PENTAX Announces Shock & Waterproof Optio W80

PENTAX introduced its most shock and waterproof digital compact camera yet. The new Optio W80 can withstand impact from a fall of 3.3 feet as well as depths of up to 16 feet under water. PENTAX also says the camera can capture underwater photos and videos for up to two hours. In addition to this JIS Class 8 waterproof rating, the camera provides JIS Class 6 dustproof and coldproof performance, withstanding temperatures as low as 14 degrees Fahrenheit (-10 degrees Celsius).

The Optio W80 features a 12.1 megapixel sensor, 2.5-inch LCD with an anti-reflective coating and approximately 230,000 dots, a 5X optical zoom lens covering equivalent focal lengths of 28-140mm, and a one-inch thick body. To help protect the internal zoom lens from water, grime, and fingerprints, PENTAX added a Super Protect coating to the mineral crystal cover of the lens.

Other key features include the ability to capture widescreen (16:9), HD movies at resolutions up to 1280x720 pixels at 30 frames per second along with a Movie SR (Shake Reduction) mode and Underwater Movie mode. The Movie SR mode helps to compensate for camera shake while the Underwater Movie mode helps to optimize colors for underwater capture. When recording still images, the Optio W80 uses Pixel Track Shake Reduction to help ensure you’ll get sharp images in any lighting condition without adding a lot of noise that you’d otherwise see from using high ISO settings.

The camera offers Face Detection technology that can detect up to 32 faces in as little as 0.03 seconds. Smile Capture and Blink Detection are also available to help ensure you’ve captured the perfect portrait shot. For macro shots, the camera’s Super Macro mode lets you get as close as one centimeter to the subject. Users who want to simply point and click will like the Optio W80’s Auto Picture mode that automatically selects the best shooting mode for the scene.

The Optio W80 will be available in July in the following colors: Cardinal Red, Azure Blue, and Gunmetal Gray. The camera is expected to cost $299.95. PENTAX will also offer a custom designed clear protective skin for $16.95 as well as a floating wrist strap for $19.95.