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We reviewed three of the more popular 'pocket printers,' the Canon Ivy, Fujifilm Instax Share and Polaroid ZIP. Here's the one we recommend...
Pentax announces the WG-3 rugged digital camera, available with and without a built-in GPS. Both versions feature an image-stabilized 16MP CMOS sensor, and now an F2.0-4.9 lens with 25-100mm equivalent zoom. Both are also waterproof down to 45 feet, drop-resistant from heights of 6.6 feet, dust-resistant, and can handle temperatures down to 14F. Finally, they're back-pocket-safe, meaning you can sit on them and they're still likely to work (they can handle up to 220 pounds of pressure).
New to the GPS model is a built-in clock that can also report the pressure, altitude, depth, and compass direction; this model also charges wirelessly. As the second rugged camera with an F2.0 lens at wide-angle, we'll be interested to see how well the Pentax WG-3 does in low light. Priced at US$350 for the GPS model and US$300 for the non-GPS, the two cameras are expected to ship March 2013.
Performance meets photographic demands with fast F2.0 lens, in-camera shake reduction, and increased waterproof, crushproof and shockproof ratings
Denver, CO (January 29, 2013)— Leveraging its long-standing and comprehensive expertise in the waterproof category, PENTAX RICOH IMAGING AMERICAS CORPORATION (PENTAX) has introduced the 15th generation in its adventureproof line-up of point and shoot cameras, the WG-3. Boasting a diverse set of new features and improved specifications, the WG-3 is the ideal companion to capture life’s planned and unplanned adventures.
The WG-3 boasts a rich feature-set that has been optimized to meet the rigorous and demanding needs of the adventurous photo enthusiast, whose travels and exploits can take them into a variety of scenarios too challenging for the traditional point-and-shoot. Its newly designed, large-aperture, 4x optical zoom lens (with the maximum aperture of F2.0 at wide-angle end), high-sensitivity, back-illuminated 16 megapixel CMOS image sensor, and sensor-shift Shake Reduction system ensure sharp, high-quality, low-noise images.
The rugged features of the WG-3 include an improved waterproof depth rating to 45 feet, while the WG-3 GPS offers enhanced GPS functionality for geo-tagging images that can be mapped back to your journey and a dedicated second display showing compass direction, elevation or depth below water. Additionally, the WG-3’s category defining Digital Microscope mode and six LED lights surrounding the lens barrel enable focusing as close as one centimeter from the subject producing bright, shadow-free macro images.
For the unplanned adventure, the WG-3 offers a worry-free shooting experience with an increasingly ruggedized body that is shockproof from drops of up to 6.6 feet, coldproof to 14 degrees Fahrenheit and crushproof, withstanding up to 220 foot pounds of force. The WG-3’s rugged design is enhanced by its folded optical zoom lens that reduces its vulnerability to moisture and dust while ensuring a compact and pocketable size without the protrusion of a lens barrel. Finally, the sturdy construction and sharp design, unique to the WG-3, features a texturized grip for a controlled ergonomic grasp and colorful grip accents to further enrich its rugged styling.
“The WG-3 GPS truly leverages our experience in this category,” said John Carlson, Sr. Marketing Manager, PENTAX. “New features like the easy-to-read second LCD, dedicated video record button, double-locking battery door and wireless charging capabilities show PENTAX’s dedication to improving our offering in this category.”
To enhance creative expression during shooting PENTAX offers an optional lens adapter with wide-angle coverage to 20mm, and the SportMount Chest Harness which allows for the hands free capture of adventures and features a quick and easy mechanism to review your images and footage without having to remove the camera from its mount.
Pricing and Availability
Priced at $349.95 the new WG-3 GPS is available in a choice of purple or green. The WG-3 is available in black or orange for a price of $299.95. Both models will be available at retailers nationwide and online in March 2013. To find a retailer near you, please visit: http://www.pentaximaging.com/where-to-buy
Heavy-duty construction for a waterproof, coldproof, shockproof, dustproof shooting experience
Featuring enhanced waterproof capabilities the WG-3 and WG-3 GPS’s underwater performance has been expanded to 45 feet, compared to the maximum 40 feet offered by its predecessors (equivalent to IPX8 or JIS Class 8 waterproof performance). Additionally, its rugged features have been improved to prevent damage from drops of up to 6.6 feet*, inhibit the intrusion of dust**, withstand temperatures as low as 14 degrees Fahrenheit*** and bear up to 220 pounds of pressure****.
* Measured under PENTAX-original testing standards (from a height of 2.0 meters, onto a surface of 5cm-thick plywood), conforming to Method 516.5-Shock of the MIL-Standard 810Fm.
** Measured under PENTAX-original testing standards, equivalent to IPX6 or JIS Class 6.
*** Measured under PENTAX-original testing standards, in which the camera is proven to withstand temperatures as low as –10°C.
**** Measured under PENTAX-original testing standards, in which the camera is loaded with weights up to 100 kgf, or kilogram force.
4X optical zoom lens with maximum aperture of F2.0 and 25mm wide-angle coverage
The newly designed optical zoom lens offers a maximum aperture of F2.0 to capture bright, clear images with minimal noise, even under dimly lit underwater conditions. With its four-times zoom coverage from 4.5mm to 18mm (equivalent to approx. 25mm wide angle to approx. 100mm medium telephoto in the 35mm format), this versatile zoom lens accommodates a wide range of applications — from macro shooting of flowers to wide-angle shooting of spectacular landscapes. Additionally, the camera’s Intelligent Zoom function also extends the zoom range to approximately 28.8 times to cover the focal length of an approximately 720mm super-telephoto lens (in the 35mm format) to capture extra-high-magnification images without compromising image quality.
High-performance, back-illuminated CMOS image sensor
The WG-3 GPS and WG-3 come equipped with a state-of-the-art, back-illuminated CMOS image sensor, which is superior in high-sensitivity and low-noise characteristics and assures high-speed readout of image data signals. Coupled with its new-generation imaging engine, this image sensor delivers a top sensitivity of ISO 6400 and super-high-resolution images with 16.0 effective megapixels. The WG-3 GPS and WG-3 also provide advanced image processing functions made possible by the latest super-resolution technology to ensure sharp and clear images; even offering innovative features as a Handheld Night Snap mode, which automatically captures four images of the same scene and produces a single blur-free, composite image from them.
Dual anti-shake protection for crisp, blur-free images
Combining PENTAX’s expertise in Shake Reduction technology and experience in the rugged camera category, the WG-3 GPS and WG-3’s are the first in the WG line to feature a dual shake reduction system combining an image-sensor-shift-type SR (Shake Reduction) mechanism with a Digital SR mode to more effectively compensate for the adverse effects of camera shake and subject shake in shake-prone conditions, such as when capturing poorly lit subject with ambient light only, or when shooting sunset scenes.
Six LED Macro Lights to assist close-up shooting
By positioning six LED Macro Lights around the circumference of the lens barrel for macro shooting, the WG-3 and WG-3 GPS provide brighter, more uniform illumination on the subject when the Digital Microscope mode is selected.* Thanks to the inclusion of the Macro Lights, the user can clearly see a magnified view of a microscopic world often unnoticeable with the naked eye on the camera’s LCD monitor and effortlessly capture eye-catching images. In order to minimize camera shake and subject shake, the instant illumination function allows for the use of a higher shutter speed by automatically raising the illumination level of the Macro Lights at the moment of shutter release. In addition, the Macro Lights double to offer other user-friendly features, such as a Self-Portrait Assist mode to check if the subject’s face is safely captured within the picture frame using the blink of an LED lamp, and a LED lighting mode to use the Macro Lights as a lighting device in the dark.
* When the Digital Microscope mode is selected, the recorded size is fixed at 2.0 megapixels (at 16:9 proportions).
Advanced GPS functions and pressure/altitude/depth gauge to facilitate outdoor shooting (available with the WG-3 GPS only)
The WG-3 GPS comes equipped with a sophisticated GPS module, which automatically records position data* and travel log data onto captured images and adjusts the built-in clock to local time. Thanks to newly incorporated pressure sensor and digital compass, the user can not only check the pressure, altitude/underwater depth and direction of a shooting location, but also record such data onto captured images for future reference.
* Location data recorded at the time of shooting can be confirmed with the use of the accompanying software (Windows version only).
Full HD movie recording for extended shooting of high-quality movies
The WG-3 GPS and WG-3 provide Full HD movie recording employing the H.264 recording format, allowing the user to capture high-quality, extended movie clips (1920 x 1080 pixels, 16:9 proportions) at a frame rate of 30 frames per second. They also feature a high-speed camera function* for slow-motion playback of captured movie clips and a fast-forward movie function** to simplify creative movie techniques. A micro-HDMI terminal (Type D) is also provided on their camera body for simultaneous output of Full HD movie clips and sound to external devices.
* When this function is selected, the recorded size is fixed at 1280 x 720 pixels).
** When this function is selected, the recorded size is fixed at 640 x 360 pixels).
Extra-large, high-resolution, wide-frame 3.0 inch LCD monitor
These WG- 3 series models incorporate an extra-large, high-resolution 3.0 inch color LCD monitor with horizontally extended 16:9 proportions and approximately 460,000 dots. The PENTAX-original AR (Anti-Reflection) coating minimizes annoying glare and reflections to assure a sharp, clear on-screen image and video playback even under harsh sunshine, while its wide-view design offers a clear view of the monitor from approximately 170 degrees horizontally and vertically, making it particularly useful in low and high angle shooting.
Wireless recharging (available with the WG-3 GPS only)
The WG-3 GPS is compatible with the wireless Qi (inductive power standard) recharging system, which automatically recharges the built-in battery simply by placing the camera on a Qi-compatible wireless charger. Since this system eliminates the need to open and close the battery chamber cover, it greatly reduces the risk of foreign substances such as sand and dust from being introduced into the camera body.
|Pentax WG-3 GPS||Pentax WG-3|
|Max resolution||4608 x 3456|
|Other resolutions||4288 x 3216, 4224 x 2376, 3216 x 3216, 3072 x 2304, 3072 x 1728, 2592 x 1944, 2592 x 1464, 2048 x 1536, 1920 x 1080, 1024 x 768, 640 x 480|
|Image ratio w:h||1:1, 4:3, 16:9|
|Effective pixels||16 megapixels|
|Sensor photo detectors||17 megapixels|
|Sensor size||1/2.3" (6.17 x 4.55 mm)|
|ISO||Auto 125-6400, 125, 200, 400,800, 1600, 3200, 6400|
|White balance presets||4|
|Custom white balance||Yes|
|JPEG quality levels||Best, Better, Good|
|Optics & Focus|
|Focal length (equiv.)||25–100 mm|
|Autofocus assist lamp||Yes|
|Digital zoom||Yes (6.7x)|
|Normal focus range||50 cm (19.69″)|
|Macro focus range||1 cm (0.39″)|
|Number of focus points||9|
|Screen / viewfinder|
|Screen type||Widescreen TFT color LCD with anti-reflective coating|
|Minimum shutter speed||4 sec|
|Maximum shutter speed||1/4000 sec|
|Flash range||3.40 m|
|Flash modes||Auto, On, Off, Red-eye, Soft|
|Self-timer||Yes (2 or 10 sec)|
|Exposure compensation||±2 (at 1/3 EV steps)|
|Resolutions||1920 x 1080 (30 fps), 1280 x 720 (60, 30 fps)|
|Storage types||SD/SDHC/SDXC card, Internal|
|Storage included||70 MB Internal|
|USB||USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)|
|HDMI||Yes (Micro, Type-D)|
|Remote control||Yes (Optional)|
|Environmentally sealed||Yes (Crushproof, Waterproof, Shockproof, Dustproof, Freezeproof)|
|Battery description||Lithium-Ion D-LI92 rechargeable battery & charger|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||240|
|Weight (inc. batteries)||238 g (0.52 lb / 8.40 oz)||230 g (0.51 lb / 8.11 oz)|
|Dimensions||125 x 64 x 33 mm (4.9 x 2.5 x 1.3″)||124 x 64 x 33 mm (4.9 x 2.5 x 1.3″)|
|Timelapse recording||Yes (Interval shot mode for stills and movie)|
Jun 4, 2013
Jan 28, 2016
Jan 29, 2016
Jan 27, 2016
Over the past few weeks we've been reviewing this year's collection of weatherproof tough cameras, and in this article we're rounding them up, comparing their relative strengths and weaknesses and taking a more detailed look at how their image quality and feature sets stack up. Even if you've read the full reviews, we recommend clicking through and reading our final, definitive roundup of this year's class of waterproof rugged compacts. Click through for a link.
We've just posted our review of the Pentax WG-3 GPS. This uniquely shaped camera can handle whatever nature throws at you, and the fast lens (at wide-angle) doesn't hurt, either. There's one more review left in our waterproof camera series, followed by a wrap-up article that will help you pick the best one. In the meantime, you can read more about the WG-3 GPS after the link.
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