Pentax has announced an underwater digital camera in the shape of the 'sporty' and 'elegant' five megapixel Pentax OptioWP, which is waterproof to a depth of 1.5 meters. A handy function that has been added is the recovery mode, which enables you to retrieve accidentally deleted images or audio files, as long as no further data has been recorded. The OptioWP measures a slimline 22mm thick, has a 2-inch LCD, 1cm macro mode and red-eye compensation function which 'touches up' red eye in images after they have been taken. It will be available in April, with pricing to be confirmed at PMA.

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Press Release:

The new PENTAX OptioWP — a slim, compact digital camera with waterproof performance that enables underwater shooting

January 5, 2004 - PENTAX is pleased to introduce the OptioWP, a compact digital camera that features JIS Class 8-equivalent waterproof performance and has a body only 22mm thick. What’s more, the new OptioWP also features a 2.0-inch LCD monitor, a 3X optical zoom lens and the imaging power of 5.0 effective megapixels.

Developed in line with the three keywords, “Sportiness”, “Elegance”, and, “Leisure”, the OptioWP provides the user with the advantage of waterproof performance that enables confident shooting during a range of water sports. And unusually for a camera with such sporting capability, the OptioWP also has surprisingly sophisticated styling that makes it ideal for use on practically any kind of occasion.

With the incorporation of a truly easy-to-operate user interface and other innovations, the OptioWP enables truly stress-free operation. A key example of this is the unique PENTAX Mode palette function, which redefines user friendliness and has been exceptionally well received on other models. Indeed the OptioWP takes the palette function a couple of steps further, allowing it to be used for playback mode selection as well as for shooting mode selection by displaying the icons for various modes on the screen at once. Additionally, the OptioWP features a function that displays easy explanations for each function too, and all Playback operations have been carefully reviewed and simplified.

Major features

1. Slim, flat body
With a thin body of just 22mm, the OptioWP can be easily slipped into and out of a pocket or bag. And despite its compact dimensions, its well-designed grip ensures the camera remains safe and stable in the hands when shooting at all times. With a front panel crafted from an aluminum alloy, the camera conveys a sense of accessible sophistication, while the round water ring design and four-way key are every bit as attractive as they are practical.

2. Waterproof performance enables approx. 30 minutes of continuous underwater shooting at a depth of up to 1.5m
Offering JIS Class 8-equivalent waterproof performance, the OptioWP enables the user to shoot continuously for up to approx. 30 minutes underwater at a maximum depth of 1.5m. Such waterproof capability also allows the user to wash the camera with water to rinse away sand and dirt. The perfect companion for watersports, skiing and other outdoor leisure activities, the OptioWP also allows the user to shoot in places that would be too dirty to take other cameras.

3. 3X optical zoom lens and 5.0 effective megapixels
The OptioWP incorporates an optical lens unit specially designed to suit underwater photography. Delivering 6.3-18.9mm 3X optical zooming performance, it provides a focal range covering angles of view equivalent to those of a 38-114mm lens in 35mm format. Such zooming power can also be combined with approximate 4X digital zoom, making a maximum zooming power of 12X possible whenever desired. Like all PENTAX zoom lenses, the lens of the OptioWP offers excellent imaging performance. It is also composed of 9 groups of 11 elements (3 of which are aspherical lenses) to achieve optimal compensation for aberrations and make the most of the impressive 5.0 effective megapixels.

4. Large, 2.0-inch LCD monitor
Despite its compact and slim body dimensions of 102x51x22mm (WxHxD), the OptioWP features a large, 2.0-inch LCD monitor. Incorporating low-reflection technology and a backlighting system, this LCD monitor remains extremely easy to view, even when used outdoors on sunny days. The LCD monitor also features a power saving mode that extends battery life by automatically reducing the intensity of the aforementioned backlighting.

5. Green mode can be set at the push of a button

Green mode fixes all camera settings to a standard combination with a single press of the Green button (with the exception of the zoom setting). This is of particular use should the user become confused with the selection of settings or should the user wish to ask someone else to take a picture. The photographer also has the ability to allocate up to 4* frequently used functions to the Green button as short cuts, providing direct access to exposure compensation and white balance, for example.

*Four functions can be set as short cuts from the Green button from a choice of Green mode, recording image size, image quality, white balance, AF area, focus limit, exposure compensation, sensitivity, sharpness, saturation, contrast and “off”.

6. Mode palette makes it easier to shoot
The OptioWP offers the Mode palette for shooting. This displays icons for shooting modes at once for simplified selection. Proven to be highly popular on other models in the Optio series of digital compact cameras, this mode has been further improved for the OptioWP in terms of user friendliness. Out of a total of 20 icons, the user can select 15 for display at once. 5 of the 15 icons can be replaced with the 5 remaining icons at any time and the user also has the freedom to display their 15 selected icons in the order of their choice. Additionally, the Green button can be pressed in conjunction with the selection of an icon to bring up a text explanation of the function it represents. This makes it easy for the user to understand the roles of different modes without even having to pick up the instruction manual.

7. Mode palette makes playback easier too
The Mode palette of the OptioWP also makes it simple to select playback modes. The palette itself is translucent, so the playback icons are displayed directly over the desired image for easy selection. There’s also a mode explanation function that displays descriptions to assist novice users.

8. Synchronous Sound Record mode records sound prior to and after shooting
Featuring Synchronous Sound Record mode, the OptioWP enables the user to record up to 20 seconds of sound to accompany a still shot, beginning prior to shutter release and finishing after it. This enables the photographer to record memorable moments in a much more special manner.
Note: Upon selecting Synchronous Sound Record mode, the OptioWP starts recording sound before shutter release and stops 10 seconds after the shutter release button is pressed. The OptioWP then attaches the resultant audio file to the still shot.

9. Continuous AF and tracking AF keep moving subjects in focus
In addition to the conventionally available continuous AF*, the OptioWP features a new tracking AF function available in Pet and Sport modes. This automatically monitors the movement of a subject within the frame, keeping it sharp and in focus wherever it moves in the shot.
*Normally, focusing is achieved by driving the lens with the shutter release button depressed halfway. During continuous AF use, however, the lens continues to readjust for focus at all times. This allows optimal focus to be achieved as soon as the shutter release is pressed down fully.

10. Add photo frames during shooting, after recording or even during printing
With the OptioWP, the user can choose to add one of three different pre-installed photo frames to a recorded image. It is also possible to record images specially to suit the photo frame of your choice and photo frames can be added at the time of printing too.

11. Recovery function for erased images
With a newly incorporated recovery function, the OptioWP makes it possible to reclaim images and audio files erased accidentally. This can be done at anytime prior to the recording of new data.

12. Movie editing function
The OptioWP is equipped with a movie editing function that allows the user to edit recorded movies within the camera itself. Furthermore, one frame of a movie can be stored as a still image* or the selected movie can be divided into different frames for storage in separate files. Two movies can also be combined into one.
* Storable still image size depends on the recording size of a movie.

13. Clock mode
By pressing the OK button for an extended duration while the power is turned off, the OptioWP can be made to display the time on the LCD monitor. Just like a mobile phone, Clock mode makes the OptioWP handy for confirming the time, anytime and the function is also compatible with the World time function.

14. Other features
1) Becomes ready to shoot just 0.6* seconds after the power is turned on.
2) The Red-eye compensation function touches up red eyes in recorded images.
3) Real-time warnings indicate “washed out” and “blacked out” areas.
4) Digital zooming provides up to 4X performance.
5) Macro mode enables shooting from as close as 1cm from the subject.
6) Full-color, black and white and sepia color modes are available for movie shooting.
7) Features SD memory card compatibility and has approximately 10.5MB of built-in memory.
8) Compatible with exclusive, rechargeable lithium ion batteries.
9) Comes complete with ACDSee for PENTAX Standard image viewer software.
10) Features DPOF functionality, Exif Print and PRINT Image Matching III compatibility.

*Time taken for the camera to become ready for shooting once the power is turned on when the built-in flash, start-up screen and start-up sound settings are not activated.

Pentax Optio WP specifications


• 1/2.5" Type CCD
• 5.2 million pixels total
• 5 million effective pixels

Image sizes • 2560 x 1920
• 2304 x 1728
• 2048 x 1536
• 1600 x 1200
• 1024 x 768
• 640 x 480
Movie clips

• 320 x 240
• 160 x 120
• 30 fps/15fps
• With monaural sound
• Limited only by capacity of memory card
• Voice annotation

File formats

• Still: JPEG
• Movie: MOV
• Sound: WAV

Lens • 38 - 114mm (35 mm equiv) 3x optical zoom
• F 3.3 - F 4
Digital zoom Up to x 4
AF area modes • TTL contrast dectection AF system
• 9-point autofocus
• Spot AF
Focus distance

• Normal: 0.4m - infinity
• Telephoto: 0.5m - infinity
• Macro: 0.01m - 0.6m
• Pan focus: 0.01m - infinity
• Movie: 0.01m - infinity

Metering • TTL
• Multi segment
ISO sensitivity • Auto
• ISO 50
• ISO 100
• ISO 200
• ISO400
Exposure compensation • +/-2EV
• 1/3EV steps
Shutter speed 1 - 1/2000sec
Scene modes • Green
• Program
• Night scene
• Movie
• Voice recording
• Panorama Assist
• Landscape
• Flower
• Portrait
• Underwater
• Surf & Snow
• Sport
• Synchronous sound record
• Pet
• Candlelight
• Soft
• Firework
• Self portrait
• Natural sking tone
• Museum
• Food
• Digital filter: black and white, sepia, red, pink, purple, blue, green, yellow, soft, brightness
White balance • Auto
• Daylight
• Shade
• Tungsten
• Fluorescent
• Manual
Self timer Yes
Continuous shooting Yes
Image parameters • Best
• Better
• Good
Flash • Built-in
• On, off,soft flash and red-eye reduction
• Range: Approx.0.13m - 2.5m (wide)/ 0.5m - 2m (tele)
LCD monitor • 2" TFT LCD
• 85,000 pixels

• AV out
• DC in

Print compliance • DPOF

• SD card
• 10.5 MB built in memory

Power • Rechargeable lithium ion battery (D-LI8)
• Optional adapter
Weight Loaded and ready: 135 g (4.8 oz) Without batt/card: 120 g (4.2 oz)
Dimensions 102 x 51x 22 mm (4 x 2 x 0.9 in)