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on 26 April 2013
Colour Name: Metallic Grey|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
📦 Unboxing is a pretty joyless experience; it's a plain brown box. Good for the environment, I suppose. (I was a little let down at the time, but on reflection, I applaud Pentax for doing this. ALL tech companies should consider this).That said, when you take the camera out, it looks amazing. The display is gorgeous. Even before you turn it on, it looks stunning! My initial disappointment faded as I realised how capable and robust this thing is.

💦 Watch the video as I abuse the camera - the proof is in the footage.

🐈 When I took the footage of the cats, I didn't use a tripod. I have shaky hands and the cats also kept 'head butting' me. The built in stabilisation is extremely effective.

🎦 It's a real shame that Amazon video reviews don't support native hi def (and convert to Adobe Flash). (A bit disappointing for an innovative company like Amazon).

👆It's useful to have at least one finger nail that isn't cut too short - to open the battery cover.

💪The great thing is that you don't need a case for this! The camera IS the case. You don't need a lens cap. I dropped it a couple of times onto concrete and I was worried that the lens would scratch, with the result visible on new photos. I'm STUNNED by how resilient this is.

I actually think this is better than the more expensive WG-3 because it's so much easier to handle, especially one-handed. [🔗My review of the WG-3 is at ]

It's the perfect holiday camera, I absolutely love it. Until now, I've been using my iPhone camera, wondering why people even bother with dedicated cameras any more. The optical zoom on this is super ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

This Pentax is now my preferred camera; I LOVE Pentax. ❤

I really don't pay much attention to the megapixel specs - bigger isn't necessarily better. I don't really care that the WG-3 is 16 MP where as this is only 14MP. My iPhone 4 camera is only 5 MP but it's performance in some daylight situations is excellent, and easily comparable.
22 comments| 62 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
VINE VOICEon 23 April 2013
Colour Name: Metallic Grey|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
First off, I'm a bit of a camera buff as I own a large Nikon with lenses as well as a trusty little one that's my holiday camera as well as a Kodak I bought cheap for the same reasons. Pentax is certainly a brand I'm familiar with, so I expected good things from this lightweight pocket model.

First off the good stuff. It's well specified. Amazingly so for its size, actually. Loads of settings to play with for different scenes and effects, as well as that ring of LEDs for close-in macro work. Pentax also stuff into it face recognition and electronic vibration compensation; something you normally only expect to see on top-end cameras. The weight of the camera also indicates (I didn't dismantle it so have no idea if I'm right) that under the G-Shock style plastic casing there may well be a metal body as well as adequate waterproofing. The two doors for connectors and battery/SD card are both cleverly thought out, with a slide and fold action rather than just a loose and potentially poorly fitting hinged affair.

Now the not so good. Big ones first. There's no lens cover. Just a glass square covering the optics. Even a cheap, manually pushed door would have been better as I can see this being hugely scratch-prone on what is an activity camera. Secondly the battery is a slimline cellphone type and comes with a charger which is twice the size of the camera itself. This to me is a major issue as it means that you need to take the charger with you on holiday, or buy additional batteries as the stated life is 250 clicks (obviously way less if using the 720p HD video function or if most of those pics are done with flash).

For those reasons I've knocked a star off. However the compensations are Pentax image quality and the variety and depth of ability this camera has built into it. Waterproofing is more along the lines of a day at the beach or poolside than taking it scuba diving at Sharm El Sheikh as it's not a serious underwater camera, more a water resistant camera you can splash about with in the shallows or the hotel's pool. The strap loop is metal and looks to be perfect for a lanyard, which is how mine will be spending its useful life. It also doesn't look expensive and that's a big plus in certain tourist locations!

So if you are considering this camera, invest in a spare battery or two as well as a few of the new high-capacity SD cards which it is compatible with. It'll do for photography and any holiday video shooting you might want to do and save you some space. Shame about that battery; using AA rechargables would have been more convenient.
33 comments| 16 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 4 July 2013
First the good... it's pretty rugged and waterproof which is the main reason I got it. Compared to the Panasonic Lumix which was my other choice this has a more secure door system, and the rubber seals appear to be of a better quality. I've no worries about this leaking, or not leaking.

In the box you have all you need apart from an SD card. Also comes with a T adaptor so you can for example fasten this to a telescope, which was a bonus I wasnt expecting. Should be interesting to try when the dark winter nights come. If you re shooting video make sure you get a fast SD card - a class 4 wont cut it. I have used a Sandisk class 10 8GB card and never had any problems.

The video quality is good, and the still images are better. Sharp clear, not too saturated and focus is spot on. It's never going to be flexible as a proper bridge or SLR camera of course but there is manual and varying types of focus, a nice macro mode with round the lens LED lighting, many different modes such as night, snow, flowers, pets, children, and the underwater modes as well. I've not testing it in seawater but I have no doubt it would be fine. Other nice trick modes are time elapse for cloud watching, and face reconition, smile capture etc. The menu system is excellent and it's easy and intuitive to navigate, you will have to refer to the manual (which is comprehensive and easy to use) a couple of times and then you can forget about needing it.

OK now the bad sadly...

As a waterproof camera it excels, I have no worries about that. Shockproof it appears fine as well but with a couple of caveats. There is no lens cover at all - it's a single sheet of quite tough glass, but there is no additional cover over that. This leaves the glass vulnerable to scratches and knocks and this severly limits it's use in places where an occasional bang may be encountered. It'll be fine if you drop it on a flat floor, or tarmac, but on anything rocky or rubbly and you are going to be looking at a scratched lens cover which cannot be swapped.

UPDATE: My camera was lost for just over a week and was eventually found outside, trodden deep into the earth by the side of the path. The camera survived the wet weather unscathed and worked perfectly well - a rinse under the tap sorted it. The conditions however had slightly scratched the front glass, fortunatly outside the area where the lens looks through. Overall very impressed with the survivability of it regards the water and weatehr conditions.

It doesn't have the same drop rating as others, nor is it as good as the better specced WG3 - but it's cheaper of course. You cand rop it from shoulder height so it's probably good enough for everything that most people need.

Although dust proof you can get sand into the microphone used for video recording. I suspect cleaning that out will be very tricky, also this would be the case if you allowed salt water to dry in there. Wash it well under a tap as soon as it comes out the ocean!

The battery is small and fiddly to remove and unless you have long fingernails is going to frustrate. Pentax want's £30 for a new battery. Shop around - you can get them at an eighth of that price.

All in all it's a super camera let down by lack of lens protection. Get a hardcover case for it and it'll give you excellent service but that just shouldn't be needed and makes it much less attractive for my usage. If you can live with this, I'd heartily recommend it.
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Colour Name: Metallic Grey|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I like to hike and bike and I'm clumsy sod. Having broken two good cameras while out and about, I love a rugged camera that will take a few knocks and this little camera certainly seems to fit my bill. It's been dropped hard once and been out in all weathers and continued working without complaint. The quality of the pictures - still and video - is, in general, superb. I've also enjoyed playing with the multitude of settings - the one for detailed, close work is especially impressive, as is the landscape setting, which enhances colour and detail on landscape pictures. The snow-setting was much used in the recent weather and works very well in high reflective conditions. I imagine It would work equally well on a bright beach.

The only real problem I've had photographically is the tendency for whites to burn out on the video settings, which has been a concern when filming my white dog in snow - it's my only complaint as regards the photo quality, which is, in every other respect, excellent, but it is something you might want to think about if you're looking for a camera for the beach. I haven't tried it on a sunny beach, they're in rather short supply in Lancashire, but I imagine pale sandy surroundings in bright sunlight would give you similar, burnt-out results.
Another concern is battery life, which is not great. With daily use, I need to re-charge every 3 days. The battery tends to give out quite quickly when using it mainly for video. The charger itself is quite bulky - which would I can foresee being an irritation when travelling. The short battery life means you would have to take the charger, even with a spare battery.

I can't attest to this camera as a piece of underwater kit: I'm not a diver and I haven't tried using it underwater. All I can say is that it's been out with me in all day in heavy rain and never quailed or quibbled once.

Not quite a 5 star camera because of the battery life and video burn-out, but in every other respect, I do love it. It's compact, tough as you could want, plenty of features and high-quality images. IMO, a terrific little all-weathers, all-terrain camera at a good price.
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on 13 August 2013
Primary goal was to get a camera to use underwater - this one does it nicely. Tried it in the pool with kids, underwater images are great, surface images not so much [a few vertical lines appear when you change from under to over water - guess one must change program, not always practical, will try it next]. Anyway, since it solves well the major issue I rate it positively, also considering its cost: good value for money. Thks
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on 11 August 2013
I bought this to take on holiday and ue on the beach/sea/camoeing as well as being a bit more robust for the children to use without worrying so much. It was really good and took some great photos both underwater and above. I could not always see the screen when underwater - combiniation of direction of the light, misted googles perhaps, but even so I took some good photos of jellyfish, fish etc while snorkling, as did the children.

Moving from below water to above water was tricky as lens retained a droplet of water and so images were not very clear until wiped. Suncream was a bit of an issue as it tends to get everywhere.

Lots of functions and features which were easy to move between and videoing unsderwater worked OK.

Panoramic photo was not brilliant and I will rely on PC based software for this rather than the camera.

Would recommend a foam float so it does not sink.

If you want high quality professional shots go elsewhere but for the price and the type of use I had in mind it was great
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on 5 July 2014
So good I loaned it to my son and never got it back! Guess, I'll just have to buy another. Watch that memory card/battery door/flap though if you aren't delicate with it, it can break.
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VINE VOICEon 22 May 2013
Colour Name: Metallic Grey|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
It arrives in a nice rugged looking box with all the bits except an SDHC flash card. It looks like the rest in this range - chunky Krytonesque. There are few buttons with most functiosn being accessed via the menu which is easy to understand and operate. There's an assignable toggle green button for say quick access to ISO or movies. There are some external connectors on the side - mini HDMI and PC/AV.

The camera is 14MP one with video at 720p 30fps which is enough for most users. There are other models offering more, eg the older WG2 offers 16MP and 1080p but looks better at lower resolutions.

This is an entry level camera designed to take all the knocks and spills of an outdoors' lover. It's waterproof, shockproof and coldproof to reasonable limits which are in order 10m, 1.5m and -10c. That should be enough for most. It uses a 28-140mm lens (in 35mm lingo).

IQ is decent for such a camera. There's a lot of smoothing (NR) going on even a low resolutions but that's the result of a small sensor. Still it's enough for most users.

Overall it's a good rugged outdoor compact with lots of character.
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on 7 December 2013
Choosing between this and it's Olympus equivalent. Like the microscope feature, clear controls. Only downside is no lens protection, which is a significant design flaw. Need to buy a soft case as a consequence.
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on 24 January 2014
Great little camera, small compact and packed with features, takes a little time to get used to the feature but great little camera.
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