Pentax has unveiled an unconventional point-and-shoot model today called the Pentax Optio VS20. Rocking a 20x optical zoom, the Optio VS20 is lightweight and still fits in a pocket, which I confirmed during me Pentax meeting at CES. Unfortunately, they caught me while I was trying to walk out the door with it still in my pocket. I kid, I kid!

The other odd, yet awesome thing about the Pentax Optio VS20 is its secondary shutter button/zoom toggle configuration location along the side of the camera. This allows the shooter to capture portrait shots without having to strain a finger over to reach the conventional shutter button. The Optio VS20 has a 16-megapixel 1/2.3-inch CCD sensor, 3-inch HVGA LCD and a new Face Recall function that prioritizes a pre-registered face when optimizing focus and exposure settings. Check out the specifications below.

  • 20X optical zoom lens (equivalent to 28-560mm) can capture a very wide array of subjects.
  • High resolution 16 megapixel sensor features sensor-shift PENTAX Shake Reduction image stabilization.
  • Dual shutter release and zoom buttons help to steady the camera and prevent awkward handling for sharp images and shooting convenience.
  • Slim design is based upon a traditional compact digital camera footprint.
  • 3-inch LCD with HVGA resolution (460,000 dots).
  • Features automatic shooting modes such as Auto Picture, flexible scene modes, and creative special effects filters.
  • Other new scene modes including Fish-eye, Sketch modes and a Stretch filter for more creative options.
  • Advanced 3-point autofocus with 1 cm super macro.
  • Widescreen HD video in 720p at 30 FPS.
  • Triple Shake Reduction (SR) via sensor shift technology, high ISO adjustment and video cropping.
  • Digital Panorama mode to create a single panoramic picture from as many as three images.
  • Choice of three image aspect ratios (4:3, 16:9 and 1:1) to accommodate different applications.
  • Digital level and 48 segment grid display functions for easy confirmation of horizontal and vertical alignment.
  • Available in February in black and white for $249.95.