Flash: Pentax W60
The Olympus and Pentax waterproof digital cameras have tiny flash units that aren’t as effective as they should be. These are fair-weather cameras. The Olympus Stylus 1050 SW keeps its flash near the center of the camera, and squarely positioned to the left of the lens. The Pentax Optio W60 has a more traditional flash position to the upper right of the lens.
Neither flash produces very flattering light. The Olympus leaves a definite hot spot near the left edge of its images. The Pentax has a similar off-centered hot spot. The W60’s flash can reach from 0.66-14.44 feet with the lens zoomed out and maxes out at 9.19 feet when zoomed to telephoto (with auto ISO). Olympus exaggerates its flash performance; the specs indicate a range from 0.66-17.4 feet; however, this is with a very sensitive ISO 800 being used. Head-to-head, the Pentax’s flash is more powerful.
Both cameras place their flash settings conveniently as they are selectable from the multi-selector. The Olympus 1050 SW has auto, fill-in, red-eye reduction, and off flash modes. The Pentax has a few more options: auto, off, on (fill-in), auto with red-eye reduction, on with red-eye reduction, and soft flash. Both cameras desperately need the red-eye reduction. It adds another half-second to taking a picture, but when it isn’t in use there will be scary eyes glowing back at you.