Pre-PMA 2004: In their second announcement of the day Pentax introduce the Optio S40, a four megapixel digital camera in a metal case and utlizing Pentax's unique sliding lens mechanism which we first saw on the Optio S this time last year. The S40 has 11 MB of built-in flash storage as well as an SD/MMC slot, it's powered by either CR-V3 or AA batteries and has a 1.6" LCD monitor.

Phil: Read more about the Pentax sliding lens mechanism on this page.

Press Release:

The Optio S40 — The ultra-compact digital for superior performance you can share.

With a thoughtful design, ultra-compact dimensions, and an attractive aluminum exterior, the Optio S40 is comfortable in the hand, highly portable, and strikingly stylish.

It’s also surprisingly capable. It features an array of easy-to-operate functions that ensure attractive results regardless of user experience. It also delivers truly satisfying detail and clarity with 4.0 effective megapixel performance. Furthermore, the Optio S40 features a 1.6-inch LCD monitor with a 100% field of view — an advantage that augments the user experience, even before the shot is taken. What’s more the camera also has the powerful advantage of a lens offering 3X zoom versatility, which can be combined with 4X digital zoom for impressive 12X zooming freedom.

A compact digital camera that’s exceptionally easy for anyone to use, yet offers customization capability to suit the tastes of each individual, the Optio S40 is the superior choice as a camera to be shared by families, by coworkers, by anyone.

Major features

Ultra-compact, sophisticated design

Embracing the unique PENTAX Sliding Lens system, the Optio S40 achieves exceptionally compact dimensions of just 89 (W) x 58.5 (H) x 25.5 (D) mm and a weight of only 126.5g (excluding batteries and SD memory card). It’s also compatible with two AA batteries and has an attractive aluminum exterior made more appealing through the addition of vertical and horizontal hairline engravings. Small enough to be comfortably worn about the neck or easily slipped in the pocket, the Optio S40 is ideal for the capture of opportunities, wherever, whenever.

4.0 effective megapixel clarity

For exceptional clarity in all shots extending from scenery to macro shooting, the Optio S40 has the imaging power of 4.0 effective megapixels. It also employs the advantages of a primary color filter and advanced imaging technologies too, achieving brighter, more natural colors and a noticeable enhancement in image quality in general.

Ultra-compact, 3X optical zoom lens

The Optio S40 features an smc PENTAX lens — one of a series renowned the world over for sheer, superior quality. Offering 3X zoom capability with a focal range covering angles of view equivalent to those of a 35-105mm lens in 35mm format, it allows extreme freedom of composition, enabling the user to zoom out for expansive scenes or zoom in for tight framing. It is comprised of 5 groups of 6 elements crafted entirely from glass, and features two lenses crafted to be aspherical on each side. For further capability, the optical zoom can also be augmented with 4X digital zoom too, achieving total zooming power of a satisfying 12X.

User-friendly operation

One of the key aspects in the design of the Optio S40 was an attention to extreme ease of use. All buttons and controls have been located within easy reach when in a ready-to-shoot position and the shutter release button has been enlarged. All buttons on the back of the camera have also been made bigger for easier manipulation, and a handy mode dial is employed to allow virtually effortless selection from the impressive array of shooting modes.

Function customization

To offer the utmost in customized, easy operation, the Optio S40 allows four frequently used functions to be selected from a choice of seven (recording size, image quality, exposure compensation, metering, white balance, ISO and AF area). These can then be assigned to the left and right elements of the four-way controller for access when the dial position is set in modes other than Auto Select, Movie, and Voice recording.

9-position mode dial

The Optio S40 makes it incredibly easy to select shooting modes with a handy dial positioned in the middle of the top surface. Simply set the dial to one of the nine modes described below and let the Optio S40 take care of all relevant settings automatically.

  1. Auto Select
    Taking care of all settings automatically, Auto Select mode also features a help function that displays simple-to-understand explanations of different button functions.
  2. Portrait
    Portrait mode has been specially designed to capture skin tones in an altogether more natural, flattering manner.
  3. Landscape
    Landscape mode makes it easy to capture the expansive beauty of wide-open natural scenes.
  4. Night scene
    Night scene mode captures a significant amount of detail while retaining the true mood of shots taken in low light.
  5. Movie
    The Optio S40 even has the power to record video accompanied by the advantage of sound!
  6. Voice recording
    Another handy capability of the Optio S40 is its ability to be used also for the recording of voice messages.
  7. Digital effect
    Digital capability opens up so many more opportunities when aiming for creative results. Indeed the Optio S40 offers a range of digital effects for the creation of interesting images, with 8 digital filters, 2 in 1, multiple exposure, and Panorama Assist functions.
  8. Program
    Selection of Program mode leaves all settings to the camera for spur-of-the-moment photo opportunities.
  9. Picture
    Simple selection of Picture mode allows the user to choose from one of 10 different settings to swiftly make the most of the situation at hand.

Simple shooting with 8 Picture modes

In addition to placing Portrait, Landscape, and Night scene modes directly on the mode dial, the Optio S40 also offers 8 picture modes with exceptionally easy access — in fact all you have to do is just select the icon most appropriate for the scene, compose, then capture.

  1. Flower
    Flower mode has been specially designed to bring out the vivid color and intricate detail of flowers.
  2. Self-portrait
    Self-portrait mode delivers sharp results and flattering tones whenever you need to take a shot of yourself.
  3. Surf
    Surf mode counteracts the problems associated with reflections of light off water — enabling pleasing, appropriate exposure throughout the frame.
  4. Snow
    Snow can present problems for the metering of many cameras. Fortunately the Optio S40 has a special mode for such scenes, which helps to maintain true color and avoid the detrimental effects of excessive reflection.
  5. Sunset mode
    Sunset mode has been specially decided to capture the warmth and romance of sunrise and sunset scenes.
  6. Art museum
    A mode designed especially for use in museums and galleries allows optimal exposure to be achieved while ensuring the flash doesn’t fire.
  7. Text
    Text mode has been developed to capture written material in a manner that maximizes legibility.
  8. Marine
    Marine mode makes it easy to achieve truly attractive shots involving water*, making the most of an array of different tones of blue.

* When the Optio S40 is housed within an optionally available waterproof case.

Digital effect modes

With a choice of digital filters as well as multiple exposure, Panorama Assist, and 2 in 1 digital functions, the Optio S40 opens up a range of exciting creative avenues. What’s more, all of these special capabilities and effects can be made use of without the need for a PC.

8 digital filters

With a choice of eight filters comprising red, green, blue, B&W with red, B&W with green, B&W with blue, B&W, and sepia, the Optio S40 lets the user emphasize key colors of the original scene or add an entirely different mood altogether.

2 in 1

Functioning exactly as it sounds, the handy 2 in 1 function cuts a single frame in two, allowing two different images to be recorded side by side.

Panorama Assist

Users can follow the camera’s simple guidance to take a series of horizontal or vertical shots. These can then easily be aligned and combined on a PC using the software provided to create one large image that captures expansive scenes in their entirety.

Help function in Auto Select mode

A useful Help function can be easily accessed when in both recording and playback modes, displaying simple explanations of all button functions on the screen.

PictBridge compatibility

The Optio S40 supports PictBridge, a new direct-print standard released by the CIPA (Camera and Imaging Products Association). With this advantage, the Optio S40 can be connected directly to a printer that supports PictBridge via USB cable and offer control over printing, resizing, trimming, digital filter, and other functions — all without the need for a PC.

Other helpful features

USB mass storage class compatibility

Supporting USB cable connectivity, the Optio S40 allows multiple recorded shots to be swiftly and simply imported into common PC applications.

Useful software included

The Optio S40 even comes with its own CD-ROM of handy software, comprising the exclusive USB driver and the popular ACDSee for PENTAX — which is compatible with both Windows and Macintosh computers.

Built-in auto flash

The built-in flash of the Optio S40 can be set to fire automatically when shooting in light that is less than sufficient. It also offers the user greater control when desired too, through the incorporation of Flash-on, Flash-off, and red-eye reduction* modes. Finally, for a further advantage, it also features a Slow shutter sync mode too, which is of particular use when shooting in Night scene mode.

*This feature does not eliminate “red eyes” in all instances.

High-precision LCD monitor

Offering a 100% field of view, the 1.6-inch LCD monitor makes composition a cinch. It also serves as a handy way to view recorded shots, prior to printing out.

Optical viewfinder

The optical viewfinder makes it possible for the user to switch off the handy LCD monitor, saving vital power whenever required.

Nine-image and Zoom display

The search for recorded shots is significantly speeded up through the ability to display nine recorded shots on screen at once. Then, when the user has located the shot they were after, they can simply enlarge it to fit the dimensions of the screen, or even zoom in more closely with up to 16X magnification.

Convenient self-timer

A handy self-timer makes it easy for the photographer to get in on the shot, allowing easy self-portraits or all-inclusive group compositions.

Optional remote control

Two remote control units are optionally available for the Optio S40. Named remote control E and remote control F, they offer remote immediate shutter release, a useful three-second timer function, and the former can even control zooming.

Continuous shooting

Continuous shooting is activated by simply keeping the shutter button held down. This allows accelerated action to be captured in a highly expressive manner.

Macro mode and Landscape mode

Through simple use of Macro mode, the user can compose shots from as close as 18cm from the subject at all zoom settings. The Optio S40 also offers super macro shooting too, which lets the user move in further to just 6cm from the subject! The Optio S40 offers excellent performance right at the other end of the scale too; capturing wide-open scenes of natural beauty with satisfying focus that extends all the way to the horizon via easy selection of Infinity-landscape mode.

Manual focus

The Optio S40 makes it easier to achieve accuracy when undertaking manual focus. This is achieved through use of the LCD monitor and its ability to enlarge the central part of a potential shot.

Options for autofocus

Choices for the user even extend to autofocus. Spot AF allows the user to place the center of focus in the middle of the frame, while 7-point autofocus allows simultaneous focusing on multiple subjects in different parts of the frame.

White balance settings

With a range of white balance settings, the Optio S40 is highly competent at accommodating different types of light. It features settings for Auto, Daylight, Shade, Tungsten, and Fluorescent light, and there is also a manual setting that lets the user take total control.

Histogram display

A histogram display makes it easy to view light levels during both shooting and playback with accuracy. As a direct result, the user is empowered to make a much more educated evaluation of each and every shot.

3 choices for metering

One of the keys to the versatility of the Optio S40 is its choice of metering systems. Indeed, with a selection of multi-segment metering, center-weighted metering, and spot metering, the Optio S40 achieves impressive results in a very wide range of situations.

ISO settings

The power to ISO settings is absolutely vital when shooting in a range of light intensities. Fortunately the Option S40 makes it easy to select from a selection of ISO100, 200, and 400 (TBD), and it also offers the benefit of an auto setting.

Exposure compensation

Because exposure can be a matter of personal taste, the Optio 40S can be set to capture images with exposure compensation ranging across +2EV in steps of 1/3EV.

Settings for sharpness, saturation, and contrast

With three grades of settings for sharpness, saturation, and contrast, the Optio S40 provides the user with a markedly greater degree of control over the nature of each and every shot.

Image protection

The Optio S40 provides extra protection for images the user is sure they want to keep. Indeed with a special function that prevents all specified shots from being erased, the user is even free to lend the camera to others to use, without having to worry about them accidentally disposing of wanted shots.

Mode memory function

Memory mode enables a combination of settings to be saved at once. These are then returned to automatically as soon as the power is next turned on.

World time function

The Optio S40 can display the time for 62 different cities around the world. It can also record the time and date for each shot taken to enable simpler sorting when the user returns home.

DPOF compatibility

DPOF compatibility gives the user even greater control over printouts — letting them manipulate the date function as desired and decide the number of copies*.

* Some printers may not support the above functions. Please consult the supplier of your printer for more information.

Approximately 11MB of built-in memory

Even without additional media inserted, the Optio S40 still has the power to record quality shots with ease. Indeed it has approximately 11MB of built-in memory that allows the recording of a substantial amount of images.

SD memory card and Multimediacard compatibility

The Optio S40 is compatible with both SD memory cards and Multimedia cards. Whichever the user chooses to use, they can benefit from widespread availability and simple data transfer to PCs.

Resize function

A handy resize function makes it easy to free up useful memory space, without forcing the user to delete shots already recorded. It’s a highly useful function that works by simply reducing the size of selected files, then giving the user the chance to save the image as an additional new, lighter file, or easily overwrite its heavier version. The function can also be used to free up a massive amount of memory in minimal time, by allowing all images to be selected and subjected to resizing at once.


With a handy trimming function, the Optio S40 lets the user crop out unwanted parts of recorded images to achieve more refined compositions, or select a main subject in a larger shot for saving as an image in its own right.

Voice memo function

Up to 30 seconds of sound can be attached to recorded images, allowing a greater degree of expression all round, not to mention a tremendous amount of fun.


Users can also customize the Optio S40 by selecting an image to appear as wallpaper on the camera’s start-up screen. The user can also customize the camera further by selecting sounds to accompany shutter release and a range of other actions.

AV (video/audio) output terminal

Through use of an AV output terminal and the provided AV cable, the Optio S40 makes it easy to display images on the larger dimensions of a TV screen.

Power sources

Even power is an area of choice with the Optio S40. Indeed not only is it compatible with commonly available CR-V3 and AA batteries (alkaline, lithium, nickel hydride), there’s also an AC adapter available as an option.

Operation in 9 languages

All menus and messages of the Optio S40 can be set for display in the user’s choice of English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Chinese, Korean, or Japanese.

Optional accessories

AC adapter

For continuous use over a long period of time, an AC adapter can allow the Optio S40 to be plugged into a nearby power outlet.

Waterproof case

When housed in a convenient waterproof case, the Optio S40 offers the exciting ability to take shots underwater.

Pentax Optio S40 specifications

Sensor • 1/2.5" CCD
• 4.23 million total pixel
Effective pixels 4.0 million pixels
Image sizes • 2304 x 1728
• 1600 x 1200
• 1024 x 768
• 640 x 480
Image format JPEG (EXIF 2.2)
Movie clips • 320 x 240, 30 fps
• Unlimited (streaming)
• With audio
Lens • 3x optical zoom
• 35 - 105 mm (equiv.)
• F2.6 - F4.8
Digital zoom Up to 2.6x
Auto focus • 5 point auto focus
• Spot auto focus
Focus modes • Auto
• Manual
• Landscape (Infinity) lock
Focus range • Normal: 40 cm to Infinity
• Macro: 18- 50 cm
• Super macro: 6 - 20 cm
Exposure modes

• Auto select mode
• Portrait
• Landscape
• Night scene
• Movie
• Voice recording
• Digital Effect
• Program
• Picture mode

Picture modes Flower, Self-portrait, Surf, Snow, Sunset, Museum, Text, Food, Landscape Portrait, Marine, Marine movie
Sensitivity • Auto
• ISO 100
• ISO 200
• ISO 400
Metering • Multi-segment
• Center-weighted average
• Spot
Exposure compensation +/- 2 EV in 1/3 EV steps
Shutter 4 - 1/2000 sec
White balance • Auto
• Daylight
• Shade
• Tungsten
• Fluorescent
• Manual
Drive modes • One shot
• Continuous
• Remote
• Self-timer
Flash • Built-in
• Modes: Auto, Red-eye reduction, Fill, Off
• Range (wide): 0.2 to 3.5 m
• Range (tele): 0.2 to 2.0 m
Viewfinder Optical
LCD monitor • 1.6" TFT LCD
• 85,000 pixels
Connectivity • A/V out
• USB 1.1 (mini-B)
Storage • 11 MB internal flash storage
• SD/MMC slot
Power • 2 x AA batteries or 1 x CR-V3
• Optional AC adapter
Dimensions 89 x 59 x 26 mm (3.5 x 2.3 x 1.0 in)
Weight (no batt) 125 g (4.4 oz)