Pentax Corp. announced the Optio 330, which it says is the world’s smallest and lightest 3 megapixel, 3X optical zoom digital camera.
It’s 3.6 inches wide, 2.3 inches high, and 1.2 inches thick, and weighs 8.5 ounces, including battery and recording media. The compact design was made possible by incorporating an ultra-compact zoom lens and integrating the CPU, ASIC and memory chip into an MCM (Multi Chip Module), according to Pentax. The circuit boards were also made more compact with the assistance of a super-high density mounting technology, the company said.
The Optio 330, which offers USB connectivity and uses SmartCards for storage, has a selection of five shooting modes including Standard, Night Scene, Metered Manual (exposure up to 15 seconds), Movie and multiple-exposure for a variety of situations and a range of options for exposure, focusing and flash. It sports a 3.34 megapixel and primary color filter CCD.
The 3X zoom lens is equivalent to 37-111mm in 35mm format. The Optio 330 also offers a 2X digital zoom for a total combined zooming capacity of 6X. You can view recorded images with the 1.6-inch LCD monitor. To search for an image, use the nine-image display screen and with a 4X magnification, images can be enlarged to check for accurate focus and small details, according to Pentax.
Seven-point autofocus and spot AF are both available. The seven-point autofocus purportedly covers a wide area of the frame and allows the subject to come into clear focus. Spot AF can be centered in the frame or the user can select the focus point anywhere within the image area on the LCD monitor.
There’s a choice of six-segment metering, center-weighted metering, and spot metering. Exposure compensation is available with a range of +/-2EV in 1/3EV steps. Exposure levels can be viewed in histogram format during shooting and playback. This allows levels to be checked with more accuracy than when using the LCD monitor alone.
The Optio 330 can record movies of up to 30 seconds at 15 frames/sec. (recording pixels at 320 x 240). Movies are recorded in AVI format (yep, we, too, wish it were QuickTime).
The Optio 330 offers six white balance modes, including Auto, Daylight, Shade, Tungsten Light, Fluorescent Light and Manual. Selection of the manual option allows balanced color to be maintained as you please, free from the influence of artificial light, the folks at Pentax said.
A combination of camera settings can be saved with the mode memory function. It lets you select the settings that you want and return to them automatically when the power is switched off and on again.
The Optio 330 is compatible with CompactFlash Type I memory cards and comes standard with a 16MB card. It’s powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery, which comes standard with the camera along with a charger. The camera can also use an optional AC adapter.
The camera requires Mac OS 8.6 or higher (installation of the included driver software is required), but there are no announced plans for Mac OS X drivers.