If money's tight, but you don't want to miss out on spring photo opportunities, Pentax is offering up some instant savings on three of its compact cameras and its entry-level digital SLR.
Starting Friday through April 11, the company is knocking $20 off the prices of its basic compact, the Optio E70, and its lightweight ultracompact Optio P70, as well as the waterproof Optio W60. Or if you want more than a point-and-shoot, the K2000 dSLR kit with DA L 18-55mm lens and AF200FG flash has a $50 instant rebate, bringing the price down below $550.
I recently reviewed both the E70 and P70, which are $119.95 and $179.95 after rebate, respectively. They are solid cameras, though certainly not perfect. The E70 is definitely geared toward beginners or anyone wanting a very simple but still attractive compact camera. The P70 has a lot more features than the E70, including a 28mm wide-angle lens with a 4x zoom, and is a fun camera to slip in a handbag or back pocket before heading out.
However, neither are particularly fast performers. And if you need really sharp photos in low-light conditions, well, you probably shouldn't be shopping for a compact camera at these prices. Photo quality for both of these under bright light/outdoors (up to ISO 200 or ISO 400) is very good for the price, however.