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07-14-2008, 05:01 PM   #1
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Optio W60...

I've had my W60 for a few days now, but unfortunately being so busy at work (and it raining on all my days off since I got it) I haven't had much of a chance to play with it.

Well, here are my first impressions.

Image quality from ISO 50 to 400 is acceptable for a point and shoot. 400 and up starts to get very noisy, and backgrounds become quite grainy. In bright sunlight, colours and detail are acceptable, in low light it's another story.

Focusing is slow, but seems very accurate. In "Face recognition" mode, it will focus and ajust aperture on the face in the pic, and that works quite well!

The build seems solid, and I have mixed feelings about not having a protruding lens. Its nice that it doesn't get in the way, but I find myself sticking my fingers in the lens a lot, and will often have a finger in a corner of a photo Size wise it's barely half an inch longer than my old Optio S6.

Waterproofing is good, no leaks after a few hours in a fish bowl. Will test this in more detail next week on the beach at Scout camp.


Movie mode... oh movie mode... what were they thinking?

Movie mode in this camera is a mixed bag. First of all, the AVI video is NOT using DiVX or XvID compression... it is saved using the DV codec! That makes for massive video files.

Second, since the auto focus/zoom mechanism is inside the body of the camera, if you leave the auto focus on while shooting a video, you hear constant crackling as the auto-focus ajusts. On the other hand, if you turn it off, your video is out of focus...

Thats a shame as this cam is "capable" of producing some awesome quality video, up to 1280x720 @ 15fps or 640x480 @ 30fps!

Well, thats all for now... I'll be posting pictures soon.

Pat

07-14-2008, 06:39 PM   #2
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Fantastic, slow AF and a dodgy movie mode.

Jesus can the P+S department get anything right?
07-15-2008, 03:59 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by ve2vfd Quote
(and it raining on all my days off since I got it)
Pat
Dude, it's a waterproof camera and you've had it sitting in a fishbowl! Grab your umbrella and get out there.
I can almost see the obit: "The camera was waterproof but the photographer wasn't".

Seriously Pat, thanks for the report.

Gary
07-15-2008, 11:23 PM   #4
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Could you please also post a link for the video taken with this W60?
I'm seriously considering this camera. Since there is no official review, any posts/samples from actual users are really helpful.

Thanks,

07-16-2008, 06:07 AM   #5
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I'll try and post samples pics and videos today, sorry I've been awefully busy with work (pulling overtime double shifts at work all week).

Not sure how I'll post videos though as they are in the DV format and are massive. I'll probably have to convert them to DiVX or Mpeg.

Pat
07-20-2008, 04:36 PM   #6
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More W60 Feedback

So I've just started to shop for a new P&S a few weeks ago to supplant/replace my venerable, 5 year old, OptioS. I posted some initial comments in another Pentax forum that I will quote now (keep reading for new info):

QuoteQuote:
I really wanted to like this camera! I've been a Pentax guy since my KX and later cheaper PZ20. Five years ago I got into the digital age and purchased an OptioS. I've been rather happy with it; enough so it is what I have been mostly shooting with up till now. Figuring it was finally time to upgrade I noticed the W60 just out and the specs looked really nice: waterproof, -10C, 10MP, 1280x720 movies with zoom and AF, 7x optical zoom, etc. I picked one up last week to test drive.
My first impressions have been really disappointing.

Outdoor shots were lackluster. Not the clarity improvement I was expecting from a newer technology lens and 3x the resolution. However worse was to come.

I took some of the movies and thought there was something horribly wrong with my camera mic until I realized the loud clicking was the AF. The zoom "whirr" is also unacceptably loud. Basically fixed zoom and focus are required unless you are going to replace the audio track on your movies.

The worst for me was the horrible indoor performance, probably mostly due to a pathetic flash (again I thought the old Optio S was a little weak and technology had progressed).

I took many comparable scenes and if I let the W60 set its ISO high enough to get a decent exposure with the flash, the noise was atrocious and the detail was horrid. I tried setting the resolution to the same but to no avail. Nothing could make up for the flash and possibly inferior optics. This last contention is evidenced by circular artifacts on many of the photos. I believe they could be from the internal reflections behind the plastic lens cover.

I wanted to experiment some more but the final disappointment was the battery. The life is rather short. In this larger camera why did they stick the anemic D-LI78 680mAh cell? My ancient S has a 710mAh D-LI8 and the new S12 has a 1000mAh D-LI68; both of which are smaller cameras.

It is mostly the interior performance makes no sense to me. I'd love for someone point out something stupid I am doing and how I can get the W60 to take as good a shots as the archaic Optio S. One thing I'd note is that the W60 shutter stays quite fast with the flash as well, 1/60 to 1/100 as compared to the Optio S's 1/40 to 1/60 on most of the lower light shots. As I mentioned I the battery ran out before I could experiment enough to quite figure this out. Anyhow I have until Sunday to return the camera and I think I will run out of time and have to do just that .

QuoteQuote:

Sample pictures...

Picasa Web Albums - Daryle - Option S vs W60

Note especially the first one of the old OptioS you can really see the additional detail, particularly in the skirt pattern. You can also note the photo properties and see if you see anything really out of whack.

QuoteQuote:

DaryleTilroe wrote:

> I'd note is that the W60 shutter stays quite fast with the flash as
> well, 1/60 to 1/100 as compared to the Optio S's 1/40 to 1/60 on most
> of the lower light shots. As I mentioned I the battery ran out
> before I could experiment enough to quite figure this out. Anyhow I
> have until Sunday to return the camera and I think I will run out of
> time and have to do just that .

OK just before I run off to work... My battery charged overnight and I messed around this AM. I think the shutter speed floor is forced as a function of the zoom to prevent shake at higher zooms. I have not yet found a way for the user to override this. Also I have not yet found a reference to what the Sharpness, Contrast, and Saturation do, I probably being a noob but I'd guess it is purely DSP on the image after exposure. In any event they don't seem to help with my indoor shots; neither does the digital shake reduction.

New info...

So I realize that this camera was probably not in its element shooting indoors (notwithstanding the fact that the user should be able to crank the exposure time at higher zooms; firmware update?). As luck would have it the family was heading up to the Alberta Open Sandsculpture Championships at Slave Lake yesterday. The W60 should have been in its element..... OMG!!!!

The crisp, high contrast, setting highlighted some severe problems. The left 1/8 or so of the frame was consistently out of focus or blurry. This was exacerbated at higher zooms. I also had problems with the center weighted exposure not really getting the darker areas of scenes bright enough and also the white balance seemed a bit off. The last two items could just be some tweaking or experience; however the first suggested that I had some sort of lemon with a poorly aligned sensor.

Today I went back in and swapped for another. I wanted to give this P&S another chance before I wrote it off as a POS .

The good new is this one seems to be better. Some preliminary snapshots suggest the array is better aligned and the shots seem crisper. I also snapped a few indoor ones again and they are a bit better. I would really like to know if I can override the shutter speed, since it seems that at higher zooms they have some sort of undocumented increase of the lower bound on the exposure times of flash shots to reduce blurring due to shake. However due to the noise this causes it is no better than a lower shutter speed. Since a knowledgeable photographer can brace better in a low light, slow shutter speed shot, they should at least allow you to override this "feature".

If I get a chance I'll update the PWA with before and after shots of my lemon experience; or perhaps figure out the gallery feature of this forum . Another week to decide...


PS: **** I broke the above link by correcting a typo. New PWA link http://picasaweb.google.com/daryletilroe/OptioSVsW60 ****

Last edited by DaryleTilroe; 07-20-2008 at 05:03 PM.
07-20-2008, 08:12 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Damn Brit Quote
Dude, it's a waterproof camera and you've had it sitting in a fishbowl! Grab your umbrella and get out there.
I can almost see the obit: "The camera was waterproof but the photographer wasn't".

Seriously Pat, thanks for the report.

Gary
LOL, I thought the same thing.
07-22-2008, 01:27 PM   #8
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Thanks, I am thinking about getting a waterproof P&S camera, if you could post some test phot when you have time, it will be great I am wondering how the noise when it goes to high iso..

07-22-2008, 05:36 PM   #9
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Well the second "dirty laundry" shot is 400 ISO. I just snapped a few more. My wife was back on the couch surfing so I took some similar to the first ones but with the new W60. Verdict is bad. Still pretty noisy @800 and what is with the circular artifacts with the flash? I was thinking perhaps dust particles in the air if it isn't something to do with internal reflections; I've never seen similar with the OptioS. Wife told me to quit taking pictures of her suggested I snap some of the guinea pig. He fared a lot better with closeups and ISO 400. It appears that indoors anything beyond a metre or two is asking for trouble. I will have to do some more outdoor shots and then decide if I want a camera that is next to useless indoors.
07-22-2008, 05:46 PM   #10
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Thanks Daryle, hmm I really should think about this again.. maybe I am better off just get those underwater housing bag for my k10d..
07-22-2008, 06:27 PM   #11
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Yeah. I'm really disappointed. If the outdoor shots I try in the next few days turn out better I *may* consider keeping it but $330 is a lot for a beach toy. It appears that in the megapixel and gimmick race Pentax has forgotten the basics of good pictures. I hope the S12, that I should have by the weekend to try, shoots a lot better. If not, Pentax just lost a long time, brand loyal, customer. My KX gently weeps...
07-24-2008, 01:01 PM   #12
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So I played with one in store yesterday. IQ seem son par with the FX01 but i'd need to confirm that if I bought one.

The interface is OK but I despise the little black direction button, what a pain to use. It's too small too. The Panasonics really do have their ergonomics sorted out.

Oh, and there is ONE button on the camera (besides menu and zoom) ... guess what it does, toggles face detection settings ... i mean for the love of god ..........
07-26-2008, 04:34 PM   #13
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Well I'm just about ready to bring the W60 back. A tip in another forum suggests turning down the the Contrast, Sharpness, etc. settings since it seems that centered does not mean no processing. I'll try that but the killer for me is the circular artifacts on indoor flash shots. They happen on over half the pictures and ruin the shot. Both my W60s did this.
07-26-2008, 06:10 PM   #14
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Well, I just came home from a week at summer camp with the W60 and I have to admit I am not terribly impressed, but it does what I expected I would do.

In bright sunlight it's an "ok" camera, and on the beach and in the lake it's ok. The wide angle mode is absolutely fantastic. Colours are a little wonky (I find the reds a little bright) and as long as you keep it at ISP 50-100 it's usable.

On the other hand, when the sun goes down or indoors it's almost useless... at high ISO the pictures are so grainy they are unusable. I have to force the camera to use a lower ISO as it defaults to "Auto 50-800" every time you turn it on and at 800 it's way too grainy. The rear screen scratches way too easily when playing on a sandy beach.

The boys built a raft - (Overcast, ISO 50, 1/160, f4.2)


And it fell apart - (Overcast, ISO 50, 1/125, f4.2, I'm floating next to them)


As your only P&S cam, it's not worth it... as a "beach camera", it's pretty good.

Pat
07-27-2008, 02:51 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by ve2vfd Quote
As your only P&S cam, it's not worth it... as a "beach camera", it's pretty good.
Sort of where I'm at. Oh I also figured out my mysterious circles. A quote from another forum:

QuoteQuote:
Well I finally figured out the cause. I'm going to say 50% "I'm an idiot" and 50% "The designer was an idiot". I'm well used to keeping the front of a point and shoot clear so as not to cover any sensor, etc. However on the W60 there are two things that will bite you if you don't also keep your left fingers completely behind the front plane of the camera. First the flash is located right in the top corner. Second the lens is, of course, completely recessed into the camera because of the sealed nature of the W60. Add these together and if your middle finger drifts into the flash cone (which is basically anywhere in front of the camera) you will likely get bounce back into the lens. On the S series the lens obviously protrudes significantly and also the flsh is located, IMHO much more sensibly, in the center of the camera so this is basically impossible. I consider this a design flaw because it is just too easy to interfere with the flash. Sure the main user will know but when someone else takes some pictures of/for you it is an accident waiting to happen.
I also tried the suggestion of turning down Contrast, etc. but did not notice a significant reduction in noise.

I should also be noted that others have seen the same misaligned panel/optics that I had on my first W60. It usually shows up as blurring towards the left or right of the frame. People should check theirs very carefully the first few days.

For anyone that cares I took a series of shots with a new OptioS12 I just got, my OptioS, and the OptioW60:

Picasa Web Albums - Daryle - OptioS12 vs. ...
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