Top positive review
108 people found this helpful
GREAT underwater/MACRO camera
on June 26, 2011
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.
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.