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Pentax Optio W60 review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £182
inc VAT


1/2.3in 10.0-megapixel sensor, 5.0x zoom (28-140mm equivalent), 125.0kg

When we first reviewed the W60 in What’s New, Shopper 250, we concluded that its image quality was nothing special but the waterproofing and sub-£200 price made it good value.

Lining it up against other waterproof cameras confirms both sentiments.

There’s one significant drawback compared with the other waterproof cameras, though: Pentax doesn’t make any claims for its resistance to knocks and bumps. Sure enough, it looks and feels no more robust than an ordinary compact digital camera. The upside is that it’s lighter and a little smaller than the others. It’s waterproof down to a depth of four metres, which is better than most, and is also resistant to sand and dust.

The lens has a generous 5x zoom range starting at a wide-angle 28mm. That’s impressive for a recessed lens, but we found that our fingers sometimes crept into the side of wide-angle shots. The far reaches of the zoom range resulted in barrel and pincushion distortions, but this was only really noticeable when we went looking for it. The centres of photos were impressively sharp, but focus was a little soft towards the corners. Colours were balanced, and automatic exposures well judged. We particularly like the ability to limit the ISO speed to anything from 100 to 1600 in the Auto ISO mode, as it puts the balance of noise against blur under your control. Image noise levels were by no means minimal, but ISO 400 shots were passable.

Video is recorded at 1,280×720 pixels per frame, but only at 15fps, which looked jerky. A more conventional 640×480 30fps mode is also available. Indoor videos were extremely noisy, though, and sound quality was poor. The first clips we shot sounded thin and muffled, and all those captured after we had taken the camera in the water were accompanied by what sounded like a Geiger counter. We can only assume that water doesn’t agree with the camera’s microphone.

The W60 has its limitations but it’s an appealing low-cost option for watersports.

Basic Specifications

Rating ***
CCD effective megapixels 10.0 megapixels
CCD size 1/2.3in
Viewfinder none
LCD screen size 2.5in
LCD screen resolution 230,000 pixels
Optical zoom 5.0x
Zoom 35mm equivalent 28-140mm
Image stabilisation none
Maximum image resolution 3,648×2,736
Maximum movie resolution 1,280×720
Movie frame rate at max quality 15fps
File formats JPEG; AVI (M-JPEG)


Memory slot SDHC
Mermory supplied 36MB internal
Battery type 3.7V 680mAh Li-ion
Battery Life (tested) 205 shots
Connectivity USB, AV
Body material aluminium
Accessories USB and AV cables
Weight 125.0kg
Size 56x98x25mm

Buying Information

Price £182

Camera Controls

Exposure modes auto
Shutter speed auto
Aperture range auto
ISO range (at full resolution) 50 to 1600
Exposure compensation +/-2 EV
White balance auto, 4 presets, manual
Additional image controls Contrast, stauration, sharpness
Manual focus Yes
Closest macro focus 1cm
Auto-focus modes multi, centre, face detect
Metering modes multi, centre-weighted, centre, face detect
Flash auto, forced, suppressed, slow synchro, red-eye reduction
Drive modes single, continous, self timer, interval