PENTAX Optio WG-2 GPS Review

Review posted 06/13/2012

Quick Take
  • Tough built, will survive anything within set parameters
  • Easy to handle and operate in any situation
  • "Tough" features: Waterproof, Dustproof, Shockproof and Freezeproof protect the camera
  • Great image quality
  • Nice, Bright 3.0-inch LCD is easy to see all the time
  • Great Macro and Underwater AF
  • 6 LED lights provide excellent light for Macro Images
  • Good shooting performance
  • Competitively priced
  • Very weak battery life
  • Some noise in all images, more than should be seen at all ISO settings
  • Screen can be hard to see underwater if not looking straight on
  • No Dedicated video recording button
Bottom Line
The Pentax Optio WG-2 is as tough of a camera as you will find. Sporting a slew of useful features and shooting modes, such as underwater modes and a 16-Megapixel CMOS imaging sensor, you will find everything you are looking for. The only drawback is noise in your images. Read more in our Full Conclusion.
For the first half of 2012, PENTAX has announced its new "lifeproof" cameras, the Optio WG-2 and WG-2 GPS. These models replace last year's well-reviewed WG-1. As one might guess, the WG-2 and WG-2 GPS are pretty much the same camera, save for one of them having an all new GPS module PENTAX says will "deliver a shorter time lag before GPS start-up and longer life during GPS activation." I'll leave it to you, dear reader, to guess which model here includes GPS (wink).

Both WG-2 models might not seem like vast improvements over the WG-1 series, but if you look under the hood, you'll see the new cameras have a back-illuminated CMOS image sensor (an upgrade over last year's CCD) with a 16 megapixel resolution. That translates to faster performance overall, noise-free image capture in lower lighting conditions, and the ability to record full HD 1080p movies (which you can watch on your HDTV thanks to the built-in Micro HDMI port). Other nice features include a large 3.0-inch LCD screen and a 5x internal optical zoom lens with a 35mm equivalency of 28-140mm. New for this year is a an extra front LED light, bringing the total to six. This enables a Digital Microscope Mode to focus on and illuminate objects as close as 1 cm.

And what's a "lifeproof" camera without its battle specifications? Much like last years models, the WG-2 and WG-2 GPS are both rated to waterproof depths of 40 feet, shockproof up to 5 foot drops, crushproof up to the 220 LBF, and coldproof down to 14 degrees F (minus 10 degrees C).

PENTAX has also included a host of features to help the CMOS image sensor perform to the best of its abilities in any lighting conditions. Consider Pixel Track, Digital, and Movie Shake Reduction to ensure blur-free still images and video. There's also Fast Face Detection, which includes Smile Capture and Blink Detection, to help you make friends and family look their best. The Autofocus assist lamp is also brighter, which helps the camera achieve accurate focus. Lastly, Handheld Night Snap mode helps shutterbugs get that great shot indoors and after the sun drops below the horizon.

PENTAX Optio WG-2 and WG-2 GPS Features:
  • 16 megapixel back-illuminated CMOS sensor
  • 5x internal optical zoom lens (28-140mm)
  • 3.0-inch LCD screen (460k dots)
  • 6 LED lights (1 more than last year) + Flash
  • Digital Microscope Mode - focus on subjects as close as 1 cm
  • Full HD 1080p HD movie recording
  • Waterproof to depths of 40 feet
  • Shockproof up to 5 feet
  • Crushproof up to 220 LBF (pound-force)
  • Coldproof down to 14 degrees F (-10 degrees C)
  • HDMI port (Micro, Type-D)
  • Pixel Track, Digital, and Movie Shake Reduction
  • Fast Face Detection
    • Smile Capture
    • Blink Detection
  • Handheld Night Snap Mode
  • Autofocus Assist Lamp
  • Infrared Remote Control Compatibility (optional accessory)
  • SportMount Chest Harness (optional accessory)
  • Newly redesigned GPS module (WG-2 GPS only)
The PENTAX Optio WG-2 and WG-2 GPS is available now. The WG-2, available in black or vermilion red, has a MSRP of $299.95, and the WG-2 GPS, available in shiny orange or gloss white, offers a MSRP of $349.95. The optional SportMount Chest Harness will retail for around $49.95. Check our buy box below for the most current online pricing.

What's in the box?:
  • Optio WG-2 camera body
  • USB Cable I-USB7
  • Battery Charger Kit K-BC92U
  • Macro Stand O-MS1
  • Rechargeable Li-Ion Battery D-LI92
  • Carabiner Strap O-ST125 (for GPS)
  • Software CD-ROM S-SW125

Additional Product Views:
WG-2 and WG-2 GPS group pairs.jpg
WG-2 GPS Group.jpg
WG-2 group.jpg
WG-2 w Strap (Red) LR.jpg
WG-2 Top LR.jpg
WG-2 Back LR.jpg

Visitors of Steves can visit the stores below for real-time pricing and availability. You can also find hot, soon to expire online offers on a variety of cameras and accessories at our very own Camera Deals page.