A fire at the factory supplying the battery for the Pentax A40 digital compact has put back its worldwide launch by three months and led to redesign of the camera body.

Originally expected out in early November the A40 is Pentax?s first 12-million-pixel model and due to feature a Dynamic Range Optimiser mode.

Pentax claimed that the A40 will allow users to produce photographs to rival those captured using a digital SLR.

The A40 was due to be powered by a lithium-ion battery manufactured by Matsushita Battery Industrial Co Ltd.

In a statement Pentax UK said: ?A fire at Matsushita?s manufacturing plant has made procurement of the battery difficult and necessitated use of a different battery. We have had to modify camera body specifications to accommodate the new battery which has resulted in a rescheduling of the product release date.?

The camera is not now due to be launched until February 2008.

Pentax added: ?New product specifications will be made available via our website and other media at the earliest possible date.’

The A40 is expected to boast three types of image stabilisation technology, including CCD-shift, designed to minimise camera shake.

The Optio A40 (pictured) was expected to cost £219.

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