Pentax gives its rugged digital cameras a refresh this year with the Optio WG2-GPS and WG2. Th efirst one, you have guessed has a GPS sensor the second one does not have. The price difference is $50. Pentax charges twice what its competitor usually charge for a GPS version camera extra cost (see the Nikon Coolpix S9300 vs S9200). Having said that, let me emphasize the best move of undrwater cameras in entax 2012 range : they will have a 16-megapixels backlit CMOS sensor. I like that. This makes a lot of sense as high ISO image quality is paramaount when you start diving for underwater photography. I experience that last year in Guadeloupe, FWI, when I reviewed the Olympus Pen E-PL1 Deep Blue with its underwater housing.
So, the WG2 BSI CMOS sensor alows high sensitivity and Full HD video recording. We appreciate the 6 LEDs for macro flash (the camera can shoot as near as 1 cm away from the subject) as well as for continuopus lighting when recording videos. The lens is the same 5x, 28-140mm and the screen is a bit better than on the WG1, a 3″ / 460,000 dots.
The Optio WG2 and WG2-GPS can resist to :
– 10 meters / 40 feet underwater for 2 continuous hours ( reinforced compared to last years models)
– shock proof (even if it fells from 1.5m / 5 feet high)
– a 100kg pressure
– cold temperatures as low as -10°C
Both cameras will be available mid-march 2012 at suggested retails prices of :
– Optio WG2 : $349.95
– Optio WG2-GPS : $299.95
Pentax will sell an optional chest harness for $49.95.