Test Drive: Pentax WG-3 “Adventure Proof”

Pentax has always been a camera manufacturer that’s been well-regarded. Unfortunately, their most popular and long-loved camera – the K1000 – was first made in 1976. Their medium-format systems – the 645 and 67 – were also always thought pretty highly of, but those were systems that would never have mass consumer appeal. For whatever reason, “Pentax” has never become as big of a name as “Nikon” and “Canon”, and after trying out the K50 and WG-3, I can’t understand why Pentax isn’t more popular! First, I got to use the K50 – blog posts can be seen here and here. Secondly, I got to try out the WG-3 – the subject of this post!

I wanted to try out the WG-3 because I wasn’t familiar with Pentax cameras and because it was such a curious-looking camera. I was very impressed with the images out of the camera and here are my quick comments for you…

-lens seems very sharp on the wide-angle end, and acceptably sharp on the telephoto end (like many point-and-shoots)

-I really like the ergonomics of the WG-3. The unusual shape makes it real easy to keep it gripped it your hand when you’re carrying it, and just as easy to use when you’re making photos.

-compact size is very nice! I took the camera out on a number of “adventures” – a street-festival (Torn Soul), trail-running, kayaking (via the Urban Ecology Center),  and hiking. I tucked the camera in a pocket, hung it off a personal flotation device, tucked it in a camelbak…yep, it’s size is good.

-easy to work with one-hand, and despite the amount of buttons on the right-side of the camera, I didn’t seem to hit the wrong ones much. That said, the power button and shutter button are right next to each other, and I did hit the wrong one a couple times. I imagine I’d get used to it and avoid that pitfall if I used the camera more.

-Not sure what contributed to this – camera/lens design, my particular camera I used, or what – but I got lens flare pretty regularly. That said, I WAS putting it through some challenging light situations.

-Camera is well-designed, hardy as heck, and I’d suggest to anyone looking for a good “adventure proof” camera!

-Mike Crivello’s in Brookfield carries the camera – in GPS and non-GPS versions.

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