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Pentax Optio W60 review

Ben Pitt
23 Jun 2009
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
182
inc VAT

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Specifications

1/2.3in 10.0-megapixel sensor, 5.0x zoom (28-140mm equivalent), 125.0kg

When we first reviewed the W60 in What's New, Shopper 250, we concluded that its image quality was nothing special but the waterproofing and sub-£200 price made it good value.

Lining it up against other waterproof cameras confirms both sentiments.

There's one significant drawback compared with the other waterproof cameras, though: Pentax doesn't make any claims for its resistance to knocks and bumps. Sure enough, it looks and feels no more robust than an ordinary compact digital camera. The upside is that it's lighter and a little smaller than the others. It's waterproof down to a depth of four metres, which is better than most, and is also resistant to sand and dust.

The lens has a generous 5x zoom range starting at a wide-angle 28mm. That's impressive for a recessed lens, but we found that our fingers sometimes crept into the side of wide-angle shots. The far reaches of the zoom range resulted in barrel and pincushion distortions, but this was only really noticeable when we went looking for it. The centres of photos were impressively sharp, but focus was a little soft towards the corners. Colours were balanced, and automatic exposures well judged. We particularly like the ability to limit the ISO speed to anything from 100 to 1600 in the Auto ISO mode, as it puts the balance of noise against blur under your control. Image noise levels were by no means minimal, but ISO 400 shots were passable.

Video is recorded at 1,280x720 pixels per frame, but only at 15fps, which looked jerky. A more conventional 640x480 30fps mode is also available. Indoor videos were extremely noisy, though, and sound quality was poor. The first clips we shot sounded thin and muffled, and all those captured after we had taken the camera in the water were accompanied by what sounded like a Geiger counter. We can only assume that water doesn't agree with the camera's microphone.

The W60 has its limitations but it's an appealing low-cost option for watersports.

Basic Specifications

Rating***
CCD effective megapixels10.0 megapixels
CCD size1/2.3in
Viewfindernone
LCD screen size2.5in
LCD screen resolution230,000 pixels
Optical zoom5.0x
Zoom 35mm equivalent28-140mm
Image stabilisationnone
Maximum image resolution3,648x2,736
Maximum movie resolution1,280x720
Movie frame rate at max quality15fps
File formatsJPEG; AVI (M-JPEG)

Physical

Memory slotSDHC
Mermory supplied36MB internal
Battery type3.7V 680mAh Li-ion
Battery Life (tested)205 shots
ConnectivityUSB, AV
Body materialaluminium
AccessoriesUSB and AV cables
Weight125.0kg
Size56x98x25mm

Buying Information

Price£182
Supplierhttp://www.amazon.co.uk
Detailswww.pentax.co.uk

Camera Controls

Exposure modesauto
Shutter speedauto
Aperture rangeauto
ISO range (at full resolution)50 to 1600
Exposure compensation+/-2 EV
White balanceauto, 4 presets, manual
Additional image controlsContrast, stauration, sharpness
Manual focusYes
Closest macro focus1cm
Auto-focus modesmulti, centre, face detect
Metering modesmulti, centre-weighted, centre, face detect
Flashauto, forced, suppressed, slow synchro, red-eye reduction
Drive modessingle, continous, self timer, interval