Pentax Optio WPi Digital Camera

Table of Contents

Introduction

In March, 2006, I purchased a Pentax Optio WPi waterproof digital camera from amazon.com for $268.88 with free shipping. This is a 6–megapixel digital camera that is waterproof to 1.5 meters depth. I bought this camera to take along when I’m touring on my bicycle; because the camera is waterproof, I don’t have to worry about damage to the camera from rain or from packing the camera in a bag with water-soaked equipment.

This remarkable camera is a computer with a lens. It has wonderful capabilities, and I’m very pleased with it.

Contents of the Box

The contents of the box are shown in the photo below.

Pentax Optio WPi camera and other contents of the box

From left to right, top to bottom, the items are:

Camera

As you can see in the pictures below, the camera is small. (I apologize for the quality of the photos, but they were taken with my old 2.1–megapixel camera.)

Pentax Optio WPi camera, front view
Pentax Optio WPi camera, back view

I had to charge the battery before I could use the camera. The LED on the charger is red during charging, and it changes to green when the battery is fully charged. It took about 120 minutes to charge the battery.

The battery, SD card, PC/AV terminal, and DC input terminal are protected with a locking battery/card cover. The cover has a metal hinge that is connected to the plastic case of the camera, and it feels flimsy. Be careful not to accidentally snap the cover off the camera.

Focus Modes

The camera has five focus modes that the user may select:

Here’s an example of a photo taken using the macro focus mode. This is a necklace my wife made in her jewelry class:

Pentax Optio WPi camera, macro mode shot

Zoom

The Optio WPi has a 3× telephoto zoom and a 4× digital zoom.

Here is an example of the zoom mode. The first shot is without using zoom (1× magnification), the second shot is with full zoom (3× magnification). (These photos were taken on Lowell Road between Concord and Carlisle. I would like to learn more about the three bells.)

Pentax Optio WPi camera, without using telephoto
Pentax Optio WPi camera, using 3X telephoto

I haven't tested the digital zoom, but the manual warns that digital zoom results in grainy photos.

Software

The software CD contains a USB driver for Windows 98/Windows 98SE, the ACDSee software for Windows and Mac OS 9.2 or Mac OS X 10.1 or greater, and QuickTime 6. (The software cannot be used on Windows 95.)

Transferring Photos to a Computer

I found that with my Apple PowerBook G4, which is running Mac OS X 10.4.5 and has iPhoto 5.0.4 installed, I could transfer photos from the camera into iPhoto without having to install the ACDSee software.

The steps for transferring photos were:

Optional Accessories

The manual suggests that you use an AC adaptor when connecting the camera to your computer for transferring movies and photos. An AC adaptor (D-AC8) is not included with the camera.

The camera contains 10.5 MB of internal memory, sufficient for only three 6-megapixel photos or 42 photos at 640 x 480 resolution. This means that an SD memory card is almost an essential item. SD memory cards come in different sizes (512 MB, 1 GB, 2 GB), and the cheaper cards have slower transfer speeds. The manual does not make any suggestions about what brands and sizes of SD cards are compatible with the camera.

The camera does not come with a case. Three cases are available as optional accessories, a leather camera case with a strap (O-CC24), a waterproof camera case (O-CC30), or an OptioWP skin, a jacket that protects the camera from scratches and dirt.

Some items included with the camera are available as optional accessories. These include the lithium-ion battery (D-LI8), the battery charger (D-BC8), and battery charger AC plug cord (versions for different countries), several straps, the AV cable, and the USB cable.