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Pentax announces Optio RS1500 compact digital camera with customizable skins

Pentax updates its customizable compact camera with a new, easier-to-use faceplate design.

Pentax has just announced its new Optio RS1500, an update to last fall's customizable compact camera, the RS1000. Like the RS1000, the RS1500 is a pretty basic budget camera with a fun twist: You can remove a clear faceplate and insert a custom skin to personalize your camera.  The RS1500 comes bundled with 10 skins, but you can also download skins from the Pentax Skins Gallery, or upload and customize your own photos or designs to create your own skin.

While the basic specs of the RS1500 remain unchanged from its predecessor, the body design has been improved, most notably in the faceplate system. Rather than requiring you to remove tiny little screws to remove the faceplate, the new design uses a snap-off lens ring (with both orange and black rings included for further personalization) to hold the clear faceplate in place, so you can change the skin without using any additional tools.  I also like the new body color options -- pearl white or silver -- that give the new model a more stylized look (reminiscent of last year's Optio H90, which I really liked the look of), especially when combined with the orange lens ring.

Basic specs and features of the camera include:

  • 14 megapixels
  • 3-inch, 230,000-dot LCD
  • 4x optical zoom (27.5-110mm, equivalent)
  • 720p HD video recording at 30 fps
  • Face detection
  • Lithium-ion battery

The Optio RS1500 will ship in April for $149.95 (and the RS1000 remains available on the Pentax web store for $99.95).