Pentax Optio W20 review
I bought my W20 in December, and played with it a bit at the beach (west coast of Canada) to get used to the colour and settings. I was not particularly thrilled with the interface (maybe I’m just spoiled since I owned a Nikon previously). Pictures were ok but at 7.1 mp, not as sharp as I expected. I was also disappointed with the colour, but I wasn’t sure what to expect there either.
Then I took it on a 2 week vacation to Cuba. Colours there were a bit better (maybe it’s the light?), and I ventured to take it underwater while snorkelling. I have to say I was impressed with the underwater setting and got some really nice photos of the fish and coral. Camera worked great underwater the first 3 or 4 times, but the next time it quit in about 3 feet of water. The screen displayed a “memory card error”, then went blank and the controls quit working. I rinsed and dried it carefully as usual before opening it up, then found a bit of water in the battery and memory card areas. I had heard of W20’s having water damage before, but honestly didn’t expect it since I have been careful (no shock damage, not going too deep, not opening except when away from sand and water, etc).
The dealer returned the camera to Pentax, who actually did a pressure test to confirm that I had not taken it deeper than the allowed 1.5 metres. They replaced the circuits and did some cleanup and I have my camera back, in mainly good working order, all covered by the warranty. I have had one “memory card error” since, but this was solved by removing and replacing the card. So contrary to what you may have read on this site, Pentax will back up their warranty for water damage, perhaps only under certain conditions.
Have to say that I missed my old Nikon so much that I have just bought a P5000, and will save the Pentax for use around water. Not sure if I’ll be brave enough to take it underwater again….