Last Update: Review & Sample Photos @ Digicam Review (added on 20.02.07)
Pentax Optio W20 is a waterproof point-and-shoot digital camera (announced 07.08.06) featuring 7.0 million effectve pixels, 3x optical zoom (35mm equivalent: 38mm – 114mm) and a 2.5” LCD. The camera is measuring 4.2 x 2.1 x 0.9 inches (107 x 55 x 23mm), weighing around 5.4 oz (150g) and running on D-LI8 Lithium rechargeable battery.
>> REVIEWS (last updated: 20.02.07)
Digicam Review reviews the Pentax Optio W20 (8.5/10) and writes;
“Image quality was generally good – the camera has quite good detail and good colour… The Pentax Optio W20 is one of the cheapest completely waterproof digital cameras available – available from only £139 you’d be tempted to think that Pentax have made compromises in order to get the price so low – thankfully this isn’t the case. Pentax have done an excellent job making a compact and easy to use digital camera full of features. Some you wouldn’t expect to see on a compact point and shoot, such as manual focus, custom white balance, video recording with optical zoom and digital anti-shake. The camera doesn’t compromise on image quality either, with good results available, especially if you spend a lot of time outdoors or taking macro photos. The only weakness was the camera’s higher than average noise when taking photos indoors. If you’re looking for a compact, waterproof, 7 megapixel digital camera with a 3x optical zoom lens, and a 2.5″ screen, then the Pentax Optio W20 is an excellent choice.”
Steve’s Digicams have reviewed the Pentax Optio W20 where they write;
“Underwater photography is one of this camera’s most important qualities. I was happy to find that the W20 performs very well underwater. Sample pictures were taken in a large aquarium, and the W20 captured very sharp images of the aquarium’s bottom along with the fish inside. The flash also worked well to provide good exposure from .5 – 2 feet away…With a street price of $250 or less, the Pentax Optio W20 is a very sporty digital package. With JIS Class 8 waterproof and Class 5 dustproof ratings, this model can be taken almost anywhere, without the need for extra protection against the elements. Image quality is great for a 7- megapixel model, and the anti-shake/anti-blur technology performs well in less than perfect lighting conditions. The W20 adds another great model to Pentax’s waterproof digital line.”
TrustedReviews have reviewed the Pentax Optio W20 where they rate the camera 7/10 and write;
“The W20’s lens appears to be the same excellent folded-optics unit as on the W10, and again it produced good edge-to-edge sharpness and very little distortion at wide angle. Colour rendition and exposure were both as good as the dreadful lighting conditions would allow, and the level of detail in the test shots was good, although there was some evidence of over-processing and noise reduction…f you need a camera that can withstand immersion in water, your choices are basically limited to the Pentax Optio W20 or the Olympus mju 725 SW that I reviewed last week. The Pentax is cheaper, smaller, takes slightly better pictures, and looks more like a normal compact than the Olympus, but lacks the shock-proof credentials.”
ThinkCamera have reviewed the Pentax Optio W20 where they rate the camera 6/10 and write;
“he Pentax W20 has been blessed with a very proficient sensor for a compact, the colours are good across the board and purple fringing is kept to a minimum – I had to look very hard to find an example, and it was only the white lettering of the red No Parking sign that I found some. Detail is also very good because there doesn’t seem to be a lot of noise reduction (more on this in a bit) and edges too are very sharp. At the telephoto end of the scale however some edge detail is lost, aerials disappearing etc…The W20 has a big selling point in its ability to be waterproof without being bulky, allowing it to be a perfect travel camera for all occasions, in water or out. It has a sensor that can perform when needed and enough options to satisfy every level of ability. The camera isn’t without its faults, and these may hold it back compared to other compacts, but against similar waterproof cameras, it’s well worth a look. .”
>> SAMPLE PHOTOS (last updated: 20.02.07)
>> PRESS RELEASE
PENTAX Corporation is pleased to announce the launch of the new PENTAX Optio W20, a compact digital camera featuring excellent waterproof performance with a slim, flat body design.
The Optio W20 is the latest model in the PENTAX Optio W series of cameras that are waterproofed for underwater photography without requiring a waterproof case or other accessories. This model features a new Blur Reduction mode, which allows you take sharper photos without camera shake or subject blurring even of low-light scenes or fast-moving subjects, and an upgrade to a 7.0-effective-megapixel. All told, this camera boasts better image quality in a fun, easy-to-handle package.
1. Water and dust protection for worry-free use in all kinds of environments The Optio W20 features a waterproof design that meets the JIS Class 8 waterproof standard, enabling it to withstand up to 30 minutes of continuous operation at an underwater depth of 1.5 meters, without needing a waterproof case. Furthermore, it meets the JIS Class 5 dustproof standard. Thus, this camera is ideal for use when skiing, taking part in marine sports, going fishing, or enjoying other outdoor events as well as gardening, cooking, or in other places where you would normally worry about water or dirt.
2. New Blur Reduction mode reduces camera shake and subject blurring The Optio W20 is equipped with a Blur Reduction mode, a new feature that lets you take photos at faster shutter speeds for sharper images even in dim lighting conditions such as night scenes and indoor sporting events. In this mode, the camera automatically adjusts the sensitivity to as high as ISO 1600 to match the brightness of the subject. The higher sensitivity permits faster shutter speeds that effectively reduce not just camera shake but also blurring caused by moving subjects.
3. Macro photography as near as 1 cm The Optio W20 can be used as close as one centimeter away from a subject for stunning close-up photography. Macro photography provides many fun photo options because you can fill the photo frame with subjects like flowers, insects, or jewelry.
4. 2.5-inch LCD monitor with superb visibility even outdoors The Optio W20 comes with a 2.5-inch LCD monitor that is easy to view even in sunny outdoor conditions. The LCD cover is finished with a non-glare coating and you can adjust the LCD backlight strength as needed. The camera also has a Power Saving mode that automatically dims the backlight to save battery power.
5. High-quality movies with an anti-shake function With the Optio W20, you can smoothly capture movies at 30 fps (frames per second) at sizes up to 640 x 480 pixels that rival those shot with camcorders. It also has additional features that make taking movies easier and more enjoyable, including the movie anti-shake feature,*1 which automatically compensates for camera shake while taking movies, and the Mermaid Movie mode, which optimizes the settings for filming underwater. *1 Using the movie anti-shake function results in a narrower field of view than during normal recording.
6. Face Recognition AF & AE for beautiful one-step portraits The camera includes Face Recognition AF & AE, which allows you to take bright, beautiful photos of people with perfectly focused faces free of shadows caused by backlighting. This useful function automatically detects the position of the subject’s face anywhere in the photo frame and then adjusts the focus and optimizes the exposure for the detected position.
7. Auto-tracking AF continuously focuses on a moving subject The Optio W20’s auto-tracking AF feature continuously focuses on subjects such as kids and pets that move around unpredictably. Since the focus frame automatically follows the movement of the subject inside the photo frame, you can capture those instantaneous photo opportunities.
8. Digital filters add all kinds of fun expressions A number of creative digital filter functions are built into the camera that you can use to customize your photos. In addition to a B&W filter, a Sepia filter, a Soft Focus filter, and six Color filters, there is a Fish-eye filter, which dramatically distorts the image so it appears to have been taken with a fish-eye lens. With these filters, you can obtain a rich assortment of digital effects without needing a computer.
9. Auto Picture mode automatically determines the best settings for the shooting conditions The Auto Picture mode lets the camera automatically determine the shooting conditions for Landscape, Portrait, Night Scene, and Program modes and choose the optimum settings for each subject. This PENTAX original function simplifies shooting for users since it eliminates the necessity of making a number of individual settings.
10. 3X optical zoom lens and 7.0 effective megapixels deliver outstanding pictures The Optio W20 includes a 3X optical zoom lens that covers focal lengths from 6.3 to 18.9mm (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. And by harnessing the full power of the 7.0 effective megapixels, the Optio W20 produces extremely high-quality prints with crisp detail even when the photo is greatly enlarged.
11. Supports the SDHC memory card for greater storage of high-quality images and longer movies The Optio W20 supports two removable storage media: the conventional SD memory cards and the new SDHC memory cards.*2 *2 SD High Capacity; these memory cards have capacities in excess of 2 GB.
* Ready to shoot in just 1.2 seconds after the power is turned on
* Calendar display lets you choose photos by date
* Mode Palette provides quick access to 25 shooting modes and 15 playback modes
* Image Recovery function lets you retrieve accidentally erased pictures
* Soft flash function avoids overexposure during close-up flash photography
* Digital zooming provides up to 4X magnification
* FotoNation’s red-eye compensation function for flash shots
* Approximately 21.9 MB of built-in memory
* Includes the ACDSee for PENTAX image viewer/image management software
* Supports PictBridge, DPOF functions, Exif Print, and PRINT Image Matching