Pentax Optio W80 review: Pentax Optio W80

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CNET Editors' Rating

3 stars Good

Average User Rating

4 stars 2 user reviews
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good Shockproof up to 1m; 5x wideangle zoom range; high-definition movie mode.

The Bad Poor lens performance; noisy image processing; over-reliant on menus.

The Bottom Line The dodgy lens on our Pentax Optio W80 might have been a one-off, but, even leaving that aside, the image quality is below par. It's shockproof and waterproof to a greater depth than its predecessor, the Optio W60, but it's pretty pricy and the Olympus mju Tough-8000, Canon PowerShot D10 and Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT1 feel better made

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Pentax's previous waterproof camera, the Optio W60, has been updated. The new Optio W80 has 12 megapixels instead of 10, it's waterproof to 5m rather than 4m, and it's been toughened up to be shockproof as well, from a height of 1m. The upgrade doesn't come cheap, though -- the W80 wades in at around £270.

Versatile and tough
The W80 feels more substantial and better made than the W60, although its shape and layout are more or less unchanged. It's a versatile little beast, because it packs in a 5x wideangle zoom, a high-definition movie mode and a sensitivity range that goes all the way up to ISO 6,400. You can focus right down to 10mm in macro mode, too. The lens doesn't extend during shooting, so the W80 retains its slim profile even at maximum zoom. Round the back, you get a decent LCD that, although not particularly big by compact standards, is bright, saturated and sharp, even in dim lighting.

This test shot shows good colours and exposure, but there's a somewhat soft and gritty look even at low ISOs. ISO 1,600 is usable, but the quality nosedives beyond that (click image to enlarge)

The toughening process this camera has gone through makes it a good deal more competitive than the W60. The Olympus mju Tough-8000 goes deeper (10m), but the W80's 5m dive depth will be good enough for most people, although Pentax only guarantees continuous operation at this depth for 2 hours. The shockproofing brings the W80 back on a par with the 8000, Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT1 and Canon PowerShot D10 and, like these, it will function down to a temperature of -10°C. It's dust-proof too, so it covers all the bases. On top of all that, it's not a bad-looking camera, either.

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Where to Buy

Pentax Optio W80

Part Number: CNETPentax Optio W80

Typical Price: £270.00

See manufacturer website for availability.