Ask the Gear Guy

Is the Pentax Optio WG-1 a good camera?


Q. Hi Gear Guy, I’m into digital photography, but so far I’ve been using my cell phone or borrowing a camera. So, I want to get one of my own. I saw the Pentax Optio WG-1 in the May 2012 issue of Boys’ Life and thought it would be perfect, but the reviews are all over the place. Some people say it’s awesome and some people say it sucks. Is it a good camera or should I look at something else?
– Debating Douglas, Garden City, Idaho

A. Hey Douglas. Good question. And I’m glad to hear you’re researching products before making a purchase. Smart move. Here’s the thing, there’s so much information out there, it can be overwhelming. And when it comes to online reviews, even if it’s the best product in the world there will always be someone who says it’s lame. You just have to do your best to sort through the junk out there.

As for the Pentax Optio WG-1, it is indeed a good camera. That’s why we included it in the pages of Boys’ Life. I tested it over several months and think it lives up to expectations. It’s very durable, waterproof and takes good images. Can you find a camera that takes better images? Sure. Can you find one that’s more durable and Scout-proof? I’m not so sure. Here’s the deal: if you’re looking for a durable outdoorsy camera, that takes good images and is relatively affordable, I’d say the Optio is a good choice. Pentax is a trusted brand in cameras and they just came out with their 13th version of this camera, the Optio WG-2.

Yes, there are tons of more expensive, higher quality cameras out there. But remember this, Douglas, good photography doesn’t require an expensive camera. What’s way more important is the person taking the picture, the way you frame the shot, and the creativity that goes into your image.

Comments about “Is the Pentax Optio WG-1 a good camera?”

  1. toby says:

    The Pentax Optio Wg-1 is a very good camera. A boy in my Jambo troop had one, it was basically unbreakable. No water got in!

  2. Gauge14iv says:

    I took this camera on a canoe trip recently – it was in the water more than it was out – I had it tied to one of the seat posts in the boat so I could reach it easily – and it sat in the water in the bottom of the canoe for two days. Held up fine despite getting thrown around, thrown out, thrown in a backpack and it takes great pics with brilliant colors – the slightly pricier models will add geotags to your photos, a nice feature when you want to show people where you have been!

  3. the fire master says:

    i have the WG2 and its great i go swimming with it! it takes great pix and has HD video and slow motion video and a digital microscope. and it still takes 16 mega pixel pix, thats as good as most DSLR’s. the only thing that can make a compact camera better is a ultra pod light weight tripod they are small durable and light they also can attach to trees with a Velcro strap. plus they are very reasonably priced

  4. Photography Guy says:

    I got this camera recently, and it is awesome!

  5. jo says:

    i would look at a go pro

  6. Awesome says:

    I bet it’s good and durable for camping but,I’m looking into a Nikon camerra

  7. Delta Force says:

    I used my new Olympus Tough TG-1 camera to take pictures of my dad a this years Wounded Warrior Convention. My dad (48 years old, former USAF Special Operations Operative and Purple Heart Veteran) said that if I was going to get a camera to get one that could take a beating. so the Olympus was what I got. And although tough and water proof, it is rather pricey. I wish I would have seen the WG-1 before I bought this one because it really burned a hole in my wallet.

  8. Musical Hog says:

    Epic.

  9. Sly Fox says:

    I really have not seen a bad camera made by a notable company yet. just make sure of two things though: It’s 16 pixels or greater for long shot clearity and second that you use only a photo quality flash card. If the flash card does not say photo flash card, it isn’t one. they do cost three time a standard card but its performance is well worth it.
    I prefer “Sandisk Extreem” brand. $24.00 for an 8 GB card I shot 15 days of the 2010NJ with the one card.

    • The Reaginator says:

      Are you an expert in photography? I’m asking because I want to buy my own camera with the money that I earn, but if you are an expert, can you suggest a really good camera for me?

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