Pentax today unveiled the Optio A40, a 3x zoom compact featuring a large 1/1.7" sensor for improved low-light abilities. CCD-shift image stabilization keeps the shakes at bay whilst the videos are recorded in DivX format allowing for smaller file sizes. Shutter-priority and manual exposure are here alongside Pentax's customary automatic modes. The camera will be available from October 2007 with a recommended price of US $299.95. More after the click.

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Pricing and availability

Press release:

PENTAX Optio A40 – A top class, compact digital camera with 12.0 effective megapixels

PENTAX Corporation is pleased to announce the PENTAX Optio A40, the latest model in the “Optio A” series- PENTAX’s top class compact digital cameras that pursue high image quality and high performance. The Optio A40 has an increased 12.0 effective megapixels and high image quality rivaling that of SLR cameras.

Main Features:

  1. 12.0 effective megapixels for higher image quality and enhanced

    The Optio A40 is PENTAX’s first digital camera with 12.0 effective megapixels, which enables for ultra high-definition images. It is newly equipped with a large, 1/1.7-inch CCD that has a wide light receiving area that is superior in tone reproduction. Through the incorporation of a new image engine that has excellent color reproducibility and smc PENTAX lens, which has a reputation as
    having high resolving power, the Optio A40 pursues even higher image quality and further enhanced performance.
  2. Three types of anti-shake functions to suit any photography situation
    1. SR(Shake Reduction) mechanism
      The SR mechanism is unique to PENTAX, and corrects camera shakes when photographing still images by shifting the image sensor (CCD) horizontally and vertically in relation to the amount of shaking that the high-accuracy gyro sensor detects. The shake reduction technology used in PENTAX’s digital SLR cameras is applied to the Optio A40 as well, and highly corrective effects that are equivalent to shutter speeds of approximately 2.5 to 3.5 steps can be achieved.
    2. “Digital SR” (Shake Reduction) *1
      Digital SR (Shake Reduction) mode automatically adjusts sensitivity, to as high as the ultrahigh sensitivity of ISO 3200 according to the brightness of the subject, and effectively reduces camera shakes and subject blurring when photographing still images. With fast shutter speeds, photography with reduced blurring is available.
      *1: Recording size is fixed at 5M(2592x1944 pixels) when “Digital SR” is selected
    3. “Movie SR” (Shake Reduction) *2
      The Movie SR function electronically reduces camera shakes exclusively during the shooting of movies. This function uses software to effectively correct distortions in images caused by camera shakes during the capturing of movies.
      *2:When using “Movie SR”, the field of view is narrower than that during normal recording
  3. “Face Recognition AF&AE” function that photographs portrait more beautifully with simple operation
    The Optio A40 is equipped with a “Face Recognition AF&AE” function*3 that automatically detects and focuses on faces. In addition, the Optio A40 also comes with new functions that apply face recognition technology, such as “Natural Skin Tone” mode, which smoothly presents skin texture based on the detected information, and “Half-length Portrait” mode*4, which automatically takes a close-up photograph of the bust by trimming the people recognized in photo frame.
    *3: This Camera’s “Face Recognition AF&AE” function uses the Face Tracker face recognition technology from FotoNation.
    *4: Recording size is fixed at 3M (2048x1536 pixels) when “Half-length Portrait” is selected
  4. New “Dynamic Range Adjustment” function to prevent white outs and
    black outs

    The Optio A40 is newly equipped with a “Dynamic Range Adjustment” to prevent white outs and black outs by correcting the tones for the highlighted areas or the shadowed areas of a subject with significant differences in contrast. When photographing people against the sun, it is possible to deposit subjects brightly while keeping the tones of the background
  5. Bright and easy-to view LCD monitor
    This LCD monitor is a high intensity type equipped with an LCD booster that adjusts the brightness of screen, which users can easily check the screen even at the outdoors. With 2.5-inch and high resolution of approximately 232,000 pixels, it is easy to confirm picture compositions and the focus. Due to its wide viewing angle, the screen can also be easily viewed, since there is little change in brightness and colors even when looking at the monitor diagonally.
  6. 3X optical zoom and 6X digital zoom for a maximum of 17.9X

    The Optio A40 features a 3X optical zoom lens with a focal range covering angles of view equivalent to those of a 37-111mm lens in 35mm format, which is ideal for a broad spectrum of subjects from landscapes, through memorial photographs, to portraits. Such zooming power can also be combined with 6X digital zoom to achieve a total of approximately 17.9X zoom capability.
  7. Video recording function enabling high-quality recording for long period
    of time

    The Optio A40 smoothly captures movies at 30fps (frames per second) at sizes up to 640x480 pixels with image quality rivaling camcorders. Since it employs the DivX® (MPEG-4) movie format*5, the Optio A40 can record long, high-quality movies.
    *5:The Optio A40 is DivX® certified. Movie playback is not supported on Macintosh operating system
  8. Others
    1. Users can freely choose “Shutter-Priority AE” mode and “Manual Exposure” mode, depending on the effect they are aiming to achieve
    2. An “Intelligent zoom” function enables images to be magnified shooting, while maintaining the image quality of optical zoom
    3. “Auto Picture” mode automatically determines the best settings for the shooting conditions
    4. Mode palette provide quick access of 18 shooting modes and 15 playback modes
    5. Approximately 21.0 MB of built-in-memory
    6. Compatible with SD memory cards and SDHC memory cards
    7. FotoNation’s red eye compensation function for flash shots
    8. Includes the ACDSee for PENTAX 3.0 image viewer/image management software that support Windows Vista™
    9. Support PictBridge, DPOF functions, Exif Print, and PRINT Image Matching III

Pentax Optio A40 specifications


• 1/1.7" Type CCD
• 12.0 million effective pixels

Image sizes

• 4000 x 3000
• 3648 x 2736
• 3072 x 2304
• 2592 x 1944
• 2048 x 1536
• 1024 x 768
• 640 x 480

Movie clips • 640 x 480, 30 fps
• 320 x 240, 30 fps
File formats • JPEG (Exif v2.2)
• AVI (DivX MPEG-4)
Lens • 37-111mm (35mm equiv)
• 3x optical zoom
• F2.8 - 5.4
Image stabilization Yes (CCD - Shift)
Conversion lenses No
Digital zoom up to 4x
Focus TTL
AF area modes

• Face Priority AF&AE
• 5-point AF
• Spot AF
• Auto tracking AF

Focus distance

• Standard: 35 cm - ∞ (1.15 ft- ∞)
• Macro wide: 12 cm - 40 cm (0.39 - 1.31 ft)
• Super Macro: 6 cm - 15 cm (0.20 ft - 0.49 ft)

Metering • Multi-segment
• Centre-weighted
• Spot
ISO sensitivity • Auto (ISO 50 - 800)
• ISO 50
• ISO 100
• ISO 200
• ISO 400
• ISO 800
• ISO 1600
* The auto and fixed sensitivity can be selected up to 3200 at the Digital SR mode
* The range of auto sensitivity can be changed by the menu
Exposure compensation +/- 2EV in 1/3 stop increments
Shutter speed 4-1/2000 sec

• Auto
• Program
• Shutter priority
• Picture mode

Scene modes

• AUTO Picture (Automatically chosen from "Landscape", "Portrait", "Night Scene" and "Normal")
• Night Scene, Movie, Voice Recording, Landscape, Flower, Natural Skin Tone, Portrait, Half-length Portrait, Kids, Digital SR, Sport, Surf & Snow, Pet, Text, Food, Frame Composite

White balance • Auto
• Daylight
• Shade
• Tungsten light
• Fluorescent light
• Manual setting
Self timer 2 or 10sec
Flash • Flash On, Flash Off, Soft flash, Red-eye reduction
• Range (Auto ISO): 6 cm - 7.1 m (wide) / 35 cm - 3.5 m (tele)
Viewfinder No
LCD monitor • 2.5-inch TFT LCD
• 232,000 pixels
• Anti-reflection coating
• Wide viewing angle
Connectivity • USB 2.0 Hi-Speed
• AV out (PAL / NTSC switchable)
• DC-in
Print compliance • Pictbridge
• Print Image Matching III
Storage • SD, SDHC compatible
• 21MB internal memory
Power • Li-Ion battery pack D-LI68
• Optional AC adaptor
Weight (no batt) 130g (4.6 oz)
Dimensions 91 x 56.5 x 23.5 mm (3.6 x 2.2 x 0.9 in)

Pricing and availability

The Pentax Optio A40 will be available from October 2007 with a recommended price of US $299.95.