Opto WP Advice

I drowned my old camera a few weeks ago and wound up getting a Pentax Opto W10. I was going to get a waterproof camera and the WP seemed a better deal as compared to the Olympus.

Anyway, I have had it out taking pictures several times now and am not real pleased with the quality of the pictures and wondered if anyone has found something differant. I am comparing my results agains my old FujiFilm Finepix which was several generations older than the WP. I am not a photographer by any streach but I was able to get quite a few nice photos with the old camera. The new one is higher resolution and has lots more options.

My problems are focus, sharpness, and color. I get very few nice pictures now. I have all of the settings set to auto and the quality and resolution set to the highest levels.

Any ideas on what I could be doing wrong?



Same here
I have heard other on this board give the Optio glowing reviews. I have had mine for four months. I have yet to get a really good picture. I also own a Minolta Dimage Z1 that takes stunning pics. The problems that I have with the Optio are just as you say, just blah pics that rarely turn out well. The slightest Digital zoom causes extreme grain in the pics. You can put your hand and the camera underwater and take a pic and that is pretty cool, but a parlor trick at best. The other problem is that they tried so hard to make this thing the size of a match box, that they did away with the view finder and I know that is part of my problem because my 48 year old eyes can not use the screen to take my pics.

The positive side is that in the past two months I have taken this camera in my PFD pocket on 7 runs down the Nantahala River and was able to pull and shoot in spots that would have been impossible to shoot otherwise (granted the pics turned out like crap).

No major insight here, just experience.

Good luck Mark.


I was just about to purchase the Pentax, and decided to do a complete search of reviews, it had been awhile since I’d done so.

It seemed that outstanding reviews were followed by not-so-great reviews. I have a Nikon D70, and a Nikon Coolpix 5400, so I really had a hard time justifying another digital camera.

I opted to get a dry box for the Coolpix. I know it takes great pics, and I’m not out anything unless it takes a dunking. The pics from the 5400 rival those from my D70 for all practical purposes…so I’ll take my chances with it on my upcoming Shenandoah River trip.


W/P camera
If you’re not interested in taking pics UNDERWATER then try to find a Pentax 43WP or the even older 33.

I have the 43 and I got it off eBay cheap. Waterproof to 6ft IF it’s not turned on. I carry it on the kaykak and around my neck when surffishing, etc. Water doesn’t bother it and it takes nice pics. Pretty compact too. Not as small as the newer ones, but fits in my pockets. Hung around the neck and dropped down the front of my waders is usually how I carry it.

TimS who is Stripersonline.com uses a W10 and has posted some pretty impressive pics. Go there and do a search for “muddler minnows” and check out his thoughts and the pixs.

Good Luck

Pentax Optio WP and W10
I own two Pentax Optio cameras: the original WP and W10. They work reasonably well for my paddling purposes. Most of the recent pictures in my paddling websites are shot with these cameras:



Of course, you need to keep in mind all limitations of point-and-shoot cameras and not to expect too much.

I am shooting mostly in a fully automatic mode when paddling, but I often make two adjustments:

  • EV compensation: underexposing in the most cases, especially, with the harsh midday light
  • white balance (switching from automatic to “cloudy” in cloudy conditions)

    I assigned these two adjustments to a “green button” for a quick operation.

    You can find more shooting tips in my blog on paddling and photography.

I don’t know that camera well…

– Last Updated: Aug-08-06 8:45 AM EST –

Brazil could tell you more.. But in general if it has a Auto/Sport setting try it. It should increase your shutter speed or you could go to “shutter priority” and set it at least to 250 sec for use in the kayak. Use care not to cover any of the front of the camera with your fingers. Check where your focus zone is and place that on you subject, keep the lens dry...

That is two things to try. I will change to Auto/Sport mode. I should have realized about the focus zone, the little square comes up off center sometimes and that is where the camera picked up it focus point. I will play around with that some.

My old camera was basically a point and shoot also and it let me take some really nice shots, clear, sharp, and great color. I sure hope I can get to that point with this one.

Happy Paddling,


keep shooting you should get a good one
I have had the WPI since the end of June. I’m very pleased with it, although it has shortcomings. The main problem is sunlight and not being able to see the little screen. Wearing a wide brimmed hat made a big difference for me.

Since you can delete and delete again my advice is to shoot lots and lots of pictures. The more pictures you take the higher your chances are of getting a some special shots.

Not that all of the shots posted on these sites are good but they are examples from the WPI.



My minister is a artist who does not impress easily nor does he feign it. He responded positively to a couple of pictures I attached to an email. I was delighted. One was a picture of a water lily in the rain.

One thing I find frustrating is that the battery life is limited and will not last long enough to fill up a gig card with pictures. I purchased a second battery. It takes two batteries for one seven hour day on the water and I’ve yet to fill up the gig card.

The small size is ideal for my needs and my life style at this time. It isn’t perfect but I’m pleased so far. However, I have yet to receive the rebate.

I took a look at your pics and you have done much better than I have. Here is a link to an exampe of an out of focus picture that I took, http://community.webshots.com/photo/552915876/2401421410067611032bYmeYn If you look at the picture you will note that the color is poor, this was a bright sun shinney day and it looks like a dreary day in the pic, the water should have been blue, the trees in the background should have been green. If you look at some of the other pics in that album of mine the bird pic is better than the first but I took a lot of time on the bird pic paying attention to focus and frame and it is not real sharp either, Id call it so so.

Positve side of the camera is it can be used on the water and it fits in a PFD pocket.

Happy Paddling,


Pentax WP
Wow - pretty crappy pics guys. I had no idea it was that bad. I shoot with a Nikon 3200 in a housing and was ready to dump it for a Pentax waterproof but now I won’t. My 3 megapixel 3200 gets beautiful shots unless there’s salt water on the lens.


Not my experience with W10
I am an old SLR/film camera person and have not been a digital fan. However, I must say my experience with the W10 has been very good. I have sometimes had trouble with water droplets on the lesns and I’m still getting adjusted to the shutter delay, but the overall quality of the pictures has been very high. I suggest going through all the settings with the manual to be sure you are using what you should be using and consider forcing it to use a higher shutter speed or mode that uses a high shutter speed if taking pictures “on the go” in a kayak.

Basically, for 4x6 prints the results are indistinguishable from film.

have a WPI and have excelent results with it…The shutter speed is the only thing That I have trouble timming so I catch a big wave/boat or something like that…other than that color is very good and I just hold the cammera in the general direction I want and push the button…I usually take 3 or 4 pictures of whatever I want and then pick between them later…Just got back from 15 day trip out in the Apostle Islands…used 4 batteries to take 372 pictures.

only one picture of my pocket…love the size and the waterproof feature.

Best Wishes


it really isn’t that bad…

– Last Updated: Aug-08-06 10:08 AM EST –

I've seen some beautiful pictures taken with a WP and some... less than beautiful pictures. It typically comes down to how much the person taking the pictures took the time to learn the camera functions and manual settings.

Here's a couple shots my friend took of me from a WP on the fly that look pretty good... (copy and paste the full link)



some of mine look something like that
I either delete them or ignore them depending.

I think experimenting with the camera settings is very important. I spent two whole days alone with the WPI on the water and took about three hundred shots. The first day it was raining and overcast, the second day was sunny and bright. Many of the pictures represent exactly what the lake looked like to me when I shot the pictures.

At home I’ve learned to not use the pet setting on my cats. I use the candlelight setting now and no longer get glassy eyed cat shots.

This is the third digital camera I’ve had and the best, but then I paid twice as much for it as well.

Are you using the zoom?
Your picture looks like some of mine when I zoom in too much. The camera has an optical zoom up to a point, and then it switches to a digital zoom. You can see the mark on the line at the bottom when you are zooming where it crosses from optical to digital. All my optical zoom pix are clear, most of my digital zoom pix are blurry like yours. My guess is you’ll find your non-zoom pix are clearer than the zoom ones.

Just Say No…
… to the digital zoom setting. It basically magnifies flaws like digital noise, something that isn’t unusual when 6 megapixels are packed on to a relatively small (like most compact consumer digicams) imaging chip.

I leave it locked out on my WPi and get mostly very good to excellent results (for a compact consumer digicam).

batteries are a problem
After reading your post there is a good chance I will become frustrated with just two batteries; the one in the camera and a spare.

Did you buy the extra ones on ebay or did you pay full price?

I appreciate the comments and suggestions. The boat is on the car and I plan to paddle after work. It is lunch time and I got my camera and made some changes to the set up. I disabled the digital zoom, I set the mode to sport, and I changed the ISO speed from Auto to 400. I want to read about some of the other settings before making changes to them.



confidence restored
schizopak - you restored my confidence in the camera.

Plus… you never want to use digital zoom. Is there a way on the camera where it will not go into digital zoom? - only stay optical?

Most digital cameras you have to go into a menue to access the digital zoom capability. Most digitals are set up to do a damm good job with the idiot setting - which I use on my Nikon.

Optio Wp
I bought the same camera a year ago – I assume it is the same, mine has a view finder and is square in shape, not the new style without a viewfinder and rectangular – I have had wonderful results. I wonder if you are using the correct setting on the mode format. I have not been happy with the “snap” setting, but have had good results with the mountain setting for distance. You can see my pictures on flickr at Umnak, or look at the tags for Sea Kayaking Alaska