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06-20-2010, 11:24 PM   #1
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W60 W80 W90 or neither

Hi all,

I was wondering what your thoughts are concerning whether or not any of these cameras will suit my needs. I would like to be able to take a couple of photos with my mates when we are surfing and wondered what camera I should look at. I saw that you can pick up a W80 off ebay for about Aus$280 and thought this would be about as much as im willing to spend. Also can anybody post up some sample pics of any of these cameras whilst in the surf (preferably surfing than diving pics).

Cheers
Luke

06-21-2010, 09:47 AM - 1 Like   #2
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Luke,

I am not sure how much quality you need, but the concensus seems to be that of the 3, the W80 is the worst of the lot. That's not to say it's bad...it's just not as good as the other two.

The 10MP W60 seems to have a slight edge on the other two in terms of image quality, it's definitely better than the W80. The W90 is better than the W80 but I'm not sure how it compares to the W60...however, it's even tougher, being shockproof, coldproof, heatproof, mudproof and waterproof, and has a way cool Digital Microscope mode.

There is a very informative test from Q2 2009 on a group of waterproof cameras. It compares the W60 and W80 directly. The W80 didn't do so well, while the W60 got the runner-up nomination from the group.

'Waterproof' Camera Group Test (Q2 2009) Review: 1. Introduction: Digital Photography Review

The W90 has some additional features, and you can google for sample images and such. Here's the DPreview blurb on it:

Pentax unveils Optio W90 rugged compact camera: Digital Photography Review

Ned Bunnell also talks about the W90 and its Digital Microscope mode in his blog:

NED BUNNELL: First Weekend with the W90

NED BUNNELL: W90's Digital Microscope Mode

Also, if all 3 of those cameras are too much money, you could look into the quite-budget-minded WS80. It's a much cheaper camera, and although it lacks a lot of the features of the W60/80/90, it still makes good photos. The only limitation I see is if you take it surfing, it's 5ft waterproof rating may not be enough.

Pentax unveils Optio WS80 waterproof camera: Digital Photography Review

The WS80 is about a third the price of any of the others, and it takes decent pictures. My fiancee has one and it does alright. Not as good as the 60 or 90.

So my short, informed but not necessarily expert opinion is thus:

If you need a good waterproof digital with good IQ above all else, W60. If the digital microscope features and additional strengthening are a good thing for you, get the W90.
06-21-2010, 10:21 AM   #3
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Great reply. I want a waterproof camera.
06-21-2010, 03:14 PM   #4
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I'd go with the W60 - it has the best picture quality from the group by far.

The W90 is more rugged. If ruggedness is a top priority, go with the W90. They are all waterproof, though.

The W80 is the worst of the bunch - bad IQ and not so rugged.
The WS80 is as bad as W80, but at least is cheap - maybe an ok "beach" camera - pics in bright sun and sand-proof.

From the competitors, only Canon D10 measures up, but is more expensive and bulkier.

Also, the Pentax line is the only one with 28mm wide lens (others start from 35mm). To me, that's a big +++ for Pentax.

06-21-2010, 03:23 PM   #5
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I find the W80 IQ acceptable for a $160 water proof and shock proof P&S.

Only thing that really is lacking is the battery life( bought extra batteries for kids cams) and if you shoot into the sun the image sucks.

Cheers, Mike.
06-21-2010, 10:58 PM   #6
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Wow!

Thanks heaps everybody for replying and thankyou unixrevolution for the very descriptive comparison you have given me. I think that out of the pentax range the w60 sounds like the best for me, can you get these new or secondhand?
Also what do you think these compare like to say a "normal" p&s in a waterproof housing? As I was unsure if this was an option or not.

Thanks for all your help
Luke
06-22-2010, 06:54 AM   #7
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I dont' see many waterproof housings for regular P&S cameras, at least not the ones that let you shoot the camera while it's in the housing Even so, I would tend to distrust them, as they could come off or break and then your camera is finished.

You may be able to get a W60 new from places like Amazon, but they're discontinued, so it's remaining stock only. Good luck!
06-22-2010, 09:31 AM   #8
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I honestly would not touch them, check out the panasonic TS-2, it's a far better option.

There is a big, massive WP review out there somewher that compares 7 diferent WP models and as I found with my W60, the Pentax movies are absokute 3rd rate compared to it's peers. inexcusable.

06-23-2010, 12:45 AM   #9
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Thanks again for your replies. Alfisti what makes the Panasonic a better camera?, is it the movie mode in particular or is the panasonic a better camera overall? I agree that you would have to rely on the housing unixrevolution and it would be a real bugger if the housing leaked and ruined the camera.

Cheers
Luke
06-23-2010, 07:12 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Alfisti Quote
I honestly would not touch them, check out the panasonic TS-2, it's a far better option.

There is a big, massive WP review out there somewher that compares 7 diferent WP models and as I found with my W60, the Pentax movies are absokute 3rd rate compared to it's peers. inexcusable.
The Q2 2009 group test of the waterproof cameras from DP Review named the W60 third overall out of 7. That's not what I'd call third rate. Granted, that review is a little old, and the W80 is actually worse than the W60.

The Canon PowerShot D10 and Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS1 were the tied winners, and I can image the TS2 can only be better than the TS1, but I think that camera might be outside Luke's stated price range. I can't find it any cheaper in the US than about USD $309.
06-23-2010, 07:24 AM   #11
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It's just a few bucks in the grand scheme of things.
06-23-2010, 07:28 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by LukeM Quote
Thanks again for your replies. Alfisti what makes the Panasonic a better camera?, is it the movie mode in particular or is the panasonic a better camera overall? I agree that you would have to rely on the housing unixrevolution and it would be a real bugger if the housing leaked and ruined the camera.

Cheers
Luke
Sorry chief but the review is out there somewhere, it's probably the best group review/test of any kind I have seen and it's quite recent. Scour the pentax forum on DPR and there's a link to it somewhere, i just can't find it but you need read it before commiting.

I used a W60 and returned it two years ago bwcause the movies were pathetic, nothing seems to have changed.
06-23-2010, 01:23 PM   #13
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The w90 is the best optically. The w60 is second, but except in low light the w80 is similar. And even then the w80 is pretty good, I can testify of it since I own it. For surf pics it's going to be very fine.

The w60 lacks the ruggedness of the other two, and that's pretty important for me. I'd say if the price is no issue, the w90 is the best choice. If money is an issue and you don't plan on a lot of low light shots without flash, the w80 becomes your best bet. If money is an issue AND you plan on a lot of low light, the w60 becomes better but you loose some ruggedness.

You have to remember that even though one camera can be "better" optically, the other is not necessarily "bad"
06-23-2010, 07:16 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by bdery Quote
The w90 is the best optically. The w60 is second, but except in low light the w80 is similar. And even then the w80 is pretty good, I can testify of it since I own it. For surf pics it's going to be very fine.

The w60 lacks the ruggedness of the other two, and that's pretty important for me. I'd say if the price is no issue, the w90 is the best choice. If money is an issue and you don't plan on a lot of low light shots without flash, the w80 becomes your best bet. If money is an issue AND you plan on a lot of low light, the w60 becomes better but you loose some ruggedness.

You have to remember that even though one camera can be "better" optically, the other is not necessarily "bad"
This is also my observation.
The W80 only sucks if in low light but if you have ample light then it takes great photos.
It would also depend on what size you would want to print these.
If you would normally do the regular size photos, then IQ won't be too much of an issue specially with P&S cameras.
06-29-2010, 02:43 PM   #15
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For what it is worth, my 12 and 14 year old kids love them because they can jump into the pool while shooting video.
The daytime pictures are fine, low light grainy.
For $ 200.00 each (with extra battery and SanDisk 8gb extreme 3 card ) they are having a ball.
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