Optio WG-1 adds GPS, crushproofing to Pentax rugged cameras

The WG-1 is water-, shock-, and freezeproof and can take 220 pounds of pressure. You can get it with GPS, too.


The Pentax Optio WG-1 follows in the design footprint set by the W90. The WG-1 breaks new ground, though, by being crushproof; it's a first for Pentax and only Olympus offered that protection previously in a point-and-shoot.

The crushproofing allows the WG-1 to survive a weight force up to 220 pounds. It's also dustproof, waterproof down to 33 feet, and freezeproof down to 14 degrees Fahrenheit. It's shockproof, too, able to take a 5-foot drop.

Like the W90, Pentax circles the 5x f3.5-5.5 28-140mm-equivalent lens of the WG-1 with five LED lamps used for macro photos. A detachable macro stand is included for steadier capture as is the strong carabiner strap for quickly clipping the camera to a belt or bag.

Outside of those things, the camera is a pretty standard point-and-shoot with a 14-megapixel resolution, 2.7-inch LCD, and 720/30p movie capture and an HDMI output. However, Pentax again opted for its Pixel Track SR image stabilization instead of optical or mechanical stabilization. For electronic IS, Pixel Track SR works well, but at $349.95, I expect better.

If you like geotagging your photos, Pentax will also offer the Optio WG-1 GPS. It bumps the price up to $399.99, but it's worth it if you're shooting off the beaten path.

Both versions will ship in April with the WG-1 available in black or purple and the Optio WG-1 GPS in black or yellow-green.