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PENTAX Optio VS20 - World's First Point & Shoot Camera With Vertical Shutter Button

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The newly minted PENTAX RICOH Imaging added a new compact digital camera to its popular Optio collection, though with a very interesting feature. Quipped with a 16 megapixels image sensor, a 20x optical zoom lens, and a 3-inch LCD display, the new Optio VS20 is capable of capturing images at wide angle (28mm) to a speck in the distance (560mm). But what sets the Optio VS20 apart from the rest is its second vertical shutter-release button. A feature usually found on DSLR cameras, the Optio VS20 will certainly be the first among the crowded field of Point-&-Shoot. The addition will also help photographers with steady shots when involving vertically extended images. Available in black or white, the PENTAX Optio VS20 is set for launch in February 2012.

  • 16 Megapixels CCD Image Sensor

  • 28-560mm 20x Optical Zoom Lens

  • 3-Inch LCD Display

  • Second Shutter Release Button for Vertical Shots

Release Date: February 2012

Optio VS20: the Versatile Compact Camera

PENTAX RICOH IMAGING COMPANY, LTD. is pleased to announce the launch of the new PENTAX Optio VS20 digital compact camera. The latest addition to PENTAX's portfolio of compact cameras incorporates a full array of advanced functions and user-friendly features including16 megapixels, a high-power 20x optical zoom lens, and an extra-large, easy-to-view 3-inch colour LCD display.

A highlight of this neat and compact camera is the extra powerful 20x zoom lens which features broad focal-length coverage from wide angle to super-telephoto and a macro mode. In addition, the camera benefits from an extra shutter-release button and zoom lever to provide a firm, comfortable grip during vertical-position shooting. The camera also comes with a new Handheld Night Snap mode which allows users to capture stunning images with minimal blur and noise even in dim light.

The Optio VS20 will be available in black and white from end of February 2012.
Major Features

1. 20x optical zoom lens with 28mm wide-angle coverage

The Optio VS20 features a high-performance, extra-powerful 20x optical zoom lens covering focal lengths from 28mm wide angle to 560mm super-telephoto (in the 35mm format). Thanks to its extra-wide zoom range, the Optio VS20 allows users to photograph a wide range of subjects and scenes — from landscapes to sports events. It also offers the following advanced features: high-quality macro shooting from a centimetre away from the subject; an Intelligent Zoom function to further extend the zoom range to approximately 144 times to cover the focal length of a super-telephoto lens of approximately 4032mm (in the 35mm format) and without compromising image quality.

2. Effortless, comfortable vertical-position shooting

The Optio VS20 features an extra shutter-release button and a second zoom lever, at its grip, to ensure a natural posture and comfortable hold of the camera during vertical-position shooting. The camera automatically adjusts its on-screen display by using its orientation sensor to detect vertical alignment, so the user can effortlessly capture images of vertically extended subjects, such as high-rise buildings. The Optio VS20 even offers a vertical-position tripod socket, allowing the photographer to securely set the camera up with a lighter, more portable tripod.

3. Exceptional image quality

Thanks to the combination of 16 megapixels, a state-of-the-art image engine, a high-performance smc PENTAX zoom lens and the sophisticated CCD-shift-type SR (Shake Reduction) mechanism, the Optio VS20 delivers well-defined, high-quality images with extra-fine resolution. Even when images are enlarged, the user is assured of sharp, high-resolution prints with edge-to-edge clarity.

4. Triple anti-shake protection for sharp, blur-free images

(1) CCD-shift-type SR mechanism

The advanced CCD-shift-type SR (Shake Reduction) mechanism produces sharp, blur-free images even in difficult shooting conditions, such as using a telephoto lens, or when shooting a sunset or indoor scene with low light levels.

(2) Digital SR mode*

During still-image shooting, the Optio VS20 automatically detects the brightness of the environment and raises its sensitivity to as high as ISO 6400 to compensate. This user-friendly feature allows the photographer to capture photos at faster shutter speeds to minimise the risk of camera shake and subject shake.

(3) Movie SR mode**

During movie recording, this digital shake-reduction mode effectively compensates for camera shake to produce beautiful, blur-free movie clips.

5. Automatic selection of the most appropriate shooting mode

The Optio VS20 features the PENTAX-developed Auto Picture mode, which automatically selects the most appropriate shooting mode for a given subject or scene by accurately assessing various photographic conditions over the entire image field. This user-friendly mode instantly selects one of 15 shooting modes including Blue Sky and Sunset and optimises various camera settings (such as sensitivity and shutter speed), so users can be assured of the best results with minimal effort.

6. New scene modes

Three new scene modes: The Optio VS20 offers Handheld Night Snap, Fish-eye and Sketch. Visual-effect modes, such as Fish-eye, allow the photographer to take pictures while deciding the level of filtering effect on the LCD monitor, making it easy to be more creative with your images.

7. Upgraded auto face recognition function with a new face recall function

The Optio VS20 offers a new face recall function, which puts priority on a pre-registered face when optimising focus and exposure settings. This function comes in handy when taking group shots, since the main subject's face is always captured sharply and brilliantly. The Optio VS20 also provides the Smile Capture mode that automatically releases the shutter the moment the camera detects the subject's smile, and Blink Detection that warns the photographer when the subject's eyes close at the time of shutter release.

8. High-quality HDTV-standard movie recording with pushbutton start

The Optio VS20 captures beautiful, high-definition-TV-quality movie clips (1280 x 720 pixels).*** Since the camera provides an independent movie recording button on its back panel, the user can instantly start recording movie clips from any shooting mode. It also features three new digital filters (Fish-eye, Miniature and Sketch mode) to allow the user to experiment with more diversified visual expressions.

9. Large 3-inch LCD monitor

The Optio VS20 features a high-resolution 3.0-inch colour LCD monitor with approximately 460,000 dots. This extra-large monitor provides a clear view of images and menus, so the user can quickly and efficiently check captured images and menu settings. In addition, the monitor is treated with an AG (Anti-Glare) coating to constantly keep the screen clear and spotless by minimising reflections, stains and fingerprints.

10. Additional features

Digital level and 48-segment grid display functions for easy confirmation of horizontal and vertical alignment
Wireless remote-control shooting option using a PENTAX remote control
Newly added Stretch filter to extend a particular portion of an image for an eye-catching visual effect
Neck strap included
13 digital filters, including newly added Sketch mode, to add creative visual effects
Choice of three ratios (4:3, 16:9 and 1:1) to accommodate different applications
D-Range setting to prevent loss of highlight or shadow detail in an image
Digital Panorama mode to allow users to create a single panoramic picture from three images
Image viewing, editing and filing software included: MediaImpression 3.1 for PENTAX (Windows version compatible with Windows 7) and MediaImpression 2.1 for PENTAX (Macintosh version compatible with Mac OS X 10.7)

* When the Digital SR mode is selected, the recorded size is fixed at five megapixels (2592 x 1944 pixels).

** When the Movie SR mode is selected, the angle of view becomes narrower than normal shooting mode.

*** When the Optio VS20's AV output terminal is used, movie clips are output as normal image-size data. If the user wishes to play back movie clips at high-definition TV proportions (1280 x 720 pixels), the data must be transferred to a personal computer for playback.