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Rugged Pentax Optio W80 Announced
by Allison Johnson -  6/24/2009

Pentax announces today the Optio W80, a shock, freeze and waterproof point-and-shoot that they call their most rugged camera to date.

Pentax Optio W80

The W80 can be taken up to 16 feet underwater (5 meters) and should withstand a drop of 3.3 feet on dry land. The freeze proof W80 will also function in temperatures as cold as 14 degrees Fahrenheit (-10 Celsius), making this a camera Pentax calls "adventure-proof."

Rugged and fully equipped
The W80 has all the makings of a rugged camera ready for some rough conditions, but its 12.1 megapixel sensor and 5x optical zoom (28-140mm equivalent) are right in line with high-end point-and-shoots, rugged or otherwise.

Pentax Optio W80

It will also record HD 720p video at 30fps with sound, a feature that much of the competition doesn't offer. However, it should also be noted that with a 1GB SD card, the W80 will only record around five minutes of video at its highest resolution and frame rate.

That industrial look
The Optio W80 certainly looks tough with a rectangular, industrial design. Where Canon's waterproof D10 is all curves, the Optio W80 is styled with clean lines and metallic accents. It looks more like the rugged cameras we've seen from Olympus. The control layout on the back panel is familiar with a four-way controller and a few other buttons. You'll also find a 2.5 inch LCD with anti-glare coating.

Pentax Optio W80

Rounding up the spec list are a few more tech features, including Pixel Track Shake Reduction. The W80 is equipped with Fast Face Detection, a system that Pentax boasts will detect up to 32 faces in less than a second. The Optio W80 will also offer a close focusing Super Macro mode for objects as close as 1 cm.

Pricing and availability
The Pentax Optio W80 will be available for purchase in July 2009 with a retail price of $299.95. For an additional $16.95, Pentax will offer a protective clear skin designed for the W80 as well as a wrist strap designed to float in water for $20.00.