Pentax Optio W30 Review

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Pentax Optio W30

Review posted 4/23/2007

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The PENTAX Optio W30 is the fifth model in the Pentax' waterproof digital camera line. With an enhanced waterproof design, the Optio W30 performance capacity has more than doubled and also allows photographers to capture images underwater up to 10ft (3m) for up to 2 hours. The generous 2.5 inch LCD monitor offers a Bright Mode so that now you can adjust the brightness of the screen as necessary for improved viewing in the sunlight. The Optio W30 also features both Digital and Movie SR modes to reduce blur in both image and video capture.

The Optio W30 is equipped with Ultra-fast 9-Point Autofocus and features Tracking AF. Portrait mode combines Face priority AF with Face priority auto-exposure for perfect results. 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 back lit stage.

With Pentax's Mode Palette, the selection of shooting and playback modes is made much easier. By arranging 25 shooting modes and 15 playback modes, the Mode Palette speeds up mode selection with its easy to use display. After choosing a mode a guide function appears, which displays explanations of each mode.

The Green mode simplifies picture taking by letting the camera control detailed settings. Since a simple press of the green button activates the Green mode, 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.

The Optio W30 smoothly captures movies at 15 and 30 fps (frames per second) at sizes up to 640 x 480 pixels with image quality rivaling camcorders. Furthermore, switching on the newly added movie anti-shake function automatically compensates for camera shake while recording movies.

The W30 is designed for being rugged yet stylish. Every seam in the camera is protected with rubber sealant and an interlocking design to resist the enemies of all electronics including dust, pressure, and moisture. Without ever protruding from the camera body, the camera's 3X optical zoom can capture images as close as 0.36 inch. The battery and SD card are held safely behind a special water-tight locking mechanism. The W30's slim size makes it easy to fit into a pocket or purse.

The Optio W30 makes an ideal camera for outdoor activities and sporting events. With its JIS class 8 waterproof case it can withstand up to 30 minutes of continuous operation at an underwater depth up to five feet.The W30 is also certified as dustproof (JIS Class5) so it can be used in locations where it will be exposed to dust and dirt.

Optio W30 Features:

  • JIS Class 8 Waterproof (3m, up to 2 hours) and JIS Class 5 Dustproof performance (IP58)
  • Durable aluminum alloy body
  • 7.1-megapixel imager and a 3x optical zoom lens with SP coating
  • 2.5-inch 115,000 pixel color LCD monitor
  • Fast 9-point Autofocus with Tracking AF
  • New Face Recognition AF & AE technology
  • Voice Recorder and Voice Memo features
  • Metering and White Balance is adjustable
  • 10 Digital Filters, Sharpness, Saturation and Contrast is adjustable
  • Movie mode 640x480 30fps w/audio and anti-shake, length limited only by available memory
  • Built-in flash with Auto, Fill and Red-eye Reduction modes
  • ISO speeds: 64, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, and 3200
  • USB Mass Storage compatible for PC and Mac OS
  • Approx. 22MB of internal memory or optional SD/SDHC memory card storage
  • Powered by rechargeable Lithium-ion D-LI63 battery
  • Audio-Video Out for connection and replay on TV
  • PictBridge compatible for direct printing

The Optio W30 is available now with an MSRP of US$299.95 and ships with: USB Cable I-USB7 (39551), AV Cable I-AVC7 (39552), Rechargeable Battery D-LI63 (39586), Battery Charger D- BC63(A) (39588), AC Plug Cord D-CO2U (39257), Strap O-ST20 (39195), Software S-SW63.

Physical Views

Pentax Optio W30

Pentax Optio W30

Pentax Optio W30Pentax Optio W30

Pentax Optio W30

Pentax Optio W30

Pentax Optio W30

Pentax Optio W30 and a standard CD for size comparison

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Features & Controls

Pentax Optio W30 Specifications

Type: Compact waterproof digital camera
Sensor: Type - 1/2.5" interline transfer CCD; Effective pixels - 7.1MP; Total pixels - 7.41MP; Recorded resolutions - Still: 7M (3072x2304), 5M (2592x1944), 4M (2304x1728), 3M (2048x1536), 2M (1600x1200), 1024 (1024x768), VGA (640x480); Movie: VGA (640x480), QVGA (320x240); Quality levels - *** (best), ** (better), * (good)
Lens: Type/construction - Pentax zoom lens, 11 elements, 9 groups, 1 single sided aspherical element, 2 dual sided aspherical elements; Optical zoom - 3x, 6.3-18.9mm; Focal length (equiv.) - 38-114mm; Digital zoom - 4x; Combined zoom - 12x; Aperture - F3.3-4.0
LCD/Viewfinder: LCD screen - 2.5" TFT color LCD with anti-reflective coating and high brightness mode; LCD resolution - 115,000 pixels; Wide angle viewable - n/a; Optical viewfinder - n/a
Focus System: Type - TTL contrast detection autofocus system; Autofocus - 9 point autofocus, spot, pan, and auto tracking autofocus available; Manual focus - YES, 0.03' to infinity (at wide), 1.64' to infinity (off wide); Macro focus - YES, manual and automatic macro; Focus lock - Available by pressing the shutter release button half way down; Focus range - Normal 1.31' to infinity, Macro 0.03-1.97' (at wide)
Flash: Type - Built-in, series-control, automatic flash; Flash modes - Auto, on, off, redeye reduction, soft; Effective range - 11.8' (at wide), 9.8' (at tele), Auto ISO
Storage Media: Internal memory - 21.9 MB; Removable memory - SD, SDHC
Interfaces: Ports - USB/AV out, DC in; Video out - NTSC, PAL; Printer interfaces - PictBridge
Power Supply: Power source - Rechargeable Li-Ion Battery D-LI63; Recordable images - Approx. 210; Playback time - Approx. 240 min; AC adapter available - Optional
Physical Dimensions: Dimensions (W x H x D) - 4.2 x 2.1 x 0.93"; Weight - Without battery or removable memory: 4.9 oz, Loaded and ready: 5.6 oz; Construction material(s) - Aluminum alloy; Operating temperature - 32-104 degrees F; Waterproofing - JIS Class 8 submersible, Class 5 dust proof, tested at 3m underwater for 120 minutes
Timing: Startup - 1.3 sec; Release lag - 0.05 sec
Language Support: English, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Dutch, Danish, Swedish, Finnish, Polish, Czech, Hungarian, Turkish, Russian, Thai, Korean, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Japanese
Image Stabilization: Still - Digital SR Mode (ISO 3200); Movie - Movie SR Mode
Metering System: Type - TTL; Multi-segment - YES; Center weighted - YES; Spot - YES; Exposure compensation - +/- 2 EV (in 1/3 EV steps)
ISO Sensitivity: Auto - 64-400 (up to 3200 in Digital SR Mode and Report Mode); Manual - 64, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600
White Balance: Auto preset modes - Auto, Daylight, Shade, Tungsten, Fluorescent; Manual mode(s) - YES
Shutter: Type - Programmed AE electronic lens shutter w/ CCD electronic shutter; Shutter speed - 1/2000 to 4 sec
Capture Modes: Mode selection - Auto Picture, Program, Night Scene, Movie, Voice Recording, Landscape, Flower, Portrait, Underwater, Underwater Movie, Digital SR, Surf & Snow, Sport, Pet, Frame Composite (3MP), Synchronous Sound Record, Kids, Soft, Self-portrait, Fireworks, Food, Text, Museum, Neutral Skin Tone, Report; Green simplified mode available - YES; P/A/S/M/B - P; Date/time stamp - n/a (software only); Digital filters (capture) - n/a
Drive Modes: Mode selection - One shot, self timer, continuous (standard and high speed), interval shooting; Self-timer - 10 sec, 2 sec; Remote control - n/a
Playback Modes: Mode selection - One shot, index (9 thumbnails), magnification, movie playback, sound playback, histogram, bright/dark indication, folder display, select & delete, calendar, (mode palate: slideshow, resize, trimming, image & sound copy, image rotation, digital filter, brightness filter, movie edit, frame composite, redeye reduction, voice memo, protect, DPOF, image recovery, startup image); Magnification - up to 8x; Digital filters (playback) - b&w, sepia, color filter (6 colors), color extraction (b&w with red/green/blue), soft; Movie edit - save as still image, divide movie, stitch movie
File Formats: Still - JPG (EXIF 2.2), DCF, DPOF, Print Image Matching III; Movie - MOV (QuickTime Motion JPG), 30/15 FPS w/ sound, Movie SR, interval shooting; Sound - WAV (PCM), monaural
Computer System Requirements*: *For device connectivity. Bundled software requirements may vary. Windows - Windows ME/2000/XP/Vista, USB port; Mac - MacOS 9.2, X (10.1 or later), USB port
(Specifications as represented by the manufacturer)

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Features & Controls

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