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Pentax W80

pentaxw80I am one of those accident prone people who always manages to wash cell phones with clothes, drop cameras in pools and even let a phone slip right from my hand into a glass of beer. When it comes to water and electronics, it’s a deadly mixture I have a really bad record with avoiding. This is exactly why when it came time for me to purchase a new camera, I decided I absolutely should invest in a waterproof digital camera that would help me avoid losing yet another expensive piece of electronic equipment to water damage of some sort.

Pentax was actually the very first digital camera manufacturer to release a waterproof version of a point n shoot back in 2005. In fact, my dad was also the first to purchase one of these 5-megapixel cameras (apparently the tendency to water damage electronics is hereditary). Since then, Pentax has come out with newer (and improved versions of this camera, including the Pentax Optio W80. While the original Pentax waterproof version had a few problems and there was a lot to be desired with its functionality and usability, the new and improved W80 version has few of the same problems. The new Pentax waterproof digital camera is droppable (shockproof), dunkable (waterproof), and even freezable (perfect for those cold days up on the mountain).

The new Pentax W80 can also shoot HD video, has a 5x optical zoon and is easy to use. The 28mm wide end of the zoom is even a real wide-angle – not something you get with many other underwater digital cameras. The W80 also has Face Detection, Auto Picture mode, Auto Macro, AF Assist, and D-Range. To help keep photos sharp, Pentax has the Pixel Track SR mode, which is a different image stabilization strategy than digital image stabilization modes, which increase camera sensitivity for faster shutter speeds that can freeze action. Instead, Pixel Track SR uses a dedicated processor to analyze images at the pixel level and correct for camera shake. In other words, you can drop this camera in your glass of beer AND have a camera that’ll take nice photos. All in the same package.

The quick & dirty:
Where you can get one:Pentax Optio W80 Waterproof 12.1MP Digital Camera with 5x Wide Angle Triple Shake Reduction Optical Zoom and 2.5 inch LCD (Azure Blue)

Why it Rocks:

  • Shockproof from 3.3 feet (1 meter)
  • Waterproof from 16 feet (5 meters)
  • Operates in temperatures as low as -14 F
  • Pixel Track SR image stabilization
  • 5x optical zoom
  • 12 mega pixels
  • Shoots HD video

Seat-of-the-pants rating: 8 out of 10

I have yet to try the newest model of Pentax’s ruggedized cameras, but if it works better than their original and stands up to cold, drops and water as well as it says it does, I think this camera will be a winner. I was fairly satisfied with the pictures I have taken on the the first Pentax waterproof model, and this camera has 12 mega pixels versus the 5 on the older model. Plus, unlike most of the other models of waterproof digital cameras, the Pentax W80 also can shoot HD video. Face tracking, waterproof, shock proof and 12 megapixels is enough to sell me on this new Pentax.

Looking to Buy? Check out these sites:
Pentax Optio W80 Waterproof 12.1MP Digital Camera with 5x Wide Angle Triple Shake Reduction Optical Zoom and 2.5 inch LCD (Azure Blue)