Waterproof Cameras: Olympus vs Pentax?

ceviche

Active Member
#1
Has anyone been able to compare, side to side, the Pentax Optio W30 against the Olympus 790 SW? Prices are about the same, $249, and much of the other features are about the same. The video formats are different (MOV vs AVI), though. Other than that, I can't parse through the rest of the data to figure out which is "better." If there is one difference that does stand out, the Olympus is shockproof against drops to 5ft. The Pentax does have a smaller profile (WHD: 4.2 x 2.1 x 0.93) than the Olympus (WHD: 3.7 x 4.2 x 0.84). Other than that, what's the difference when it comes to actual performance?

--Dave E.
 

Mark Walker

Active Member
#2
hello dave. check out "broadway photo". pentax-$213, olympus-$204. free shipping (i think)
i have the olympus 790sw and
give it my recommendation (for what its worth). pentax makes a great product as well, but i've had bad luck with 2 different models in the past.

cheers, fishdontcare
 
#3
I would opt to spend a little more if you can swing it and get the Olympus 1030 SW....10 mega pixels, waterproof to 33ft, freeze, dust and shockproof. I have had it for a month or so and love it!
 

Josh

dead in the water
#5
I would opt to spend a little more if you can swing it and get the Olympus 1030 SW....10 mega pixels, waterproof to 33ft, freeze, dust and shockproof. I have had it for a month or so and love it!
The real advantage to the Olympus 1030 is that it has a significantly wider lens on the "wide" end of it's zoom. This makes taking self portrait "look at my fish" or in the boat "grip and grin" shots a lot easier.
 
#10
I have had the Olympus 790sw for 6 months. Dropped it a few times and got some good dings and scratches, still works just fine.
 
#13
The real advantage to the Olympus 1030 is that it has a significantly wider lens on the "wide" end of it's zoom. This makes taking self portrait "look at my fish" or in the boat "grip and grin" shots a lot easier.
Pentax does have a new W60 out that has a 5x zoom starting at 28mm equiv. It's good to 13 feet, they mention that it can withstand freezing, etc. Not sure about dropping or shock-proof, etc. (BTW, not disagreeing with your point, just pointing out that Pentax does have a better option now as well.)

I have one of the older Pentax ones (the "WP"?--5 megapixels). And I've fooled around with a friend's Oly...760? Don't remember exactly). Truthfully I don't like the image quality of either, but then I'm used to canon P&S and nikon DSLRs. ;) I don't think there's a big difference in any of them... But I think Josh makes a good point: get one that has a wider lens (at least if you like taking scenery pics), and get one that does good video.

BTW, the w60 is available in early august, so it'll be full retail for a few months, and that's $330. Here's another little blurb about it and the Oly models:

http://blogs.zdnet.com/digitalcameras/?p=272
 

Josh

dead in the water
#14
Yeah, I didn't mention the W60 as it wasn't going to be on the shelves for a while. Though I may have one in the near future to review.
 

Kent Lufkin

Remember when you could remember everything?
#15
Truthfully I don't like the image quality of either, but then I'm used to canon P&S and nikon DSLRs. ;) I don't think there's a big difference in any of them...
I've had a bunch of different P&S digicams and the image quality (sharpness, contrast and saturation) of the Canon chipset/lens combination is clearly superior. I regard some of the early Nikons P&S 'experiments' as a real POS.

My wife recently bought a Panasonic Lumix from Costco that she carries around in her purse. I'm not looking at it now but as I recall it's about 8mp with built-in vibration reduction and a stunning, large LDC display. But the best part is the Leica lens which is nearly as bright and sharp as the Canons.

I bought a used original Pentax Optio WP 5mp camera from a fellow board member before leaving on my Smith River trip earlier this year. While the images aren't exactly stunning and the interface is a bit clunky, nonetheless ithe battery life is excellent and it's comforting not to have to worry about getting it splashed. I attached a long strap so I can leave it around my neck and tucked down inside my shirt so it's always ready when I find a shot.

K