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2010.01.26

Pentax Canada just launched 3 additions to their Optio family of compact digital cameras. Those are the Optio I-10, the Optio H90 and the Optio E90. This last one is an updated version of their entry-level Optio E80, while the other two are entirely new designs that keep with the Pentax traditions of outstanding simplicity and attention to details.

The Pentax Optio I-10 is styled similary to a miniature film SLR, and we really mean miniature as it is  1.1″ thick. The styling not just gives a retro look but also serves to provide a rarely-found handgrip among modern compact digital cameras, as well as placing the built-in flash further from the lens which reduces the changes of redeye. The Pentax Optio H90 is an ultra-compact camera with minimalistic body design meant to be retro and easily slip in pockets or other small spaces. Rounded corners and a lack of protrusions help make the H90 one of the most pocketable digital cameras.

Internally both the  I-10 and H90 share  core technologies. Both feature a 12 megapixels sensor and a wide-angle 5X optical zoom lens, equivalent to 28-140mm in 35mm terms. The aperture range falls a little short on the wide side with a maximum of F/3.5 at wide-angle and F/5.9 at telephoto but Pentax makes up for it on the I-10 with built-in image stabilization. A refined 11-point focusing system with Macro, Super Macro, Normal, Pan Focus (Hyperfocal) and Infinity focus rounds out the capabilities of the new lens used on both these cameras. These two digital cameras also share a large and bright 2.7″ LCD which serves as the only viewfinder.

The Pentax Optio I-10 and H90 feature point-and-shoot operation with auto and manually selectable ISO from 80 to 6400. The shutter-speed range is limited though, starting at 1/2000s on the fast side and stopping at 1/4s normally and 4s in night shot mode. Pentax included 720p HD (1280×720 @ 30 FPS 16:9) movie recording on both these cameras to round off the main features. Other features include automatic panorama stiching of up to 3 images, a digital wide function that stitches 2 images and controls over dynamic range. The I-10 also gets an optional wireless remote control and its face-detection can recognize pets.

The last addition to the Optio family is the E90 which updates the capability of their entry-level compact with a wider-angle lens, this time equivalent to 31.5-94.5mm in 35mm terms.  This digital camera uses a 10 megapixels sensor and 2 standard AA batteries for power. The Optio E90 refines the comfortable design of its predecessor, keeping the hand-grip and simple controls.

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