updated 06:00 pm EDT, Wed June 24, 2009
Pentax W80 rugged camera
Pentax on Wednesday announced the Optio W80, a rugged digital camera featuring a 12.1-megapixel sensor capable of recording 720p video at 30 frames-per-second. The housing is claimed to remain waterproof at depths of up to 16 feet for two hours of continuous operation. Integration of shock-resistant materials throughout the internal components protects against drops from heights of more than three feet without damage to the body. The camera also works in temperatures down to 14 degrees Fahrenheit.
Users can view shots on a 2.5-inch high-brightness LCD monitor with an anti-reflective coating that minimizes glare. The camera also features a Digital Wide function that creates extra-wide-angle images from two separate captures, while a D-Range setting helps prevent against overexposed or underexposed images.
The W80 provides a 5X optical-zoom lens, while the digital zoom extends out to 31.3X. An automatic macro mode allows users to capture subjects from distances as close as one centimeter. Pixel Track SR is designed to reduce image blur when capturing still images, without adding ISO noise. A high-sensitivity mode automatically raises the ISO setting to ISO 6400 in low-light conditions.
While recording video, the camera utilizes the Movie SR system to automatically compensate for shake. An underwater mode optimizes the colors for submarine shooting, while 20 digital filters add special effects to still images.
The Optio W80 will be available in red, blue or gray colors beginning in July for $300. Customers can also purchase a protective skin for $17 or a wrist strap for $20.