Pentax today refreshed its Optio WG line of waterproof, shockproof, and freezeproof cameras, with two new models that swap out the CCD sensors in last year's WG-1 cameras with higher-resolution BSI (backside-illuminated) CMOS sensors.
The 16-megapixel BSI CMOS sensor in the new Optio WG-2 GPS and Optio WG-2 add 1080p video recording and improved low-light shooting to the WG line. Both new rugged cameras retain the distinguishing feature found in last year's Optio WG-1: LED lights around the camera's lens, which you can use to illuminate small subjects while working in the cameras' "Digital Microscope" macro mode.
The two new cameras also have upgraded waterproof ratings, as they're now ready to dive down to 40 feet underwater. In addition, both cameras are shockproof to drops of 5 feet, freezeproof down to 14 degrees Fahrenheit, and crushproof to 220 pounds of force.
Both cameras have 5X-optical-zoom lenses (28mm to 140mm), 3-inch-diagonal LCD screens, 1080p video recording at 30 frames per second, and an exposure-bracketing "Handheld Night Snap" mode to help with flash-free shots in low light. The big difference between the Optio WG-2 GPS and the Optio WG-2 is--you guessed it--a built-in GPS antenna that allows the former camera to geotag shots.
The two cameras also offer an answer to the eternal question, "Exactly how much is in-camera GPS worth?" The answer is $50: The geotagging Optio WG-2 GPS (available in orange or white) is priced at $400, while the GPS-free Optio WG-2 (available in black or red) will cost $350. Both rugged cameras will be available by the summer.
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