Pentax today announced the launch of its compact Optio 330 digital camera that, it claims, is the smallest and lightest 3Mp (megapixel) model in the world.

At 92x31x59mm (width x depth x height), the Optio is just marginally bigger than Canon's dinky 2.1Mp Digital Ixus camera. Packed into its diminutive stainless steel case is a 3x zoom lens — equivalent to 37mm-117mm in 35mm format — along with the requisite viewfinder and LCD (liquid crystal display) screen for composing and viewing shots.

Five picture taking modes are available, and there are extensive zoom and SLR (single lens reflex) options. The Optio can also record movie clips of up to 30 seconds, using a range of shooting and playback modes.

Snap storage comes courtesy of a 16MB CompactFlash card, and the company claims the Optio is also compatible with higher-capacity cards.

As befits its compact proportions, the Optio tips the scales at a mere 238g with its rechargeable lithium-ion battery and recording media onboard, and is available now priced £499.99.