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Pentax Optio W80 wades into waterproof camera market

The Pentax W80 is the latest in a line of summer-lovin' waterproof cameras. It's got a 5x zoom and is waterproof down to nearly 5m

Richard Trenholm
Richard Trenholm was CNET's film and TV editor, covering the big screen, small screen and streaming. A member of the Film Critic's Circle, he's covered technology and culture from London's tech scene to Europe's refugee camps to the Sundance film festival.
Richard Trenholm
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Glastonbury weekend is approaching. Roughly 170,000 people are in a state of feverish excitement, while about six times that number wish they were going, and are cackling with glee because it's probably going to piss it down. With holidays and festivals on the horizon, it's a good time for Pentax to announce the Optio W80, another camera that can go anywhere, whether it be a tropical sea, an azure swimming pool or a flooded dance tent.

The 12.1-megapixel W80 boasts an above-average 5x zoom, with a decent 28mm wideangle to 140mm telephoto focal length, equivalent to a 35mm camera. It'll spot a whopping 32 faces in less than half a second, and also includes smile and blink detection.

High-definition video is recorded at 30 frames per second in a 16:9 aspect ratio. There's a dedicated underwater movie mode to optimise settings for the sparkling Mediterranean or the murk of the Mersey.

Pentax touts the triple-action anti-shake technology, but don't be fooled: it's a combination of software adjustment and ISO boosting, which leads to noise. Neither of these methods is as effective as optical image stabilisation, which physically and infinitesimally adjusts the lens or sensor. We'll be testing out the results when we get our hands on the W80 for one of our famous, in-depth reviews.

It's getting slightly crowded in the shallow end, with the W80 joining the Canon PowerShot D10, Fujifilm FinePix Z33WP and Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT1 in squabbling over rubber rings with the Olympus mju Tough range.

For more on the W80 and to see how tough it really is, click through our quick gallery.

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The W80 includes a 64mm (2.5-inch) LCD monitor, with an anti-reflection coating, to cut glare.
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The W80 can survive drops of up to 1m, submersion up to 4.9m, and freezing conditions as low as -10°C. Brrr.

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