Pentax Optio 43WR review
If you need the water resistance and don't want to go for housings or film cameras, this is the only game in town. This is my third Pentax digital (33L, 555, 43WR) and I remain very pleased with the image quality.
If you do not specifically need the water resistance, there are a lot of better 4MP choices out there...for explanation, see below.
Ironically, the thing that this camera is best suited for (outdoors/damp weather) is the very one for which--other than the water resistance--it is least capable. The reason for this is the poor quality of the LCD and the poor selection of foreground/background choices for menu text. In open sunlight--the beach is where I most frequently use mine--the menu system is unusable unless you get under something dark. For composition, the LCD is barely better - I almost always have to use the optical finder.
As noted above, the image quality is good, though you'll probably want to detune both saturation and contrast for more realistic color. Metering is quite capable, though the range of focal lengths is limited. The absence of any manual or semi-manual control is a pity, but you know this when you make your choice.
I like this camera, despite the limitations, and would recommend it if--but only if--you have need for a camera in this special niche. The shape, limited feature set, and poor LCD limit its ability to compete with most other 4MP point and shoot type cameras.
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|Sep 12, 2004|