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Pentax Optio WG-1 GPS is well good in the great outdoors

Whatever the name means, the Pentax WG-1 GPS is a new rugged compact camera that takes on the great outdoors, swims underwater and doesn't mind being beaten up.

Richard Trenholm Former Movie and TV Senior Editor
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.
Expertise Films, TV, Movies, Television, Technology
Richard Trenholm
2 min read

We're hoping WG-1 stands for 'Well Good'. It probably doesn't. Whatever the name means, the Pentax Optio WG-1 GPS is a new rugged compact camera, also available without GPS.

Pentax hasn't set out to make a rugged camera masquerading as a stylish snapper, like Crocodile Dundee in a dinner jacket. The WG-1 wears its outdoorsiness on its fleece-clad sleeve, with styling that reminded us of manly watches, right down to a compass-y, watch-y detail around the lens ring.

The all-terrain snapper has GPS built-in, so you can geotag your snaps. Geotagging stores your latitude and longitude with the photo's data, so you can automatically place it on a map in services such as Google Earth, Flickr or Picasa.

How tough is the WG-1? It'll survive drops from a height of 1.5 metres on to its aluminium body and rubberised shell. It's crushproof with up to 100kg pressing down on it, so you can stack a hundred bags of sugar on it and not damage the thing. It can venture into cold temperatures as chilly as -10C, and will swim with the fishes to a depth of 10 metres.

The 14-megapixel also features a 5x optical zoom. It comes with a clip-on lens hood that shows you how close you can get to a subject. Pretty close, as it turns out: the macro mode lets you focus on objects just 1cm away, illuminated by LEDs around the lens. A second set of LEDs light up blue, so your underwater snaps get a suitably aquatic feel.

The WG-1 will be available in green or grey with GPS, and black or purple without. What do you think of the adventurous styling? Would this look at home dangling from your waterproof jacket?

The Pentax Optio WG-1 GPS will cost around £330, or the WG-1 sans GPS saves you a whole sixty quid at around £270. They'll be in shops by 17 March. Pentax is also releasing 50 limited edition silver versions of the Pentax K-5 dSLR, which will set you back £1,300.