Pentax Optio W10 – Review Roundup and Sample Photos

Last update: Review & Sample Photos @ LetsGoDigital (Added on 18.10.06)

Pentax Optio W10 is a waterproof point-and-shoot digital camera (released on 16.02.06), featuring a 6.0 megapixels (CCD sensor) with 3x optical zoom (equivalent to 38mm – 114mm) and a 2.5″ LCD screen. It’s measuring 4.2 x 2.1 x 0.9 inches (107 x 55 x 23mm), 140 g (4.9 oz) and running on Lithium-ion D-LI8 battery


>> REVIEWS (last updated: 18.10.06)

LetsGoDigital reviewed the Pentax Optio W10 where they rated the camera 74% and wrote;
“Not only did we test the Pentax Optio W10 above the water, we have also submitted it to a fair share of underwater testing. It should be said that the water-proof housing adds a large, indisputable surplus value to the camera. The quality of the images proves excellent, and even the underwater shots generally suffice. The Pentax Optio W10 is a camera that will appeal to a large audience. Moreover, it will prove right up the alley of those who love water sports. Photographing both in and around the water is very enjoyable indeed, and allows you to capture shots you normally wouldn’t dare dream of, considering the risk of damage to the camera. The Pentax Optio W10 is a very attractive camera, and will undoubtedly be the perfect holiday companion. A camera that ensures truly effortless, trouble-free photography; a successful concept! “

ImagingResource reviewed the Pentax Optio W10 and wrote;
“Noise levels are low to moderate at the Pentax Optio W10’s lower sensitivity settings, with higher noise at ISO 400 and 800 (as you’d expect). At ISO 400, image noise results in fairly strong blurring (though detail is also a bit blurry at ISO 200 as well). Image noise at ISO 800 is very high with a strong pattern that interferes with fine detail. “

DigitalCameraInfo reviewed the Pentax Optio W10 and wrote;
“The Optio W10’s unique benefits are its waterproofing, its simplicity and its styling. Its image quality is by no means outstanding. Still, there will be plenty of people who want a convenient, moderately-priced beach camera or even a snorkeling camera, and they will be pleased with the W10. For under $300, the 6-megapixel, 3x optical zoom Optio W10 offers a unique feature set at its price point, although users will have accept the sacrifice in image quality for the added durability and underwater functionality. “

CNET reviewed the Pentax Optio W10 and wrote;
“The Pentax Optio W10 is a good camera for extreme shooting. Its design lets it shrug off water and dirt that would destroy other cameras. Its performance and image quality leave a lot to be desired, though, and you might want to look for another camera if you’re not planning to go swimming with it. “

Steve’sDigicams reviewed the Pentax Optio W10 and wrote;
“One of the most important aspects of image quality for this specific camera, is its underwater results. I was very surprised at how well it captured images in the water. Shooting samples in our bathtub of some toy frogs showed the W10 can capture sharp images, with good flash exposure as long as the subject is about 1.5 – 2 feet away. When you get closer, however, the flash is a bit too intense. When shooting underwater, the flash is a necessity, although you can turn it off if desired. Although I was not able to test it in a swimming pool, I think this would be the best environment for this model.” reviewed the Pentax Optio W10 and wrote;
“What’s Hot:Compact digicam is waterproof to 5 feet without any additional housing, video mode of 640×480 at 30 fps with sound, Zoom works while recording video
What’s Not: LCD screen is tough to see underwater when the sun is overhead, No manual aperture or shutter controls, 2-step shut and lock is easy to forget before submersion”

TrustedReviews reviewed the Pentax Optio W10 and wrote;
“At lower ISO settings the pictures are smooth and sharp, and the improved folded-optics lens provides excellent edge-to-edge detail and almost no distortion even at the widest angle setting. The improved image processing engine is a lot less heavy-handed than that of many similarly-specified cameras, and produces extremely natural colour rendition that are naturally sharp rather than over-sharpened…The W10 takes the unique abilities of the WP and WPi and improves on them. Better image quality, better movies, better handling and faster overall performance make it indisputably a better camera, while the lower launch price makes it even better value for money.”

DigicamReview reviewed the Pentax Optio W10 and wrote;
“I was very impressed with the image quality of the Optio W10. Images showed accurate color and good exposure in a variety of conditions. Detail in the images was excellent throughout the entire frame. Chromatic aberration was very hard to notice, but I did see some reddish edges when looking very closely at some images containing some high contrast areas. Macro performance was also very impressive, showing good detail on a lot of close-up shots.”

>> SAMPLE PHOTOS (last updated: 23.09.06)

Pentax Optio W10 Sample Photos posted @ ImagingResource
Pentax Optio W10 Sample Video posted @ PopPhoto
Pentax Optio W10 Sample Photos posted @ Pentax Optio W10


PENTAX Corporation is pleased to introduce the new PENTAX Optio W10. Furnished with superior waterproofing and dustproofing, the Optio W10 is a 6.0 effective megapixels compact digital camera that packs a 2.5-inch LCD monitor and a 3X optical zoom lens into a slim, newly designed body.

The Optio W10 was developed based on the PENTAX Optio WP series, which realizes the waterproof functionality for underwater photography without requiring a waterproof case or other accessories. While continuing the development concepts of sportiness, elegance, and leisure and the waterproof and dustproof performance for reliable use outdoors or during water sports, the Optio W10 offers improved LCD monitoring and movie recording. This model has been made more convenient and user-friendly with the addition of the new Face Recognition AF/AE function, which detects people’s faces in the picture frame and adjusts the focus and exposure accordingly.

Pentax Optio W10 Major Features

High waterproof performance, without the need for a case

The Optio W10 complies with JIS class 8 waterproof performance, enabling it to withstand up to 30 minutes of continuous operation at an underwater depth of 1.5 meters. Furthermore, the Optio W10 has also been proven to conform to Class 5 dustproof performance of category 2 (machines produced to prevent internal changes in atmospheric pressure). Such capabilities make it ideal for use when skiing, taking part in marine sports, going fishing or enjoying other outdoor events. Waterproof performance of this kind also means users can simply rinse the camera off any time it becomes dirty.

2.5-inch LCD monitor with superb visibility outdoors

The Optio W10 comes with a new 2.5-inch low-reflection LCD monitor. The LCD cover is finished with a non-glare coating, making the screen easier to see even outside on a sunny day. The LCD backlighting mechanism features a brightness adjustment as well as a Power Saving mode, which automatically reduces the backlight intensity to preserve battery life.

High-quality movie recording

The Optio W10 smoothly captures movies at 30 fps (frames per second) at sizes up to 640 × 480 pixels with image quality rivaling camcorders. Furthermore, switching on the newly added movie anti-shake function*1 automatically compensates for camera shake while recording movies. (The anti-shake function can be switched on or off.)
*1 Using the movie Shake Reduction feature results in a narrower field of view than during normal recording.

Face Recognition AF/AE, a new technology that adjusts focus and exposure for people’s faces

The Optio W10 is equipped with Face Recognition AF/AE, a new technology that detects people’s faces and automatically adjusts the focus and corrects the exposure to suit. When the camera’s shooting mode is set to one of Portrait, Self-Portrait, or Natural Skin Tone, this feature will detect and focus on a person’s face anywhere in the picture frame. This technology is particularly effective at preventing “dropout” photos, where the camera focuses on the background and not on the person when taking commemorative or other valuable photos. At the same time, this feature automatically corrects the exposure so the face is properly exposed even in lighting situations where the brightness of the person and the background are drastically different, such as when a person is under a spotlight or on a strongly backlit stage.

Continuous AF and tracking AF

Continuous AF*2 or tracking AF*3 are activated automatically upon selection of Sport, Pet or Kids modes – allowing the camera to track a moving subject within the frame and maintain accurate focus accordingly.
*2 For focus on stationary subjects, the shutter release button is depressed halfway to drive the lens to focus lock. Continuous AF, on the other hand, allows the lens to be driven constantly to ensure swift, precise focus as soon as the shutter release button is depressed halfway.
*3 Tracking AF continually detects both horizontal and vertical movement of the main subject to ensure sharp focus at the desired moment. Confirmation of the focus area can be done on the focus frame on the LCD monitor.

High-sensitivity shooting

The Optio W10 supports high-sensitivity shooting*4 at standard output sensitivity 800 (sensitivity is selectable). This enables fast shutter speeds for crisp, sharp shots with minimal blurring even in dark conditions or with moving subjects.
*4 The camera supports sensitivities up to Standard output sensitivity 800 with sensitivity set to Auto and either Candlelight mode or Report mode selected. The recording size with Report mode selected, however, is fixed at 1280 × 960 pixels.

Super image quality from the 3X optical zoom lens and 6.0 effective megapixels

The Optio W10 includes a 3X optical zoom lens that covers focal lengths from 6.3 to 18.9 mm (equivalent to 38 to 114 mm for 35mm film) and features a “folding” optical system so the lens never protrudes from the camera while zooming. Optical components have been redesigned for higher resolution, delivering advanced image quality that takes full advantage of the raw power of 6.0 effective megapixels.

Simplified operations with the Mode Palette

Selection of shooting and playback modes is made much easier with the Mode Palette, PENTAX’s original mode selection function that lists mode icons on the LCD monitor. By arranging 25 shooting modes and 15 playback modes, the Mode Palette speeds up mode selection with its straightforward display. Pressing the green button while in the Mode Palette activates a guide function, which displays explanations of each mode.

Green button for immediate setup screen access

The Option W10 includes a green button that immediately calls up the setup screen for settings such as exposure correction and sensitivity. You can assign frequently used functions to the green button to speed up setups when shooting. Up to four functions*5 can be assigned. Initially, the Green mode is pre-assigned to the green button (the three other functions are not assigned).
*5 Functions that can be assigned to the Green button: Green mode, recording size, image quality, white balance, AF area, focus limit, sensitivity, exposure compensation, sharpness, saturation, contrast, and off.

Green mode for easy camera-controlled shooting

The camera features a Green mode, which simplifies picture taking by letting the camera control detailed settings. Since a simple press of the green button activates the Green mode,*6 even beginning photographers can enjoy taking pictures with ease. The Green mode resets the shooting menu, setup menu, and other settings to their defaults and locks the menu and mode buttons and other controls so you don’t have to worry about unintentionally changing the settings. This mode comes in handy when asking someone else to take your picture.
*6 Available when the Green mode is assigned to the green button.

Slim body with a flat design

The slim, flat body design of the Optio W10 allows it to be easily retrieved from pockets, bags, and cases. The camera’s grip is fashioned with a finger-rest in the shape of a water droplet for better portability. An aluminum alloy is employed for the front panel, producing a high-grade sensibility. The rounded form also gives the camera a friendly impression.

Other features

  • Ready to shoot just 0.6 seconds after the power is turned on
  • Real-time display of “washed out” and “blacked out” areas
  • Image Recovery function lets you retrieve accidentally erased pictures
  • Picture Voice function can record sounds before and after taking a picture
  • Macro mode allows close-up photography as near as 1 cm
  • Frame composite function allows you, either when shooting or after shooting, to add
    a decorative frame that is printed around the image
  • Soft flash function avoids overexposure during close-up flash photography
  • Up to 4X digital zooming
  • Three color modes (full-color, B&W, sepia) for versatile movie recording
  • “Clock Mode” function displays the time even when the camera is off
  • SD memory card compatible; approx. 10.5MB built-in memory
  • Standard image viewer, ACDSee for PENTAX software
  • FotoNation’s red-eye compensation function for flash shots
  • DPOF, Exif Print, and PRINT Image Matching III compatibility
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