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Pentax Optio WG-2 GPS Preview

The non-GPS version of this camera was featured in our 2012 Waterproof Shootout! To see how well it did against five other current waterproof offerings, click here!

With Spring just around the corner, Pentax introduces its 13th generation of rugged digital cameras, one with GPS and one without. With the sculpted apperance of body armor, the Pentax WG-2 GPS looks more rugged than ever. Specs improve over the last generation, now including a 16-megapixel CMOS sensor and support for Full HD movie recording. The Pentax WG-2 GPS also includes a GPS radio, naturally, this one optimized for faster GPS acquisition and longer battery life.

Now waterproof to a depth of 40 feet, the Pentax WG-2 GPS can go a little deeper than its predecessor's max 33-foot tolerance. The Pentax WG-2 GPS can also withstand a 5-foot drop, crushing weight of up to 220 pound-force, and it'll keep on working down to 14 degrees Fahrenheit (-10C). Dustproofing also saves the WG-2 from another common form of camera damage: dirt, dust, and sand.

Its 5x lens gives the Pentax WG-2 GPS a good 28-140mm equivalent focal range, great for most outdoor photography, and its 3-inch LCD has a little more detail than most, offering 460,000 dots of resolution. An anti-reflective coating makes shooting outdoors a little easier, which is important given the lack of an optical viewfinder.

The Pentax WG-2 GPS's 16-megapixel sensor is a backlit CMOS design, expected to improve performance in low-light settings, with less noise than past models, according to Pentax. It also enables Full HD, also known as 1080p video recording at 30 fps, using H.264 compression.

Pentax's waterproof cameras also include a unique Digital Microscope mode that includes a ring of six LEDs to allow capture of very fine detail from a distance of only one centimeter.

An HDMI port lets the WG-2 GPS output its images and videos to an HDTV. The Pentax WG-2 also includes Shake Reduction technology, Fast Face Detection with Smile Capture and Blink Detection, a Handheld Night Snap mode that composites four shots for one sharp image, and an infrared remote control port for use with an optional remote controller.

Available in Shiny Orange or Gloss White, the Pentax WG-2 GPS is expected to retail for US$400, with availability starting in March 2012.

See our Pentax WG-2 review for more details.