Don’t be fooled by the unassuming design – this 10MP waterproof Pentax is looking to become your favourite beach buddy
The Pentax Optio W60 may not be as iconic as water-resistant foes like Canon’s toy-like Powershot D10 or the colourful Panasonic DMC-FT1, but this conventional 10MP certainly has other charms.
Not only does the price tag mean it delivers great value for money, the feature list goes on so long it’s like watching a magician pull the flags of all nations out of a top hat. Face and blink detection settings are onboard, along with a smile capture mode, 1cm macro feature for close-ups, and a creditable 5x optical zoom.
The Optio W60 also manages flourishes such as manual focus, pan-focus and spot AF focus tracking, which allow users more creative control over shot-taking.
What really stands out, though, is the f/3.5, 28mm wide-angle lens. The wider dimensions are perfect for landscape pictures – allowing you to fit in more of the scene – and this function puts the W60 on par with Panasonic’s equally wide-angle happy FT1.
A shock to the system
Submerge the Optio W60 to a depth of four metres and it’s happy to stay there – ready to take photos – for up to two hours. And it’s also coldproof to -10C, making it ideal for English summers.
Somewhat surprisingly, the camera isn’t shock-resistant (unlike Canon, Panasonic and Olympus rivals) so you’d be advised to not get carried away with its tough-nut cred.
Along with its 10MP stills snapping, the W60 is capable of grabbing high-def movie clips. The maximum resolution is 1280x720, at 15fps. This gives a reasonably detailed, though admittedly far from smooth, movie performance.
There’s no sign of an HDMI output like on Panasonic’s FT1 but there are AV and USB output options for connection to a TV or a computer, while the supplied software is PC- and Mac-friendly.
Spectacular by stealth
It might seem hard to get away from the fact the Optio W60 looks so ‘ordinary’ but this is a compact camera with its power under the hood. It doesn’t look spectacular but there are just so many functions to pick from – including the self-timer, four-mode flash and 1fps continuous shooting mode that we didn’t mention earlier.
Perhaps because of its design simplicity the W60 remains easy to use at all times. The buttons aren’t flashy but they are responsive, and you can zip around the menu system with confidence because it’s so clearly laid out.
The images are impressive, too. They’re crisp, detailed and generally accurate on colour repro (though reds can be a bit pink) so the Optio W60 ends up being an almost perfect pocket snapper – provided you’re not put off by those plain-Jane looks.
Pentax Optio W60 review
Great for landscape shots and value, but not happy with shocks and drops
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