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Pentax goes completely outdoors at 2013 CP+ with new rugged cameras

Pentax announced new rugged models to coincide with the 2013 CP+ Camera and Imaging Show in Yokohama, Japan,, including the new Pentax WG-3 (shown above) and WG-3 GPS (shown below).

According to Pentax, the feature set of the WG-3 has been “optimized to meet the rigorous and demanding needs of the adventurous photo enthusiast, whose travels and exploits can take them into a variety of scenarios too challenging for the traditional point and shoot.” Some of these features include an F/2.0 4x zoom, high ISO sensitivity, sensor-shift shake reduction, and a 16-megapixel back-illuminated CMOS image sensor. The optical zoom is a step down from the WG-2’s 5x zoom in order to accommodate the mechanical stabilizer.

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The WG-3 is waterproof to a depth of 45 feet.  A dedicated display will show compass direction and either elevation or depth below water. Pentax claims that the WG-3 is shockproof from drops of up to 6.6 feet, cold proof to 14 degrees Fahrenheit, and able to withstand up to 220-foot-pounds of crushing force. For macro shooters, the WG-3 includes Pentax’s unique Digital Microscope mode and a ring of six LED lights to enable shadow-free shooting as close as one centimeter from subject. For the outdoorsman, the WG-3 GPS will have integrated GPS functionality enabling image geo-tagging, so you’ll always know exactly where each shot was taken. The GPS feature also records pressure, altitude, and depth gauge.

Other features include a dedicated button for recording video (Full HD 1080p), a double locking battery door, and wireless charging (WG-3 GPS only).

To enhance the outdoor shooting experience, Pentax is offering two accessories to complement the WG-3. The first is an optional lens adapter enabling wide-angle coverage to 20mm. The second is a SportMount chest harness that enables hands-free capture.

The WG-3 GPS will be available in a choice of purple or green and will retail for $350. The WG-3 will be available in black or orange and retail for a price of $300. Both models will be available in March 2013.

Pentax WG-3 GPS

Pentax also announced another rugged camera, the Pentax WG-10. The WG-10 is waterproof to depths of 33 feet. The WG-10 has a 14-megapixel BI CMOS image sensor, a 5x optical zoom (5-25mm, equivalent to 28-140mm in the 35mm format), Pentax’s unique LED ring lights, and digital microscope mode. The WG-10 can record video, but only at 720p.

The Pentax WG-10 will be available in mid-April for $180.

Pentax WG-10

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Pentax MX-1 Digital Camera
pentax mx 1 digital camera in black front view

Proving they're still a big player in the digital photography game, Pentax announced their new MX-1 camera at CES this week - the first advanced compact camera the company has ever produced. Although they're a bit late to enter the advanced compact arena, Pentax's latest shutterbox still brings a lot to the table. 
As far as specs go, it's got a 12-megapixel sensor, 4x optical zoom, a 28mm F1.8 wide angle lens, and a 3-inch tilting screen that can be flipped up or down, much like Sony's NEX cameras. 
But what really stands out about this camera is its fantastic retro design. Reminiscent of Pentax's film-era SLRs, the MX-1 sports gorgeous metallic finish with brass panels on its top and bottom, and texturized black rubber around the middle. Lets just hope its pictures are as pretty as its exterior.

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Pentax MX-1: retro good looks on the outside, high-end components within
pentax ces 2013 mx 1

Pentax’s new camera announcements at CES were light this year, but its introduction of the new MX-1 makes up for it. The solidly constructed metallic-and-synthetic-leather camera is made with brass covers at the top and bottom. The color of the brass will age over time, and owners of old-school Japanese rangefinder film cameras will find this aging patina familiar. Like Fujifilm’s new X-Series models, the MX-1 falls into a category of its own: far more advanced than your ordinary point-and-shoot in image and build quality, but not as flexible as an interchangeable lens camera. The ideal buyer would be someone who wants the advantages of a DSLR but needs the compact form factor, like a street photographer or a pro’s backup cam, for example. The camera was named after Pentax’s MX film SLR, which had the same design cues as the MX-1.

Inside the MX-1 is a newly designed 12-megapixel 1/1.7-inch back-illuminated CMOS sensor that Pentax says offers a balance of fast performance and cost. It also notes that the sensor’s low-light handling is impressive. The 4x optical lens is fast at F1.8-2.5 (allowing for fine exposure and depth of field control), with a range of 28-112mm. The MX-1 has a hybrid shake-reduction system that utilizes a mechanical sensor-shift with digital compensation to prevent camera blur. The DSLR-like qualities include RAW image capture, a high ISO of 12,800, and focus down to 1 cm. The camera can shoot high-definition video at 1080p/30 fps or 720p/60 fps. The tilting 3-inch LCD is rated at 920K dots.
In our brief hands-on time with the MX-1, the camera looks great. Construction wise, we think Fujifilm’s new X-Series models offer a higher quality build, but the Fujifilm models feel far heavier than the MX-1. Specs wise, the Fujifilm models are also stronger, of course, it’s too early to compare performance. We especially love the mode and exposure compensation dials at the top. We find that these physical dials allow for faster setting changes than having to go through the menus, which makes shooting that much easier. The MX-1 will go on sale in early February for $500.
In another announcement, the Pentax Q10, the smallest interchangeable lens camera that was announced last September, is now available as a custom-order model available through Adorama and the Pentax website. Customers will be able to choose from 100 color combinations; the order is sent to Japan and then to the factory, where the camera will take four-to-six weeks to build. For people who love the ability to customize their stuff, it’d be worth the wait. Pentax says there won’t be an extra fee for this service, and the camera remains at $600 with a kit lens.
Customized Q10 cameras line the wall inside the Pentax briefing room.
A close-up look at four of customized Q10 cameras.
During our meeting with Pentax, we asked about industry trends and where the company is heading. Pentax acknowledges that the low-end digicam sector is in transition as smartphone usage continues to rise, and that they are pursuing markets that don’t overlap with smartphones. Essentially, they will focus on features that smartphones can’t offer, like weather sealants and fast optical zooms. When asked about wireless connectivity, Pentax says smartphones have the advantage there. They are exploring that feature, but currently have no plans to introduce wireless models.

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Rugged and long-zoom cams make up Olympus CES 2013 unveils

For Olympus at CES 2013, it’s all about ruggedness and long zooms. The company has announced three Stylus Tough compact point-and-shoots and three Stylus with 24x optical zooms. All six models are scheduled to be available in March.
The Stylus TG-2 ($380, shown above) uses a 12MP back-illuminated (BSI) CMOS sensor, which allows for less light to hit the sensor to create an image, and thus less noise. Its rugged features include waterproof to 50 feet and shockproof to nearly 7 feet. A notable feature is the camera’s Super Macro Mode (which Olympus refers to as microscope mode), which Olympus says it’s equal to a 7x to 14x (35mm equivalent) zoom from a shooting distance of 1 centimeter (Olympus claims that degradation in image quality would be minimal when used with Olympus’ Super Resolution Zoom feature). The TG-2 has a 4x (25mm wide) Ultra-Bright, High-Speed f2.0 lens, TruePic VI image processor, 3-inch OLED screen, GPS, and Full HD video recording capability. The camera is expandable through add-on lenses and accessories. Available in black and red.
The next rugged camera is the Stylus TG-830 ($280), a 16MP model with a BSI CMOS sensor and TruePic VI image processor. The TG-830 is waterproof to 33 feet, shockproof to 6.6 feet, crushproof to 220 pounds, freeze proof, and dustproof. The 5x optical zoom can be “extended” to 10x using Super Resolution Zoom feature. It has a 3-inch LCD (460K dots), Full HD video recording, and GPS. Available colors are black, blue, red, and silver.
Olympus Stylus TG-830
Last of the Tough models is the Stylus TG-630 ($200). This 12MP camera also uses a BSI CMOS sensor and has a 5x optical (10x Super Resolution Zoom) lens. A TruePic VI image processor is here, as well, as is Full HD video recording. The TG-630 is waterproof to 33 feet, shockproof to 6.6 feet, freeze proof, and dustproof. Color options are white, black, blue, and red.
Olympus Stylus TG-630
Kicking off the long-zoom models is the Stylus SH-50 ($300). This 16MP camera uses a BSI CMOS and offers 24x zoom, 48x if you count the Super Resolution Zoom. It features a 3-inch touch-capable LCD and Full HD video recording. Besides the TruePic VI image processor, the SH-50 features Hybrid Multi Motion Movie Image Stabilization. It's available in black, silver, and white.
Olympus Stylus SH-50
Next is the 14MP Stylus SZ-16 ($230). The camera uses a CMOS sensor, an upgrade over its predecessor’s CCD sensor. It offers the same zoom capability as the SH-50MR, but has a 25mm wide-angle lens. It comes in black, silver, and white.
Olympus Stylus SZ-16
Last is the 16MP Stylus SZ-15 ($200). It has a 24x optical zoom with 25mm wide-angle lens. There’s a CMOS sensor here, too, but it uses the TruePic III+ image processor. Video capture is regular HD (720p), but it has a slimmer profile than the before-mentioned models. You can get it in black, red, and silver.
Olympus Stylus SZ-15

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