Review Pentax Optio WS80: Small but cool

Sometimes we just want something easy, something that we can take snorkeling and that we just don’t have to mortgage the house to be able to buy it. So the pentax optio WS80 is not a scuba diving camera, or something the National Geographic will use or your expensive dive center will try to sell you. but guess what: it is fun, it is cheap, and that for us is enough ;)

After spending three summers of fun with an older model of the Pentax Optio, it’s with great joy that I see Pentax has announced the latest version of the Optio, the WS80 waterproof camera. This version is only rated waterproof down to 5 feet, which if you think about it, ain’t much. It’s not gonna make it past the shallow end of the pool. But, the reality is, most people don’t use it underwater — it’s more valuable as a camera that’s safe to use at the beach, on the boat, in the dirt, (waterproof and dustproof) or in my case, kept in the back of a sweaty bike jersey, rain or shine.

The WS80 has a 10 megapixel CCD, with 720p video capability at 30 fps. It has a face detection, Smile Capture and Blink Detection (both a little creepy, if you ask me) and still and video image stabilization.

The WS80 is available in either black with orange accents or white with purple (which, by the way, matches my bike) and will retail for $250. Is it the best waterproof camera out there, or is it suitable for your next scuba adventure? Nope, but for most outdoor activities, dirty, dusty, wet, or sweaty, it’s probably just fine.

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