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Pentax Optio WS80 - Pentax Optio WS80

By Cliff Smith

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

7

User Score:

Apart from its internal vertically-mounted lens and waterproof body the WS80 shares most of its features with another of Pentax's recent ultra-compact models, the Optio E80. Like the E80 it is essentially a pretty basic snapshot camera, with only automatic exposure controls and a range of 12 scene modes, although these do include underwater photography and video modes, as well as a setting for beach and snow.

Despite its simplicity the WS80 does offer a reasonable range of contemporary features. It has D-Range contrast compensation with selectable highlight and shadow correction, and saturation, contrast and sharpness can be adjusted. The WS80 also features a much-improved face detection system, able to detect and recognise up to 32 faces in each shot.

There are several interesting features in playback mode too, including red-eye correction, colour filters, composite frames and a bizarre Small Face filter which, to quote the official website, "makes the subject's face appear smaller in proportion to the body than it actually is, to produce attractive, well-balanced portraits." Personally I like my face the size it is, thanks.

It's not all good news though. The impressive sounding "Pixel Track SR Hi-sensitivity anti-shake mode" is really just digital image stabilisation with increased ISO setting to produce a faster shutter speed. It does work, but it's not as effective as a mechanical image stabilisation system, such as the sensor-shift IS that Pentax uses in its more expensive compacts and digital SLRs

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Marcel

October 29, 2009, 8:23 pm

I've read through this several times but am unable to find one of the most important specs of a waterproof camera - waterproof to what level of depth?

SpiderJacek

October 30, 2009, 2:22 am

This information is written on the first page of the review:





It is waterproof to a depth of 1.5 metres for up to two hours

Xrissio

October 30, 2009, 1:12 pm

I have bought one of these, and whilst the outdoor photos are acceptable, the indoor photos are very poor. Any artificial light induces unacceptable levels of noise, and the flash does nothing to help.


I have returned mine!

Marcel

October 30, 2009, 5:45 pm

D'oh! Sorry about that. Although I must say, 1.5m isn't particularly good compared to the likes of Canon D10 etc. One should almost call it "splash proof"...

betterlatethannever

November 18, 2009, 10:42 pm

I'm really pleased with my Ws80. Its 1.5m waterproofing is plenty enough for my holiday needs (kayaking, sailing, windsurfing, snorkelling etc). Its great on the beach because you can't get sand in the zoom mechanism. When it does get sandy/dirty just give it a rinse. I'm no expert photographer but I found the picture quality fine for my needs. What's annoying though is the price is now down at about £140 a real bargain but annoying if you paid £35 more than this! Definately worth the money for recording your family holidays.

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