Pentax Optio RZ18 superzoom crams in 16 megapixels, 18x zoom

optio rz18This afternoon, Pentax announced its new compact superzoom camera, the RZ18. The latest addition to Pentax’s RZ zoom lineup fittingly features an impressive 18x (25-450mm equivalent) lens and packs a 16-megapixel image stabilization CCD sensor.

The RZ18 has a sleek, minimalist build that shows off its zoom lens even more. The camera also boasts a 3-inch, 460k dot LCD display and nine-point autofocusing. Other notable specs include:

  • Preset shooting modes include Auto Picture
  • Built-in filters
  • Face detection (as well as a pet recognition feature)
  • Widescreen HD video in 720p; 30fps

colorsFrom this first look, the RZ18 sounds like it’s on par with similarly priced compacts, but the Nikon S1900 specifically comes to mind. An 18x optical zoom isn’t a common feature in cameras of this size and genre, and we’ll have to wait and see if the RZ18’s image quality can compete in this class. The compact DSLR and high-end point-and-shoot classes are becoming more and more popular as consumers become more tech savvy. Features like an in-camera UI, shutter lag, and low-light performance make or break these devices. We’ll have to wait and see when the Optio RZ18 hits shelves this fall, in black, pearl white, and metallic orange.