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March 01, 2009

Something Pentax-ian leaked via Colorfoto?

A wild thread has sprung up in the Pentax dpreview forums discussing this E620 article at Colorfoto.de that has a picture of a Pentax SLR-looking camera with an EVF/LCD button on the back. None of the Pentax dSLRs have an EVF, and Pentax doesn't have any EVF/LCD superzoom compact cameras. So what is it???

More discussions of this in the PentaxForums.com forums.

Some people in both forums are pointing at some striking similarities between this and the back of the Nikon P90 and P80, so it may be a Pentax-branded superzoom. It's been a while since Pentax tried their hand in the superzoom market, their last compacts with a zoom ratio of 10X were the Optio MX series hybrid camera/camcorder blimps.

Meanwhile, a poster at PentaxForums.com mentioned on January 27 that they were told by local rep there is a superzoom coming at PMA, but not a DSLR.

Pentax_with_EVF_LCD_backview


Speculation based on the above
While it's certainly fun to entertain the "exotic" possibilities, such as Micro Four Thirds or mini-K or Samsung Hybrid, the most likely configuration seems to be that of a 1/2.3" superzoom with an 18X to 26X zoom ratio.

If you take a look at the currently available superzooms in that range, it is visibly obvious that some of them share some common ancestry. So the big question would be, "what's inside?"

Some of the current models offer RAW, some don't. Some use typical CCD sensors, others use a high-speed sensor (eg Casio EX-FH20), and Canon uses its own CMOS sensor (SX1 IS).

Let's also not forget that for years, certain Casio and Pentax point-and-shoot models were the same camera with a different name, so that's another possibility to speculate about.

So the mostly likely scenario is a camera in the above "trading range". But we would certainly love to be pleasantly surprised with something different or unique!


Update #1: Tuesday March 2nd
The PentaxForums.com users has discovered that this is the Pentax Optio X70, as expected, a 12mp 1/2.3", 24X superzoom compact digital camera. There is no mention of RAW in the posted specs.


Update #2: Tuesday March 2nd: New Samsung NX-series
We do not know if these are related since there is a level of co-operation between Samsung and Pentax in interchangeable-lens cameras, but Samsung has just issued a development notice for a new NX-series of cameras using APS-C sensors and EVF with live-view while doing away with the mirror-box!


Update #3: Camera shows up at B&H Photo
Engadget and others have noticed that the camera has shown up at the B&H Photo website. So it looks like the mystery is 90% solved!


Update #4: Front of the camera revealed!
You can see a picture of the front of the camera at the Photo.net forums! Bonus points to Pentax for adding the red "SR" button.

The camera is now officially listed, we will have a proper recap once we catch up with the latest PMA happenings, here is the official announcement recap.


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