updated 07:05 pm EST, Mon January 25, 2010
New Pentax cams pay tribute to classic models
Pentax got ahead of rumors today by launching three expected Optios, two of which tout unusual designs. The I10 harks back to the look of vintage film SLRs and even includes a hint of SLR-level features. While still a compact camera with fixed-in-place 5X, 28-140mm equivalent lens, it supports remote control for indirect shooting. The 12-megapixel compact lacks an optical viewfinder but partly makes up for this with sensor-based image stabilization, 720p video capture and a new face detection system that can not only track 32 faces but recognize pets as well.
The H90 meanwhile recalls older rangefinders but is pitched as a "contemporary" design with nearly flat surfaces and a two-tone body. It shares the same sensor resolution, lens traits and 720p video as the I10 but uses a new pixel tracking engine to compensate for shake on top of ISO-based checks.
At the very starting point of the line will be the E90; it boasts a rubberized, more ergonomic grip but is otherwise simple with a 10-megapixel sensor, a 3X 32-96mm lens, ISO 6,400 sensitivity and ISO-only shake reduction. The compact takes AA batteries for power.
All three will ship in February. Pentax delivers the I10 in black or white colors for $300, while the H90 will cost $180 in orange/silver, silver/black and all-white trims. The E90 is due in black or red color schemes for $100.