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The Pentax Optio WS80 features a body whose 0.9-inch thick waterproof design allows it to be used for as long as two hours at depths of up to five feet underwater, as well as enabling the WS80 to capture a JIS Class 6 dustproof rating. Inside are the combination of a ten megapixel CCD image sensor that yields sensitivities as high as ISO 6,400 equivalent, and a Pentax-branded 5x internal optical zoom lens with focal lengths ranging from a 35mm wide angle to a 175mm telephoto. The lens design includes Pentax's Super Protect coating, which helps repel water droplets and allows for esay lens cleaning. On its rear panel, a 2.7-inch LCD display with 230,000 dot resolution is the sole choice on which images are framed and reviewed, with the Pentax WS80 design not providing for a separate optical viewfinder.

The Optio WS80 features nine-point contrast detection autofocusing, as well as face detection capability that is linked to both the camera's autofocus and autoexposure systems. The face detection feature can detect up to 32 faces in just 0.03 seconds, and has been upgraded to better handle tilted or angled faces. The function is used to offer both Smile Capture and Blink Detection capabilities, which can trigger the shutter at just the right moment and warn when your subject blinks. Face detection is also used to provide what Pentax calls a "Small Face filter", which reduces the size of a subject's face in releation to the body so as to provide a more flattering look. Pentax includes its approachable Auto Picture mode for the WS80, which can automatically select between eight different common scene types. In addition, the Pentax WS80 includes a Digital Wide mode which can stitch together two images in-camera, as well as a Digital Panorama mode which can stitch three images. A Frame Composite function can overlay one of 90 frames on your images in-camera, and there's also a Dynamic Range Adjustment function that helps preserve highlight and shadow detail. A selection of digital filters includes the Retro and Toy Camera filters that allow for fun in-camera effects. An Image Recovery function can allow the user to "undelete" images where possible, and the WS80 can also double as a timekeeper with a Style Watch function that allows a quick timecheck with the push of a button - even when the camera is switched off. There's even an interval shooting mode that allows time-lapse photography.

The Pentax WS80 can capture 720p (1,280 x 720 pixel) high definition videos with sound at a frame rate of 30 fps, and also includes an Underwater Movie mode that helps correct colors when recording beneath the surface. No high-definition connectivity is provided on-camera though, with the Pentax WS80 instead opting solely for NTSC / PAL standard-definition video output. The Pentax Optio WS80 includes 33.6MB of built-in memory plus an SD / SDHC card slot, and draws power from a D-LI88 Lithium Ion rechargeable battery, with battery life said to be in the region of 200 images to CIPA testing standards. The Pentax WS80 will be available in one of two color schemes - black with orange accents or white with purple accents. The WS80 ships from September 2009, priced at US$$250.