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Pentax Optio WP
Pentax Optio WP

Hey! You should know that this product has been discontinued. Here are our current recommended cameras in the Point and Shoot Digital Cameras category.

Pentax Optio WP

Editor's Review

There's no need to leave the Pentax Optio WP at home when the weather gets bad: This 5-megapixel point & shoot can withstand rain, snow, and even a half-hour swim! Sporting a thin metal body and a large 2" LCD screen, the Pentax WP looks just as good above the water as it does below. Perfect for active photographers who never know what the next day will bring, the WP will withstand whatever conditions you throw at it and still turn out great pictures.

Specifications

  • 5.0 megapixels (effective)
  • 3x optical zoom/4x digital zoom
  • auto and manual focus
  • program exposure only
  • JPEG file format
  • ISO range 50-400
  • proprietary Lithium-Ion battery
  • movie mode with sound. Waterproof to 3 feet for up to 30 minutes
  • Part Number: OptioWP
  • UPC: 027075110694
  • Release Date: Feb 14, 2005

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Pentax Optio WP Reviews

Pentax Optio WP Reviews by Digital Camera-HQ Users

  • 3.0 out of 5
started off great (Gerry — 02/20/2008)

Hi too all,
wanted a camera that could be used in all weather at the beach or in the pool.
this camera offered all these features whilst also being compact.
started off with some very high quality images but slowly the quality seemed to fade and occasionaly the camera started to freeze always at the worst possible time and at my parents recent 60th wedding anniversary every 2nd photo was a blurr very dissapointing and now i cant take a photo outside just comes up as a white screen or like others have mentioned like looking thru a venetian blind,
found this site whilst looking for a repair site

  • 1.0 out of 5
Fronzen. (Jens R — 03/07/2007)

Worked Ok for the first 10 months. Started to freeze. This is now a permanent state. No more warrantee, so the camera is going into the bin. Will not buy Pentax again.

  • 2.0 out of 5
Waterproof but quality is terrible (Bryanmsi — 01/15/2007)

I bought this camera as a small pocketable point-and-shoot. For me, the waterproof function was a nice plus, something to ease my mind if I was out in the rain, but not a critical feature. I have a number of other cameras including dSLRs and I have to say the picture quality of this Pentax comes nowhere near those other cameras. Its usually not as good as a 4 year old Fuji 2MP camera I have.

I think Pentax used a VERY small sensor and consequently has noise problems which they deal with by applying loads of noise reduction. This causes images, even at ISO 100, to look soft and blotchy. Also, this camera does not consistently expose scenes properly with frequent underexposures. Its autofocus seems to have trouble as well.

I would have given this one star - its pictures really are that bad - but it is a nice looking, easy to use camera that does in fact take pictures underwater. If you need that capability, you don't have many choices in this category. If you don't, stay away.

  • 2.0 out of 5
White Bands and overexposure after 13 months (John Sunda — 11/04/2006)

Camera worked fine for 13 months. While on vacation on a clear day the camera images started to have white bands which was not fixed by resetting the camera. Unfortunately I waited several months to send it in to Pentax for repair with a letter noting that others had experienced this same problem. Upon calling them after I received a repair estimate of $115, I was told that they might have allowed a grace period for the warrantee if I had sent it in earlier. I told him that the memory card in the camera I sent had a dated photo proving the malfunction date but all they were willing to do was give me $15 discount. Pentax does not stand by their products. I am offended that the date I sent it in was the deciding factor rather than the date when the malfunction occured.

  • 4.0 out of 5
It's waterproof... somehow (Yuri — 09/09/2006)

We took it to our vacation on Aegean Sea. It worked everywhere - when I dove to 5 and even more feet and when I slid in aquapark, but only in video mode. Fortunately I have 2Gb card to make videoclips with all the fishes and other funny creatures we saw underwater.

As I remember, my Optio WP rejected to take still images after the first dove in the sea. All the shots look overexposed since then (and I also see distinctive jalousie picture when I'm trying to take images as somebody already wrote here).

Anyway it's excellent camera. I really like it and will visit service center to fix the problem.

The upgrade to 1.0.1 firmware does not solve the problem.

  • 1.0 out of 5
Useless Warranty (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

I chose this camera because it seemed like a perfect choice for my wife and I - we are avid backpackers and climbers and spend a lot of time in wet weather. It was perfect too - for about 6 months until it suddenly leaked. The history of the camera involved rain and the occasional dipping into pools of water (for quite interesting photos), but no deep sumbersions or anything beyond what the manual says it can do. When the camera leaked, the condensation was obviously in and around the plastic flash housing on the front of the camera, the battery compartment was dry. At this point I was dissapointed but not too concerned because it was clear to me that it was just a fluke defect in our camera - which it most likely was.

Imagine my surprise when I heard that Pentax would not cover it under the warranty because it had been under "undo pressure" - which I took to mean it had been submerged too deep. I knew for an absolute fact that this had not happened. After arguing with them about this the story was that the camera had been "crushed". OK so maybe this was possible considering I do often have the camera in a backpack. However I am generally very careful with it AND the fact that it quit working right in the middle of taking a series of photographs cast some serious doubt on this excuse by Pentax. The camera literally was working one click and quit working the next. This was argued to Pentax once again. A couple weeks later Pentax comes back with yet another entirely new excuse; now it appears that the "battery compartment was not sealed all the way". By this point it has become clear that Pentax is just pulling excuses out of a hat to keep from covering this under warranty - although they have surely already spent more time and money making excuses on the phone than it would have cost them to just replace the bloody camera. So at this point I am ready to just suck it up and pay for the repairs - which has been an option all along. So I am not happy but at least I will have the camera back.

Three weeks later and still no word from Pentax or the camera shop who I have been working through this matter with. They decide to call Pentax and find out the pentax has now decided they will not even repair the camera - my only option is to purchase a new one. Well obviously that is not going to happen after this experience - so the broken camera is on its way back to me (or so they say) and I am left with nothing.

  • 4.0 out of 5
Great! (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

I got the camera for Christmas this past year and I love it. It hasn't given me any problems at all. I have taken some great pictures of my kids and on vacation and they have turned out gorgeous!! Its size makes it easy for me to take it anywhere and I do.

  • 3.0 out of 5
waterproof-no / rugged-yes (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

I purchased this in Costa Rica and therfore paid double the normal price. One time in the water and the with the view fogging over within 5 minutes it was aparant it would be wise to leave the water immediately. The fabricator when contacted said "never heard of this problem". Before I could send it in, I ran over it with my car. Still works just fine, the battery just a little tight now. Stuck with it permanently now, it takes nice fotos......

  • 1.0 out of 5
Watch out... (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

Well, this nice little camera worked great for about an hour, but now, like many other people out there, it's frozen and won't turn on OR off. I have even taken the batteries out but still it's frozen...so, BEWARE.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Love the camera and photos, only one problem (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

The photos are beautiful. I love the view window in regular light and outside. However, when the sun is bright you have to guess if your subject is being centered or not because you cannot see the image. That is the only problem I've encountered and am still trying to figure out what to do about it. I love being able to take it anywhere I go, so that's not stopping the fun I'm having with it.

  • 2.0 out of 5
white bands and over exposure (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

I thought great finally a camera we can take to the beach without worrying about sand or surf. But before we could use it a problem with the picture quality happened. it looks like you are taking pictures through a set of blinds and the picture is over exposed.

  • 5.0 out of 5
excellent camera for trekking (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

I bought this camera for hiking/trekking trip to Peru and Bolivia. I kept it in my jeans pocket for safety from pickpockets and ease of access. I trekked through dusty high mountain desert shooting several pictures (over 400 ). I have not had single problem with it even though I have not taken special care of it. Just shot the picture and slipped back into my pants front pocket. My friend I was trekking with brought 4MP panasonic with him and was constantly covering it to avoid dust exposure. Pictures came out splendidly. The only gripe I have is difficulties seeing back screen in full sun so some of the pictures were shot without really knowing what I was shooting. Overall A+. Highly recommended!

  • 5.0 out of 5
snorkeling proof (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

I bought the pentax optio WP for vacation pics in crete and it amazed me. It's my first digital camera and I'm no expert but it's easy to use and pictures look really good to me. I also used to go snorkeling 3 times (30 min sessions) and took great pictures without a problem. Maybe the white screen problem and software problems are fixed cause this really deserves 5 stars !

  • 4.0 out of 5
Good features but is not water proof! (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

After three weeks I was very satisfied with the camera. Is really easy to operate and has a lot of cool features like the editing one. But when I tried to take some snorkeling pictures after the session the camera turned off and later when I opened there was water drops inside.

  • 5.0 out of 5
not a single problem (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

I bought this as my second digital camera as I was tired of the picture quality and size of my 2mp cybershot. I must say it is fantastic. I am very cautious with this camera as I bought it when it first came out and spent a small fortune on it but it has been worth every penny. I typically store it in a completely waterproof case and if i feel the need to take underwater pictures in a waterproof (alkosak by watchful eye designs) and have been very pleased with it. To those that say it isn't rugged besides the old canon elph sport it is the most dependable camera I have found. It lives in my pack and has been with me over 2000 pictures, 2 months of living in a backpack, and over 10,000 miles of rough traveling without a problem.

  • 4.0 out of 5
Best I've Owned for Kayaks (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

I spend 80-100 days per year in a kayak fishing Florida's saltwater estuaries and coastlines. I also write articles for regional fishing magazines and thus needed a decent, zoom equipped, weatherproof digital camera.

A sit on top kayak is a wet beast. Everything must be in it's place, ready to go, and tough. I've burned up 2 manual SLR 35mm's; 1 35mm SLR auto; 2 "average" digitals. My last digital, the Sony DSC U-60, was tough and waterproof, one-handed, but a fixed wide angle and only 2 megapixels. 2mp's isn't enough for print magazine quality.

The only affordable alternatives were the Olympus Stylus 500 and the Pentax Optio WP. I looked at both closely. The Olympus' sliding lens cover stopped me cold: salt crystals will kill it. However, the Optio WP has no sliding gizmos for salt to get into.

Thus far, I'm impressed with the camera. It's quick; menu is easy; quality of the pix is OK. Best of all, it rests in a damp fishing vest pocket, lanyard clipped to the vest, sloshed with water and rain frequently and seems to feel no pain.

Since I rarely use a flash, the battery life is adequate (75 pix set to 5mpixels, "best" quality, "auto" with a 256mb card). The response time is quicker than my fragile Sony DSC L-1; the macro mode is great for up close shots of lures and knots, etc.

My one gripe is that you have to remove the battery to charge it.

To me, "waterproof" means, at best, "weather & dunk proof." Those who keep this camera in the water snorkeling miss the warning: "JIS-8" which indicates limited underwater use for no more than 30 minutes.

Thus far the Optio WP fits the bill. It's a keeper for me. Stubb

  • 2.0 out of 5
great concept poor execution (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

I received the camera and was thrilled with its initial images and the concept of taking it out in the surf. the first day of good waves I tied a small foam key float and friends and I tossed it around and got some great surf pics. Despite meticulous care as per the manual. After the 3 rd use the screen went white. I returned and will wait for pentax to work the bugs out. Look forward to the 2 nd generation of this cam

  • 3.0 out of 5
average Camera (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

On the positive site it is small,5mega pixels, water splash resistant.
On the negative site is the price, picture quality setting is like low end camera, and the quality of picture is average, and it produce red-eye in low light eventhough the flash is on(subject is with 5-7feet)

  • 1.0 out of 5
BUMMER!! (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

I'm upset. I really looked forward to taking pictures while snorkeling. After setting up the camera, I turned it on and got a white screen; nothing I pressed made a difference. Then, suddenly, it came on. Went outside to take pictures and found that without a view finder, the camera is useless. You can't see anything on the screen in the sunlight. Next time I turned it on back came the white screen and this time it stayed. Returned it and met someone who was returning theirs—they went snorkeling and theirs leaked!!

  • 4.0 out of 5
Good Camera, Really waterproof (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

This camera is just awesome, it has a great macro and it shoots underwater, It's really really cool watching your digital camera work underwater. the one thing that I wonder is about the video/audio coordination, mine is not coordinated. :S Rather than that the camera is excellet.

  • 4.0 out of 5
Perfect for my use (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

I had a difficult time since this is my first foray into digital. I'm accustomed to focusing, f-stops & shutter speeds. Learning something new was not what I wanted to do. But after a while, I've gotten used to this little thing & most of its functions. I'd imagine that someone without a 35mm background would have an easier time learning. I don't need a WP camera - but since I'm always in dirty, dusty conditions I assumed that the camera would be well sealed. I haven't had the "freeze-up" problem that's been mentioned here. It's tiny enough to pop in my pocket. My photos went from cruddy while learning the camera - to WOW!

  • 4.0 out of 5
Great Camera, but software on camera locks up (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

Took this on a 10 day vacation with one day of snorkeling. Did 3 swims of about 30-45 minutes each and the camera worked well under water. It did freeze once similar to the other times I experienced on land. Screen will either be white or black and you can't power it off via the button so you have to remove the battery.
It's tough to take underwater pictures in the ocean as it has trouble focusing as you get moved around quite a bit by the currents. The times that I was still enough to take a pic, the shots were awesome. I recommend taking 3-5 shots of anything you want to take a pic of to ensure you get a good one.
Since the camera is so small it is sometimes hard to handle/figure out if you have the camera level with the horizon.
I will have to get the camera exchanged or updated to fix the software though.

  • 1.0 out of 5
I'm not sure if it is really waterproof? (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

I originally went out to by a replacement digital camrea and found this one. I am an avid canoeist and this model caught my eye. I didn't really want a waterproof camera however after seeing the results from underwater I was very impressed. It lasted only 3 weeks before freezing and then just plain shutting down on me. So I ask, is this camera waterproof? On my return to the shop of original purchase I was surprised to find that not one of these cameras was available for exchange. I asked the clerk and her answer was that they just flew off the shelves and would I like to exchange it for another camera that was not waterproof. This raised my suspicions and I began my investigation which led me to this page. My question now is, was this camera pulled from store shelves because it is not really waterproof?
I really liked the camera, I guess it was to good to be true!

  • 3.0 out of 5
Inital experience only - Watch out for the camera freezing! (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

Just bought it recently. Have used it only once since I bought it. Its pic quality is very good and so is the ease of use. Easy to use help button guides you to use the camera without having to thumb through the manual.
One thing though. It's freezed on me once! It just would not turn on. I thought the battery had died. I tried quite a few things (other than removing the battery). It didn't work. After some time forgetting that it had died, I turned on and to my surprise it worked normally. So watch out… I plan to try it for a couple of more times and if I encounter the same problem will definitely return it back

  • 4.0 out of 5
Optio WP Impressive macro (Aaron — 06/16/2005)

The Optio WP is an impressive little digital camera. I was impressed with the number of shooting modes particularly with the Macro function. I took some shots of spiders and praying mantis's and was impressed with the quality of an A4 enlargement. Have yet to truely test the underwater function but have taken a photo of water flowing straight out of the tap onto the lens that turned out OK and the camera still works! Overall a good pick.

  • 1.0 out of 5
Ours died in the water. (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

We bought the WP specifically for a trip to Hawaii that included snorkeling. The first day in the water on a practice run from the beach, it was fine. The second day, while on a trip to Molokini, it died immediately upon entering the water. I had checked three times before going in the water to make sure that the battery compartment door was properly closed and locked and that the camera was working. But I couldn't get it to work in the water. So I got back on the boat and dried it off. When I opened the door to see if perhaps the battery had died, I noted very tiny water droplets in the compartment. While the power light would go on, the camera would not operate at all and we were screwed for the snorkeling adventure we had looked forward to and for which we had specifically plunked down $350 for the WP.

Fortunately, we had a Pentax S5i digital camera as backup for land shots, but the failure of the WP just when we needed it still stings.

Upon our return to the mainland, the dealer replaced the WP with a new one, but we have had no opportunity to use it in the water.

Apart from its bogus waterproof feature, the quality of photographs is disappointing. Pictures have a lot of digital noise and low light performance is poor. But start-up time and battery life is very good.

While our WP was not waterproof as advertised, it would probably be a good choice if you were going to be traveling some place where it would be used in wet weather. Just don't depend on it for your snorkeling trip.

  • 2.0 out of 5
Beware Freezing Problems (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

This camera works well on an average basis, but has a serious, reoccurring problem. Mine keeps freezing on me and either won't turn off, or some times won't turn on. When it freezes after taking an image it will not store that image. The only way to un-freeze it is to open and remove the battery, not practical in an underwater situation... I am not the only one with these problems:

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1028&message=13688764

It seems to be just a firmware thing that should be resolved soon, but you may want to wait a month or two to purchase this item (if at all).

Other than that, the camera takes great pictures and has decent battery time, ~100 images/charge in normal use.

On the other hand, I now have experience with the Pentax service and support and it seems quite good. I took the camera to my local service center (Vancam, Vancouver, BC) and they took it and have forwarded it to Pentax at no cost to me. Hopefully they can fix it or trouble shoot it in order to write a firmware update.

Good luck

  • 1.0 out of 5
Not Waterproof (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

Bought 2 cameras, one for me and a friend. Both died within 2weeks of use. It's been used in the water and I'm not sure why it stopped working. All safety precautions was taken. Do not buy it if you want it for the WP feature. It won't last.

  • 4.0 out of 5
Great camera (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

Great all around camera, however, have had some problems with the software or SD memory. Pic files get corrupt or the on random occasions, display indicates SD memory not formatted. Turning the camera on and off a few times or removing the battery and replacing takes care of the problem.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Ultimate Rugged Waterproof Digital Camera (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

I used this camera on a two week fishing trip in Slovenia, and it was perfect. I was able to learn the functions and settings on the fly with only a few small problems. Works unbelievable underwater, taking scenery pics, still shots, and even used on some action shots of wildlife. Finally a digital camera that can handle some abuse and will survive multiple trip to the outdoors.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Everything expected and more (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

The Optio Wp specs were accurately described. Of the expected deficiencies, turning on/and off the camera is no problem at all. The pictures are great, the size is convenient, the features are huge. The value is great.
Today's lifestyle demands the combination of all these features combined with the assurance that wet weather conditions will not stop the taking of photos. Well done Pentax.

  • 5.0 out of 5
perfect outdoor camera (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

The Pentax WP looks like a camera I always have looked for. It is waterproof enough to take it caving and clean it afterwards.
Just some functions are hidden too deep in the menus.
For example my wife can do easy shots, but she refuses to switch over to make a video. Other cameras just have it with one button click.

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