Pentax Optio WG2 full review

Don’t be put off by the crazy styling and colours that appear to be targeting the under tens; here is a 16 megapixel point-and-shoot holiday/travel camera claiming to be waterproof, freezeproof, crush proof and shock proof that works for all the family. It adds latest must haves including GPS, so images can be tagged according to location. Zoom capacity might be modest at 5x optical, but with a wide-angle 28-140mm range in 35mm terms it does the job for everyday snaps whilst remaining within the protective body. Stills and Full HD video at 1920x1080 pixels with mono sound are lined up and reviewed via the 3-inch LCD with a 460k-dot resolution.

Really though, this is a tool for dunking in the pool on holiday – as we did – and coming away with memories that wouldn’t otherwise be recordable. Keeping the wet stuff at bay are lockable covers protecting ports for HDMI output and joint battery and SD card compartments, while for the more ambitious the camera can go 12 metres deep for up to two hours. We came away with only tiny beads of moisture occasionally appearing under the flap. It will also survive temperatures as low as minus 10°C, drops from 1.5 metres in height and a weight equivalent to 100kg being placed atop it.

Thankfully the clear lens cover appeared impervious to finger smudges, while water runs off the surface of the camera so that it doesn’t require lots of drying down either. The wacky Batman utility belt design serves some purpose, as there are plenty of angular and rough edges to prevent the camera slipping from the hand.

Powering up in just over a second, the WG2 is swift to respond to a button press, with controls wide and rectangular rather than round and slippery. However they’re still a little too small to be effective if wearing ski gloves. Battery life is good for 260 shots however and image sharpness and colours exceeded our expectations for a camera so outwardly toy-like. 

The Optio WG2 from Pentax may resemble Batman’s smartphone, but its destruction defying claims ring true for adventurous snappers

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