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Pentax Optio WP 5MP Waterproof Digital Camera

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The Pentax OptioWP is a compact digital camera that features JIS Class 8-equivalent waterproof performance and has a body only 22mm thick. The OptioWP also features a 2.0-inch LCD monitor, a 3x optical zoom lens, and the imaging power of 5.0 effective megapixels. With the incorporation of a truly easy-to-operate user interface and other innovations, the OptioWP enables truly stress-free operation.

Major Features of the Optio WP are:

Slim, Flat Body: With a thin body of just 22mm, the OptioWP can be easily slipped into and out of a pocket or bag. Its well-designed grip ensures the camera remains safe and stable in the hands when shooting at all times.

Waterproof Performance: The OptioWP enables the user to shoot continuously for up to 30 minutes underwater at a maximum depth of 5 feet. This allows the user to wash the camera with water to rinse away sand and dirt.

3x Optical Zoom Lens and 5.0 Effective Megapixels: The OptioWP incorporates an optical lens unit specially designed to suit underwater photography. Delivering 6.3-18.9mm 3x optical zooming performance, it provides a focal range covering angles of view equivalent to those of a 38-114mm lens in 35mm format. Such zooming power can also be combined with approximate 4x digital zoom, making a maximum zooming power of 12x possible whenever desired.

Large, 2.0-Inch LCD Monitor: Despite its compact and slim body dimensions of 102 x 51 x 22 millimeters (W x H x D), the OptioWP features a large, 2.0-inch LCD monitor. Incorporating low-reflection technology and a backlighting system, this LCD monitor remains extremely easy to view, even when used outdoors on sunny days.

Green Mode: Green mode fixes all camera settings to a standard combination with a single press of the Green button (with the exception of the zoom setting). This is of particular use should the user become confused with the selection of settings or should the user wish to ask someone else to take a picture.

Mode Palette: The Mode Palette displays icons for shooting modes at once for simplified selection. Out of a total of 20 icons, the user can select 15 for display at once. 5 of the 15 icons can be replaced with the 5 remaining icons at any time and the user also has the freedom to display their 15 selected icons in the order of their choice. Additionally, the Green button can be pressed in conjunction with the selection of an icon to bring up a text explanation of the function it represents. This makes it easy for the user to understand the roles of different modes without the instruction manual.

Synchronous Sound Record: Featuring Synchronous Sound Record mode, the OptioWP enables the user to record up to 20 seconds of sound to accompany a still shot, beginning prior to shutter release and finishing after it.

Continuous AF and Tracking AF: The OptioWP features a new tracking AF function available in Pet and Sport modes. This automatically monitors the movement of a subject within the frame, keeping it sharp and in focus wherever it moves in the shot. Normally, focusing is achieved by driving the lens with the shutter release button depressed halfway. During continuous AF use, however, the lens continues to readjust for focus at all times.

Photo Frame Function: With the OptioWP, the user can choose to add one of three different pre-installed photo frames to a recorded image. It is also possible to record images specially to suit the photo frame of your choice and photo frames can be added at the time of printing, too.

Movie Editing Function: The OptioWP is equipped with a movie editing function that allows the user to edit recorded movies within the camera itself. Furthermore, one frame of a movie can be stored as a still image or the selected movie can be divided into different frames for storage in separate files.

Other features: Becomes ready to shoot just 0.6 seconds after the power is turned on; the red-eye compensation function touches up red eyes in recorded images; real-time warnings indicate washed out and blacked out areas; macro mode enables shooting from as close as 1 centimeter from the subject; full-color, black and white, and sepia color modes are available for movie shooting; features SD memory card compatibility and has approximately 10.5MB of built-in memory; compatible with exclusive, rechargeable Lithium-ion batteries; comes complete with ACDSee for Pentax Standard image viewer software.

Amazon.com Price: starting at $257.14 (for the new Optio W10 with 6 megapixels)

EDITORS REVIEW:

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I bought this camera earlier this year (2005) because I am a camera junkie and love taking pictures of my dogs and I thought being able to take pictures of them swimming would be a wonderful experience. I had also been looking for a compact digital camera that I could just take everywhere with me. Plus, I needed a new toy! I had to wait a few days after I got the camera (I ordered it from Amazon.com) to be able to test the underwater video feature. The wait was torture! When we finally arrived at our session with Cindy at Heavenly Spa, I jumped right in and took videos the whole session. It took a number of tries to get the right depth and distance under the water but I was able to get some fun videos of Brodie and Venus swimming. I was also able to take lots of pictures while in the pool when I was attending a canine aquatics class. I didn't have to worry about dropping the camera or letting it get wet. Certainly very handy. It's small enough to keep in my purse so I always have a camera handy. It takes wonderful pictures outside of the pool too! Definitely a fun new toy!