New Pentax W30

I saw on a camera site that Pentax just announced their Optio W30, with enhanced waterproof design. Can shoot under water to 10 feet for 2 hours. Improved 2.5 inch lcd, which will work better in bright light. It will include a macro mode for images under half an inch away.

Nice, I just bought my wife the W20
for Christmas. Oh well!

… the 20 came out right after I bought the 10! I have barely broken it in, so will settle for it until it craps out. Should be a WP70 with psionic controls and hover mode by then…

Pentax Optio W30 pictures
Optio W30 is more waterproof then previous models. A new auto-lock mechanism automatically locks battery cover after it is closed. The battery drawer was moved to the side from the camera bottom. Otherwise, I do not see any significant changes in other camera features in comparison to the Optio W20.

Here are some pictures of the new W30:

an affordable spalsh-proof/submersible digicam with a viewfinder.

Down here, the sun is bright -and lining up shots to sunward is bad enough, but when it’s coming over your shoulder and hits the LCD, it just about blanks everything out. I MUCH prefer a viewfinder, but most if not all of the downsized, less expensive models out there have relegated viewfinders to the obsolete file…

Sure, you can go with a multi-toggled plexi housing -but that just about doubles your investment.

Isn’t there something out there, or at least on the horizon, that’ll allow us paddlers to sight in, focus, and shoot via viewfinder without us guessing what exactly we captured until we review it? Sure would be nice to have one where we really could shoot and at the same time


-Frank in Miami

Shake Reduction…
… is built in and the lcd is supposed to be better in bright light than the older versions.

i’m hungering for a new camera too
and for no real reason since my 43WR is still going strong…so i’ve been researching and I was told by someone extremely knowledge about all things photography that the optical viewfinders are a thing of the past----much to my dismay too.

I agree with ScupperFrank
Bring back the optical viewfinder. I like to see my photographs before taking them. I guess that comes from over 40 years of using a film SLR.

I learned from Ansel Adams that the artistic skill in photography is seeing the photograph BEFORE you take it. It seems today you’re supposed to shoot away then try to make your photograph when you get home and put the file in PhotoShop. I guess that way they can sell more megapixels and memory cards.

optical viewfinder or not

– Last Updated: Feb-22-07 12:46 PM EST –

Well, there are diffrent types of photography ...

I am using optical viewfinder in my Canon SLR, but I really don't miss the optical viewfinder in my Pentax Optio W10. In my older digital point-and-shoot camera, Canon PowerShot S40, I have both LCD and optical viewfinder, and I was shooting most of the time with LCD.

For me the LCD monitor is like a ground glass in a view camera. Just using darkcloth on a kayak is not very practical.

More thoughts on shooting without viewfinder:

Ansel Adams
I don’t think his view camera had an optical viewfinder :wink:

Most definately no optical viewfinder
but Adams’s camera had a groundglass large enough to compose his photograph’s on, and it didn’t move around so much :slight_smile:

The Pentax Optio series have just that. I have the older Pentax Optio WR (I purchased it refurb’d for $140 on, right after the Optio WP came out). The camera takes great pictures and has both an LCD and an viewfinder.

I’ve used the Optio WR for two years now with no problems. Unlike “splash proof” cameras, this one can be submerged (up to 30 minutes in 3 meters) and I’ve taken it paddling in surf, cliff jumping, swimming, etc., with no problems. There’s no need for an additional waterproof case.

The Optio WP is even nicer: 6 megapixels and waterproof to 6 ft.

Now that they’ve come out with a new camera, maybe I’ll look for a refurb’d Optio WP.

now maybe I can find a deal on the w20.

Good luck. Though, I did see one
on Amazon yesterday.

I didn’t pull th trigger. (it was a 33 for $249)

I had a Optio WR33 since they came out. It was stolen in Jan. :frowning:

Another good thing about the old Optio series were their ability to use AA batteries. For long trips, that can be of significance.

I’d decided to get the W20 for a couple of reasons. My photos were at best average. I know I have a bias against low res stuff and I figured I’d give the new one a look. Now, I’m going to wait for the 30. I think I’ll shoot more video this time and would like the new memory. Is the 20 compatible with it? I don’t think the 20 has IS.

The viewfinder isn’t that big a dead to me. Without a diopter, with my contacts, I can’t see inside anyway. Getting old is hell. :slight_smile:


You can see my photos at

A gallery of just the WR33 photos is at

Better solution
What I want is a camera that mounts on a headband and has a cable to a heads-up display. Oh, and has a sensor that takes the picture when I wink. :slight_smile:

Try not to get sand in your eye then.

I agree… remote
A remote shutter release would be nice. However the new camera has a interval shutter that you can set. For example, a shot every second or 3… Would be nice to be able to mount on deck and trigger video or sequence shots to critique your roll, or some particularlly interesting run in textured water. There have been times I would love to have on-deck video, but needed to hold on to my paddle for dear life.

pentax optio interval mode
I cannot use a shorter time interval than 10 s between shots in this mode in my Optio W10:

The camera goes into sleeping mode between shots. Is this minimum interval different in Optio W20 or W30?

10 Seconds…
I have the W20 and the mininum interval time is still 10 seconds. Maybe the W30 will have a reduction…

The OptioWP series is pretty hardy …
My slightly older OptioWPi has been in my mesh PFD pocket for over 20 Class II to IV- whitewater kayaking trips, being immersed when I roll my hardshell in holes, waves, etc. – it’s been solid (except for being in a coma for six days after a gnarly, very high water swim in a big hole, then drying out and being fine). It did fine for a brief 8-foot-deep pool fun, no bad effects.

They’re reliable but I’d gladly pay more money for:

  • an optical viewfinder
  • a sharper lens

    -more frames per second

    Maybe the new one would even survive surf kayaking in 5-8 foot swells, that’d be nice every once in a while.

    The newer Olympus Stylus 725 is intriguing but probably has the same shortcomings of most cheap UW point and shoots