You know, I think Pentax’s UK marketing department might be trying to kill me, but they’re going to make it look like an accident. This is the second year in a row that Pentax has launched a camera that can take photographs underwater, and once again my review sample has been sent in the middle of winter. Pentax knows that I’d get into a lot of trouble if I tried taking pictures in my local swimming bath, so the only way I can get any underwater sample shots is to risk an extremely unpleasant death from hypothermia and frostbite by braving the near-zero water temperatures in a river or the sea. As murder plots go, it’s both fiendish and almost foolproof.
The Optio WPi is of course based on the popular Optio WP launched about this time last year. Jalal reviewed it here in April 2005 and gave it very high marks. I reviewed it for a certain well-known camera magazine and was also most impressed by it. The new WPi adds an extra megapixel to the existing formula, resulting in a 6MP compact with a 3x optical non-extending zoom lens and a 2in LCD monitor – and let’s not forget that it can also take photos at up to 1.5 metres underwater. It manages to do all this while still being one of the slimmest and most stylish digital cameras on the market. It is available for a high street price of £269.99, or for as little as £171 if you shop around online.