Side by Side Comparison of: Pentax vs Synergy Digital vs Wasabi Power
eComparisons ScoreThe "Comparison Score" Is calculated based on the average number of times this item was compared with other items in this category by our users
User Rating (Amazon)
User Rating (Amazon)
Five Star Reviews:
Everything it claimed to be... and then some.
January 6, 2014
I'm an avid amateur photographer with lots of expensive digital photo gear. I've been wanting a better solution for paddling trips and hikes than my cheap Kodak C123 waterproof point-and-click. I tried a few dry bags for my Nikon cameras, but none gave me easy access to the controls I desired. So I looked around for a better waterproof solution and I decided on this Pentax after comparing offerings and reading other product reviews here. After 6 months of use, I still love this little camera.1) The ergonomics are excellent: All of the typical point-and-shoot buttons are where you expect (shutter, zoom, playback, etc.), the screen is large and fairly bright, the rubber grip surfaces make this thing hard to fumble, and the rugged shock-resistant case make it no problem if you do. Only the power button is in a bad place, right next to the shutter release. More than once I turned off the camera by mistake instead of getting that great shot.2) Zoom and focus: The (limited) optical zoom is a great feature, not found in most underwater cameras in this class. Zoom speed is respectable and I like that I can disable digital zoom and leave optical zoom enabled. With responsive 9-point AF, Spot AF, Auto tracking AF and pan focusing, it rivals the AF abilities of an entry level Nikon or Canon DLSR.3) Flash: The main flash is bright and nicely diffused. The supplemental high intensity LED lights help capture those interior candid shots and reduce a lot of grain. They also serve to identify where in the frame faces are detected for those all important "selfies." This seemed like a gimmick when I read it but I've used the feature quite a lot at parties to get myself in the pic.4) Camera modes: This camera has a lot of modes. I would encourage any new user to take a few hours, read through the manual with camera in hand and try some of them. They include a 3 panel landscape panorama stitching mode that works almost as well as Photoshop, and a 2 panel portrait stitching mode that results in a nice high res landscape frame. Other features like white balance adjust, and fun filters like sepia (2 hughes) make this a very practical day-to-day walking around camera.5) GPS: works well and geotags the images' EXIF data just as expected. The GPS tracking feature is fun for hikes or other trips and creates a file that can be uploaded to your favorite trip tracking site. (I use everytrail.com)Note: With the GPS receiver turned on, the batteries will drain over time even with the camera off. This is the only place where a dedicated button (gps on/off) would have been very useful instead of digging 3 levels down the menu tree to do it.6) Battery life: is pretty good considering the 16Mpx sensor, optical zoom and large LCD display. I also bought the Wasabi Power Battery (2-Pack) and Charger for Pentax D-LI92 and Pentax Optio I-10, RZ10, RZ18, WG-1, WG-1 GPS, WG-2, WG-2 GPS, WG-3, WG-3 GPS, WG-10, X70 here and it's saved my bacon a few times to have spare batteries handy.7) I don't find the front LCD for altitude very helpful, and not very accurate, but no GPS device I own gives accurate altitude readings around here so I can't say that's the camera's fault. It can also show time with the built-in alarm but I haven't used that feature.8) Compass: The electronic compass, on the other hand, is very useful and seems to be more accurate than my android phones or other GPS receivers I have. I've used it a couple of times to position antennae and get a quick bearing on a trail.9) Wireless charging: I was very excited when first opened the box to see the QI label on the case. It was an unadvertised feature that I use all the time to keep the camera charged on a QI compatible wireless charging pad. This is a great convenience, and since you have to open the waterproof door to get to the USB port to internally charge the battery, that saves on the life of the seal somewhat too.10) I find it hard to find anything to complain about with this camera. So I'll just mention that in full sunlight the LCD is a bit hard to see especially with the sun behind you (where you want it most shots) so I may put on a Delkin Devices DU3.0-M BLK Universal Pop-Up Shade for 3.0-Inch LCDs (Black) to cut glare. So, besides my nits about the power button placement, the menu navigation to turn the GPS on/off and the less than brilliant (see what I did there!) LCD display, this is a perfect camera for it's intended function and then some. I highly recommend it!
A lot of fun, love it!
November 18, 2013
I've used this camera a fair amount camping and mountain bike riding. The one word that best describes it is FUN! Its durable and worry proof in a jacket pocket, but most important it is a camera that is actually there with you to capture the action. It feels good in the hand, enough heft to inspire confidence, and the shape allows a firm grip. There is a radius area on the top which forms a natural secure fit for your fingers.
Some reviews nit pick minute details, but bottom line is it takes great pictures with good color and is a great all around camera. It really shines for close ups, and the microscope mode is incredible. Detailed pictures of insects etc. are a snap.
Things I really like:
By holding the "OK" button down a few seconds, a colorful analog clock appears on the screen along with date and digital time. I've used this a lot, not only for night time, as its a handy feature, plus the camera auto shuts off after 10 seconds. It also has a flashlight mode. Both of these features only work with the camera “off”.
Low light images are fine, providing the auto ISO settings are kept reasonable. I have mine set to auto range from 125-800 which works pretty well, the f 2 lens no doubt helps. The flash easily fills an average room, yet throttles down for exceptional close ups. Much better than I expected for a point and shoot camera. All together I see no issues with low light situations.
Optical zoom is “only” 4x, but combined with the 'intelligent' digital zoom it was adequate. My choice, as with any camera, is to not use the digital zoom beyond the “intelligent zoom” setting. The camera also has a histogram mode that is easily switched on. For those that may not be familiar, a histogram quickly shows parts of a frame that are either under or over exposed. Outdoor photos are also good and the wide 18mm lens really takes in a lot of scenery. The panorama mode, which joins adjoining shots together, while not perfect, is for sure fun to play with.
Contrary to some reviews I find the menu and controls quite easy to use. There is a handy mode button which presents all of the camera's capture modes on an easily selectable screen with recognizable icons. I can't see it getting much more simpler than that. The 4 way rocker is a little small, but clearly marked and usable. Don't try it with gloves, but really, what point and shoot camera can. It also has a dedicated video button, so no menu required to take movies.
Pentax cameras also feature what they call a “Green Button”. This is pretty neat, as pressing the green button puts the camera in a pre-set picture mode regardless of any custom settings that are being used. The purpose is to allow for a fast photo of an unexpected event. Press the green button again and you're back to your custom settings.
Concerning under water use, personally I do not trust ANY of the point and shoot so-called waterproof cameras for true use under water. Examine how any of these cameras seal themselves, regardless of brand, then look at what the pros use. All real underwater cameras have a separate waterproof case that has heavier O-ring seals with solid even pressure latches. My personal view of this camera, and others in this class, is they are rugged and great for wet areas, dust, snow, and if dropped in a stream they will survive. While I did try it for a brief under water video with no issues, no way would I take it or any other camera that was not in a separate water tight case snorkeling or other continuous under water use.
Somethings I didn't like:
While there is a neat video function that allows for time lapse recording (lots of possibilities here) the shortest interval is 1 min per exposure. That may be fine for watching a flower bloom or long sunset, but limits time lapse for many other uses. I'd have liked shorter intervals, perhaps in 10 second increments from zero up to 1 minute.
The flashlight mode is handy and readily turned on even if the camera is switched off, however it's not very bright. It's better than nothing in a dark room and handy for having motorists see you on a dark street, but not a true flashlight.
Pentax supplies one battery and no external charger. Fortunately extra batteries and an external charger are readily available at reasonable prices on line. Of interest I found that after a decent, but not stellar time, the battery indicator would start to diminish. By chance I found that if I remove the battery and then re-insert it the charge indicator came back up to full charge and stayed there for considerable more use.
Video mode allows for slow motion (shoots at twice the normal speed for the appearance of slow motion playback) great feature, but it is limited to just 25 seconds of recording. Speaking of video, the camera takes nice crisp HD movies with good color, however not as good as some higher priced true video cameras. Also, the internal zoom lens mechanism is quite audible when using the optical zoom, only way to avoid a loud gear noise when zooming is to either not use the optical zoom when videoing or to just use the digital zoom range which is completely silent. I don't see any of this as deal breakers, just be aware this cameras video mode is not for making an Oscar award feature movie. Nonetheless, you'll still get good looking video to capture fun events in a rough environment.
Bottom line is this is really a great go anywhere rugged camera that is a blast to own and use. Be sure to apply a screen protector before serious use, if this camera is used in its natural rough element the glass screen needs protection. Overall I love this camera and am VERY happy with it!
I am now a Pentax fan!
April 28, 2013
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.
First Impressions - Nice!
April 24, 2013
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. The menu system seems like all the other digital cameras on the market - a little awkward; but keep in mind this is my first day with the camera and with experience I'll adapt to the particulars of this camera's menu system.
4) Photos: I took a walk with the camera just before sunset where there were a lot of light contrasts; then just after the sun went down, I photographed in twilight. First look at the photos with the fast F2.0 lens were impressive! Colors really popped in some flowers even in twilight. Nice contrast between colors in cityscape murals. Dialed up to 16-megapixels and zoomed 4x to try to see an architectural rendering on a sign I could barely make out in a building from the road. After taking the picture I was able to zoom in and not only see the architectural rendering but even read words on this sign that I couldn't see from the ground.
When I got home I tried the microscope mode which was an important reason why I purchased the camera in the first place. I attached the marco stand and took a photo of a nickel. The camera took a second to focus and the picture came out crisp. The LED lights illuminated the coin and due to the reflection, the edges around the coin were somewhat overexposed. I will have to experiment more, but the microscope mode worked as advertised seeing all sorts of micro-scratches on the coin face.
There are so many features I have not tried yet like the GPS; and I'll update my review as time goes on. Overall, the pictures were really good. The reason I'm giving it 5-stars at this point, is because the features that I purchased the camera for worked as advertised. And again the photo quality is to my satisfaction. I also do a lot of outdoor work where I need a camera to document progress for myself and customers. I don't want to have to worry about dust, rain and dirty hands. Note there is a time-elapsed feature that I have yet to try.
I don't plan to use this camera for underwater activities, but like I said earlier, there will be testers and evaluation websites that will put this new camera through all sorts of tests in the weeks ahead. But if you're ready now, I say go for it. Unless you get one DOA, you probably won't be disappointed.
Note: There is another customer review here on Amazon of this camera on 4/1/2013 that gave it 2-stars. The person said they had the camera boxed for return within 5-minutes due to poor picture quality. I would not take this review too seriously. This person obviously took no time to ensure they had proper settings or conditions. This is Pentax's 15th generation of tough camera evolution and they have a good reputation for hardware quality. Keep all this in mind when making your decision to buy or not.
Optio Wg-3 - so glad we bought it
April 7, 2013
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.
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. at first he was a little disappointed with the size, because it doesn't really fit in his shorts pocket, but after using the camera, it's now his favorite.
3" screen - works great, even in direct sun and under water. we have another digital cameras with 2" screens, and the 3" is much better.
buttons -- very easy to use underwater. your fingers dont slip and you can easily do whatever you need.
the editing options -- while the pix are still on the camera, you can crop and do other editing and save the edited pix as a new image. you can also get 3 stills from any video you take.
nothing, really, but if i was being really picky ........
=> the battery didn't last as long as i would like -- will not last a whole day of heavy "we are on vacation use". so, i strongly recommend a back-up battery whereever you go. per another Amazon review, i bought the Wasabi dual battery package with charger and did not notice any difference between the Wasabi and Pentax batteries. SEE MORE BELOW - IMPORTANT.
=> the biner clip and strap-- i always use a wrist strap, so i dont worry when leaning over a cliff or balcony that i'll drop the camera by accident. i had to poach a wrist strap from another camera because the WG-3's carribiner and strap dont give any protection from dropping the camera. they are cute, but not so functional. i'll probably convert them to a keychain. even though the camera is extremely durable, it's too clunky and heavy to hang from my belt-loop and feel safe.
=> size - see above. a little bigger than ideal, but this is the cost of true, 45-foot underwater abilities.
=> you should have at least one finger-nail. some of the buttons on the round "ok" button area are a bit close together and i find the one at "9 o'clock" difficult to hit just right. i dont have large fingers, but i found no problem when using my fingernail on that one particular button. if i had no fingernails, i would probably repeatedly hit the wrong button by accident. this button isn't important for taking pictures or video, but is for reviewing and editing.
although the camera is waterproof, it is not sink-proof. we got the Chums wrist strap. it works just fine to keep the camera afloat in our test and has a very functional clip so you can easily remove and replace the big floatation device. here's the link: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003CK10DG/ref=oh_details_o01_s00_i02?ie=UTF8&psc=1
OVERALL IMPRESSIONS: an excellent camera. when i showed the grandparents the snorkeling shots and video from the PC, they couldn't believe we got such amazing shots from such a small and seemingly-normal camera. And only $300!
a word on sellers -- at first, and a week before the trip, i bought an orange WG-3 from a seller on Amazon (we figured orange would be easier to find/recognize than black). they said they would deliver within 2-3 days, so we would get the camera in time for our trip. 5 days later, they still hadn't even shipped it. so, i cancelled that camera and bought a black WG-3 direct from Amazon for an add'l $12 and i splurged on the $3.99 for the guaranteed next-day delivery (we are Prime members). it arrived the following day, giving me time to charge the batteries, make sure it worked, etc. Moral of this anecdote: buy from Amazon.
a word on the battery and for when you first get the camera -- the battery arrived 100% dead. i put the battery in and tried using the camera immediately. it didn't work. the camera has a charging cable that attaches to the battery box in the camera, so you can charge the battery without a separate charging device. when you do this, a green light illuminates on the "on/off" button. when i first opened the camera, i tried using the cable to charge the battery via the camera. it didn't work either and the green light didn't illuminate. i thought the camera was a dud. then i used the charging device that came with the Wasabi batteries -- it plugs into a regular wall outlet. that worked. ever since, i've been able to use the charging cable and the green light illuminates, but at first it didn't. dont know what i would have done if i hadn't also bought a wall charger for the batteris.
a word on accessories -- i recommend the following: a wall charger for the battery; an extra battery; a high quality SD card (do some research - following the lead of another reviewer, i like the Patriot 32G - worked great for pix and video); a floatation wrist strap that is strong enough for the weight of this slightly larger camera; screen protectors; a bag (again, check the size; we used a neoprene case that can get wet, so we wore the camera on our hip/neck while we trecked up waterfalls and had no worries); a regular wrist strap, as the floating ones are big and unnecessary on land.
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Four Star Reviews:
Great Knock Around
February 15, 2014
I have multiple cameras, some I don't want to use on a boat, in the rain or in the cold. I'm also hard on small objects and when working quickly I can have dropsy. So I wanted to have something durable. Although if you use the optional AC connection or the computer interface cable, the cord hanging out is a bit awkward and I'm concerned about damaging the floppy battery door that has to stay open during AC and computer use. I've use it for classroom use as a video camera for student projects. I would prefer to have an external mic jack (the only strong selling point for me for the Hero), but the sound quality has been acceptable and the quality of the video is as good as one might expect for a multi-use camera. I read several reviews that compared this to other waterproof and durable cameras (Sony, Olympus, Hero) and this once compared well at all levels. Primarily I chose this because of its low f stop, its 16 MPGs, its durability, its picture quality for point and shoot, its competitive price, and its size. There is little optical zoom, but I did not necessarily want much and suspect that it would compromise the weatherproof nature of camera if there was much of an optical zoom. I use other cameras for more serious picture taking but I like having this one around.
Great underwater shots, not so good in bright sun light
February 8, 2014
My wife received this camera for her birthday and she really likes the color and simplicity of it. It has a rugged shell and the buttons are laid out similar to the Cannon camera we already owned.
This camera is very easy to use, right out of the box. The set up is very easy with the step by step instructions. The carabiner attachment that's included works well for attaching the camera on your backpack or pant loops. I was hesitant to use it because I was afraid it would scratch the glass view finder or the lens. For underwater photography you should invest in a floating wrist holder.
We went on a sailing trip shortly after I purchased the camera and were able to field test the Pentax Optio WG-3 in the Caribbean waters of Belize. In bright sunshine it can be difficult to see what you're looking at on the glass viewer. At one point we noticed a small cloudy spot on the glass and we thought moisture got inside, but the spot went away within a few minutes. We figured the camera must have been set out in the sun too long.
My wife and I were able to take fantastic underwater pictures right from the start. We photographed color reef and moving fish with ease. We also took several video, on the boat as well as underwater and they came out looking awesome.
The software that comes with the camera is user friendly and allows you to manipulate your photos with different themes. You can also crop, re-size and do a number of other things with it, like add text, etc. The video editor is very simple and could be a bit more involved.
This is our first underwater camera and we are very happy with it so far.
You can see the photos we took on our blog at [...]
Replacement for the same one I lost...
February 3, 2014
I liked the last one of these (same model, different color) so much, that when I lost it (heh, should have used the carabiner - it fell out of my jacket pocket) I bought another one. *HUGE* tip -- if you buy one of these, learn to turn the GPS off when you aren't using the camera because it will drain your battery. That GPS drain is a really annoying issue to me. I love the macro ability, though the super macro can be frustratingly slow to focus. The macro lights are handy. The noise reduction can be pretty destructive to high ISO image details, so you will do well to limit the range (see the manual and/or menus). My 5 year old has no trouble turning the camera on and taking pictures with it.
The carabiner is a mixed bag -- it attaches firmly, but I wish the attachment was closer to the camera -- it swings around a bit. (yes, I have adjusted the strap about as short as it will go).
This won't charge from a computer USB, and you have to have the camera battery charged to download pictures from the camera. That usually isn't a problem since I have an SD slot in my computer so just pop the memory card out.
My last one of these leaked one time in a swimming pool -- it never got very deep in the water, and I think the seal was clean. It did recover after some time in a rice bag. I haven't gotten the new one wet, but probably will try to avoid leaving it in my swim shorts.
Loaded with features
January 8, 2014
I have owned both the this and the previous WG-2 model and when I describe it to people I say that it does a lot of things very well, but obviously the image quality isn't going to live up to a DSLR or a mirrorless camera. The video it shoots is extremely solid and in good lighting situations the photos are crisp. I love using this camera for macro shots, especially at night because they come out looking really brilliant. The time-lapse function is incredibly flexible and I have made some brilliant time lapse videos with this thing. HDR works well and doesn't blur, the high-speed video function is a nice trick to show off and the GPS/Compass combo provides very useful and precise location and direction data.
There were two features that I didn't find listed during my research that are very important:
First, VIDEO AUTOFOCUS. This was a huge surprise to me and although I had gotten used to the fixed focus on the WG-2, this feature was a fantastic surprise and it works smoothly in both regular and macro focus modes.
Second, LIVE GPS DATA. To activate electronic compass function you hit the OK button and cycle through the different on-screen display set-ups. When you get to the compass function, if you have the GPS function active and you have a signal, it shows you're current readout live. The ability to see this data live rather than having to wait and read the metadata later is really useful for off-camera geocache logging and navigation purposes.
Like but don't love
January 2, 2014
This camera is pretty cool, but luckily it's only a backup camera. I'm a casual user, not a camera guru, so take my opinion as you wish...PROS: EXCELLENT MACRO ability. I was playing with this feature and was amazed. Very user friendly. This camera has a very intuitive function menu. It has little icons with a brief explanation for each feature, making it easy to pick the right one. Of course the waterproof feature is a big plus, hoping the previous reviews of leaks doesn't come true for me. But this leads me into the CONS: The only way to charge the camera is to open the waterproof compartment that houses the memory card and plug in the PROVIDED USB cable. So the camera has to sit, open, while the camera charges. The waterproofing design of the lid does not look substantial so great care must be taken when working in this area of the camera. You also have to make sure it is spotlessly clean before closing it to prevent water seepage. I mentioned "provided" USB cable. I tried using some wall plug-ins for USB that I already had laying around the house. They did not work for this camera. I finally used the wall charger provided and the camera charged. Now, not sure if the USB cable will charge the camera if plugged into the car USB port (as an example). Lastly, the lens crystal/cover is pretty open to the elements. It's a little concerning that it could be easliy scratched. But no evidence of such so far. The last comment is that this camera has a little bit of zoom, but nothing to brag about. I bought it with a no-zoom thought in mind. Anyway, it appears to be a fun and usable camera. I hope it lives up to its advertised standards.
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Three Star Reviews:
I love that it comes with a clip and I use ...
July 12, 2016
I've been using this camera for a few years now and it's gone to quite a few countries with me.
Pros are that it is extremely durable. I am incredibly hard on my things and break everything. I also travel often, remotely and ruggedly. I needed something that could keep up with my pace. This does the trick. I don't have to worry about rain, taking it to the beach, or even while repelling off a cliff. I love that it comes with a clip and I use the clip most of the time, clipping the camera to my belt buckle or to the outside of my backpack for easy access in case I come across a really great shot. I am also clumsy and have dropped this camera more times than I could count. It's still kicking.
Cons are that honestly the picture quality isn't that great. I wish while I was travelling I could take some good quality pictures and I'm sad that I can't have it both ways. Also the settings aren't easy to navigate and I still can't find the sunset setting despite looking for the last 2 years. Only if I put it on automatic and the camera notices I am shooting a sunset, will the setting pop up. I really wish this camera took better photos, because if it did it would be absolutely perfect but the picture quality has forced me to drop it down to 3 starts. I am still using it and maybe one day I will upgrade to something better. For now, this suits my purpose just fine.
Planned obsolescence needs to stop
November 27, 2015
I have previously owned 2 Olympus underwater cameras, the first one I loved, but it stopped functioning in less than two years in the sea by still unknown circumstances, it flashed a message I could not read and stopped working, no water in it that I could tell. Even though I had it less than 2 years the company said it was a 4 year old model and they did not accept them for repairs. The second was killed by a friend but that was a plus by the time it turned on and announced itself the photo op was gone and it took lousy photos anyway. I found this Pentax not only easier to work with but it took great photos on land and underwater, the only problem is huge, it is an underwater camera and the metal for the lanyard as well as in the waterproof door started corroding after the first few times in the sea even though I rinsed it in fresh water and wiped it with it's own towel as soon as I got out of the water. Though I have owned it over a year, I only started using it in the sea 5 months ago and yesterday it sucked water. I had already bought another one because I liked how it operated, took great photos and needed GPS for tracking sea life and when I saw that I would have to pay over a $166 plus probably additional costs for parts because of the corrosion and shipping to send it in for it's yearly rehab all underwater camera company advise I decided a new one was the better option. Day later, now for sure it is, don't have a land camera either. I would gladly pay more if electronic things would not self destruct in such a short time just so that I would not have to learn and set up a new one. They have to stop this planned obsolescence the garbage dumps are overflowing.
Good Point and Shoot - Not Waterproof
March 21, 2014
Used this camera snorkeling, During the first 1 hour trip took fantastic pictures and video with sound. The second trip snorkeling was the follow day again worked better than expected. Third trip took several photos above the water prior to snorkeling turned the camera off and that was the last time it worked.
Followed the instructions on proper use and care. In fact I am one of those people who read the whole book prior to using. So I was very confident that I was not the cause for the failure.
If you are looking for a camera that takes great photos including macro's and don't plan to take underwater then I would consider this camera.
Returned to Amazon for refund, very glad that I purchased from Amazon.
Worthless for underwater
March 20, 2014
I bought this camera mainly for use while snorkeling. I used it quite a bit taking regular photos and it took nice pictures, certainly not good enough to warrant the price in my opinion, but decent pics. When I used it underwater as soon as it was immersed the LCD screen fogged over and stayed that way the whole time I was snorkeling. I attempted to use it a few times that day, trying different things, making sure the camera was not hot when I put it in the water, keeping it at water level, nothing worked. The screen was fogged the whole time rendering the camera useless because you can't see what you are shooting. I returned the camera and got my money back. I have an old Canon with an underwater case, while it doesn't take as clear a photo on land, at least I can see what I'm shooting underwater. If you are using this only for land pics, it's a nice camera, underwater, not so much. Terribly disappointed.
A lot of features and a spot of trouble.
September 1, 2013
After having to wait a month for this camera (I'm an early adopter) I was pretty excited. This camera is small and very easy to keep in your hand. The features are numerous, but as an afterthought, I could have skipped the GPS and purchased the cheaper model. The reasons why I purchased it are: weatherproofness, uses a common battery type, picture quality in a small package, a mistaken idea that my pictures would geo-tagged, and very easy macro shots. It did most of these things. It does come with a nylon strap with an attached carbiner. It is pretty useless. What it does need is a good wrist strap. I can't imagine anyone using the carbiner to attach the camera to a daypack, your belt, or anywhere that exposes it to bumps and scrapes.I do not want to lose this camera in my travels, in bad weather, or rough conditions. You get this strap and a faux and 'outdoorsy' carbiner and no way to hang on to your camera. What were they thinking?
Now the sad news. After spending some time in Ireland I discovered that a lot of my shots were blurry. After a lot of observation I found that the camera was having an issue of internal fogging. The lens was fogging, so was the front and rear LCD displays. It would not happen all of the time but just enough to ruin most of the photos. What pictures that did come out were outstanding. No need for color or exposure correction, just cropping. The macro shot detail was very impressive.The camera was never submerged in water, only to a light rain. So my regrets are that, I should have waited for the product to mature and that I had to pay a lot more than the camera goes for now.
I have sent this unit back to the designated Pentax repair center, since it is still very early in its warranty period. Good luck with feedback from Pentax. Luckily I sent it by Priority Mail with delivery confrmation. They received the unit on Sept. 19th and did not send any acknowledgement. It's been over a month and still no communication, still no camera. This is unacceptable. Sure, it is a mid-range product, but it did cost me money. Their profit may have not been much, but they made it, they marketed it, and they came up short.
UPDATE: Here it is November 18th and I just received the replacement camera. I started to use it right away. I am still impressed by its color balance, picture detail, ease of use and just plain darn great photos. It still came with the silly nylon strap. But so far so good. The real test is when I go to Antarctica in 3 weeks. Will update then.
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Two Star Reviews:
Buy the extended warranty
December 6, 2014
So the lesson to be learned here is - buy the extended warranty... I wish I did. The first year of use I had with this camera, I was its biggest fan. I was able to take underwater photos in fresh and salt water (depths no greater than 5 or 6 feet). I took care of this camera exactly as it said to, removing battery when not in use, allowing it to dry, checking that all seals were locked in place etc. Then this year rolled around. On its first usage in saltwater (same location as last year), it was fogging up so I took it out of the water immediately, but it was too late. Water had gotten all through the camera and it has been able to power up since. This of course happened about 10 days after the 1 year warranty had run out.
I have learned a tough lesson about cheaping out on extended warranties when it comes to underwater electronics.
Waterproof, but doesn't take good underwater photos.
February 11, 2014
Pro: This camera is rugged and can handle a beating. It has also maintained a good waterproof casing. This has been fun to have at a waterpark and while swimming just because I don't have to worry about it getting damaged.
Con: I have a friend who bought a waterproof, point-and-shoot camera for $100 less that takes way clearer, more vibrant underwater photos than this one. I live in a fabulous snorkeling area and most of the pictures I take with this camera come out blurry. I regret paying so much for this camera and would not choose this model again.
Good when it is not leaking.
November 10, 2013
I got this camera to take underwater pictures on our vacation in Hawaii. I was planning to take it to a manta ray dive but it leaked water on the second day of the vacation while snorkeling and stopped working completely. The picture quality was great until it stopped working but I was very disappointed have a water leakage problem at the snorkeling depth, while the camera indicates that it is waterproof up to 46 feet. I ended up paying for an underwater photographer for the dive and had to use my cellphone camera for the rest of the trip. It was a real vacation ruiner. I will ask for a replacement and will give this camera a second chance because the picture quality is really great, but water leakage in a waterproof camera is unacceptable.
Takes decent pictures but...
September 6, 2013
Originally bought this camera because of it's waterproof feature (up to 45ft). Went on vacation to Hawaii and was looking for a camera that would be ideal for taking pictures while snorkeling. Out of the package, took a lot of test pictures before using it and the quality was pretty good. The exterior has a rugged feel to it and saw that the battery/sd card compartment has a double lock to ensure it does not accidentally open up, especially if it is in a wet environment. Once on vacation, tried turning on the camera and it would power up and immediately power back down. To eliminate the possibility that the camera got turned on during the flight, recharged the battery and again it would power up and then power back down. Actually had to hit the camera real hard with my hand to get it to start working right. On the first day of snorkeling, while trying to learn how to use it in the water, the camera took pretty good quality shots. I was actually happy with the test shots in the water, The second time out was when the issues started happening. While taking pictures in the water, the camera started turning off again for no reason. Once out of the water, saw that the double lock was still engaged and after making sure the camera was dry, upon opening the battery/sd cover, noticed that it was wet inside and it appeared the battery "blew up" or started leaking. There was a green substance oozing out the area where the battery pins were. It appears the housing may have leaked due to the moisture in the housing. When the camera was operational it did take pretty decent quality shots and its many features are useful. I have never had any issues with Pentax cameras and they are usually super reliable. I will be returning this camera and hopefully, it is just a "lemon".
30 days ok ... but after that..? 2nd time around
July 15, 2013
Having had the Pentax Optio line of cameras for several years, I decided to upgrade to the WG3. Product arrived on time, (arrived June 15) set up was a snap as it is basically the same as others in this family.
I use the camera primarily for progress shots on my large industrial construction projects and don't have to worry about dust or banging it on a scaffold or whatever.. ideal camera for my intended purpose.... until today.
The zoom function stopped working completely, no zoom at all. Changed batteries ( I know that had really no bearing on the problem but made me feel better), fiddled with various menu functions - but the zoom is pretty straightforward and still not working. Very disappointed at this development.. The camera is going back and I will likely order another one in the hope that this experience was just a one off and not indicative of the entire line
The second camera arrived and I used it with no problems - no underwater stuff, just jobsite progress pictures. At about the same time frame as the previous unit,the SAME problem occurred i.e the zoom stopped working. Searching for a second opinion I contacted "Just Answer" and their analysis was that the plastic gears controlling the zoom had stripped and as the item is still under warranty I should return it... I'm not too optimistic about going through this a third time especially as I bought additional batteries and wall charger, and don't want to get stuck with several batteries and returning cameras every 60 days
The unit feels good in the hand and does do it's job - most of the time, but for this price point I expect all the functions to work normally for longer than 60 days - return to Amazon imminent
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One Star Reviews:
The camera is garbage but Amazon is (once again) amazing!
September 30, 2015
This camera is, to put it politely, a piece of garbage. It arrived and we used it once, on the beach, to take photos of crabs coming up out of the sand. It didn't touch the water, it didn't touch the sand. We washed it off anyway upon arriving at home and then it got put away. Pulled it out a few months later and what's this? The shutter is stuck closed. No amount of anything would get it to open. After multiple phone calls to Pentax/Richo, we were finally told that we needed to ship it to them for repair. Though it was brand-new, used once, and well within the warranty period, we had to pay for the shipping. Quite frustrating.
We received the camera back a few weeks later and again, took it to the beach where it worked fine. Over the course of the next 2 years it was used *at the most* 4 additional times. Each time on the beach - shooting pictures of people in the water, small creatures on the sand, and etc.
My husband and I are in our mid-40's. We take great care with our products to the point that the laptops multiple family members are using are 2 or 3 generations of our used laptops. My sister is using my laptop from 2 generations ago. My dad is using my husband's laptop - it's well over 5 years old and running flawlessly. The point being - we aren't young party animals throwing the camera across the beach, dropping it to the bottom of the ocean from a yacht, or hurling it out of a fast moving vehicle.
So what a shock to take it to the beach recently, actually go in the water with it this time, and emerge a short time later to a fried camera. Apparently water got in past some seal and poof - the entire thing is shorted out. We called Pentax/Richo and found out several things...
1. The seals need to be replaced yearly. Even though the camera was stored in a dresser drawer, inside the house, and rarely used, apparently one is supposed to find a camera shop to replace all seals on a yearly basis.
2. So sad, too bad. They don't stand behind their product, they don't care if it's only been used once or never at all. They don't care if it's kept in a glass case and only admired and never touched or boot kicked across an airport tarmac and run over by a jumbo jet. They simply don't care. My husband sarcastically commented that Pentax/Richo is obviously in the habit of selling junk cameras and the rep didn't disagree. Incredible.
Let's do the math. $300 for the camera. Used 6 times for a total of approx. 180 photos. Only 60 or so of the photos were keepers. That makes each photo cost an average of $5. FIVE DOLLARS per photo. Completely ridiculous. We will never again purchase a Pentax/Richo camera. No way. They do not stand behind their product and when you are finally able to reach someone, the utter lack of anything even remotely resembling concern or help is appalling.
However, this story has a happy ending. I went to Amazon help chat to complain that this camera was either a lemon or just defective and to let Amazon know that I was filing an official complaint against Pentax/Richo. To my utter shock, they made this right by issuing me a 50% refund to be used on a future purchase. Amazon gets 5 massive stars for their willingness to assist. I never dreamt they would do anything - my contacting them was born out of frustration from being poorly treated by Pentax/Richo and the angst over having spent hundreds of dollars for a camera that has been used maybe 1.5 - 2 total hours.
In closing - no more Pentax/Richo products for us but yay to Amazon for coming through to make this right.
Poor Picture Quality
May 31, 2014
Picture quality is terrible: grainy (not good grainy) and flat outside the water, murky and flat inside the water (I was at the Dry Tortugas, and my friend's little Nikon took MUCH clearer pictures, so it wasn't the water), which pretty much made me kick myself for not buying a disposable underwater camera instead. For some reason my zoom in/out buttons did not work at all. Battery dies incredibly fast and this sucker will NOT charge using a solar charger, even if it's fully powered up and left plugged in for 5+ hours. Keep in mind, we used that same charger to charge the other camera and the phones. Useless to take this thing camping. Unfortunately past the return date, so now it's just sitting there in a drawer. If anyone wants it, let me know, but I don't recommend buying this camera.
Great Quality Photos/Video, Poorly Made
April 13, 2014
The pictures this camera managed to take before it leaked were great quality. I was excited to share all the cool things I saw during my trip to Hawaii this spring. The camera was BRAND NEW. I read the manual before using it. Even the part that says if you drop the camera, the waterproof capabilities may be rendedered useless. So even though this is supposed to be a life proof, rugged, waterproof camera I was EXTREMELY careful with it the whole trip. I also noted the maximum depth of 14 feet for the waterproof capability. I was snorkeling, so the camera was a maximum arm length down from the surface, so 2 feet, max, but mostly right up near the surface. (Yes the battery hatch was clean and had both safety locks locked.) So I got some nice s*** while snorkeling but all of a sudden the screen turned black. I thought the battery had just died, but the on button was still lit green. I tried taking pictures while the screen was black but decided to get out of the water, dry off and check the battery compartment. Well, it was wet. The camera had leaked, and it apparently shorted out the screen. So I took out the memory card and battery and the the camera to dry in the hotel room and the next day the camera still showed a black screen when on so I just put it away for the rest of the trip. When I got home I was able to get the photos of the memory card, so glad the water didn't ruin it! However the whole experience has left me giving this camera one start because I can no longer use it, big waste for $200. Very dissappointed.
not water proof
January 5, 2014
I purchased this camera for my husband for Christmas. Two days later we were to go to St. Thomas on vacation. Camera took great pictures until we took it to the beach. From then on it was a bust. Salt water got into the camera just at the edge of the shore, maybe three feet of water. I was so disappointed that the camera stopped working, and filled with water. That was day three of our week vacation. The rest of the time my husband had to take pictures with his phone. BUMMER I am in the process of getting my money back. BEWARE!!!!
November 2, 2013
I purchased this item based on the positive reviews it received. I should have paid more attention to the negative ones. The camera performs well on the beach when dry but after only the 4th time in shallow pacific ocean water I came out and saw that the screen had fogged over. When I opened the battery compartment salt water poured out and the camera was useless. Having had this same problem with another brand I knew that customer support at Pentax could not help and I returned it to Amazon for further return to Murphy's camera. Is there any "waterproof" camera out there that doesn't leak?
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Vote for Me
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$349.95updated: Jan 14, 2018
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$19.99updated: Jan 14, 2018
WG-3 GPS green
WG-3 GPS green
Number of Parts
Number of Parts
WG-3 GPS green
Pentax WG-3 Digital Camera Case SDC-23 Point & Shoot Digital Camera Case, Black / Grey
Wasabi Power Battery (2-Pack) and Charger for Ricoh Pentax D-LI92 and Ricoh Pentax Optio I-10, RZ10, RZ18, WG-1, WG-1 GPS, WG-2, WG-2 GPS, WG-3, WG-3 GPS, WG-4, WG-4 GPS, WG-10, X70
1 year parts and labor
A backlit 16 megapixel sensor coupled with the new-generation imaging engine delivers a top sensitivity of ISO 6402
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
GPS module for Geo tracking, built in compass, pressure/altitude/water depth gauges and wireless recharging capabilities
Point & Shoot Digital Camera Case, Black / Grey
Replacement by Synergy Digital
Dimensions: 5 x 3 x 2 inches
This Wasabi Power Battery and Charger Kit includes:
1) Two (2) Wasabi Power batteries D-LI50
2) One (1) Wasabi Power Mini Rapid A/C Charger for D-LI50 with fold-out plug
3) European plug and car adapter
4) 3-year manufacturer warranty