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Pentax Optio WG-3 black 16MP Waterproof Digital Camera with 3-Inch LCD Screen (Black)

3.8 out of 5 stars 313 customer reviews
| 82 answered questions

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DPReview Tested
From the experts at DPReview
Overall score: 71%
See review summary and sample images
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  • A backlit 16 megapixel sensor coupled with the new-generation imaging engine delivers a top sensitivity of ISO 6400
  • Further enhanced waterproof construction allows for depth of 45 feet
  • Triple shake reduction with sensor shift shake reduction, shockproof for drops up to 6.5-Feet, cold resistant to 14 degrees F, dustproof
  • 3-Inch LCD, HD 1080P video with h.264 compression @ 30fps
  • 6 LED macro lights for macro illumination
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Technical Details

Review summary from DPReview

DPReview Tested July 2013
The Pentax WG-3 offers a good set of core features with decent photo quality and a fast lens at wide-angle. Lackluster battery life, a weak and slow-to-charge flash, and relatively poor low light focusing disappoint, though.
Jeff Keller Jeff Keller


The Pentax WG-3 offers a curvy, rugged design that can handle tough conditions with aplomb. Its lens is noticeably faster than most of its peers at its wide end, which allows for better low light photos. Its unique macro ring light and stand allow for extreme close-ups. Image quality is typical for a compact camera, meaning good, but not great. Low light focusing is quite sluggish, and the flash is weak and slow to recharge. Battery life is below average.

Reasons to buy

  • Good photo quality, with respectable high ISO performance
  • Very rugged body
  • Lens has fast F2 maximum aperture at wide-angle

Things to consider

  • Underwater photos have blue color cast
  • Sluggish low light focusing
  • Weak flash, which is slow to recharge
  • Lens is easy to block with fingers
  • Poor battery life

Suggested for

Outdoorsy photographers who want good photo quality and a faster-than-average lens.

Not suggested for

People who take a lot of low light or flash photos, or who expect accurate color when shooting underwater.
Poor Excellent
Build quality
Ergonomics & handling
Exposure & focus accuracy
Image quality (JPEG)
Flash performance
Low light / high ISO performance
Movie / video mode
Scoring is relative only to the other products in the same category.
DPReview is the world’s most popular dedicated enthusiast digital photography website. Since 1998 its mission has remained unchanged: to deliver the best reviews of cameras and lenses anywhere on the Internet, and help you find the right gear for your needs.

Product Description

Color: Black

Your roughest journeys and days on the mountain were made for the Pentax Optio WG-3 Camera Kit, which easily captures the fast-paced action and tiny details of any trip. This incredibly durable 16-megapixel point-and-shoot camera is waterproof, dustproof, cold proof, shockproof, crushproof, and still capable of professional-level images and full 1080p HD video. The 28.8X combined zoom and macro focus ring help capture images of canyon walls a mile away, insect mandibles one centimeter away, and everything in between. The flash, autofocus assist lamp, and manual focus help you get the shot despite challenging light conditions. Don't limit yourself to POV shots or blurry photos. This expedition-proof digital camera documents it all with its many modes, including still images, HD video, and even audio sound files.

Product Information

Product Dimensions 4.9 x 1.3 x 2.5 inches
Item Weight 8.2 ounces
Shipping Weight 1.3 pounds
Item model number WG-3 black
Batteries 1 Lithium ion batteries required. (included)
Customer Reviews
3.8 out of 5 stars 313 customer reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
Best Sellers Rank #6,235 in Camera & Photo
#475 in Electronics > Camera & Photo > Underwater Photography
#618 in Camera & Photo > Point & Shoot Digital Cameras
Date first available at Amazon.com January 30, 2013

Warranty & Support

Product Warranty: For warranty information about this product, please click here


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Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Color: Black Verified Purchase
Length: 0:19 Mins
As a point of reference, i am not a professional or well-educated photographer -- i'm more of a PHD (point-here-dummy) photographer and take most of my pix on vacation or at big family events, but i do see the difference between good and "ok" photos/video. also, i really value quality photos and easy-to-use video -- if it's easy, you'll use it. if it's high quality, you'll love using it.

After investing several hours reviewing all the underwater camera reviews for 2013, i chose this one without the GPS. what an amazing camera.

we took it on a caribb. cruise where we took photos and videos while snorkeling, while in tropical waterfalls, and while doing "normal" non-water oriented activities. the attached video is taken from the surface on an overcast day. i've also downloaded a few photos. i think i'm limited to one video, so i've included only underwater. the dry-land video quality is excellent for viewing on my computer, but i haven't yet tried it on the 55" HDTV.

i spent the 2 hour flight reading the paper handbook and testing and learning the camera. it was a worthwhile investment of time, as i learned all of the camera's tricks and abilities. it has a lot of nice little features you wouldn't expect and are not mentioned in other reviews/descriptions. i recommend this to everyone.

the good/great:
photo quality, above and below water
video quality and sound, above and below water - amazing, really.
ease of use
durability - no concerns about my teens dropping it
size -- it's a little bigger than non-durable digital cameras, but well worth it. my 14 yr old son likes cameras that he can fit in his pocket.
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Color: Purple Verified Purchase
I purchased the Pentax Optio WG-3 GPS (Purple) here at Amazon and this is a first impression review.

1) Decision: Prior to purchase I had to decide between the new Olympus TG-2 (tough camera) and this new Pentax model. The specs are for the most part are comparable (we'll let the hard-core techies split hairs in their reviews), but i was leaning toward the Olympus because it had nice styling and I have had positive experiences with other Olympus camera models. But I decided on the Pentax because I liked that they added the LED ring of lights to assist the microscope mode. Also, the camera comes with a snap on MACRO mount for use in the microscope mode.

2) Look and Feel: The camera is well-built feels heavy (but in a solid kind of way). The body is a hard plastic that almost feels like a rubber texture. The LED display is a 16x9 style that is vibrant when reviewing photos and video. You have to add your own SD card. I had a 2GB SanDisk Extreme III available and inserted in the battery compartment, then formatted using the menu system (Note: It formatted blazingly fast..in less than a second!). I decided not to attach the strap with carabiner that came in the box. Since I have a travel pouch for the camera, I preferred to attached a wrist strap I had lying around instead. The unit comes with a thick manual and a USB cable and associated plug-in charger. What is not included with the camera is a Micro/Mini HDMI cable for A/V-out.

3) Start-up and Menu: When you first start-up, the camera has you perform the standard date, time, time-zone type of set-up. Then you are ready to go (Note: I charged the battery for about an hour prior to using the camera, but I think it was pretty-much factory shipped fully charged.
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Color: Black Verified Purchase
I have owned several Canon cameras over the years, going back to the days before digital photography. I was always pleased with the quality of their equipment and the photographs they produced. When I needed a camera to use while snorkeling, I first bought a Sony TX-10, which takes a nice picture, but is not as durable as I had hoped it would be. My current choices came down to the newest models by Olympus and Pentax. I am very pleased with this Pentax Optio WG-3. Pentax has managed to take something as delicate and fragile as a digital camera and make it truly tough.

The things I most like about this camera so far are:
-- it appears to be very durable.
-- it has a nicely balanced feel.
-- the photos look great!
-- there are lots of different shooting modes, including time lapse, and macro.
-- it is plenty waterproof for snorkeling and kayaking.

The only negative I have seen so far is, like most digital cameras, the battery life isn't great. But a couple of spare batteries solves that issue.

I have not yet tested the underwater video mode, which is the main reason I purchased this camera. But based on the initial results from still shots and regular video, this camera is a winner.

That's why I am now a Pentax fan.
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Color: Green
Pentax has defined a new niche -- rugged camera + gps. Camera (and video) is state of art, with fast lens (for low light shooting) and convenient design. The GPS, compass, and altitude info are useful for hiking. You can hold the camera lcd horizontal like a compass. Records picture locations and pathway gps data. The camera is tough but not invincible; manual says "don't hold in waterfall" and "don't dive into water with it" (because of high pressure changes?). But you can take underwater pix & movies, leave it out in the rain, or drop it a meter. Takes nice 1080 HD movies though focusing creates sound. Camera is bulkier than a cell phone, equals about 3 iPhones; big for pockets but it will fit. Easy to hold onto w/ ergo shape and grip.

NOTEs AFTER USING: Takes great pix/movies. Worked well while snorkeling. Camera is well-designed but complex, with a learning curve, although there are simple shooting modes. When tired near end of a hot hike, I (a seasoned Pentax photog) had difficulties with some advanced functions. Largely this is because of the many options, allowing it to do many things (such as time lapse movies, very macro pix, 28 different modes!). Battery life is quite long. Shoots fairly fast and there are consecutive-shot modes (which I haven't explored yet). Keep the manual on hand for advanced functions (curious shoppers can download the manual and 2 quick guides from Pentax). Given what it can do, the design is thoughtful and user friendly.

CONCLs after more use. It is a great technical marriage of camera + gps + waterproof, designed for the hand but not the pocket. All works well with the minor exception that the night pix have some noise at large sizes, as labs have noted.
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