Pentax has got to be one of the most prolific and consistent camera manufacturers out there. Never a month goes by without a few more Optio-something-or-others flashing onto shelves to generally high acclaim. So it is entirely predictable that October brings two further models to this extensive high class family and that they look right at home in such company.
For style freaks Pentax has unleashed the Optio S6, a super slim (19mm) and light (120g) model which takes an entirely new approach to screen technology. Instead of the usual reflection blighted displays seen on usual digicams, the S6 uses a 2.5in Beau-Reflective LCD which it claims is designed to deliver clear and sharp images not just outdoors, but even in direct sunlight. If it works as well as Pentax purports this will be far more than a novelty addition, but a vital one given that we arguably take most shots outside with the majority of important ones on holiday.
The S6 doesn’t have any obvious weak points outside its major selling point either. It is equipped with six megapixels, 3x optical zoom, 30fps VGA (video stored in DixX Mpeg4 compression), 15 shooting modes, USB2.0 connectivity, PictBridge compatibility and on and on. It swallows SD cards which makes extra storage capacity cheap and there’s 23MB of inbuilt memory should you need a few emergency shots.
Shell out £279.99 towards the end of November for it to come home with you and it looks like money well spent.
Cutting a no less impressive path is the second of Pentax’s releases, the OptioWPi. This is a follow up to the OptioWP which we first previewed in February and reviewed in April. Like its predecessor, the WPi is a slim (22mm) yet rugged camera which can withstand up to 30 minutes of continuous operation at an underwater depth of 1.5 metres. Furthermore it also conforms to Class 5 Dustproof Performance of Category 2 which, in English, means nowt gets inta it ta easily brek stuf (me Geordie’s cummin’ bak) meaning it is actively promoted for use on active venture holidays.
On the photography side there’s six megapixels at your disposal, a 2in LCD and 3x optical zoom. SD Cards are the wise storage medium of choice, though it limited video capabilities are limited to .mov output (Cheers Tim) which is a bit of a bummer because if I go bungee jumping or Off-piste skiing I damn well want high quality movies showing it.
Against this is an RRP of £269.99 which is incredibly reasonable for a ruggedised and waterproof digital camera. So do you risk the wrath of your bank manager shelling out double the price for an equivalent with AVI video? Risk destroying something a lot less durable or spend the cash you save on a few extra days of hell raising? Come the end of November, the choice – as they say – is yours…