Conclusion: With its aggressive Transformers-like design, the Pentax WG-2 rose above its competition in our Waterproof Shootout primarily thanks to its superior image quality in the situations we imagine people will use it: Underwater and in outdoor sun. The Pentax WG-2 just turned out better shots more often. Timing factors, like startup and shutter lag, were slower than others, but not by much.
Pros: Aggressive, attractive sculpted body design that's light, well-balanced and easy to grip, even underwater, 5x optical zoom lens provides 28-140mm equivalent coverage, Waterproof to 40 feet, Doors have double safety locks, Good underwater and terrestrial image quality, Large and bright LCD screen that's easy to read and navigate in bright sunlight, LEDs around lens for macro and video illumination, Digital microscope mode for extreme close-ups, No-slip surfaces made th...
Cons: GPS version costs $50 more, Menu button is too close to the Delete button, No dedicated video button, No optical or sensor-shift image stabilization (uses digital "Pixel Track" shake reduction), Conservative default sharpening can lead to slightly soft images even at base ISO, though you can increase sharpening, Modes include some silly options, such as Frame Composite, No full-resolution burst mode; only shoots at a rate of one shot per second, Incandescent shots ar...
Conclusion: The GPS-equipped Pentax Optio WG-2 GPS features a striking design that avoids the standard rugged camera look and feel. It can keep image noise under control at higher ISOs, but is hampered by a lens that isn't as sharp as others in its class.
Pros: Unique design. Macro LED lighting. Integrated GPS. Low noise at high ISOs. Waterproof to 40 feet.
Cons: Soft lens. Slow to start and shoot. No optical stabilization. Pricey.
Excerpt: For the first half of 2012, PENTAX has announced its new "lifeproof" cameras, the Optio WG-2 and WG-2 GPS. These models replace last year's well-reviewed WG-1 . As one might guess, the WG-2 and WG-2 GPS are pretty much the same camera, save for one of them having an all new GPS module PENTAX says will "deliver a shorter time lag before GPS start-up and longer life during GPS activation." I'll leave it to you, dear reader, to guess which model here includes GPS (wink).
Excerpt: The Pentax Optio WG-2 GPS represents the 13th generation of waterproof digital cameras from Pentax. It's essentially an upgraded version of its predecessor, the Optio WG-1 , featuring a re-styled exterior, new colors, and significantly improved specifications. Like its predecessor, it's available both with and without a GPS module, which allows you to geotag your photos and log tracks.
Excerpt: The design of most toughened cameras, the premise being that stills and video can be shot underwater, in the cold, or even after you’ve dropped or stood on them, is distinctly drab; they are functional tools rather than fashionable accoutrements. Not so the Pentax Optio WG-2 – our review sample being the version that adds GPS for £50 more. Here an aggressively angular appearance hits you like a smack in the face.
Excerpt: Don’t be put off by the crazy styling and colours that appear to be targeting the under tens; here is a 16 megapixel point-and-shoot holiday/travel camera claiming to be waterproof, freezeproof, crush proof and shock proof that works for all the family. It adds latest must haves including GPS, so images can be tagged according to location.
A camera that will take snaps where others fear to tread, easy to use, non-slip surface design and big wide controls, picture quality better than expected given its wacky styling
Design is love it or hate it, software-enhanced digital image stabilisation only, mono sound for video, occasional pixel fringing between areas of high contrast
Summary: These days’ people do not want to put their camera away when it rains and here a unit that goes one stage further with special modes for use under water. However it still takes decent images and movies in more normal conditions.
Conclusion: The WG-2 is a camera that really looks like it means business. It can dive deeper and fall further than almost anything else on the market, and costs less than either of its only real rivals. It has some very clever features, such as the LED microscope lighting and dedicated underwater photography modes, but at the end of the day it's let down by the same problems that have dogged other Pentax compacts; a tiny overcrowded sensor and poor quality image processing.