Shooting modes are kept fairly simple with a choice of Program, Auto Picture and 21 individual Scene modes. The range of Scene modes on offer is fairly comprehensive, with specific options for underwater movies and still images among more standard scene mode fare like Portrait, Landscape and Night Scene.
Macro enthusiasts are especially well catered for with a unique Digital Microscope mode that enables you to focus as close as 1cm away from your subject while using the five LEDs that are set in a circle around the WG-1’s lens to light up your subject – great for closeups of all those seabed creatures.
At the other extreme the WG-1 also offers a Panoramic mode that uses a ghost image to help you line up two images before stitching them together in-camera. Results aren’t bad, but nowhere near the quality of Sony’s Sweep Panorama technology.
The WG-1 also offers a good range of post-capture editing options. Basic editing tools include crop, resize and red-eye removal, with more advanced options including a Small Face filter and Ink Rubbing filter. Should you want to add some fun effects to images you’ve already shot then the WB-1 duly obliges with a choice of digital filters including: Toy Camera, Retro, High Contrast, Starburst, and Miniature among others.
The back of the WG-1 is adorned with a 2.7in, 230k-dot LCD monitor. While it’s far from being the sharpest available it’s just about adequate for composing and reviewing your images on. The toughened glass has been treated with an anti-glare coating to minimise unwanted reflections in bright sunlight and in use we found this to work very well. In addition, we also found the viewing angle to be fairly generous.
As with the W90 and other Pentax compacts, there’s a dedicated Face Detection button on the back of the camera, which can be set to work alongside Smile Assist and even the camera’s self-timer, offering you plenty of flexibility when shooting portraits.
While there’s no dedicated quick menu button, it is possible to set the bottom Green button to act as a Function (Fn) button and then assign popular shooting settings – such as ISO and EV compensation – to each direction of the D-pad. Alternatively, the Green button can also be set as an ‘instant record’ movie button, or even to record voice memos with.
Speaking of movies, it’s possible to record video at a maximum resolution of 1280 x 720 HD at 30fps. There’s a mini HDMI port (alongside a PC/AV port) tucked away behind a sealed compartment on the side of the camera that allows instant playback on a high definition TV. If you don’t require high definition quality then you can also set the camera to record movies in VGA or QVGA quality. Sound is recorded in mono.