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Regular visitors to this site may recall my painful experience reviewing the Pentax Optio WPi waterproof compact back in February this year. My theory was that Pentax’s PR department was trying to kill me by making me wade into freezing water in the middle of winter. At about the same time that I was dicing with death for that review, Pentax was launching the latest weapon in its arsenal of assassination. However this time they’ve miscalculated. They’ve sent me the new Optio W10 to review in spring, so hopefully this time I can retain the use of my extremities.
The W10 is superficially similar to the WPi in both design and specification. It too features a six megapixel CCD and 3x optical zoom non-protruding lens, and is waterproof to a depth of 1.5m for up to 30 minutes. With a high street price of £249.89 it is actually £20 cheaper than the launch price of the WPi, which is probably going to annoy anyone who bought that camera when it came out, especially since you can now buy a WPi in the high street for just £175.
The W10 certainly looks very similar to the WPi at first glance, although if you put the two cameras side-by-side the new model is noticeably larger, being 5mm longer, 4mm taller and 1mm thicker. It’s also 20g heavier, which is a lot on a 155g camera. However the extra space provides room for a bigger non-reflective 2.5” LCD monitor and a redesigned body shape that is much more secure and comfortable to hold, thanks to a large thumb grip that has been added to the back.
The main differences are internal, and they are much more than superficial. The WPi is based on the internal workings of the Optio S6, and although that is a great little camera it isn’t exactly the fastest thing around. For the W10 and its other recent launches including the E10, M10 and 8MP A10, Pentax has thankfully at last updated its electronics and software.