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Pentax announces Optio VS20 20x zoom with twin shutter buttons

By dpreview staff on Jan 25, 2012 at 22:00 GMT

Pentax has announced the Optio VS20, possibly the first compact camera with a second shutter button and zoom lever for portrait-orientation shooting. Beyond that it's a pretty well-specified 20x compact superzoom, featuring a 28-560mm equivalent zoom lens with sensor-shift image stabilization for its 16MP CCD. It's not the smallest 20x zoom camera we've seen but it manages to include a anti-glare-coated 460k dot 3.0" LCD and costs $249/£199, so it's not uncompetitive.

There's precious little in the way of adventure on the part of compact camera makers, so we're pleased to see Pentax trying something a little different. Under Hoya ownership Pentax began to make interesting looking compacts, and we're hoping new owner Ricoh encourages it to continue this experimentation. Twin shutter buttons may not be the most radical innovation (Kodak's Z981 had one), but the inclusion of the zoom lever and extra tripod socket make it a potentially useful feature.

Jump to:


Press Release:

PENTAX RICOH IMAGING AMERICAS CORPORATION INTRODUCES OPTIO VS20 WITH 20X ZOOM AND VERTICAL SHOOTING ENHANCEMENTS

(DENVER, CO) January 25, 2012…PENTAX RICOH IMAGING AMERICAS CORPORATION announced the Optio VS20 digital compact camera today. This versatile model features a high-power 20X optical zoom lens (28-560mm equivalent) and a second vertical shutter-release button with zoom lever for effortless portrait oriented shooting. A vertical shutter release and zoom lever give the Optio VS20 a unique feature typically found on DSLR cameras, which lends itself to added stability at long optical zooms, as well as comfortable grip for such images as portraits, high rise buildings and architecture, monuments, trees, sports action, and panorama frames. The Optio VS20 even includes a vertical tripod socket for outstanding stabilized vertical support.  A new Handheld Night Snap mode also is introduced to capture beautiful images with minimal blur and noise even in low light settings.

The Optio VS20 body is built in a compact digital form factor, and offers several other advanced functions and user-friendly features including:

  • A 16.0 megapixel CCD sensor with mechanical sensor shift Shake Reduction for stabilized, blur-free images even in low lighting
  • A large 3.0 inch, wide view (approx. 170 degrees) LCD for easy image capture and review
  • Auto Picture mode that automatically chooses the best camera settings
  • Triple Shake Reduction (SR) for sharp, blur-free images and video
  • Other new scene modes including Fish-eye, Sketch modes and a Stretch filter for more creative options 

The PENTAX Optio VS20 will be available in noble black and brilliant white on www.pentaxwebstore.com for $249.95 in February 2012.

PENTAX OPTIO VS20 FACT SHEET

The 20X optical zoom lens with 28mm wide-angle coverage handles a variety of subjects and scenes

The Optio VS20 features a high-performance, extra-powerful 20X optical zoom lens covering focal lengths from 28mm wide angle to 560mm super-telephoto (equivalent in the 35mm format).  The extra-wide zoom range captures images in a wide range of subjects and scenes from landscapes to sports events.   A high-quality Macro mode shoots down to just one centimeter from the subject.  An  Intelligent Zoom function further extends the zoom range to approximately 144X to cover the focal length of an approximately 4032mm super-telephoto lens (in the 35mm format) without compromising image quality.

Effortless, comfortable vertical-position shooting with image orientation shift and vertical position tripod socket

The Optio VS20 enhances vertical shooting three ways:

  • An extra shutter-release button and a second zoom lever offers a better grip for vertical shots 
  • Automatic shift of image display orientation (from horizontal landscape to vertical portrait by detecting vertical alignment with its orientation sensor)
  • A vertical-position tripod socket to securely set the camera up with a lighter, more portable tripod

Exceptional image quality

With 16.0 effective megapixels, a high-performance smc PENTAX zoom lens, and a CCD shift Shake Reduction (SR) mechanism, the Optio VS20 delivers well-defined, high-quality images.  Even when enlarged, images offer high-resolution prints with outstanding edge-to-edge sharpness.

Large 3.0 inch LCD monitor

The Optio VS20 features an HVGA high-resolution 3.0 inch color LCD monitor with approximately 460,000 dots. Since this extra-large monitor provides a clear view of images and menus, the photographer can quickly and efficiently check captured images and menu settings. In addition, the monitor is treated with AG (Anti-Glare) coating to improve visibility by minimizing reflections and blocking stains such as fingerprints.

Triple Shake Reduction for sharp, blur-free images

Sensor-shift-type Shake Reduction (SR) mechanism

The advanced sensor shift SR mechanism produces sharp, blur-free images even under shake-prone shooting conditions such as when shooting with a telephoto lens, at sunset or indoors with low-lighting.

Digital SR mode*

During still-image shooting, the Optio VS20 automatically raises its sensitivity to as high as ISO 6400 by detecting the subject’s brightness level. This user-friendly feature allows photographers to capture the subject at faster shutter speeds to minimize the risk of camera shake and subject shake.

Movie SR mode**

During movie recording, the Movie SR mode effectively compensates for camera shake to produce beautiful, stabilized movie clips.

*When the Digital SR mode is selected, the recorded size is fixed at five megapixels (2592 x 1944 pixels).
** When the Movie SR mode is selected, the angle of view becomes narrower than normal shooting.

Automatic selection of the most appropriate shooting mode

The Optio VS20 features the PENTAX-developed Auto Picture mode, which automatically selects the most appropriate shooting mode for a given subject or scene by accurately assessing various photographic conditions over the entire image field. This user-friendly mode selects one of 15 shooting modes including Blue Sky and Sunset among others, and optimizes various camera settings (such as sensitivity and shutter speed) for the best results with minimal effort.

New Scene and Filter modes for greater creative options

Thirteen user-friendly scene modes allow the photographer to effortlessly capture beautiful images simply by selecting a desired scene mode for a given subject or scene.  Handheld Night Snap for low light allows photographers to take pictures while confirming the level of filtering effect on the LCD monitor, and Fish-eye and Sketch modes offer creative visual effects for more personalized expression.  A New Stretch filter extends a particular portion of an image for an eye-catching special effect.

Upgraded auto face recognition function with a new face recall function

The Optio VS20 Face Recognition AF & AE function offers a new Face Recall function that prioritizes a pre-registered face when optimizing focus and exposure settings, which comes in handy when taking group shots. To assist the photographer in capturing beautiful, lively snapshots, the Optio VS20 also provides other user-friendly features including the Smile Capture mode that automatically releases the shutter the moment the camera detects the subject’s smile, and the Blink Detection function that warns the photographer when the subject’s eyes close at the time of shutter release.

High-quality HDTV movie recording with pushbutton start

The Optio VS20 captures beautiful, high-definition movie clips (1280 x 720 pixels).* Since the camera provides an independent movie recording button on its back panel, the user can instantly start recording movie clips from any shooting mode. It also features three new digital filters (Fish-eye, Miniature and Sketch mode) to allow the user to experiment with more diversified visual expressions.

*When the Optio VS20’s AV output terminal is used, movie clips are output as normal image-size data. If the user wishes to play back movie clips at high-definition TV proportions (1280 x 720 pixels), the data must be transferred to a personal computer for playback.

Pentax Optio VS20 specifications

Body type
Body typeCompact
Sensor
Max resolution4608 x 3456
Other resolutions3456 x 3456, 4608 x 2592, 3072 x 2304, 1920 x 1080, 640 x 480
Image ratio w:h1:1, 4:3, 16:9
Effective pixels16 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors17 megapixels
Sensor size1/2.33" (6.08 x 4.56 mm)
Sensor typeCCD
Image
ISOAuto (100-1600), 100, 200, 400,800, 1600, 3200, 6400
White balance presets4
Custom white balanceYes (1)
Image stabilizationSensor-shift
Uncompressed formatNo
JPEG quality levelsBest, Better, Good
File format
  • JPEG (EXIF 2.3)
  • DCF 2.0
  • DPOF
  • PIM III
Optics & Focus
Focal length (equiv.)28–560 mm
Optical zoom20×
Maximum apertureF3.1 - F4.8
Autofocus
  • Contrast Detect (sensor)
  • Multi-area
  • Selective single-point
  • Tracking
  • Single
  • Live View
Autofocus assist lampYes
Digital zoomYes (7.2x)
Manual focusYes
Normal focus range40 cm (15.75)
Macro focus range3 cm (1.18)
Number of focus points3
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCDFixed
Screen size3
Screen dots460,000
Touch screenNo
Screen typeTFT color LCD with Anti-reflective coating
Live viewYes
Viewfinder typeNone
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed4 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/2500 sec
Exposure modes
  • Programmed AE
Scene modes
  • Natural Skin Tone
  • Handheld Night Snap (5M)
  • Night Scene Portrait
  • Night Scene
  • Digital Panorama (2M per frame)
  • Landscape
  • Blue Sky
  • Sunset
  • Flower
  • Digital SR (ISO 3200-6400 5M)
  • Kids
  • Pet
  • Portrait
  • Food
  • Fireworks
  • Surf & Snow
  • Sport
  • Fisheye
  • Sketch
  • Miniature Filter
  • Text
  • Frame Composite (3M)
  • Green
Built-in flashYes
Flash range2.80 m
External flashNo
Flash modesAuto, On, Off, Red-eye, Soft
Drive modes
  • One Shot
  • Self-Timer (10s, 2s, Remote 3s)
  • Continuous
  • Burst (5M, H/L)
  • Multi-Burst (5M, 16 VGA frames)
  • Remote Control
  • Auto Bracketing
Continuous drive1 fps
Self-timerYes (2 or 10 sec)
Metering modes
  • Multi
  • Center-weighted
  • Spot
Exposure compensation±2 (at 1/3 EV steps)
WB BracketingNo
Videography features
Resolutions1280 x 720 (30, 15 fps), 640 x 480 (30, 15 fps), 320 x 240 (30, 15 fps)
FormatMotion JPEG
MicrophoneMono
SpeakerMono
Storage
Storage typesSD/SDHC/SDXC, Internal
Storage included16 MB Internal
Connectivity
USB USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMINo
WirelessEye-Fi Connected
Remote controlYes (Optional O-RC1)
Physical
Environmentally sealedNo
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionLithium-Ion D-LI122 rechargeable battery & charger
Weight (inc. batteries)235 g (0.52 lb / 8.29 oz)
Dimensions111 x 61 x 38 mm (4.37 x 2.4 x 1.5)
Other features
Orientation sensorYes
Timelapse recordingNo
GPSNone

Additional images

0
I own it
2
I want it
0
I had it
Discuss in the forums

Comments

Total comments: 136
12
micahmedia
By micahmedia (Jan 31, 2012)

Vertical shutter button?! MORE OF THIS PLEASE!!!

0 upvotes
grahamdyke
By grahamdyke (Jan 29, 2012)

This is what Pentax is goot at - inovation. Vertical shutter button, zoom leaver and tripod mount. Not to mention screen orrientation shifts to vertical when in portrait mode. In addition, in the pentax DLSR tradition, a shaped grip on Both ends of the camera.

just a shame there's no 25mm at the wide end, no PASM modes and no AVCHD full HD 1080p.

2 upvotes
manjunath_nayak
By manjunath_nayak (Jan 29, 2012)

@snake_b: Completely agree with you. These camera are designed for normal consumer. Who rarely make big print outs. With higher number of PIXEL count we will loose sharpness, Dynamic range, low light capability, ... Totally we loose IQ. On the top we need to spend more for storing those images on the computer. What I feel is for most of consumer 8Mp is decent and 10Mp should be max. I like 6Mp :).

0 upvotes
jalopnik
By jalopnik (Jan 27, 2012)

Fujifilm had two shutter buttons and zoom on a compact 35mm camera. It was called Fujifilm Silvi F2.8 or in other regions Fujifilm Zoom Date F2.8. Great camera released in 2003.

http://camera-wiki.org/wiki/Fujifilm_Silvi_F2.8

0 upvotes
unlearny
By unlearny (Jan 27, 2012)

sweet

0 upvotes
sillvann
By sillvann (Jan 27, 2012)

I can't understand people who hate Pentax. WHY?

0 upvotes
snake_b
By snake_b (Jan 27, 2012)

I really wish every manufacturer didn't stuff high MP into these tiny sensors. We're all guaranteed terrible IQ now, nearly across the board.

1 upvote
wutsurstyle
By wutsurstyle (Jan 27, 2012)

Is this all Ricoh has to offer?

0 upvotes
KyoshiNikon
By KyoshiNikon (Jan 27, 2012)

Seems like a "test model" for a camera that will be a Canon s100 competitor...

0 upvotes
Steve oliphant
By Steve oliphant (Jan 27, 2012)

It's kind of cool but it is what it is.........

0 upvotes
waxwaine
By waxwaine (Jan 27, 2012)

Funny reading all this Nostradamus guys making prediction on this little camera. No point and shot cameras deserve your talented consideration?
No pne her no nothing about the quality, good or bad, of the camera just did happend with Q, and now all we read or hear are good comments anout it.
For me was a waist of time reading your eclesiastic and conservatives opinons.

0 upvotes
Michael Doleman
By Michael Doleman (Jan 27, 2012)

WOW! SIXTEEN megapixels?!? TWENTY-times zoom?!? Pocket-sized?!? Only $250?!? Take my money! Quick!

Puh-leeez!

0 upvotes
wyoming
By wyoming (Jan 26, 2012)

20X 16Mp...power of marketing. hope they use the profits from theese things to develop something serious like the q.
ricoh and pentax were so promising but now it looks like they have lost the interest in breaking the monopoly of the big five, and also seems samsung.
we need some new interesting cameras not ANOTHER 16mp 20000X toy.

come on! a second shuter button
for the next year i suggest a camera with 2 flashes and 3 menu buttons!

0 upvotes
Kirppu
By Kirppu (Jan 26, 2012)

Well this doesn't sound bad. Big zoom range, prize seem to be reasonable and lots of megapixels. ;) For me this seems to be reasonable commercial success receptie if they can beat the Canon brand that has embedded inside the average buyer.

0 upvotes
Anepo
By Anepo (Jan 26, 2012)

Pentax why can't you just already just accept defeat.
Kodak and Olympus have been defeated.
You should of been dead YEARS ago pentax!
I think someone need's to investigate Pentax as well.
As there is NO WAY in hell that they are actually in profit the last 5 years.

0 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Jan 26, 2012)

Sounds to me you must have some Pentax-cams for sale, but no biters for them on eBay? Some Kodak and Olympus models you desperately want to get rid of, too?

0 upvotes
Joe Ogiba
By Joe Ogiba (Jan 26, 2012)

I think you need to pick up a bat and knock yourself out.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7wPD1wRpels

0 upvotes
Anepo
By Anepo (Jan 26, 2012)

I used to have both Pentax K10D and K20D my only regret is selling the K20D as I liked it.
My biggest mistake however was going to Olympus E-pl2. I lost 500$ when I sold the entire kit because of fast price drops in my country.
I also still have got a few manual lenses left which were used with an adapter on it.

I have never touched Kodak however.
And Pentax DSLR I respect. the compact camera's from pentax? Not so much.
Same with Olympus compact's not much respect for them.
And the HYPE that was built up around the micro four thirds led me to utter disappointment.

Also Pentax offering GOD knows how many colored DSLR? probably around 50 if not more....
That just makes my opinion on it as a Serious photographer company go crashing down.

When you need to do the same thing like Nintendo to offer your product in a million different colors.
While nothing but the kit lens is a compatible color.
Your doing it WRONG.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Zvonimir Tosic
By Zvonimir Tosic (Jan 26, 2012)

"Also Pentax offering GOD knows how many colored DSLR? probably around 50 if not more....
That just makes my opinion on it as a Serious photographer company go crashing down."

You sound like a disappointed Apple geek after the announcement of iPods and iPads — "where are one coloured, pro-looking PowerMacs" ?!
:)

0 upvotes
M1guel
By M1guel (Jan 26, 2012)

People, you are forgettin that this big copanies doesn't survive only on the profits they get from the selling of cameras. For instance Canon get's the most of the profit from the selling of military lenses! So tehy can keep "losing" money on this "hobby".

Comment edited 53 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Jan 26, 2012)

"An Intelligent Zoom function further extends the zoom range to approximately 144X to cover the focal length of an approximately 4032mm super-telephoto lens (in the 35mm format) without compromising image quality."

Let me see if I got all this right. This is a 1/2.33-inch CCD sensor camera, right? But it can shoot super-telephoto at 4032mm focal length equivalent, right? And do this "without compromising image quality." Right?

Sounds good to me, frankly. Heck, I always wanted to get into that coveted 4000mm-plus focal range with my super-telephoto shots without risking a quality compromise.

This $249 Pentax job must be the world's first that can in fact do that. I'm pre-ordering about seven of these babies today!

0 upvotes
GirinoFumetto
By GirinoFumetto (Jan 26, 2012)

At last! With this camera I'll be able to take a vertical picture! Now I am waiting for a camera that downloads a picture from internet knowing where I am!

0 upvotes
kff
By kff (Jan 26, 2012)

Maybe it would be with a better sensor and software such as is in the Pentax Q ...

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Jan 26, 2012)

Right, all for just 249 shekels, right?

0 upvotes
Pedro Ernesto Guerra Azevedo

Very nice ! The Pentax is not dead!

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
AndrewG NY
By AndrewG NY (Jan 26, 2012)

I don't know yet whether or not the images will look like poo but this is actually a better-spec'ed inexpensive Pentax than some I remember from a few years ago -- includes sensor-shake optical SR, SMC coatings, IR remote capability, orientation sensor, and AF illuminator. They had a number of P&S's a few years ago missing all these things. The rear screen has improved to 460K...and the zoom is relatively fast f/4.8 at the long end. Not so bad for such an inexpensive camera.

1 upvote
Mssimo
By Mssimo (Jan 26, 2012)

Could be worse....they could measure the cameras resolution in light rays.

"From a roomful of cameras to a micro-lens array specially adhered to a standard sensor, the Lytro's Light Field Sensor captures 11 million light rays"

0 upvotes
simon65
By simon65 (Jan 26, 2012)

Tiny sensor 1/2.33"
+
Relatively large 111 x 61 x 38 mm
+
and heavy (235 g) for such a tiny sensor

=
No Sale

What part of 'at this end of the market you have to at least match the S95' don't Pentax understand? The S95 is now selling on Amazon for not much more than this.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
AndrewG NY
By AndrewG NY (Jan 26, 2012)

This camera isn't intended to compete with S95.

1) S95 is only discounted because it's a discontinued model. It was close to $400 when announced.

2) even with that discount, it's still 33% more than this camera. The people buying $250 cameras probably care more about that $90 than you do.

3) You're comparing street price to MSRP/list price. It's likely that shortly after this camera appears it will also be available for less than $249.

Fourth, it's a whole different class of camera. S95 only offers 3.8x zoom, to ~105mm equivalent. You need to compare against big-zoom-ratio cameras to be fair. The lenses are larger, that's why the cameras are larger despite the smaller sensor. A larger sensor would require a much larger lens for that degree of zoom.

The Canon this camera more closely resembles is the SX230HS with slower 14x zoom. Which may now be available for only $220 but was originally listed at $349 nearly a year ago. I think we can expect a replacement for this model soon.

2 upvotes
Somerichs
By Somerichs (Jan 26, 2012)

It looks nice, anyway...

0 upvotes
Joe Ogiba
By Joe Ogiba (Jan 26, 2012)

720p ? Hello it's now 2012 and most smartphones have 1080p.

0 upvotes
AndrewG NY
By AndrewG NY (Jan 26, 2012)

Smartphones (when not carrier-subsidized) are considerably more expensive than this camera and generally need the higher power CPU for other features anyway.

0 upvotes
Joe Ogiba
By Joe Ogiba (Jan 26, 2012)

I purchased a $149 P&S in 2009 with 1080p so what is the problem ? BTW it came out in 2008 !
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QKQq-WA4QvE

Comment edited 9 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
JackM
By JackM (Jan 26, 2012)

Weird. Any yokel who would buy a 20x zoom compact is obviously not serious about portraits, so no need for a dedicated portrait shutter release.

0 upvotes
AndrewG NY
By AndrewG NY (Jan 26, 2012)

Right, because ordinary Joes on vacation never take pictures of vertically oriented things like buildings or their family members.

0 upvotes
reality_check
By reality_check (Jan 26, 2012)

I agree! This is not a camera for professionals. It is a Jack of all trade, but not a JackM! :)

0 upvotes
schorscho
By schorscho (Jan 26, 2012)

Nice idea but still waiting to see something new from Pentax/Ricoh

0 upvotes
JackM
By JackM (Jan 26, 2012)

I'd like an APS-C GR please.

0 upvotes
Deleted pending purge
By Deleted pending purge (Jan 26, 2012)

Seems like industry is doing their best to remove people from learning about photography... What's wrong with proper hold of the camera? Next there'll be another shutter underneath, for "mirror photography" or whatnot.
The other manufacturer offers "programs" separately for "Cat Photos" AND "Dog Photos"... How bout hamsters, snakes, parrots etc...?
What a progress...

0 upvotes
micahmedia
By micahmedia (Jan 26, 2012)

That vertical shutter ALLOWS for "proper hold" of the camera! I'd love to see more of this! Especially on some of the new mirrorless cameras.

3 upvotes
AndrewG NY
By AndrewG NY (Jan 26, 2012)

I like the extra tripod socket maybe even more. If you've ever used an ultrapod or mini gorillapod for a portrait-oriented shot, you know why.

1 upvote
reality_check
By reality_check (Jan 26, 2012)

I would like cameras to be more difficult to use! :)

1 upvote
Deleted pending purge
By Deleted pending purge (Jan 27, 2012)

Photographers have been using one-shutter constructions for ages without complaining, and now the problem of proper holding has been solved? How about proper holding for cameras with only outside monitors? I still think that bending your arm differently is better than having to pay for a nonsense add-on, or useless "program modes" one can't any more get the camera without...
Some things appear every day, true, but not all of it is progress. Some can be rightly said to be digressive, as they affect the need to learn, by falsely inserting "knowlege replacement" gadgets. And 90% of the users haven't even read the Manual (see the prevalent picture quality for proof). JMO.

Comment edited 31 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
micahmedia
By micahmedia (Jan 31, 2012)

Speed/Crown Graphic press cameras had TWO tripod sockets. 'nuff said.

0 upvotes
Simon97
By Simon97 (Jan 26, 2012)

At least put in a BSI 12MP sensor. These 16mp sensors produce horrible images from the samples I've seen. Keep on stuffin', I won't be buyin'.

0 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Jan 26, 2012)

Since the sensor is a gigantic 1/2.33-inch diagonal size,, we really would need at least 24 million pixels on it. Why stop at 16MP?

0 upvotes
D1N0
By D1N0 (Jan 26, 2012)

No HD film mode, too many megapixels for the sensor (no BSI-CMOS so probably even worse) Zoomrange should start at 24mm. GPS would be nice. The extra Button? Who needs it. Its a gimmick.

0 upvotes
ogl
By ogl (Jan 26, 2012)

gimmick is your words....the price is USD250. what to do you want?

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
D1N0
By D1N0 (Jan 26, 2012)

Ehr.. Not this camera. For that price you can get A Sony Hx7v, Panasonic Lumix TZ-20 (ZS-10) or a Canon Powershot SX230 or a
Fujifilm FinePix F550EXR

0 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (Jan 26, 2012)

Those cameras were all closer to $350 at launch and are cheap only due to age.

1 upvote
ogl
By ogl (Jan 26, 2012)

No problem. Canon Powershot SX230 - 14x zoom. Panasonic Lumix TZ-20 -16x zoom. Fujifilm FinePix F550EXR - 15x zoom. Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX7V - 10x zoom. Not correct comparision.

0 upvotes
D1N0
By D1N0 (Jan 26, 2012)

Still I'd prefer any of those. They all have full-hd and GPS. Sony and Fuji and Panasonic have a better wide angle, which is way more usefull than more tele (picture at extreme tele are generally crap anyway). Optical stabilisation is better than Sensorshift as well. As their being more expensive at launch. Well Pentax is launching it now. Not a year ago.

0 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Jan 26, 2012)

Why are you sad in your life, D1N0?

0 upvotes
D1N0
By D1N0 (Jan 26, 2012)

Why are you trying to bully me Francis? Does it give you some kind of morbid satisfaction?

0 upvotes
ogl
By ogl (Jan 26, 2012)

It's so funny to read comments and so absurd to see so serious opinions about USD250 cameras...It's ravings to make any conclusions about any brand which make low-end P&S cameras...Almost any photo brand makes cheap P&S cameras with huge zoom to sale to ordinary men which want only to push a button.
Which never read photo forums and which are not technofetishists or photofetishists...VS20 is not bad camera for such people. It's SIMPLY UNEXPENSIVE P&S CAMERA.

2 upvotes
techmine
By techmine (Jan 26, 2012)

Didn't understand the burst shooting specs. Continuous drive is listed as 1 fps. Really? 1 fps?

0 upvotes
steveh0607
By steveh0607 (Jan 26, 2012)

Another P&S (sigh). I hope Ricoh has plans for Pentax to evolve and grow. This once venerable company is fast becoming irrelevant.

0 upvotes
JackM
By JackM (Jan 26, 2012)

The K5 is only one of the best APS-C DSLRs on the market, so I'm not sure how that is irrelevant.

5 upvotes
twadger
By twadger (Jan 26, 2012)

No Raw, no sale for me.

Shame really looks a nice little camera otherwise.

0 upvotes
Nismo350Z
By Nismo350Z (Jan 26, 2012)

I would have either made an outer ring to rotate the sensor inside, or allow the image to be vertically cropped at the sensor and vertically displayed on the screen. This would use less pixels but who can tell the difference between 14 or 16 Mp anyway.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
Plasmoic
By Plasmoic (Jan 26, 2012)

shouldn't the new button be near the other corner?
(if its intended for leftists, they should have built also a flash below that button)

0 upvotes
Taffy
By Taffy (Jan 26, 2012)

Hi Plasmoic, it isn't intended for lefties use. The extra shutter button is to enable easy positioning of ones hand while holding the camera in PORTRAIT mode, so you don't have to wrap your hands around the camera, and maybe obstruct the lens.

2 upvotes
cesaregal
By cesaregal (Jan 26, 2012)

I think it's a pocketable camera for the birdwatcher. I've seen excellent bird's photo taken with a 1/2.3 sensor FUJI HS10.

0 upvotes
unknown member
By (unknown member) (Jan 26, 2012)

Possibly? Don't journalists do research anymore? Sigh........

0 upvotes
Taffy
By Taffy (Jan 26, 2012)

Hiya Ratty, I find the lack of a VF and the absence of a RAW format to be a blinding fault with this camera. What were Pentax thinking. I realise it is environmentally sealed, and that could possibly be the reason for a lack of a VF, although I don't see why. But, to leave out RAW as well, is unforgivable.

0 upvotes
Revenant
By Revenant (Jan 26, 2012)

@taffy: Viewfinders and RAW aren't exactly common features of cheap P&S compacts, are they? It's hardly unforgivable to leave them out of a camera that is clearly not aimed at enthusiasts.

2 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Jan 26, 2012)

Here goes rattymouse with his totally mean-nothing-at-all "comments."

And for those professional complainers who want a viewfinder AND RAW capability AND GPS AND whatnot: save your money, guys and girls. This here from Pentax is a $249 job, get it?

0 upvotes
cernic
By cernic (Jan 26, 2012)

the flash is in awkward position, below the shutter button?

2 upvotes
MinceyFresh
By MinceyFresh (Jan 26, 2012)

Pentax seems to have an annoying habit of doing that... I always accidentally block the flash with my knuckle whenever I shoot with my H90.

0 upvotes
ZAnton
By ZAnton (Jan 26, 2012)

yes, but otherwise it would be in the bad position when the camera is in he portrait position.

0 upvotes
thx1138
By thx1138 (Jan 26, 2012)

The P&S camera market is under siege from the phone cameras and yet although this offers a novel feature it's still a tiny sensor offering not much improvement over the 1/4" sensors. Time to move this class of camera up to the 1/1.8"-1/1.5" sensors while the advanced P&S move to 2/3" or larger. No use complaining that it'll make it bigger, as people aren't buying this class of camera anyway. The likes of the LX-5, XZ-1 etc aren't that much larger at all anyway.

2 upvotes
MinceyFresh
By MinceyFresh (Jan 26, 2012)

P&S camera companies seem to think that the average consumer wants a huge zoom (which apparently is pretty difficult for a 1/1.#" sensor in a compact body). I'll happily take minimal zoom for a giant aperture and relatively larger sensor...

5 upvotes
JohnMatrix
By JohnMatrix (Jan 26, 2012)

That's because, unfortunately for the rest of us, the average consumer DOES want a huge zoom. I'd love a compact camera with just a fixed 35mm equiv lens, but that ain't gonna happen!

2 upvotes
stageshadow
By stageshadow (Jan 26, 2012)

Go for a pentax Q with prime!
And if you ever need a 3x zoom, there is also a standard Zoom for that!

0 upvotes
Taffy
By Taffy (Jan 26, 2012)

To JohnMatrix. Hi there, umm, Fuji have already made a compact with a fixed 35mm equivalent lens, it's called the Fujifilm Finepix X100.

0 upvotes
JohnMatrix
By JohnMatrix (Jan 26, 2012)

@Taffy Sheesh...I was talking in the context of point & shoot compact cameras - this is the comments section of a Pentax P&S after all! i.e. I was referring to something a tad more compact, and a lot less cheaper, than the X100. Something less than $200. 20 years ago, practically all entry level P&S 35mm film cameras had fixed focal length lenses. Somethng like the Olympus Trip AF series cameras from the 1990s.

Comment edited 42 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
ZAnton
By ZAnton (Jan 26, 2012)

@MinceyFresh
maybe not minimal but till 120-150mm equiv.
This would be enough for everything.

0 upvotes
capanikon
By capanikon (Jan 26, 2012)

What we really need is simply square sensors.

Vertical grips are silly.

One can always crop a square sensor into a vertical or horizontal photo if one likes.

Ditto for DSLRs. 3:2 aspect ratio ... dump it. How about 1:1 instead?

7 upvotes
DioCanon
By DioCanon (Jan 26, 2012)

some people I dont understand if they have a rather silly sense of humor or if they are just idiots....

3 upvotes
Revenant
By Revenant (Jan 26, 2012)

1:1 is the one aspect ratio on my G12 that I almost never use, finding it much harder to compose my photos. I also find 3:2 and 4:3 pictures more pleasing to look at. They allow for more balanced and interesting compositions IMO. With a square sensor I would have to crop almost every photo I take, and I suspect this goes for the majority of photographers.

0 upvotes
sorinx
By sorinx (Jan 26, 2012)

How complicated is it to understand such a simple proposal?

A square sensor that covers completely the lens shall be the standard for any digital camera. In this way you can have any aspect ratio vertical/horizontal even after taking the picture.
Some Panasonic cameras have multiaspect sensor bu only for horizontal shooting. You stil have to turn camera with 90degree for portrait.

0 upvotes
PentaxNick
By PentaxNick (Jan 27, 2012)

A square sensor cropped to 4:3 or 3:2 will have less pixels than a 4:3 or 3:2 sensor covering the same image circle.

0 upvotes
JacobSR
By JacobSR (Jan 26, 2012)

Very nice.
What is the Intelligent Zoom function that extends further to 4,032mm ?
Wow, is this digital zoom? or somthing else?

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
AndrewG NY
By AndrewG NY (Jan 26, 2012)

My guess, it's a digital crop that reduces image pixels as you zoom to longer focal lengths (maintaining pixel quality) rather than the old-style 'digital zoom' that would scale the picture.

0 upvotes
MinceyFresh
By MinceyFresh (Jan 26, 2012)

What would really blow my mind is if Pentax would start selling $250 Optios with Q mount compatibility.

0 upvotes
SF Photo Gal
By SF Photo Gal (Jan 26, 2012)

I noticed under Scene Modes it has a special setting for "Natural Skin Tone." I guess that's a good idea.

And check it out - a fast f3.1 at wide angle! It just keeps on giving.

0 upvotes
audijam
By audijam (Jan 26, 2012)

smart design!

1 upvote
ogl
By ogl (Jan 26, 2012)

USD250? Unexpensive.
I think nothing to discuss at all.
Stylish P&S camera for USD250 with 20x zoom in very compact body.
It's all.

2 upvotes
Franka T.L.
By Franka T.L. (Jan 26, 2012)

Credit given, where credit;s due. I think Penta should be applauded for this. Sure its not radically revolutionary, nor is it something like amazing spec or features. But being able to see the need and care to do it differently is in itself already a feat.

I think many had discount the P&S compact DC market too much. Yes its pretty much saturated , but technical advance these days actually made these compacts even more relevant for day to day casual users. And I say Pentax is doing the mass consumer a service by not just trying to re-iterate ..

2 upvotes
Aero Windwalker
By Aero Windwalker (Jan 26, 2012)

Where is the vertical grip?

0 upvotes
johnparas11zenfoliodotcom
By johnparas11zenfoliodotcom (Jan 26, 2012)

I was trying to imagine holding it vertically, if the bottom of the camera had some sort of protruding small grip....maybe it would enhance the user experience or using the second shutter button?

1 upvote
onlooker
By onlooker (Jan 26, 2012)

That makes it professional.

2 upvotes
Ibida Bab
By Ibida Bab (Jan 26, 2012)

what a sad end to a once fantastic brand.

3 upvotes
walberty
By walberty (Jan 26, 2012)

It's the end? Really?

4 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (Jan 26, 2012)

Yeah, 'cause the compact camera clones Canon and Nikon spit out quarterly are totally revolutionary and exciting.

Comment edited 16 seconds after posting
5 upvotes
love_them_all
By love_them_all (Jan 26, 2012)

2nd button only good for self portraits, but would be hard to use without blocking the screen or flash. Nonetheless I give credit for trying something different.

0 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (Jan 26, 2012)

I think it is so you can use it like a flip/iphone or a regular camera. Whichever you like.

Comment edited 46 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Rick Clark1
By Rick Clark1 (Jan 31, 2012)

I been a pentax user for 50 years and I love my K5 but this is an insult to the pentax name. When they spend time looking over the spec's and realize all the mistakes they have made and to build one with more DSLR inerds it will sell. (lots of them) I will pass on this one and keep shooting my FUJI F600EXR and that is that!!!

0 upvotes
Total comments: 136
12