Pentax have made a splash in the waterproof photography market with the release of the Optio W30

Pentax have made a splash in the waterproof photography market with the release of the Optio W30

Waterproof functionality is provided of a depth up to three meters and for as long as two hours without stopping; an improvement on the depth and time offered previously of 1.5 meters and 30 minutes respectively.

The Optio W30 is also dust and sand-proof, making it perfect for those looking to get more from holiday snaps on the beach. It offers movie capture at 30 fps and a new ?Movie SR? function, aimed at reducing blur on movies shot on-the-go.

The Optio W30 will be on sale from March at guide price of £189.99

Got an opinion on this story? Why not post a comment on our news message boards

See below for full press release

Pentax introduces the Optio W30 with enhanced waterproof functionality enabling use for photography and videos at depths of 3 meters

February, 2007 – Pentax today launches the Optio W30, the latest addition to its waterproof and dustproof ‘W’ range. The 7.1 effective megapixel, 3x optical zoom camera features considerably enhanced waterproof functionality, that allows it to be used for photography at depths of three meters, continuously for two hours. Improved waterproofing makes this camera ideal for all types of water and winter sports including snorkeling, windsurfing, fishing and skiing. In addition, the camera is also dust and sand-proof, making it suitable for a wide range of other outdoor pursuits.

The Optio W30 boasts a Digital SR (Shake Reduction) mode that automatically adjusts the sensitivity to match the brightness of the subject to reduce camera shake and blurring when photographing still images. High-quality movies can also be captured in the Optio W30 at 30 fps (frames per second) and a new ‘Movie SR’ (Shake Reduction) function is now included that automatically corrects camera shake. So you can capture quality photographs and movies no matter how inhospitable the environment.

Featuring a high intensity 2.5 inch LCD monitor, the Optio W30 includes an LCD ‘Bright Mode’ that can adjust the brightness of the screen as necessary, making it easier to view the screen outdoors, whether from a mountain top or underwater. The Optio W30 also features a Macro mode that is not commonly found in digital compact cameras. It can be used as close as one centimeter away from a subject to capture stunning close-up photography of insects, flowers or fish. Delivering such robust levels of performance, leading edge optical performance and functionality in a rugged body, the Optio W30 is the perfect choice for beach holidays, yachting and other water based activities.

Major Features

1. Enhanced waterproof function


The internal construction of the camera has been made from the same metal used on the exterior, in order to improve the camera’s waterproofing capabilities. The Optio W30 is now capable of being used to photograph underwater at depths of 3 metres continuously for 2 hours (in previous models underwater photography was possible at depths of only 1.5 metres for a period of 30 minutes).

The protective glass is treated with SP (Super Protect) coating, developed exclusively by PENTAX, and is superior in water-repellency, making it hard for water droplets to attach themselves to the surface. In addition to high waterproofing capabilities that are compliant with the JIS Class 8 waterproof standard, the Optio W30 is also equipped to withstand sand and dust to JIS Class 5 dustproof standard. The camera is an ideal camera for use for skiing, marine sports, and fishing, you can even use it when gardening and cooking, without having to worry about water and dirt.

2. New LCD monitor that is bright and easily viewable

The Optio W30 is equipped with a high-intensity 2.5-inch LCD monitor that includes an LCD ‘Bright Mode’ which can adjust the brightness of the screen as required. This makes the screen easy to view subjects and pictures even when outdoors, where strong sunlight can sometimes reflect off the screen. AR (Anti-Reflection) coating, which controls and reduces reflections caused by light, is also used for the monitor, making the screen even more visible outdoors.

3. Digital SR (Shake Reduction)

Digital SR (Shake Reduction) mode reduces camera shake and blurring of subjects when photographing still images. The sensitivity is adjusted automatically to as high as ISO 3200, to match the brightness of the subject. With faster shutter speeds it is possible to reduce photography blurring.

4. High-quality movies with Shake reduction function

The Optio W30 captures smooth, high-quality movies at 30 fps (frames per second) at a resolution of 640×480 pixels, which is comparable to movies taken with a camcorder. It is also equipped with the “Movie SR (Shake Reduction)” function*1, which automatically corrects camera shake, and the “Interval shooting” mode that records images recorded during each specified time interval as a movie, allowing for movies to be easily created.

*1 Using the “Movie SR” function results in a narrower field of view than that possible during normal video recording.

5. Convenient “Face Recognition Priority AF & AE” function when photographing people

The Optio W30 is equipped with a “Face Recognition Priority AF & AE” function*2 that automatically detects and focuses on faces, regardless of where the people appear in the frame. In addition, optimal exposure settings are automatically conducted so that the areas with faces are not darkened even if there is backlighting.

*2 Available when the shooting mode is “Portrait” and the camera is directed at people from the front.

6. Macro photography as near as 1 cm

The Optio W30 can be used as close as one centimetre away from a subject for stunning close-up photography. Macro photography provides many fun photo options because you can fill the frame with subjects like flowers, insects or jewellery.

7. Auto Picture mode automatically determines the best settings for the shooting conditions

The Auto Picture mode lets the camera automatically determine the shooting conditions for Landscape, Portrait, Night Scene, and Program modes and chooses the optimum settings for each subject. This PENTAX original function makes photography a lot easier for users as they don’t have to select a number of individual settings.

8. 3x optical zoom lens and 7.1 effective megapixels deliver outstanding pictures

The Optio W30 includes a 3x optical zoom lens that covers focal lengths from 6.3 to 18.9mm (equivalent to 38 to 114mm for 35mm film) and features a refraction lens system so the lens never protrudes from the camera while zooming. Also, by harnessing the full power of the 7.1 effective megapixels, the Optio W30 produces extremely high-quality prints with crisp detail, even when the image is enlarged.

9. Other Features

(1) New auto-lock mechanism that automatically locks covers, such as the battery

cover, after they are closed.

(2) Auto-tracking AF continuously focusing on a moving subject

(3) Compatible with new SDHC memory cards, in addition to conventional SD

memory cards

(4) Mode Palette provides quick access to 25 shooting modes and 15 playback modes

(5) Image Recovery function lets you retrieve accidentally erased pictures

(6) Soft flash function avoids overexposure during close-up flash photography

(7) Digital zooming provides up to 4x magnification

(8) Digital Filter function so you enjoy editing photographed images

(9) FotoNation’s red-eye correction function for correcting red eye after shooting, which can occur easily when photographing with flash

(10) Approximately 21.9 MB of built-in memory

(11) Includes the ACDSee for PENTAX image viewer/image management software

(12) Supports PictBridge, DPOF functions, Exif Print, and PRINT Image Matching III