updated 02:45 pm EST, Thu February 22, 2007
Pentax, Fujifilm cameras
Pentax and Fujifilm joined Canon in the slew of camera announcements on Thursday, writes Electronista. Pentax revealed a pair of compact point-and-shoots, the Optio A30 being one of the camera maker's most media-centric models to date. Capturing still shots at 10 megapixels, the A30 is also the newest DivX-capable camera from Pentax and records in the ubiquitous codec at full speed in 640x480. The new Optio improves on its A20 predecessor by raising the ISO limit to 1600 at full size and offering a special ISO 3200 boost at half-resolution. 3x optical zoom and active shake reduction are carried over from the previous model. The A30 is scheduled for March at a price of $350.
The Optio W30 is the firm's latest waterproof model and is especially toughened for prolonged shooting during dives. Its strength underwater has doubled over the earlier W20, Pentax says, submerging to 10 feet for up to two hours versus the five feet and 30 minutes of the earlier version. The seven-megapixel compact also sees a sensitivity increase to ISO 3200. Pentax anticipates releasing the W30 simultaneously with the A30 in March, pricing it at a lower $300.
Fujifilm's offerings were also concentrated on compacts. Leading the pack is the FinePix S700, which may be limited to a seven-megapixel sensor, but has the advantage of 10x optical zoom, an "intelligent" flash system, and an ISO sensitivity range up to 1600. By contrast, the A820 and the A900 are limited to 4x zoom, and a top ISO rating of 800. They do however have 8.3- and nine-megapixel sensors, respectively. All three cameras use combination SD/xD card slots and Fujifilm's Picture Stabilization technology. The S700 will be out in April, while A820 and A900 should be out in May, and will cost $180 and $200. No price has been listed for the S700.