Pentax P70, E70 Point-And-Shoot Cameras Aim High, Sell Low

Pentax has got two new Optio pocket cameras for us, each with a clear purpose in mind. The name of the game for the P70? Slim lines and HD video. The E70? Dollars and cents.

The P70 looks remarkably petite, though Pentax's press materials don't specify just how thin the body is. As for specs, the still imaging features aren't terribly surprising: a 12MP CCD sits behind a 4X zoom, 28mm wide-angle lens. Pentax claims that the camera's autofocus will track 32 faces almost instantly, which is useful if you often take pictures of, uhh, 32 faces.

The P70's trump card is its video recording capability. The camera can pull down 720p video at a respectable 15fps, making it a reasonable replacement for many of the pocket video cameras that sit around the same price, as long as the cut in framerate doesn't bother you too much. About that price—the P70 should sell for $200.

So what of the E70? It's pretty boring, to be frank. The features are as standard as they come, for the most part mirroring, with a bit of subtraction, the E70. Where there were 12MP, there are now 10, and where there was 4x zoom, there's a 3x. The HD video recording is gone, as is the rechargable battery, and the body is a bit thicker, though still admirably slim. The E70 is an unspectacular camera, a very cheap one. The price at launch will be a scant $140, and it is due for release in February, with the P70. [Pentax via Akihabara]