Pentax has announced the Pentax Optio60, a camera that aims to "lower the learning curve" with a "Simple" mode that figures out image capture settings. The camera has a 6 megapixel resolution, 3x optical zoom, 2 inch LCD and will be available next month for $200. Golden, Colorado (July 21, 2005)...High resolution digital photography is simpler than ever with the new PENTAX Optio60 digital camera. An excellent choice for digital newcomers, the PENTAX Optio60 offers 6.0 megapixel resolution and a 3X zoom lens in a compact, lightweight, and stylish design. An easy-to-understand "Simple mode" deserves the credit for lowering the learning curve of the PENTAX Optio60. Set in this mode, users are free to concentrate on photography subjects while the Optio60 automatically selects optimal focus and exposure settings for scenes at hand. Even more, the PENTAX Optio60 incorporates Manual exposure settings plus Aperture and Shutter priority modes to allow room for users to grow their photography skills. Composition with the latest PENTAX digital camera is just as simple. The Optio60 features a large 2.0 inch LCD monitor plus an optical and actual-image zoom viewfinder with automatic diopter adjustment to enhance viewing for users who may lack perfect eyesight. Finally, the Optio60 makes a perfect travel companion. The camera is compatible with AA batteries and may be set in a Webcam mode to create broadcast live video links to distant family and friends. PENTAX will ship the Optio60 digital camera next month and the price will be $200 US. PENTAX Imaging Company is an innovative leader in the production of digital and film cameras, scopes, eyepieces, binoculars, lenses, mobile printers, scanners and internet cameras. For more than 80 years, PENTAX technology has developed durable, reliable products that meet the needs of consumers and businesses. With headquarters in Golden, Colorado, PENTAX Imaging Company is a division of PENTAX of America, Inc. PENTAX Optio60 Digital Camera Features <U>Compact, Lightweight Design</U>Despite its powerful 3X optical zoom lens and 6.0 effective megapixel performance, the Optio60 boasts compact dimensions of just 3.6 x 2.4 x 1.1 inches, a weight of 4.6 ounces without battery and SD memory card, and an attractive, lustrous finish exterior. <U>Unique PENTAX Mode Dial</U>The broad range of Optio60 shooting modes are accessible on the easy-to-understand icons on the Mode dial located on the camera's upper panel. Mode choices include: Simple, Program, Picture mode (Night Scene, Landscape, Portrait and Sport modes). The Mode dial also offers greater control with settings such as Aperture-priority AE (Av), Shutter-priority AE (Tv) and Metered manual (M), as well as access to the Movie mode, which records movies with sound to the full capacity of the memory card. The innovative Simple mode automatically selects the best settings for the scene at hand. From the handy Utility mode, the Optio60 may be set in a Webcam mode to create broadcast live video links to distant family and friends <U>Sharper Images With Stunning Color</U>Two high-quality aspherical lenses optimize the 6.0 effective megapixel performance and powerful 3X optical zoom lens of the Optio60. <U>3X Optical Zoom, 4X Digital Zoom</U>Composed of six groups of seven elements, two of which are aspherical, the Optio60 offers 3X optical zoom performance equivalent to a 36--108mm lens in 35mm format. Combined with 4X digital zoom performance, the 3X optical zoom delivers 12X zoom capability. <U>Optical Viewfinder With Diopter Adjustment</U>With an optical viewfinder offering actual image zoom, the Optio60 makes composition easy and allows users to operate the camera without the LCD monitor on to help preserve battery life during composition. The camera also features diopter adjustment to assist in providing a clearer view. <U>AA Battery Compatibility</U>The Optio60 is compatible with widely available AA batteries (two alkaline or nickel hydride batteries). As a result, the Optio60 makes it easy to replenish power practically anywhere in the world. <U>Generous LCD Monitor</U> The generous 2.0 inch LCD offers features 130,000 pixels for a better view during image playback, selection and editing. <U>Control Sensitivity</U>A selection of Standard Output Sensitivity comprising 64, 100 and 200, as well as an auto setting, make it easy to adjust the Optio60 for shooting in different lighting intensities. <U>PictBridge Compatibility</U> The Optio60 supports PictBridge, the highly convenient direct-print standard released by the CIPA (Camera and Imaging Products Association), which may eliminate the need for a computer during printing. Simply connect the Optio60 directly to a compatible printer via USB cable and enjoy the simplicity of producing photographs directly. <U>Additional Features:</U> SD memory card compatibility plus 12MB built-in memory Selectable date/time stamp option for printing USB mass storage class compatibility; audio/video cable connects the Optio60 to a TV Standard image viewer, ACDSee for PENTAX software Built-in auto flash with red-eye reduction mode* Actual image optical viewfinder Macro mode allows the user to shoot as close as 5cm from the subject at wide-angle setting DPOF, Exif Print and PRINT Image Matching III compatibility*This mode may not eliminate "red eyes" in all instances.