If you're looking for a camera that can withstand the elements then the second incarnation of Pentax's waterproof camera might be worth a look. The six megapixel WPi ('i' for improved maybe?) can withstand submersion to a depth of 1.5m for 30 minutes (JIS class 8) and is also dust proof (class 5). It also offers a Recovery function for retrieving accidentally deleted images - as long as you don't overwrite the data or turn the camera off. Other features include a 2-inch LCD, 3x optical zoom, in-camera movie editing and a 1cm macro mode. The Pentax Optio WPi is available this month and will be priced £269.99 (approx €394).

Press Release:

The PENTAX OptioWPi – a compact digital camera with waterproof performance for underwater shooting, 6.0 effective megapixels, a 3X optical zoom lens and a large LCD monitor – all in a slim, flat, easy-to-carry body.

Pentax Optio WPi

PENTAX Corporation is pleased to introduce the new OptioWPi. Developed in line with the concept of “sportiness, elegance and leisure” and based on the OptioWP (launched in Spring 2005), the OptioWPi offers the same waterproof performance that enables underwater shooting without the need for a waterproof case or similar equipment, and boasts a sophisticated design that makes it well-suited to use on virtually any occasion.

What’s more, the OptioWPi offers such capability without a compromise in imaging performance – providing the convenience and power of a large 2.0-inch LCD monitor and 6.0 effective megapixels, and overall operational ease.

For marine sports, scuba diving, skiing and social occasions too, the OptioWPi has the looks and the capability to go with you virtually anywhere.

Major features

1. High waterproof performance, without the need for a case
The OptioWPi complies with JIS class 8 waterproof performance, enabling it to withstand up to 30 minutes of continuous operation at an underwater depth of 1.5 meters. Furthermore, the OptioWPi has also been proven to conform to Class 5 dustproof performance of category 2 (machines produced to prevent internal changes in atmospheric pressure). Such capabilities make it ideal for use when skiing, taking part in marine sports, going fishing or enjoying other outdoor events. Waterproof performance of this kind also means users can simply rinse the camera off any time it becomes dirty.

2. Sophisticated body design
1) With a slim, flat body boasting a depth of a mere 2.2cm, the OptioWPi can be
easily slipped in and out of a pocket, bag or case.
2) An ergonomic contoured grip design provides users with a more confident, more
comfortable shooting experience.
3) The OptioWPi makes extensive use of high-quality aluminum alloy for the front
panel with a hairline finish that gives it a pleasant texture of high quality.
4) The rounded overall form of the OptioWPi is accentuated by a water ring design
element, a four-way control key and other details that give the camera a look that
is both sophisticated and user-friendly.

3. A 3X optical zoom lens and 6.0 effective megapixels
The OptioWPi delivers pleasing optical performance with a lens comprising 9 groups of 11 elements. It also includes three aspherical lens elements that compensate for aberration to make for even sharper results, and makes use of a refraction lens system that enables it to deliver 6.3-18.9mm 3X optical zoom performance and cover angles of view equivalent to those of a 38-114mm lens in 35mm format without ever extending from the camera body. Together these features allow photographers to make the very most of the OptioWPi's ample 6.0 effective megapixels.

4. 2.0-inch, 115,000-pixel LCD monitor
Despite its slim, flat body dimensions, the OptioWPi features a large, 2.0-inch LCD monitor with 115,000 pixels for speedy and precise confirmation of recorded images. This low-reflection monitor also features a backlighting mechanism that effectively maximizes visibility, even when used outside on sunny days, and additionally offers a “Power saving mode” that automatically reduces backlighting intensity to make batteries last longer.

5. Mode palette makes operation even easier
The Mode palette has been popular with consumers ever since its introduction on other Optio models, displaying multiple shooting or playback options simultaneously. For the shooting Mode palette, the user can display 15 mode icons at once out of a total of 22, with the remaining 7 icons replacing the selected 15 on the user's command. What's more, just a press of the Green button while the Mode palette is on is all it takes to display easy-to-understand explanations and photos for the selected item – reducing the need to consult the user manual for simpler operation.

6. Continuous AF and tracking AF
Continuous AF* or tracking AF** are activated automatically upon selection of Sport, Pet or Kids modes – allowing the camera to track a moving subject within the frame and maintain accurate focus accordingly.

* For focus on stationary subjects, the shutter release button is depressed halfway to drive the lens to focus lock. Continuous AF, on the other hand, allows the lens to be driven constantly to ensure swift, precise focus as soon as the shutter release button is depressed halfway.
** Tracking AF continually detects both horizontal and vertical movement of the main subject to ensure sharp focus at the desired moment. Confirmation of the focus area can be done on the focus frame on the LCD monitor.

7. High-sensitivity shooting
The OptioWPi supports mixed-pixel, high-sensitivity* shooting, which offers the choice to shoot at a Standard Output Sensitivity of 800. This results in crisp and clear shots with minimal noise, hand shake and other blurring. When high-sensitivity shooting is selected, recording size is fixed at 1280 X 960 pixels.

*Available when using Candlelight mode and Report mode only (automatic or manual activation).

8. Green mode gives you swift, automated shooting
Just one push of the Green button activates Green mode, which takes automatic control of all settings with the exception of zoom. Not only is this function handy when asking someone else to take your picture or when you've simply lost track of camera settings, but the Green button can also be used as a shortcut – allowing the user to assign up to four* frequently used functions to if for swift access.

*Functions that can be assigned to the Green button: Green mode, recording size, image quality, white balance, AF area, focus limit, sensitivity, exposure compensation, sharpness, saturation, contrast, and off.

9. Recovery function lets you retrieve erased images
With the OptioWPi, there's no need to panic if you accidentally erase an image or audio data. That's because it comes equipped with a handy recovery function that remains active until the erased data has been overwritten or the power is switched off.

10. Picture Voice* function attaches sound data to stills
Up to 20 seconds of audio data can be recorded while a still image is being shot – extending from 10 seconds before to 10 seconds after the moment of shutter release. Such capability allows users to capture special moments in a more memorable manner.

*How it works: Upon selecting Picture Voice mode, the OptioWPi starts accumulating audio data, then automatically stops recording 10 seconds after shutter release. The accumulated audio data (10 seconds before the shot, plus 10 seconds after) is then stored as an attachment to the recorded image.

11. A range of options for framing
Not only does the OptioWPi enable users to put images together with photo frames within the camera itself, but it also offers a choice of shooting options to produce results best suited to a pre-selected frame. Frames can also be added at the time of printing. Three different frames are installed by default within the camera, which can be easily replaced by up to three of many downloadable frames available on the PENTAX website.

12. Movie editing in-camera
With the movie editing function, users can actually edit recorded movies in-camera. Selected clips can be saved as new movie files, users can select single frames for saving as individual still images, and separate movies can also be combined as one file.

* The size of a storable still image depends on the recorded size of a movie.

13 Other features
1) Ready to shoot just 0.6 seconds after the power is turned on
2) Real-time display of “washed out” and “blacked out” areas
3) Soft flash function avoids overexposure when shooting with flash in close
4) Up to 4X digital zooming
5) Macro mode enables shooting as close as 1cm from the subject when lens is in
wide setting
6) Three color modes (full-color, B&W, sepia) for versatile movie recording
7) “Clock Mode” function displays the time even when the camera is off
8) SD memory card compatible; approx. 10.5MB built-in memory
9) Standard image viewer, ACDSee for PENTAX software
10) FotoNation’s red-eye compensation function for flash shots
11) DPOF, Exif Print, and PRINT Image Matching III compatibility

Pentax Optio WPi specifications

Pentax Optio WPi


• 1/2.5" Type CCD
• 6.4 million pixels total
• 6.0 million effective pixels

Image sizes • 2816 x 2112
• 2560 x 1920
• 2304 x 1728
• 2048 x 1536
• 1600 x 1200
• 1024 x 768
• 640 x 480
Movie clips • 320 x 240 @ 30 fps or 15 fps with sound
• 160 x 120 @ 30 fps or 15 fps with sound
File formats

• Still: JPEG
• Movie: MOV (QuickTime Motion JPEG)
• Sound: WAV

Lens • 38 - 114 mm (35 mm equiv) 3x optical zoom
• F 3.3 - 4
Digital zoom Up to 4x
Focus TTL contrast detection auto focus system
AF area modes • 9-point multi AF
• Tracking AF switchable
• Spot AF
AF assist lamp Yes/No
Focus distance • Normal: 0.4 m (1.31ft) - infinity (W) / 0.5 m (1.64ft) - infinity (T)
• Macro: 0.01 m - 0.6 m (0.03 ft - 1.97 ft)
• Pan focus: 1 m (3.3 ft) to infinity at wide-angle setting / 5 m (16.4 ft) to infinity at telephoto setting
Metering • Multi-segment
• TTL metering
ISO sensitivity • Auto
• ISO 64
• ISO 160
• ISO 320
• ISO 400
Exposure compensation • +/- 2EV
• 1/3 EV steps
Shutter speed 1/2000 - 4 secs
Modes Program
Scene modes

• Auto
• Night Scene
• Panorama assist
• Landscape
• Flower
• Portrait
• Sport
• Surf & Snow
• Food
• Pet
• Text
• Underwater
• Soft
• Natural skin tone
• Firework
• Museum
• Candlelight *1 **2
• Report mode *1 **2

*1 Recorded size is fixed to 1280 x 960
**2 Sensitivity is set at 800.

White balance • Auto
• Daylight
• Shade
• Tungsten
• Fluorescent
• Manual
Self timer Yes
Continuous shooting Yes
Image parameters • Black & White
• Sepia
• Red
• Pink
• Purple
• Blue
• Green
• Yellow
• Soft
• Brightness
Flash • Built-in
• Modes: Auto, on, off, soft flash, red-eye reduction
• Range: Approx. 0.2 m - 3.1 m (0.66 ft - 10.2 ft) at 6.3 mm, Sensitivity Auto
• Approx. 0.5 m -2.5 m (1.64 ft - 8.2 ft) at 18.9 mm, Sensitivity Auto
Viewfinder No
LCD monitor • 2.0" TFT LCD
• 115,000 pixels
Connectivity • USB
• AV out
• DC in
Print compliance • DPOF
• EXIF 2.2
• PictBridge
Storage • SD card
• 10.5 MB internal memory
Power • Rechargeable D-LI8 lithium-ion battery
• AC adapter optional
Weight • 120 g (4.2 oz) (no battery or card)
• 135 g (4.8 oz) (loaded and ready)
Dimensions 102 x 51 x 22 mm (4 x 2 x 0.9 in)