Pentax Optio VS20

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The Optio VS20 has a 20X optical zoom lens with a macro mode, a second shutter-release button, zoom lens lever, and tripod socket to facilitate vertical-position shooting.

The lens covers focal lengths from 28 to 560 mm (equivalent), with macro shooting down to 1 cm from the subject. The camera’s Intelligent Zoom function further extends the zoom range to approximately 144X – approximately 4032 mm equivalent – “without compromising image quality,” says the company.

There are two shutter-release buttons and zoom levers on its grip, covering both horizontal and vertical shooting. The camera automatically adjusts its on-screen display by detecting vertical alignment. The VS20 even offers dual tripod sockets, allowing the user to securely set the camera up on a tripod for both horizontal and vertical shooting.

Image sensor delivers approximately 16.0 effective megapixels.

There are three anti-shake modes. The CCD-shift-type SR (Shake Reduction) mechanism; Digital SR mode, where the camera automatically raises its sensitivity to as high as ISO 6400 for faster shutter speeds; and Movie SR mode which compensates for camera shake and delivers a narrower angle of view.

The VS20 has 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. It selects one of 15 shooting modes (including Blue Sky and Sunset) and optimizes various camera settings (such as sensitivity and shutter speed).

With the addition of three new modes (Handheld Night Snap, Fish-eye and Sketch), the VS20 offers an even greater range of creative options. Visual-effect modes allow you to take pictures while confirming the level of filtering effect on the LCD monitor.

The camera’s Face Recognition AF & AE function offers a new face recall function, which puts priority on a pre-registered face when optimizing focus and exposure settings. As well, Smile Capture mode automatically releases the shutter the moment the camera detects the subject’s smile. The Blink Detection function warns when the subject’s eyes close at the time of shutter release.

The VS20 captures high-definition-TV-quality movie clips (1280 x 720 pixels), with an independent movie recording button on its back panel. There are three new digital filters (Fish-eye, Miniature and Sketch mode).

A 3.0-inch LCD monitor is treated with AG (Anti-Glare) coating which also blocks stains such as fingerprints.

Other features include: Digital level and 48-segment grid display functions; wireless remote-control shooting using an optional remote controller; new Stretch filter to extend a particular portion of an image for an eye-catching visual effect; 13 digital filters, including newly added Sketch mode; choice of three image ratios (4:3, 16:9 and 1:1); D-Range setting to prevent whitewashed (overexposed) and blacked-out (underexposed) areas in an image; Digital Panorama mode to create a single panoramic picture from as many as three images; included image viewing, editing and filing software.

The Optio VS20 will be available in February in a choice of black or white.

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