictures
The Optio W20 includes a 3X optical zoom lens that covers focal lengths from 6.3 to 18.9mm (equivalent to 38 to 114 mm for 35mm film) and features a “folding” optical system so the lens never protrudes from the camera while zooming. And by harnessing the full power of the 7.0 effective megapixels, the Optio W20 produces extremely high-quality prints with crisp detail even when the photo is greatly enlarged.

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

The Optio W20 supports two removable storage media: the conventional SD memory cards and the new SDHC memory cards.*2
*2 SD High Capacity; these memory cards have capacities in excess of 2 GB.

12. Other features

  • Ready to shoot in just 1.2 seconds after the power is turned on
  • Calendar display lets you choose photos by date
  • Mode Palette provides quick access to 25 shooting modes and 15 playback modes
  • Image Recovery function lets you retrieve accidentally erased pictures
  • Soft flash function avoids overexposure during close-up flash photography
  • Digital zooming provides up to 4X magnification
  • FotoNation’s red-eye compensation function for flash shots
  • 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

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