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101 of 102 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT underwater/MACRO camera
I bought this product for an upcoming trip to Hawaii and wanted a camera with underwater capability. I also bought the Panasonic Lumix TS3 to compare and ended up returning it. I am happy with my choice to keep the Pentax.

Here is what I liked:

The durability and the rugged feel of this camera right away impressed me. I felt like I was holding a...
Published on June 26, 2011 by qbc1899

versus
162 of 189 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Do not waste your money on this camera
We owned a Pentax's first waterproof camera (Optio W10) and loved it. So when it came time to upgrade we bought this one before our trip to Mexico. We choose this one because of its ergonomic design. We figured this would work wonders when splashing around underwater and be easy to hold onto. The ergonomic design is the only redeeming feature of this camera.

At...
Published on May 17, 2011 by lolligag


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101 of 102 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT underwater/MACRO camera, June 26, 2011
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I bought this product for an upcoming trip to Hawaii and wanted a camera with underwater capability. I also bought the Panasonic Lumix TS3 to compare and ended up returning it. I am happy with my choice to keep the Pentax.

Here is what I liked:

The durability and the rugged feel of this camera right away impressed me. I felt like I was holding a camera that wouldn't break if I dropped it or tossed it into my purse. It was exactly what I needed for an outdoor/adventure trip. I was most excited to try out the Macro capabilities of this camera. They were among the first shots I took. All I can say is that they were amazing. Far and away, the quality was better than anything I have seen for a Point and Shoot camera. I could see individual bits of pollen when shooting a flower or individual pores on my finger. Even when I blew the images up and zoomed in, the clarity was amazing.

Once I got onto my trip, I used the camera underwater in various depths, from 3 feet of water to 250 (although I did not go down that far, this camera is only waterproof to 30 feet). The clarity of the images while zooming in in deep in water was great. I took a picture of a puffer fish that was close to 100 feet below me in 250 feet of water and the image turned out. I took pictures of sharks, dolphins, fish and coral. The pictures are clear and vibrant. The macro setting on some of the coral is to die for. I was so impressed with how these turned out. Had no problems with the camera being waterproof. After each underwater adventure (lasting from 20 minutes to two hours in the water, diving up to 20-25 feet deep for some pictures), I rinsed the camera with clean water and let it air dry before I opened any compartments. The color quality is spot on, no weird colors turning up. It is true to eye. The buttons are also easy to use and change to the best setting (outside, underwater, macro, auto, sport, etc). All of my pictures in daylight and soft light turned out great. The large screen on the back makes viewing pictures easy. The self-portrait assist was a cool idea and worked great.

Negatives:

The only thing that I was NOT impressed with on this camera was low light (nighttime, inside)/no light (nighttime, outside) conditions. Whenever it was dark out, the pictures often turned out blurry, even with the flash on. I may have had it on the wrong setting, because some of them turned out great, but others, not so great. Or it may have been user error (whenever I took the pictures, they generally turned out fine, the ones that are blurry tend to be when I asked random people to take a picture of me). I didn't play around with the settings at night too much mostly because I had a DSLR camera with me that I used in those conditions. I did take a lot of sunset pictures that turned out great on this camera. But once the sun was down....not so much. Also, I went for a night dive with this camera, the underwater camera is useless at night because the flash captures particles in the water and with no flash it's too blurry. However, the underwater video recorder worked great at night.

Overall, this is a great camera for it's price. The camera performs well under most conditions. I lugged it around on a dusty six mile hike, underwater, running, and everything else you can imagine. The camera is easy to wash off, waterproof and has a FANTASTIC macro ability that I have never seen on a point and shoot camera before. If you are expecting this to be a DSLR, remember that this is a POINT AND SHOOT camera. Even so, some of the pictures rivaled my DSLR camera. I highly recommend this camera.
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114 of 126 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very entertaining WG-1, April 20, 2011
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Check out my updating youtube videos. I am user: "PentaxWG1" The good the bad the ugly. The over all feel of this camera is strong and gripable. I love having metal and rubber on my electronics. I have dropped this camera. It was on my lap in the jeep and there was a hornet. I jumped out and it threw to the ground. No problems. The removable circle around the lens (macro stand) has threads. They are 46mm and can screw on filters and caps. I got a cap, uv filter, polorized filter, and flourecent filter on e-bay for $6. So other than the sony TX10, this is the only camera that can protect the lens. Can't wait to buy a telescopic lens. My camera has been underwater about 15 ft. I've seen no problems with leaking. It has two openeings; one for battery and sd card, and one for hd/av hook-up. Both seem strong and sturdy to me. Battery cover does move ever so slightly but seems fine. Ok, thats the construction. As you have already heard, the macro/super macro is awesome. If you can get your specimen to sit still, you can get some pretty great material. The movie macro is even pretty cool, but you have to stay at a consistant focal length or it gets blury. I recorded a wolf spider in pitch black and the l.e.d. lights around the lens made it look like a monster movie! One bad thing about the macro is that when set straight down on the subject it will focus and take the picture on something as flat as a leaf or picture.... if it protrudes as much as a dime width or more it won't stay focused. But when I pulled back just a hair the dime did look awsome. N-E-Wayz, It seems the closer you are to the subject with this camera the better it looks. A closer shot of two people, shoulders and up, look really good. But further away not so much. pictures of groups of people (full body) or the shot of a pond or a... cow...I say the camera is about par. Not bad but not great. I have tried the cybershot TX10 and if you strictly want waterproof picture quality go that way or panasonic. TX10 was beautiful but not as fun. Back to the WG-1. With par pics I do feel the camera is more consistant than its predesessor w90. Better with stand, free hand not as good..but always the same. Never a crappy picture out of nowhere. I also feel it does much better in lower light than the w90. It gets noisey but I was getting decent lighted shots (no flash) in areas that where very dim to the naked eye. The l.e.d. lights are handy, too. Optical zoom works pretty well for pictures. You'll want a steady hand or stand if zoomed all the way in. Digital zoom sucks. The panorama is not sweep. You take 3 pics and line them up, then the camera stitches them. Not as convinient as the TX10 but it looks good and you can do tricks...As for underwater. Pictures and video where pretty darn good. Anti shake or wudever made it pretty smooth. With video underwater or above the zoom works but it doesn't refocus very well. But over all regular video was better than I expected. Once again when things are close it seems very virbrant. I got about a foot from a cow's face and the fur on his head got very HiDef-ish. Battery life....sucks, but I got and extra generic one when I ordered mine for 6 bucks. Over-all I really love this camera. I've been totally entertained for 2 days and havn't even gotten to time lapse phtography yet. Although I do think of the pic quality of the TX10 now and then. I would have been bored with that camera after one dip in the lake. I can get a 10 mp zoom camera for less than a hundred and fill in anywhere the wg-1 lack.
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162 of 189 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Do not waste your money on this camera, May 17, 2011
We owned a Pentax's first waterproof camera (Optio W10) and loved it. So when it came time to upgrade we bought this one before our trip to Mexico. We choose this one because of its ergonomic design. We figured this would work wonders when splashing around underwater and be easy to hold onto. The ergonomic design is the only redeeming feature of this camera.

At first we were concerned about how loose the battery door was. The battery door stayed shut but it would slide partially open when closed and was very loose (not enough for water to actually get in but enough to make us concerned). Thinking it might just be the camera we picked up, we went back to the store where we bought it from. After looking at other ones it appears to be part of the design. This should have been our first clue that this is a horrible camera.

While on vacation in Mexico the camera froze several times requiring the battery to be removed to get it to unfreeze. Now this can be a true problem when you need to let the camera dry for about an hour before opening the battery door otherwise you risk exposing both the battery and memory card to water.

We also discovered small water spots on the inside of the display screen. Clearly it is not as waterproof as claimed. I am glad we were only using it while wading in the ocean and not actually snorkelling.

The battery life is extremely poor requiring charging every two days when the camera is moderately used.

We also found the image quality not that good. After returning from our vacation, we looked at old images from our previous camera (Optio W10) and they were much better even though it was only 6 megapixels. In fact the same picture taken with our iPhone 3Gs had a better image quality.

Pros
- Great rugged looking design

Cons
- Poor image quality
- Freezes
- Not completely waterproof
- Poorly manufactured

Summary
Clearly Pentax designed a nice looking camera that gives the illusion of ruggedness; however, their production quality of this model is extremely poor. We've returned the camera and are looking for a different one (not from Pentax) to replace it with.
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44 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing, April 14, 2011
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The most fantasticly durrible camera I have ever seen. I have litterally tossed this thing around just for the fun of it, and it withstands anything.
Performs great underwater. A few bubbles come out of the power button which scared me at first, but it's normal.
The battery charges only through an external charger (so it can have less waterproof ports I suppose)
I am using a 16gb SD card which works great in it. Screen is comfortably large and bright.
Digital microscope blew my mind with the clarity and detail that can be achieved. Zoom is reasonable.
Pictures have a dramatic feel to them with great contrast.
Software is easy to use, and took me about an hour to know every feature. Great photo editing software is BUILT INTO THE CAMERA to do whatever effects you need done.
Self-portrait mode is a little bit flaky but very interesting none the less. Who uses facial recognition anyway, really? lol.
The feel of the camera is phenomenal. Rubber and very hard grippy plastic cover the whole camera, and gives a very rugged and tough feel, but it is such a tiny lightweight package.
Manual zoom, focus, aperture, and ISO come in very handy.
All in all a fantastic camera, worth every penny. :)
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome All Around Camera, June 18, 2011
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I am currently deployed to Afghanistan and I am around some rough terrain all the time with different conditions. Hot, Dusty, Cold, Wet, Rocky and this camera hasnt stopped working yet. I have dropped it from about 8 feet high off of a vehicle and yeah it is scratched but still works perfect. I have had it get wet but havn't used it submerged in water for a period of time yet. But I will. So far everything is awesome. I especially like the Safety clip it comes with. I think that was a great idea but I would suggest possibly upgrading the clip if you are a big outdoorsmen. Other than all of that it is awesome and totally recommend it.
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23 of 28 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Two big problems: fluorescent lights and video, May 18, 2011
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Just a note about myself that is relevant to this review: I own a DSLR and have owned many point and shoot cameras, I am well versed in using a camera (iso, aperture, shutter speed, white balance, etc)

Pros:
- Very good pictures under sunny and outdoor conditions (it saturates greens/blues so the pictures have quite a punch, but honestly in a positive way) this is really the best part of the camera, you can take it to the beach without worrying too much, or to the jungle (I went to the Amazon River with this camera) and the pictures for the most part were great.
- Smaller than it looks, easy to carry
- It takes pictures faster than a lot of other point and shoots
- rugged feel with glass sunken in, so you'll never accidentally hit the lens unless you stick a thin object in there.
- waterproof (they note that you have to change the rubber seals every year to keep the waterproofing working)

Neutral:
- glass is always exposed, which seems rather strange and maybe damaging for the camera. Most cameras either come with a cap, or close/hide. I'll give them the benefit of the doubt and say it's so rugged that it doesn't matter.

Cons:
- Absolutely terrible, unusable pictures under fluorescent lights (automatic setting is terrible, I tried various manual settings and got it a little better, but still unusable pictures, I don't think I've seen a worse camera under this conditions - with flash it was a little better for close things, but in general this is the camera's biggest weakness.
- Video is terrible too. But this time even under the best sunny conditions, it is grainy and shaky even with image stabilization on. It is so terrible that even watching it in a small screen (much less than HD) it looks grainy.

A cellphone (I took side by side shots with my samsung epic 4g) takes much, much better pictures under fluorescent lights than this camera. This was basically the reason I returned the camera, it was meant to replace completely another point and shoot, not just for outdoor sunny adventures. And seeing a cellphone handle the white balance so much better than this camera's auto setting and even manually optimizing and playing extensively with the white balance to make it work in this lighting - was what ultimately convinced me to return it.

The only way I would recommend this camera is if you plan on taking pictures on the beach or out in the sun, and have another DSLR or point and shoot for any indoor activities. And you don't care for video, since even under the best conditions it was terribly grainy and the image stabilization doesn't seem to do anything for videos.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Worked for 15 days, July 25, 2011
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My teenage daughter purchased this camera for use. She saved her money and we ordered it & paid extra for 2 day shipping so she would have it for summer vacation. It worked great and the pictures were clear and the color excellent, for the first 15 days. Then she used it underwater at a pool no more than a few feet. It had condensaion in the screen and the flash area the next morning. I called Pentax and they were very laid back and told me to ship it back (at my expense) and they would check it and repair or replace it in 5 weeks. This item was less than 30 days old. (The best estimated turn around time is 5 weeks.) Summer vaction will be over in 5 weeks and she spent almost $300.00 to have no camera. I am more disappointed in PENTAX for their poor customer service!Pentax Optio WG-1 Adventure Series 14 MP Waterproof Digital Camera with 5x Wide-Angle Optical Zoom (Purple)
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Pentax Optio WG-1 Lousy Photos, May 21, 2011
By 
SGK (Freeport, NY United States) - See all my reviews
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I purchased this camera from Amazon back on April 23, 2011 for $319.00 only to find it available on Amazon a few weeks later for $285.00 and again for $272. I have owned several digital point and shoot cameras and 35 mm cameras over the years including the older digital Pentax Optio WP 30. The Optio WP 30 was a MUCH BETTER camera as far as photo quality! I consider myself a very good amateur photographer. Although the Pentax WG-1 camera seems to be rugged and waterproof, I find the photo quality very poor on every setting I tried. The camera came without a warranty card so I am wondering if this was a previous return. The camera's daylight photos were not sharp at 14 mp and at 5 mp. Colors were faded, inconsistent or appeared to have a lot of "noise" on all settings. The nighttime outdoor/indoor as well as lowlight shots were even worse with or without a flash. It doesn't seem to focus well in both daylight and nighttime shots. Photos were NOT SHARP! I'm not sure if this particular camera is defective but I am sending it back to Amazon for a refund.

Pros = Looks rugged & feels good in hand. I was really hoping that this would be my outdoor goto camera because I like the way it looks and feels but...

Cons = Looks aren't everything. Poor photo quality, poor focusing, poor color saturation
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Best camera for what it is, June 7, 2011
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Got this camera for my wife (who is a photographer with a high end camera) for her to have a tough point and shoot to play around with. I haven't tested it underwater or really given it any abuse yet, but it seems to be built very sturdy. Feels good in the hand too. Cool rugged looks as well. The only negatives I can see are that the caribiner that comes with the camera is cheap, cheap, cheap, and of course the picture quality is probably about what you would expect from a fair quailty regular point and shoot. Lots of not so sharp pictures, color is often not true as well. Ocassionally it will take a picture that is right on, but it is the exception. I wasn't expecting superb picture quality, but I hoped for a little more consistency. If you are not a "photographer" you should absolutely love this camera. If you have an eye for it, then just don't expect much out of the picture quality.

Overall I would recommend this as a great camera for those times you don't want to bring an SLR or a high end point and shoot, like at a beach, pool, lake, desert, etc. This certainly shouldn't be your only camera though.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars My brief experience Optio WG-1 an indication of poor quality control and even worse Customer Service, July 26, 2011
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I bought this camera for my wife 2 months ago after reading good reviews and comparing features. I bought it in part so she could use it for our vacation which is a month from now. The camera seemed to be working fine except that it goes through power very quickly compared to our other digitals. Then the first time my wife got it near water it failed, she took it to the beach and had a friend take photos of her while she was surfing. He was standing on the shoreline taking pics and the camera got splashed. Since then the image on the screen is totally messed up and the captured images are completely washed out and distorted. The images that were captured on the card before the splash are fine but not after.
I contacted Pentax customer service to see what they could do and I was basically told that I must be lying. Based on my previous experience with Pentax' customer service I had expected better. I told this person that there were others with similar experience and she actually searched for the reviews online while I was on the phone then told me that "yes but in general the reviews weren't that bad".
So this is what I have learned about this product and Pentax generally, a lot of marketing not much substance. When the products work they are pretty good when they don't they're terrible and customer service may or may not be helpful. To me this inconsistency points to serious issues with their Quality organization. It shouldn't be hit or miss. It's a shame.
If you want to gamble as to whether the product you spent hundreds of dollars on will work or not then maybe Pentax is for you. If not then as sexy and alluring as these products are stay clear of Pentax.
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