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*August 31, 2005 – *Adding to its line of fully waterproof digital point-and-shoots, Pentax today announced the 6 megapixel Optio WPi (spec sheet). Featuring a 2-inch LCD screen and a 3x optical zoom lens, the Optio WPi can be fully submerged in water up to 1.5 meters deep, for as long as 30 minutes. The Optio WPi is expected to be available in October at an estimated price of $349.95.
The Optio WPi features a 9-point auto focus system with continuous focus that is able to track moving objects. Along with an underwater shooting mode, the camera has 18 preset shooting modes. The Optio WPi has an ISO range of 80-400, which can be extended to 800 in the low-light "Candle" shooting mode.
The Optio WPi’s 3x optical zoom lens has a 35mm equivalent range of 38-114mm with a maximum aperture of f/3.3 at its widest angle, extending to f/4 in telephoto shooting. A shutter speed range of 1/2000 of a second to 4 seconds is offered along with exposure compensation in a +/- 2 EV range, adjustable in 1/3 EV steps. Manual white balance control is offered on the Optio WPi in addition to an automatic mode and four color presets.
Four programmable function buttons are available on the Optio WPi, allowing users to customize shortcuts from 11 functions. In lieu of a viewfinder, the camera relies on an 110,000 pixel, 2.0-inch TFT LCD screen offering 100 percent coverage. Movie capture is available as is voice recording and simultaneous audio capture with image capture.
The Optio WPi measures 4 x 2 x 0.9 inches and weighs 4.8 ounces fully loaded with a lithium-ion battery and SD memory card. An optional rubber skin to protect the camera from shock and dirt is also available.