Pentax Adds CMOS Sensors to LED-Equipped Rugged Cameras

Pentax Optio WG-2 GPS and WG-2
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.

Pentax Optio WG-2
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.

Pentax Optio WG-2 GPS
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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