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Pentax cameras on the Mount Everest height
Ralf Jurrien : April 6th 2007 - 13:30 CET
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PentaxPentax cameras on the Mount Everest height : Pentax cameras are being tested to the limits on Mound Everest to document the largest ever medical expedition ever carried out on the mountain. Pentax has provided the Caudwell Xtreme Everest team with its latest generation of waterproof compact digital 'W' series cameras and digital SLRs to store and transmit quality images with ease, no matter how difficult the environment they find themselves in. Caudwell Xtreme Everest will place a medical research team on the summit of Mount Everest to take the first ever measurement of oxygen levels in human blood at this altitude. Two hundred healthy volunteers will be trekking to Everest base camp and undergoing a series of tests on-route.
Pentax cameras on the Mount Everest heightMount Everest - Pentax Optio W20
The first of the volunteers began arriving at Kathmandu on 1st April and the research is aimed at improving the care of the critically ill and other patients where hypoxia, a shortage of oxygen in the body, is a fundamental problem. The recording of every detail is therefore essential. The team not only require high quality equipment to photograph the expedition, but it must also be able to withstand the extreme weather conditions faced on Everest. "Pentax's Optio W20s are waterproofed for up to 1.5 metres for outdoor and underwater photography so are ideal for the extreme and snowy conditions encountered during the ascent to Everest base camp," said Mac Mackenney, Caudwell Xtreme Everest Logistics Manager. "We also require a camera that produces quality images and can be easily carried around so as not to hinder us on our expedition. The Optio W20s are slim and compact, so they can be simply slotted into our insulated jacket pockets and quickly taken out to capture any moments that we wish to document."

Mount Everest

Caudwell Xtreme Everest - Digital SLRs
In addition, Pentax has also provided Caudwell Xtreme Everest with digital SLRs that include its K100D for more advanced photography both on the mountain and at its lab in London. The K100D includes an array of advanced features including a Shake Reduction (SR) system, which reduces the effect of camera shake that can occur in extremely cold conditions, enabling the team to produce for sharp, blur-free images. Pentax cameras were originally loaned to the Caudwell Xtreme Everest team for their 'rehearsal' expedition in August. The team flew to Cho Oyu, the sixth highest mountain in the world, to put all the equipment through its paces in weather and altitude conditions similar to those that will be encountered on Everest. The Pentax Optio 'W' series cameras and digital SLRs proved very successful at withstanding the cold conditions and provided the team with some great shots that have been used in materials for medical volunteers and on its website. Pentax cameras were also used to document the early stages of the research as the trekkers were pushed to the limits at Caudwell Xtreme's laboratory in Archway.

About Caudwell Xtreme Everest
Coordinated by the UCL Centre for Altitude, Space and Extreme (CASE) environment medicine, the research is aimed at improving the care of the critically ill and other patients where hypoxia is a fundamental problem. The 200 healthy trekkers have been organised into groups of 16 people, and the first group arrives in Kathmandu on April 1st. From then on, a trek group arrives in Kathmandu every Thursday and Sunday until the middle of May. Each group of trekkers will follow an identical ascent route and will be tested in laboratories in Kathmandu, Namche Bazaar, Pheriche all the way to Everest Base Camp.

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