DigitalCameraReview.com
Pentax Optio WS80 touts HD underwater movies
by David Rasnake -  8/5/2009

In addition to updates to its P- and E-series Optio models, Pentax has announced plans to launch a new waterproof point-and-shoot.

Pentax Optio WS80

The new 10 megapixel Pentax Optio WS80 builds on Pentax's history of waterproof compacts, featuring a 5x internally contained zoom lens, a 2.7-inch LCD, and pocket-sized construction.

Boasting a set of soft features similar to those seen in Pentax's lates P-series cameras – including high-speed face detection, Smile Capture, Auto Picture mode, and Pentax's Pixel Track SR image stabilization system, the WS80's primary point of distinction is its ability to be taken underwater: per Pentax, the camera is good for shooting from depths of down to five feet – slightly shallower than many current competitors, but certainly deep enough to stave off damage from inclement weather or poolside accidents.

Pentax Optio WS80

Slim and visually striking, the plastic-cased Optio WS80 comes in "his-and-hers" two-tone color options: orange on black, or purple on white.

The WS80 also sets itself apart from the outdoor-camera pack in its ability to capture 720p HD video at 30 fps, allowing users to capture snorkel-trip movies or vacation videos from the water park without worrying about camera damage.

Like the rest of the new Optio models, the WS80 is slated to hit store shelves in September; suggested retail for the new model is $249.95.