The latest round of digital camera gear from Pentax includes a 12-million-pixel compact claimed to prevent ?black-outs? by correcting image tones. Pentax UK has also confirmed the launch of a new 18-250mm lens for digital SLRs.

The Optio A40 – Pentax?s first 12MP camera – features a mode claimed to allow users to produce photographs to rival those captured using a digital SLR.

?The Optio A40 is equipped with Dynamic Range Adjustment to prevent white-outs and black-outs by correcting the tones of highlighted areas of a subject,? explained a Pentax spokesman.

?This function is particularly useful when photographing people against the sun and it is possible to accurately capture subjects while keeping the tones of the background,? claims the company.

Also on board are three types of image stabilisation technology, including CCD-shift, designed to minimise camera shake. The Optio A40 (pictured) is expected to cost £219.

Pentax has also unwrapped a new 8MP compact sporting a 3in LCD screen called the Optio V10.

Carrying a £149 pricetag, features include a 3x optical zoom and 16 shooting modes.

Both cameras are due in UK shops in November.

Meanwhile, exclusively designed for use on its digital SLR cameras is the Pentax DA 18-250mm f/3-6.3 ED AL (IF) which boasts two aspherical lenses and a minimum focusing distance of 0.45m.

Pentax says that the newcomer delivers the 35mm viewing angle equivalent of a 27.5-383mm zoom.

A UK price and availability date had yet to be confirmed at the time of writing.

For details call 01753 792792.