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2013.01.29

Pentax just launched 3 new additions to their TG-series of rugged waterproof digital cameras. The new flagship is the Pentax TG-3 GPS.

The WG-3 GPS is one of the toughest cameras ever built. Its rugged exterior can be submerged down to 15m, sustain 100kg of pressure, survive drops of up to 2m and keeps working down to -10C. Needless to say, this model is weatherproof and dust-proof against the most demanding conditions.

The Pentax WG3 GPS is aimed right at adventurous photographers and includes a built-in GPS, digital compass, manometer, altimeter, depth-meter. A monochrome LCD at the front of the camera displays a clock or one of the previously listed digital measurement instruments. The included strap features a carabiner  to hook the camera onto various items.

The WG3 GPS also supports induction charging which lets it be charged without opening the battery compartment. An induction charger must be purchased separately. Otherwise, an included cable must be used to charge the battery internally.

A similar Pentax WG3 was also unveiled. This one is just as tough as the WG3 GPS and shares most specifications except for the GPS, other digital navigation and induction charging.

Both the WG3 GPS and the WG3 feature an exceptionally bright stabilized 4X ultra-wide angle optical zoom lens with a maximum aperture of F/2. The aperture dims down to F/4.9 at the telephoto end though. There are 6 LED lights around the lens to illuminate nearby objects and help autofocus at macro distances down to 1cm.

Finally, Pentax is introducing a lower-cost but very rugged camera, the Pentax WG-10. This one goes down to 10m underwater and can survive drops from 1.5m. Like the WG-3, it is also freezeproof to -10C, crushproof to 100kg, dustproof and completely weatherproof.

The major photographic difference compared to its higher-end siblings is a typical 5X wide-angle optical zoom lens without stabilization. The one can also focus down to 1cm and has fewer LED lights to illuminate macro subjects.

All three WG models launched today are built around the same 16 megapixels CMOS sensor with an ISO range of 80 to 6400 and the ability to record full 1080p HD videos.

The flagship Pentax WG-3 GPS carries a suggest price of $349 USD while the WG-3 should go for $299.. The WG-10 is expected to sell for $179. All models are scheduled to ship next month.

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