Video Quality and Movie Features: Pentax W60
Movies are better on the Pentax W60 hands-down. The Olympus 1050 SW just has too many handicaps on its movie mode to make it worth even turning on. If you plan on capturing videos with your camera at all, don’t buy the Olympus 1050 SW.
Here’s why: its videos only last 10 seconds. That’s right, 10 measly seconds. More times than I can count, I’d begin videoing a sequence only to have the Olympus stop before the moment that I really wanted to capture. Making it worse was the awful countdown that the camera gives you on the screen (10-9-8-7-6-5-oh crap, oh crap, argh!) and the seizure-inducing orange flashing light on the back of the camera during recording. To its credit, the Stylus does have a pre-capture movie mode that continuously shoots and then saves the five seconds before your hitting the shutter release button. But still: it’s only 10 seconds. Planning on videoing your buddy’s ski lines or those butterfly fish on the reef? Don’t take the Olympus 1050 SW.
The Pentax W60, however, can record up to the memory’s capacity. That makes it usable – unlike that abominable 1050 SW – but neither movie mode is fabulous. Both have monaural audio that makes it sound like the cameras are under water all the time even when they’re not. And both record videos chock-full of noise in anything-but-perfect lighting. As far as colors go, the Olympus 1050 SW exaggerated them which looked great when underwater but tacky in most other situations. The Pentax W60’s colors looked truer in underwater videos.
Both cameras have 640 x 480 and 320 x 240-pixel video resolution that shoots at 30 and 15 frames per second. The Pentax also adds a 1280 x 720-pixel mode, but it shoots at only 15 frames per second. While that’s great resolution, the motion is so choppy that it looks crappier than the smaller 640 x 480, 30 fps option when played back.
Optical zoom is available while recording movies on the Pentax Optio W60. 5x is a nice amount of zoom, but you’ll hear a noise similar to an electric scooter zooming in and out of your video. The Olympus doesn’t allow optical zoom in movies, but it hardly gives you the time anyway.
Obviously, the Olympus doesn’t have many extras when it comes to the movie mode. The Pentax Optio W60, however, adds a few color modes (black & white and sepia) along with a digital shake reduction system. The latter feature makes the video footage less bumpy, but it crops it to a slightly smaller resolution too.
Both digital cameras have some form of video editing. The Olympus 1050 SW can only make index prints; you can’t splice clips at all. There are a few more options on the Pentax: you can pull individual still images or divide a movie file into two clips. Both cameras record Motion JPEG files.
The Olympus 1050 SW does have a mode dial that makes it easier to find the movie mode. You have to enter a mode menu and scroll around with the multi-selector to find the Pentax W60’s movie mode.