Pentax Optio WS80: waterproof, colorful fun

After spending three summers of fun with an older model of the Pentax Optio, it's with great joy that I see Pentax has announced the latest version of the Optio, the WS80 waterproof camera. This version is only rated waterproof down to 5 feet, which if you think about it, ain't much. It's not gonna make it past the shallow end of the pool. But, the reality is, most people don't use it underwater — it's more valuable as a camera that's safe to use at the beach, on the boat, in the dirt, (waterproof and dustproof) or in my case, kept in the back of a sweaty bike jersey, rain or shine.

The WS80 has a 10 megapixel CCD, with 720p video capability at 30 fps. It has a face detection, Smile Capture and Blink Detection (both a little creepy, if you ask me) and still and video image stabilization.

The WS80 is available in either black with orange accents or white with purple (which, by the way, matches my bike) and will retail for $250. Is it the best waterproof camera out there, or is it suitable for your next scuba adventure? Nope, but for most outdoor activities, dirty, dusty, wet, or sweaty, it's probably just fine.





Pentax via Ubergizmo