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Pentax Optio A20

Mark Peters
Photokina report
Tuesday 22nd, August 2006
Posted by: Mark Peters

Pentax launches the new Pentax Optio A20, a compact digital camera featuring 10.0 effective Megapixels and a fine, high-quality image. The Pentax A20 digital compact camera is the latest model in our high-grade Optio A series. In addition to offering 10.0 effective Megapixels, this stylish, compact and lightweight model has many extra features, including three types of anti-shake function such as SR (Shake Reduction), which reduces camera shake. A new ASIC supplies the Pentax Optio A20 with dramatically more image-processing power. Thanks to the ASIC’s high-speed processing capability, the Pentax A20 attains a higher level of tone reproduction and color correction based on enormous amounts of actual photo data.

Pentax Optio A20

Pentax A20 camera - 10 Megapixels
Despite its compact dimensions, the Pentax Optio A20 produces extremely clear, high-quality images thanks to the high resolution afforded by its 10.0 effective Megapixels. This superb level of resolution makes it possible to produce prints with crisp detail even when the photo is enlarged to A3 size. As its image sensor, the Pentax A20 uses a large 1/1.8-inch CCD with a wide light-sensitive area, which realizes superior tone reproduction, fine textures, and greater noise reduction.

Pentax Optio A20 digital camera - Zoom lens and Anti Shake
The Pentax Optio A20 is equipped with a high-quality smc Pentax zoom lens, which is renowned for its clarity and high-contrast image performance. Its lens configuration, with seven elements in five groups, including three aspherical elements, effectively corrects for spherical aberration. The lenses are coated using a Pentax-developed technique, which greatly reduces ghosting and flare. The SR (Shake Reduction) mechanism, developed by Pentax, features two gyro sensors that detect the amount of shake and an image sensor (CCD) that moves both horizontally and vertically to reduce the camera shake. The SR mechanism effectively prevents shake at the instant that the shutter is clicked to take a photograph.

Pentax Optio A20 compact camera - Blur reduction and Movie
In this mode, the camera automatically adjusts the sensitivity to as high as ISO 1600 according to the brightness of the subject. The higher sensitivities permit faster shutter speeds that reduce not only camera shake but also the blurring caused by moving subjects (The image recording size is fixed to 5 M (2592 x 1944 pixels) when Blur Reduction mode is selected). Camera shake while taking a movie can also be corrected automatically by software, thanks to an electronic, movie anti-shake function (Using the movie anti-shake function results in a narrower field of view than during normal recording).

Pentax A20 digital compact camera - Face recognition and Portrait
The Pentax Optio A20 camera includes the new Face Recognition AF & AE function (This camera’s Face Recognition AF & AE function uses the Face Tracker face-recognition technology from FotoNation), which allows you to take bright, beautiful photos of people with perfectly focused faces free of shadows caused by exposing for the background or for the colors of clothing. This useful function automatically detects the position of the subject’s anywhere in the photo frame and then adjusts the focus and optimizes the exposure for the detected position.

Pentax Optio A20 features
• Calendar Display function allows image retrieval based on the capture date
• Easy image search and arrangement on a PC using a Date Folder function
• Green Mode enables the use of fixed, automatic settings when taking a photograph
• Digital zooming provides up to 4X magnification
• Approximately 22MB of built-in memory
• Pan-focus function for effortless snapshots
• ACDSee for Pentax image viewer/image management software
• USB 2.0 (hi-speed) compatible
• Supports PictBridge, DPOF functions, Exif Print, and PRINT Image Matching III

Pentax Optio A20

Pentax Optio A20 - Auto focus and Scene
The Pentax A20’s auto-tracking AF feature continuously focuses on subjects such as kids and pets that move around unpredictably. Since the focus frame automatically follows the movement of the subject inside the photo frame, you can be sure to capture those instantaneous photo opportunities. The Auto Picture mode lets the camera automatically determine the shooting conditions for Landscape, Portrait, Night Scene, and Program modes and choose the optimum settings for each subject. This Pentax original function makes photography a lot easier for users since it eliminates the necessity of making a number of individual settings.

Pentax Optio A20 photo camera - Video and Exposure
The Pentax Optio A20 camera smoothly captures movies at 30 fps (frames per second) at sizes up to 640 x 480 pixels with image quality rivaling camcorders. Since it employs the DivX (MPEG-4 compliant) movie format, the Pentax Optio A20 can record longer, high-quality movies. In Programmed Exposure mode, the camera automatically determines the shutter speed and aperture. The Pentax A20 camera also includes “Shutter-Priority AE” mode and “Manual Exposure” mode, which the user can set freely depending on the effect they are aiming to achieve.

Pentax A20 - SDHC flash memory card
Despite incorporating a large CCD and the SR system, we managed to create a slimmer and lighter body by using our unique Sliding Lens System*6 together with high-density mounting technology. The Pentax Optio A20 supports two removable storage media: the conventional SD memory cards and the new SDHC memory cards. The Pentax Optio A20 comes with FotoNation’s red-eye correction function, which can correct red-eye problems, a side effect of flash photography, after the photo is taken. With the ability to manually select the area to correct, this function allows for more precise correction of red-eye photos.

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