Pentax f2.0 WG-3 rugged camera to challenge Olympus

Look out, Pentax is coming after the Tough TG-2, and it's bringing more than just a bright lens.

Pentax

While there are plenty of rugged digital cameras to go around these days, Pentax and Olympus have been making them the longest. The new WG-3 is Pentax's 15th-generation ruggedized camera and it's going directly after Olympus' top models, the Stylus Tough TG-1 iHS and TG-2 iHS .

The key features of the Olympus are its 4x f2.0-4.9 25-100mm lens and the option to attach a lens adapter for add-on conversion lenses. And that's exactly what you get with the WG-3; the exact same lens specs, and you can put on a lens adapter and wide-angle conversion lens to expand the wide end to 20mm. Having the bright f2.0 aperture available at the wide end comes in very handy when lighting isn't the best, so you don't immediately have to use high ISO settings.

Of course it's waterproof, cold-proof, shockproof, dust-proof, and crushproof, too. The WG-3 can go on dives down to 45 feet, be dropped from up to 6.6 feet, survive 220 pounds of pressure, and keep shooting in temperatures as low as 14 degrees Fahrenheit.

Other features include a 16-megapixel backside-illuminated (BSI) CMOS sensor for faster performance and better low-light results; a ring of six LEDs around the lens for macro photography; a 3-inch 460K-dot-resolution LCD with 170-degree horizontal and vertical viewing angles; full HD and slow-motion movie capture; and, for the first time in a WG camera, sensor-shift image stabilization.

There are two versions of the WG-3, one with GPS and one without. However, the WG-3 GPS version has a small LCD display on the front for reading time, pressure, and altitude, and it has Qi wireless charging support so you can charge its built-in battery simply by placing the camera on a Qi-compatible wireless charger .

The WG-3 GPS is available in a choice of purple or green and will sell for about $350, while the regular WG-3 will come in black or orange versions for $50 less. Look for them in March.

Pentax also announced the $179.95 WG-10, which looks like the WG-1 reborn. The body is waterproof to 33 feet, shockproof from drops up to 4.9 feet, dust-proof, freeze-proof down to 14 degrees Fahrenheit, and crushproof withstanding up to 220 foot pounds of force. It has the same lens as the WG-1 -- 5x, f3.5-5.5, 28-140mm -- but Pentax swapped out the slow 14-megapixel CCD sensor for a faster 14-megapixel BSI CMOS sensor.

It'll be available in mid-April in red only.

 

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