Waterproof Digital Cameras - Esp. the Pentax Optio WP

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Waterproof Digital Cameras - Esp. the Pentax Optio WP

Post by Daffers »


Read the artical in this months Digital Camera Buyer (Issue 33) on the Pentax Optio WP - they have reated it 4/5 over all and it looks like a real neat camera - in both respects of both funtion and size.

With this one they say you can hold it under 1.5 m of water for upto 30mins, (though I would be dead after a few mins if that would to happen!!), but makes you feel preety confident in using it in watery conditions.

I am interested in getting a water proof camera and this ones RRP is £219-£229, so not out of this world expensive really! A quick look on ebay sees that they are selling cheaper by about £40-£50 - but mainly from a Hong Kong importor, so would be pretty cousion on buying from them TBH, but I'm ramberling now....

Does anyone have one of these? If so, what do you think of them?? Also, does it have a video filming function? If so, with sound?? Whats the battary life like? Are extra battarys expensive??

Any comments gladly recived...

Thanks, Dafs
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Post by Phil.Dunn »

"search your forums daffers"

what? oh, sorry watching star wars and typing at same time, there was a quite long thread bout this topic a little while ago

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Re: Waterproof Digital Cameras - Esp. the Pentax Optio WP

Post by waverley610 »

Daffers wrote:Hey,

Does anyone have one of these? If so, what do you think of them?? Also, does it have a video filming function? If so, with sound?? Whats the battary life like? Are extra battarys expensive??
Thanks, Dafs
Bought one from Jessups last week (came without memory card)
and as yet untested. The battery is pentax specific seems to run down quick,
theres no viewfinder just a led BIG screen! takes 100mins to recharge.
Does have video & stills with sound + tons of other functions. Big manual to read up on but well written. Really tiny camera, (3 x matchbox) can't wait to try it out. btw got a really nice neoprene custom case from http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll? ... r4_PcY_BIN
for a tenner.



Post by JOHNF »

Used mine round Jura batttery lasts for 100 pics which I find ok
Zoom quality not so good.
Easy to use.
Camera was in deck bag all the time and appears ok.

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Post by Mark R »

There is also a review in 'Paddles' magazine this month, I think.
Mark Rainsley


Post by PhilQ »

There'll also be a review of this camera in Canoe & Kayak next month....

I thought it a pretty good camera: picture quality very good for the price, excellent 5megapixel output, worked underwater for me, good size lcd screen, surprisingly effective auto tracking focus system, despite previous comments on this thread I thought the optical zoom fine (clearly you loose quality if you use the digital zoom), small, compact, robust

Downsides: red's a bit bright, screen useless in bright sunlight (like most), no viewfinder or aperture/speed priority.... but now I'm getting fussy, this is a £200 camera not a leica


optio WP

Post by RichP »

the Paddles review is something like this...

The Optio WP (water proof), a 5mp compact digital camera is the latest addition to the Pentax Optio range, having tested its predecessor the WR (water resistant) last year we were keen to get hold of one…

As paddlers we are constantly on the look out for bits of kit that will improve our lives on the water, message boards and chat forums are flooded (if you see what I mean), with people like you and me looking for advice and information on the best gear, courses and destinations available. Regular topics found on the UK’s most popular message boards (including www.ukriversguidebook.co.uk and www.thamesweirproject.co.uk) are ones concerning waterproof or water resistant cameras, you can of course find / buy waterproof housings (see www.camerasunderwater.co.uk) for the camera you already own, but for larger cameras these can be as expensive if not more expensive than the camera you want to protect. Cameras can (of course) be stored in Peli cases inside the kayak, but that means stopping, popping your deck and may even mean a trip to the river bank and all while your mates wait (patiently?) for you… what most paddlers want is a hi resolution, sensibly priced, ‘compact’ waterproof digital camera that slots safely and easily into a buoyancy aid pocket, a camera that can be ‘whipped’ out at the drop of a hat (or paddle) and used without fear of ermm ‘buggering’ it up! Is this it?

The Optio WP is indeed a hi resolution (5.25mp), sensibly priced (RRP £229), ‘compact’ (102mm x 51mm x 22mm) waterproof (Pentax claim that the WP can be submerged underwater for up to [or down to I guess?] 1.5 metres / five feet so strictly for ‘on and just under the surface work’ – so don’t be getting all Jacques Cousteau ya’ hear!) digital camera that slots safely and easily into a buoyancy aid pocket (see!) that can be whipped out without fear of water, sand, mud, muck and rat’s pee buggering it up! Hurrah! But is it any good…

The Gripes…
Well there’s no optical viewfinder (the little hole you look through to frame your picture!), which takes a little getting used to, it however does have a 85,000 pixel, two-inch monitor / screen, which you use for taking the photographs and reviewing them. In direct, bright sunlight, this screen can be a little difficult to see. In cold British conditions the WP’s size may make it difficult to hold and operate, the on/off button is so close to the shutter release button that it’s easy to turn the camera off by accident (especially when holding the camera taking a ‘portrait’ style shot, the zoom is difficult to use with the camera this way round too. Like a number of other compact digitals there is no Aperture or Shutter priority mode, which will certainly stifle your creativity. Oh and it doesn’t float – so hold on to that wrist strap – tight!

The Up side…
It’s a 5mp waterproof camera that offers 15 easily accessible pre set modes coupled with brief descriptions, these modes include surf, people and macro modes, indeed the macro mode is good to one cm from the subject, which is excellent. The Optio WP benefits from a rapid start up and a movie mode (at a resolution of 320 x 240 or 160 x 120 pixels at 30 or 15 frames per second) that lets you use the camera’s zoom (equivalent to 38-114mm in a standard 35mm camera) for those once in a lifetime waterfalls or swims!

Other modes include adding voice memos to pictures, recording ten seconds of audio before and after shooting a picture. The WP also features a recovery function for those accidentally deleted masterpieces and a post shot red-eye removal mode.

A continuous shooting rate of three frames per second is achievable but only till the ‘buffer’ or the memory card (SD memory cards in this case) is full. The picture quality is impressive and the exposure accurate, producing well balanced shots with natural colours in a variety of situations.

The Verdict…
Despite the ‘gripes’ of which there are a couple, most notably the lack of viewfinder, shutter and priority modes (what my photography tutor would say – I really don’t know!), the Optio WP has plenty to offer and ticks many of the right boxes; this is a waterproof (not resistant mind) 5mp digital camera of which there are a limited number. The Optio WP offers smooth optical zoom and video capability, and though the picture quality may not be ‘as good’ as some of the ‘standard’ 5mp cameras on the market today, it certainly compares favourably against the other water resistant / waterproof / splash proof cameras that are available and blows the ‘throw away / one use’ waterproof cameras out of the ermm (dare I say?) water!

RRP £229.00
Key Features:
Exposure Controls: Auto, Program and Scene modes
Lens: Pentax 38m to 114mm equivalent
Monitor: 2.0inch colour LCD
Video recording: 320 x 240 pixels at 30fps with sound
Batteries: Rechargeable Li-ion
Other Features: PictBridge, Waterproof and Movie editing

Airmiles NLI

Quick thoughts

Post by Airmiles NLI »

I'm hoping to put up a review and some sample pictures this w/e, but in summary:

You want one. It's perfect for stuffing in your BA (though you'll need to sort out a case arrangement to stop the lens getting scratched). It's never going to be your "main" camera, at the end of the day it's a weeny lens, but it's marginally better than the (film) Olympus mju I've happily lugged around the world for years. It's not very point & press - it requires more manual setting than you might expect to get the best from it.

Best deal I found was £187 from pixmania.com - this for one with a French manual - but you get a CD with pdfs in other languages. Memory cards are extra.

Small - less than fag-packet sized
Good colour saturation
Grain acceptable in most situations
Flash reasonably sophisticated
Focus logic good (esp in Sport mode)

AutoWhite Balance is too "hot" for UK light - I always end up setting it to shadow, BUT you can set it to "remember" your last settings so this is not a showstopper.
Handles high-contrast situations tolerably well but requires a fair bit of exposure fiddling to do so
Shutter reaction time (as with many digitals) too slow for action shots
No viewfinder = less steady to hold.
Exposed lens - bound to get scratched eventually, certainly attracts fingerprints!


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Post by JohnO »

Its a great camera

I took one to the Alps with a 1Gb memory card that gave me 300 top quality pics or 24mins of good quality video

You can see the Pics on our web site, but they are greatly compressed

http://llangollencanoeclub.org.uk/modul ... php?cid=29

I also fixed it in my bouancy aid and videoed some of the rivers. There is a few minutes the Lower Guisane on the web site.


The videos are currently being hosted by UKRGB member J5HER - many thanks.

I wanted to test just how waterproof it is and so decided to take a swim on the Ubaye Racecourse - the out come was the camera faired better than I did. I took on board lots of water the camera stayed dry and water tight. It also had a swim down Chataux Queryas, but not by me, thanks Vic!

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Post by guy »

don't forget when you checkout at pixmania you can put in a discount code

a google should turn up one or two :-)

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Post by ol »

JohnO wrote: I also fixed it in my bouancy aid and videoed some of the rivers. There is a few minutes the Lower Guisane on the web site.
Nice work! I did the same on a tripod on Lower Guisane but found it got submerged a little often. I did a BA Cam down Chateau Queyras and it worked really well, you can even hear me swear at the end. Its about 1.20 mins long, how could i go about putting it on t'internet?

My camera is the Optio 33WR model, the one before i assume. I treat it (as you can see) as if it is waterproof and have never had any problems yet. It is also a lot cheaper than the WP model, has a viewfinder, and takes normal NIMH AAA batteries, which must work out cheaper if you are going away out of reach of a battery charger with the camera-specific batteries.

A friend has the WP model and it has the ability to encase two of your friends in a love heart on the screen, We are just friends honest!

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Post by mr appy »

hi i got 1 excelent small compact good pictures works well under water takes good pictures in the pool under water not so good in the lake under water bit cloudy new battery from http://www.digitalmediastore.co.uk/ this is the battery Fujifilm NP-40 / Pentax D-L18 compatible battery by DMS (FNP40).. £11.99 + p&p arrived next day
hope this helps daffers
ps also does small video depends on memory card

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