Pre-PMA 2003, 00:00 TOKYO (19th): Pentax has today announced the new Optio 33L, this camera has a three megapixel sensor and a three times optical zoom lens. It also has a new swivel LCD screen which can rotate in both horizontal and vertical directions, unlike the Optio 330GS which could only swivel horizontally.

Press Release:

The new Optio33L from PENTAX - The Swivel screen camera blending satisfaction with simple operation.

To follow in the footsteps of the successful Optio330GS, PENTAX Corporation proudly presents the Optio33L. A sleek, stylish camera with the power to deliver sharp, satisfying images, it remains simple to use, yet has a wide range of handy features. The Optio33L offers the same useful advantages as the Optio330GS, yet it has been even further refined with the power of 3.2 effective megapixels and a versatile LCD monitor that swivels through 180° both vertically and horizontally.

Major Features

1. 3.2 effective megapixels for high-quality clarity
With the power of 3.2 effective megapixels, the Optio33L delivers surprisingly sharp shots. Such high-level precision has also been achieved as a result of the incorporation of advanced image processing technology, and a 12-bit A/D converter which is capable of recording data on the CCD with a greater dynamic range and higher level gradation.

2. A sleek, sophisticated design
Through the incorporation of a two-stage lens retraction mechanism, the Optio33L has been created with compact dimensions of just 105mm (4.1") x 63mm (2.5") x 41.5mm (1.6") (width x height x depth) and a weight of only 180g (6.3 oz). As a result, the Optio33L can be easily slipped into a pocket and carried everywhere with comfort.

3. A high-performance 3X zoom optical lens
Equivalent to a 38-114mm lens in 35mm format, the high-performance 3X zoom lens of the Optio33L combines high-quality imaging capability with pleasing low-level distortion. In addition to its actual performance, it is also very easy to operate, thanks to button operation that makes for super smooth composition.

4. Easy operation
The Optio33L offers simple, stress-free operation through the incoporation of a newly developed image processing circuit. Images can be played back with the simple press of a button, and new shots to be taken at any time as the camera is always primed for action as long as the power is turned on - even during playback modes. With the incorporation of a virtual mode dial on the LCD monitor, the selection of shooting modes is also very easy indeed. Simply select the most appropriate mode from the ample choice of Program, Picture, Night Scene, Movie, 3D image, Panorama Assist, Auto Bracketing, and Digital Filter modes. Finally, for even more swift operation, the Optio33L also has standalone buttons for frequently used functions related to the composition and playback of images.

5. A Swiveling LCD monitor
Many cameras allow you to take shots of yourself or join in a group, but it's usually difficult to judge the composition until the shot has actually been taken. The Optio33L is an exception in this manner as it features a handy Swiveling LCD monitor which can be raised through 180° and rotated horizontally through 180° to let you see exactly what's in the frame. This versatile screen is also useful in a wide range of other situations, allowing you to compose and take shots from above your head or low down.

6. Innovative stereoscopic shooting
The Optio33L makes stereoscopic shooting possible. Simply take two shots following the simple guidance given by the camera, and be prepared to see results that have a real 3D sense of perspective when seen through the special viewer provided.

7. Ample choice of picture modes
With a choice of eight different picture modes, the Optio33L prepares you for a diverse range of situations and circumstances. Simply select from Landscape, Flower, Portrait, Self-portrait, Soft, Surf & Snow, Sunset and Illustration modes on the LCD monitor and allow the Optio33L to automatically decide and set the optimum settings for your subject.

  • Landscape mode - Recreates vivid colors, emphasizes greenery, and effectively contrasts the different blues of the sky.
  • Flower mode - Ideal for capturing the natural beauty of flowers.
  • Portrait mode - Places more emphasis on your subject by throwing background elements delicately out of focus.
  • Self-portrait mode - Join a friend in the shot or take your own self-portrait with accurate composition.
  • Soft mode - Applies a delicate effect that can be adjusted across five levels.
  • Surf & Snow mode - Captures ski scenes and bodies of water, such as the sea or lakes, without underexposing your main subject.
  • Sunset mode - Faithfully captures the mood and shades of sunsets.
  • Illustration mode - Allows shots you take to resemble illustrations.

Other features

1. USB compatibility for easy connection to PCs*
Just connect the Optio33L to a PC using the handy USB cable provided to transfer photographic data with ease. This allows multiple files to be transferred simultaneously so that you can bring them into a wide range of common applications.

* System requirements: PC running Windows 98/98SE, Windows 2000, Windows Me, Windows XP Home Edition/Professional or Mac OS 8.6 or higher (installation of the included driver software is required, except in the case of Mac OS 9.0 or higher). Compliance with the aforementioned system requirements does not guarantee USB compatibility.

2. Additional software included
The Optio33L comes with the added advantage of a CD-ROM containing not only a USB driver, but also the popular ACDSee™ application which is compatible with both Windows and Mac systems.

3. Built-in auto flash
Auto flash discharges when light is low or to highlight objects in front of excessively bright backgrounds. The Optio33L also gives you the freedom of flash-on, flash-off, and red eye reduction* modes. There's even slow shutter sync mode, which can be selected when using Night Scene mode.
* This feature does not eliminate "red eyes" in all instances.

4. Digital zooming versatility
3X optical zoom can be combined with 2.7X digital zoom for an impressive combined zooming power of 8X.

5. Nine-image / Zoom display
The handy LCD screen can be set to display nine images at the same time. This significantly speeds the search for recorded images. Images can also be enlarged by up to 12X so that you can check closely for focus and inspect small details and exposure.

6. Slide show
Recorded images can be set to be automatically displayed one after the other on the LCD monitor through use of the Slide show feature. This same function can also be used to deliver presentations when combined with connection to an LCD projector.

7. A variety of shooting modes
With a choice of eight shooting modes, it's almost always easy to achieve the right settings for your choice of subject. Just choose the one you want from the selection of Program, Picture, Night Scene, Movie, Panorama Assist, 3D image, Digital Filter and Auto Bracketing on the graphical Virtual Mode Dial.

  • Program - Claim greater control over a wide range of functions to achieve results so much closer to the ones you desire.
  • Picture - A choice of eight handy modes - Landscape, Flower, Portrait, Self-portrait, Soft, Surf & Snow, Sunset, and Illustration.
  • Night Scene - Achieve optimum results at night or in the evening, or when shooting subjects with dark backgrounds. There's also a convenient noise reduction function which activates automatically during long exposures.
  • Movie* - The Optio33L has the ability to record up to 30 seconds of video at 15 frames per second, with a resolution of 320 X 240 pixels. Clips are also recorded in AVI format, which makes them easy to play back on PCs
  • Panorama Assist - By simply following the guidance given by the camera and using the software included with the Optio33L, panorama-like pictures can be effectively created through the vertical or horizontal combination of multiple pictures on a PC.
  • 3D image - Just take two shots following a simple set of instructions to create a stereoscopic image with a real sense of perspective when seen through the special viewer provided.
  • Digital Filter - This mode achieves effects similar to conventional filters - select from black & white and sepia shooting as well as different colors (red, green, and blue). Moreover, the Optio33L also features a special function capable of creating shots in black and white, except for areas that match your choice of color from a selection of red, green, and blue.

* System requirements for use of the Movie function: PCs running Windows 98/98SE or Windows 2000 operating systems which came with DirectX 8.0 and Windows Media Player pre-installed, or have QuickTime 3.0 or higher installed. PCs running Windows Me or Windows XP operating systems featuring Windows Media Player or QuickTime 3.0 or higher. Macintosh machines running operating systems which came with QuickTime 4.0 or higher pre-installed.

8. Auto Bracketing
Auto bracketing lets you take shots that vary exposure, white balance, sharpness, and saturation in three steps, so you can select the shot you like the best.

9. Self- timer
With a convenient self-timer function, the Optio33L allows you to get in the frame with friends or take a self-portrait.

10. Continuous shooting
Just hold down the shutter button to take shot after shot with selection of the continuous shooting mode. Ideal for capturing events in action, the camera also features the ability to take three shots at high speed with a single push of the shutter button.

11. Macro shooting / Infinity-landscape modes
Macro shooting mode lets you compose shots just 0.1m (0.33 ft) from your subject. The Optio33L also features Infinity-landscape mode, which lets you capture stunning landscapes and scenery, and maintains clarity even when you are shooting through windows.

12. Manual focusing
Manual focus gives you a greater degree of control. Composition can be viewed on the LCD monitor as you select the focus to suit your tastes. The central part of the frame can also be enlarged to allow you to achieve greater accuracy.

13. Autofocus areas
The Optio33L offer a choice of autofocus settings. Wide AF allows you to place greater focal emphasis on your subject. Spot AF lets you choose the desired center of focus with a point selected from a choice of five located horizontally and vertically.

14. A range of settings for White Balance
With a selection of White Balance Modes, the Optio33L retains lifelike color regardless of the type of illumination. Choose from Auto, Daylight, Shade, Tungsten Light, or Fluorescent Light to suit your needs, or opt for the manual setting and have fun experimenting.

15. Handy histogram display
A detailed histogram display allows you to check light levels with accuracy during both playback and shooting.

16. Options for metering
The Optio33L offers the user more freedom when it comes to metering. Choose from multi-segment metering, center-weighted metering, and spot metering for the results you desire.

17. Light sensitivity
Even different intensities of light won't compromise the performance of the Optio33L. The ISO value can be set automatically by the camera, and the user is also free to select from ISO100, ISO200, or ISO400.

18. Exposure compensation
Exposure compensation has a range of +2EV in 1/3EV steps.

19. Settings for sharpness, saturation, and contrast
Take even greater control over each shot with the ability to set sharpness, saturation and contrast manually, with a choice of three grades for each.

20. Image protection
With a special feature that prevents against the accidental deletion of recorded shots, the Optio33L makes sure you never erase a picture you intended to keep.

21. Mode memory function
The mode memory function allows you to save a combination of settings in accordance with your desires. These can then be returned to automatically the next time the power is switched on.

22. World time function
The Optio33L even has a world time function capable of displaying the time in 62 different cities. This function can also be used to record the time and date each shot was taken, which allows you to take pictures while traveling, then sort them easily when you get back home.

23. DPOF function*
When used in combination with compatible printers, the DPOF function of the Optio33L allows you to take control over the number of printouts and the date function.
* Some printers may not support the above functions. Please consult the supplier of your printer for more information.

24. PRINT Image Matching II* and Exif Print (Exif 2.2)
The Optio33L provides prints of an even higher quality when connected to PRINT Image Matching II- or Exif-compatible printers.

*This product supports PRINT Image Matching II. When used in combination, PRINT Image Matching II enabled digital still cameras, printers, and software help photographers to produce images more faithful to their intentions.

25. CompactFlash compatibility
Convenience is taken a step further through compatibility with CompactFlash. Just one 16MB CompactFlash card has the power to store approximately 16 images with 2,048 X 1,536 recorded pixels in the "Better" quality setting, and a maximum of 128 images with 640 X 480 recorded pixels in the "Good" quality setting.

26. AV output terminal
Through simple connection to a television using the optional AV cable, your recorded shots and sounds can be enjoyed on your TV.

27. Power sources
The Optio33L takes two AA batteries, which are widely available. The camera is also compatible with lithium CR-V3 batteries, which have enough power to support the taking of 650 images continuously.* An optional AC adapter is also available.
* According to the results of in-house testing.

28. Multilingual operation
Convenient multilingual operation allows all menus and messages to be displayed in English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, or Japanese.

Pentax Optio 33L specifications

Sensor • 1/2.7" CCD
• 3.34 million pixels total
Effective pixel count 3.2 million (JCIA standard)
Image sizes • 2048 x 1536
• 1600 x 1200
• 1024 x 768
• 640 x 480
Image formats • Still: JPEG (EXIF 2.2)
• Movie: AVI (Motion JPEG format)
Movie clips • 320 x 240, 15 fps, up to 30 secs, no audio
Lens • 3x optical zoom lens
• 38 - 114 mm (equiv.)
• F2.6 - F5.0
Digital zoom Up to 2.7x
Focus • Auto
• Manual
• Infinity lock
Focus areas • 5 point AF
• Spot AF
Focus range • Normal: 0.4 m - Infinity (1.31 ft)
• Macro: 0.1 - 0.5 m (0.33 - 1.64 ft)
Sensitivity • Auto
• ISO 100
• ISO 200
• ISO 400
Metering • Multi-segment
• Center-weighted average
• Spot
Exposure modes • Picture scene mode
• Program
• Night Scene
• Movie
• 3D image
• Auto bracket
• Digital filter
• Panorama assist
Picture scene modes • Landscape
• Flower
• Portrait
• Self-portrait
• Soft
• Surf & Snow
• Sunset
• Illustration
Exposure compen. +/-2.0 EV in 0.3 EV steps
Shutter speed 4 - 1/1500 sec
Drive modes • Single
• Continuous
• Self-timer (2 / 10 sec)
• High-speed Continuous
Flash • Built-in
• Flash modes: Auto, Flash on, Flash off, Red-eye reduction
• Flash range: 0.2 - 5.0 m (0.66 - 16 ft)
White balance • Auto
• Daylight
• Shade
• Tungsten
• Fluorescent
• Manual
Color modes • Color
• B&W
• Sepia
Digital filter • B&W
• Sepai
• Red
• Green
• Blue
• B&W + Red
• B&W + Green
• B&W + Blue
LCD monitor • 1.5" TFT LCD
• Swivel 180 degrees horizontal and vertical
• 134,000 pixels
Storage Compact Flash Type I (16 MB supplied)
Connectivity • Video out
• USB 1.1
Power • 2 x AA batteries
or • CR-V3 Lithium
Dimensions 105 x 63 x 42 mm (4.1 x 2.5 x 1.6 in)
Weight (no batt) 180 g (6.3 oz)
Weight (inc batt) 230 g (8.1 oz)