One of the signs that the market for technology products has matures is when major manufacturers start differentiating their offerings based on cosmetic features like color, rather than on features and specifications. The point-and-shoot digital camera market reached that point long ago, and Pentax is hammering that idea home with its new Optio RS1500 compact digital cameras. Available in silver and white bodies, the RS1500s sport boring features like a 3-inch display and a 14 megapixel resolution—but what Pentax really wants people to know about is that the cameras ship with 10 interchangeable skins and lens rings so users can match the camera’s looks to match an occasion—and if the default skins don’t do the job, Pentax’s Adobe Air-based Personal Skin Designer will spit out PDFs that customers can use to make their own skins.
“The design possibilities for the Optio RS1500 are infinite,” Pentax says in a release. “Owners may skin this newest Optio to match an event, a sports team, a milestone, a corporate identity, and more.”
As a camera, the RS1500 is a more-or-less standard compact shooter by today’s standards: 14 megapixel resolution, 4× optical zoom, a 3-inch LCD display, and the capability to shoot 720p high-definition video. The RS1500 sports face detection, digital image stabilization, and several automatic shooting modes designed to make taking great pictures push-button simple—because, if you’re that worried about how your camera looks, push-button simplicity is a key feature. The RS1500 doesn’t have an HDMI output (folks will have to make due with AV video out or sideloading to a PC via USB), and the cameras support SD and SDHC media in addition to 21 MB of internal memory.
Pentax says the Optio RS1500 should be available in April for a suggested retail price of $149.95.
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