Pentax Optio 33WR review
I think this is an excellent camera. It has a whole host of useful features - video and still time lapse, video with sound, slideshow, zoom in playback still mode, easy to download images/video to computer and video, memo mode, and the usual camera features such as flash, picture mode, timer, white balance adjustment, etc. I had a great time learning to use the many features of this camera. In my view, there is no comparison, feature-wise, with a normal 35 mm film camera of the same price.
It is quite a robust camera and I especially like the rubber corners. One of its biggest selling points for me is the water-resistant feature - brilliant. I will have no hesitation in using it in the rain or damp conditions. I haven't dropped it on solid ground or in water yet, but it's good to know that it should survive the encounter.
I have found image quality to be pretty good and battery usage seems fine with NiMH batteries, but I can't compare it with other digital cameras. Suffice to say, I think it has a reasonable power consumption but whatever you do, don't use normal AA alkaline batteries.
I like the shape and feel of the camera, but I don't think that is shared by too many other people. The camera is hard to come by in New Zealand and the price has been reduced from approximately NZ$750 to NZ$399 (I am not complaining about this!)
I have had no problems at all so far, but I have a few suggestions which Pentax should consider.
Firstly, a good camera case. It does not come with one and I have heard that the case you can buy for it is not so good. Robust as it is, a camera case would be a good idea for the 33WR. A lens protector would also be a worthwhile idea, and a protector for the LCD screen too. I would love to see a small, pull-out lens shade above the lens - this would be great in very bright and rainy conditions. It would reduce glare and stop raindrops landing on the lens. Maybe I should copyright this idea. And finally, a metal casing instead of the plastic one would further enhance its rugged reputation.
I would certainly recommend this camera to anyone. So far, it has been brilliant and if my camera suffered severe misfortune (lost, stolen, etc) then I would do my best to buy the same one again, no question about it.
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