There's been an explosion of waterproof and rugged cameras and camcorders this year, and Wednesday Pentax added one more to the list (though it's been making them since 2003). The Optio W80 is a water/dust/shock/freezeproof 12-megapixel camera with a 2.5-inch LCD selling for less than $300.
The W80 can apparently survive an impressive dunk: down to 16 feet for up to two hours. It'll also take a decent fall of up to 3.3 feet and keep working in temperatures as low as 14 degrees Fahrenheit.
On top of its "proofing," the W80 has fairly good camera specs, too. The internal lens has a zoom range of 5x and is wide angle, too, at 28mm. It records 720p, HD-quality video at 30fps. It also has the expected convenience features such as face, smile, and blink detection; auto scene recognition; and a bunch of other automatic shooting options.
About the only thing missing is optical image stabilization; the W80 only has Pentax's digital Pixel Track SR, which though it's good, still degrades photo quality. … Read more
Pentax has announced two new entry-level WR (water-resistant) series lenses: the DA 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 AL WR and the DA 50-200mm AL WR. They coincide with the launch of the company's new K-7 dSLR body, which has a dust- and water-resistant lens mount.
Both lenses offer water and dust resistance when used with a complementary water-resistant K series body, such as the K-7 or the K-20. The lenses feature weather-resistant seals for damp and inclement conditions. The DA 18-55mm WR replaces the existing model while adding the water-resistance. The DA 50-200mm WR also replaces the existing model while … Read more
Pentaxians on the Web have been abuzz for months about the K-7, Pentax's new midrange dSLR that replaces the now sub-$1,000 K20D. Though it shares a lot in common with its predecessor, there are some notable enhancements that might have Pentax photographers willing to step up, including significantly faster performance and video support, plus some attractive features for the brand-agnostic midrange buyer.… Read more