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New Waterproof Cam Among 3 Announced by Pentax
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posted on Aug 11, 2009 at 6:48PM

New Waterproof Cam Among 3 Announced by Pentax

By Emily Raymond
  • Waterproof Pentax WS80
  • Slim P80
  • $129 E80
  • Auto picture modes
  • HD video recording

(Credit: Pentax)

Pentax added another waterproof camera to its collection with the announcement of the Optio WS80. The company also announced the slim P80 and the budget-friendly E80. All three digital cameras have high-resolution 2.7-inch LCD screens and HD movie recording capabilities. They will be available in September.

The Pentax Optio WS80 is very similar to the W80 with many of the same modes and features. Both cameras are waterproof, but the W80 can go to depths of 16 feet (5 meters) and the new WS80 can only go to 5 feet (1.5 meters). Indeed, the new camera isn’t as tough: it isn’t freeze or shockproof like its sibling. It does still retain the dustproof classification though. The WS80 and W80 both have 5x optical zoom lenses with water-repellant coating on them, but the new model has a slightly larger 2.7-inch LCD over the W80’s 2.5-inch version.

The WS80 is slimmer than its sibling with its 3.6 x 2.3 x 0.9-inch measurements, compared to the W80’s 3.9 x 2.2 x 1-inch dimensions. The Pentax WS80 comes in a two-tone body in either black and orange or white and pink. It will retail for $249.

The Pentax Optio P80 is marketed to be so stylish that it is “more like an accessory than a camera,” according to the Aug. 5 press release. It follows the P70 with many of the same specs: 12 megapixels, 4x optical zoom lens, and 2.7-inch LCD screen. They offer many of the same modes and features, although the new version claims to have updated face detection and auto focus tracking technology. It also upgrades the 15 fps HD movies on the P70 to 30 fps on the P80. The Pentax Optio P80 will sell for $199 and will come in black, pearl, and mint green colors.

Both the Pentax WS80 and P80 offer a few dozen scene modes. Besides the standard Portrait and Landscape modes, they have choices like Food, Kids, and Blog. They also have a “small face filter, which makes the subject’s face appear smaller in proportion to the body than it actually is.” This, according to the compact press release, is supposed to make portraits look well-balanced. The WS80 and P80 have face detection systems that can recognize up to 32 faces at once, and offer blink detection and smile capture modes. Both cameras have an auto scene mode that recognizes subjects and elements in pictures and automatically assigns a scene mode. The budget-friendly E80 also has this mode.

The Pentax Optio E80 follows the E70 with familiar specs: 10 megapixels and a 3x optical zoom lens. The older version has a 2.4-inch LCD screen, but the new E80 has a 2.7-inch LCD. The newer version also comes with bigger buttons and HD video capability, although only recording at 15 fps. The trim 4 x 2.3 x 1-inch camera will retail for $129.


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