Pentax Optio 43WP again

I know this was discussed about six months ago, but I am looking at getting a Pentax Optio 43 WP.

Optio users: How is the camera working out for you? In particular, have any of you used the intervalometer feature for paddling? My plan is to mount it on the stern of my touring kayak and record a series of pics at various intervals.

What sayest thou?


My 2 cents…

– Last Updated: Mar-01-05 2:42 PM EST –

I have had the 33WR for about a year and a half and I'm very pleased with it for what it is. That is, a small waterproof camera that could handle paddling as well as other suddenly wet weather activities like travel, hiking, biking, etc. around here in the southeast.

I'm okay with the camera's limitations like the digital only zoom and 3.3 megapixel chip.

It has become one of my favorite cameras and I will usually grab it before one of my other Minolta digital or Nikon film cameras for quick snapshots at home.

I haven't used the sequential shot feature but make sure that it's mounted tight; it doesn't float if it falls overboard. With that said, I inadvertently tested the waterproofness last year by leaving it in my PFD pocket while practicing wet exits. It survived about an hours worth of intermittent dunking in Charleston off Shem Creek while in my PFD.

Try this link for some 33WR photos from Cable Cove, NC last summer:


Optio WP
I saw this camera at the PMA photography tradeshow last week and it seems to be VERY cool for boating! 5. Megapixels! They are due out next month with the street price somewhere around $350!

I can’t wait.

More info
I forgot to say it is rated JIS Class 8 waterproof to 1 meter for 30 minutes.

Happy with it
The 43WR does everything I expected it to, which is to serve as a very small, water-resistant digital point-and-shoot with some bonus features such as the 1-cm macro shooting distance. I love the movie clip function, especially at 30 fps.

Landscape detail leaves a lot to be desired compared with my film SLRs but that’s not a fair comparison (point-and-shoot vs. pro-grade SLR and lenses). The landscapes I have seen taken with other digital point-and-shoots all suffer the same thing: lack of detail and shallow depth of field. Also, nobody uses a tripod with these things, which makes things worse.

I have not used the interval feature.

Overall, I’m glad I bought the camera. I just hope it is reasonably durable–my impression is that a lot of small digital devices are not rugged.

43 wp
I own the 43 wp. It eats double A batteries, A LOT. If you use the flash it is really bad. Poor quality in low light and sometimes zooming way out. It’s great not worrying about getting it wet…which I do all the time and I don’t worry about it. It’s a great camera and takes great pictures. Besides the fact that it eats batteries (take a bunch on each trip) it’s a great camera. You know, the bad pictures I take in low light and zooming out are probably my mistakes and lack of experience, not the cameras fault at all. After all, I’m not a photographer. I’d buy this camera again!

Which AA batts?
The Energizer blue and silver lithium AA batts have a MUCH longer life than the regular AA or rechargeables. You can get them at literally half the normal price from SuperTarget.

Even Better
I’ve switched to Kodak’s 2100mah Nimh. They have a signifigantly longer life than most other rechargables or alkalines. For two bucks a piece I get about 150 shots per charge and they are supposed to last for 1000+ charges.


I have had my 43wr for about six months and have beeb generaly pleased with it, especially after I solved the battery problem.

I use it primarily for quick snapshots and have found the quality to be decent. I use the best and largest resolution and get 100 pictures on a 256mb card. I’d like to get a 1gb card, now that they have come down in price.

Not with my camera
I first tried alkaline AA – lasted maybe 10 minutes!

Then rechargeable 2300 mAh AA – lasted a little longer, half an hour?

Finally I went to nonrechargeable blue-and-silver Energizer lithium AA – these have been the best by far, for me.

optio 43wr
i’ve got this camera, it replaced my Nikon Coolpix 3100 as my everyday everywhere camera.

The battery issue is easy to solve: omicron 3crv-3 rechargeable batteries…charged one battery before a trip and after 2 weeks and over 250 photos the battery is still good (has charge), fortunately for me it was the same battery that the Coolpix used. when i purchased the 3crv-3 battery it came with a charger and i bought an extra at the same time.

The floating issue is easy to solve too: just search for a neoprene case for option 43wr and you’ll get plenty of hits.

Megapixels are one thing, to me better lens quality is more important and its hard to beat Nikon even in their cheap digitals like the Coolpix series but the optio 43wr is just as good as the Coolpix (maybe because of the almost 1mb increase in pixels).

I also like the nontraditional look of the Optio.

One issue is ‘gripping’ and this too is taken care of by the neoprene case.

All in all a nice little package, and if you pop a 1 or 2gb SD card in, we’ve found that it makes a nice video camera too if used in outside light.

Thank you Pikeabike…
I’ll try them.

Battery issues
That was one of my concerns too. My current digital (Canon A-60) uses four AA size, and I use Rayovac NIMH 1800’s. Topher: Thanks for the heads up on the Kodak 2300 units. Never had a real issue with dead batteries, and carrying spares is easy, but I was hesitant over a camera with just two sticks.


I did quite a bit of research…
… about the battery issue after being incredibly frustrated with the life of the batteries that came with my Optio 43. I found a wealth of info at:

Based on that, I went to:

and found several great bargain packs. I chose the Maha C204W charger and a couple of sets of Powerex 2300 NIMH batteries. I take extras along on every trip (I built a carrier into my belt-mounted camera case) but find that I hardly ever have to use them.

AS to the 43WR itself, I’m very happy with it. All the above comments about picture quality (vs SLR,s, etc) are true and duly noted. One of my issues is with the placement of the zoom button. If I’m using the viewfinder, I can’t keep my eye on the camera and get to the button easily. I’ve found, however, that with good batteries, I can use the screen instead of the viewfinder. This “frames” the picture a bit more accurately, but is difficult to see in bright light. It’s all about tradeoffs, I guess…

I solved the flotation issue by tethering the camera to my deck with a 3’ strap and 'biner. Easy to use, slip it back under the bungies, and don’t unhook it till I’m back on land. Wish I could solve the “waterdrops-on-the-lens” problem that I’m not aware of until I download those great, once-in-a-lifetime shots that are now hidden behind a blur of saltwater. Oh well,


New Optio WP
Here’s a link to the new Pentax Optio WP coming out late March or April. Looks nice. WaterProof so they say.

I’ll pass
One big drawback: use only rechargable battery.

Why do I think it’s such a big drawback?

  1. You can’t just pick up some spare in any drug store.
  2. You HAVE TO find the right adaptor when traveling abroad.

    With AA, there’s none of those worries.

Big drawback?
Why not just carry another lithium battery?

IMHO lithium batteries will last for way more pictures than I am lkely to take, even on a week long camp-out.:slight_smile: After a hundred or so pictures, I kinda loose interest, (maybe it’s just me :slight_smile: and my lithium will take about 400.

Still available?
Is the Optio 43WR still being manufactured? Pentax still lists it on their website, but most online retailers that were selling these no longer have any in stock. Supplies seem to have evaporated quickly in the last month or so.

It’s BIG for me
I do travel abroad more than average. And often times more than a week. There’s no way I can buy all the different adaptors for each country I go through. Not to mention some improtus trips where I just had time to pack my bag and go! Having to make sure the batteries are freshly charged is one more thing I need to worry about… Yuk!

Sure, the lithium battery MAY last more than a week, if I’m conservative in shooting pictures. But that pressure of NOT wasting the battery simply defeats the purpose of taking digital picture: the very advantage of “instant picture” so I can re-shoot if I don’t like the result! Reminds me of my film photography days, when I can’t “waste” films like I do now with pixels. :o) So, I may come home with only 100-200 digital photos, but I may have shot 2 or 3 times as many, some of which had been deleted right on the spot. NO, thanks. I don’t want to be “put back” into the “good old days” of limited shots.

I do realize not everyone else needs the same as me. So choose base on what YOU need, not what others said is great.

Bushnell Outdoor Digital Camera
Water resistant,takes AA batteries, and only $200.

No optical zoom though.

no more
Pentax has discontinued the 43wr. This might explain the run on them.