The Pentax Optio W10 features a modern design, and has undergone several small cosmetic adjustments. The camera remains pleasantly compact and light-weight, which makes it the ideal travel companion. The attractively rounded corners of the housing, and the integration of the buttons, show a neatly finished design. Despite its small size and the absence of a clear handgrip, it has to be said the camera proves reasonably comfortable to hold. We frequently encounter cameras that do not offer a stable hold, which is caused mainly by the fact that manufacturers often prioritize creating a smaller camera over creating a camera that is comfortable to hold. Pentax have solved this issue by extending the side of the Optio W10 somewhat towards the back, which forms a ridge behind which the thumb rests. Through this idea, Pentax have succeeded in creating a fairly decent handgrip without losing out on the camera's compact design.
Pentax W10 - Glass cover to protect the lens from water
The front side of the Pentax W10 has been kept reasonably sober, with the 3x optical zoom lens located in the centre of the camera. The lens is properly protected by a glass cover that keeps out dirt and water. However, to avoid smudgy photos, you will need to keep this glass cover thoroughly clean. On the right side below the lens, we find a LED that serves as an indicator for the self-timer. The corner on the right side leaves room for the internal flash, which has an effective range of 0.2m(W) - 3.6m(T). The large sticker on the camera's front side is the only thing that reveals the camera's waterproof and dustproof features; apart from this the camera far from resembles the standard, chunky underwater cameras that we occasionally see from manufacturers specialising in this type of underwater photography.
Pentax Optio W10 - 2.5 inch LCD monitor
The 2.5-inch format LCD monitor takes up two-thirds of the back side of the Pentax Optio W10. An excellent size to work with; especially as the images will become easier to assess. Furthermore, the fact that the monitor replaces the viewfinder simply makes it more functional, and sharing your images with friends or family will become considerably easier. It should be said that the optical viewfinder is not at all missed. Although one could perhaps prefer the small viewfinder when shooting in extremely sunny conditions, it is unlikely you will ever want to return to working with the "claustrophobic gap" after you have gotten used to assessing your composition via a 2.5-inch screen. Despite the increased size of the display, which has been upgraded from 2 to 2.5 inch, the resolution of 115,000 pixels remains unaltered. In addition to this, the viewing angle proves somewhat limited when compared to what we've seen with some of the competition's cameras. Consequently, it is fair to say this area certainly leaves Pentax room for improvement. The camera's control centre features a clear, well-arranged design and consists of a handful of buttons. The four buttons in the circle form the familiar multi-controller, whilst the remaining buttons provide access to the menu, activate the rendition or bring the subject closer. The buttons are nicely sunk into the housing and prove easy to operate.
Pentax W10 - Universal plastic tripod connection
When looking at the camera's bottom side, we see a universal plastic tripod connection located in the far corner. Although it seems highly unlikely users of a compact camera such as the Pentax W10 will actually be mounting it to a tripod, the option is there at least; after all, the costs for this type of connection are bound to be quite low, and it doesn't get in the way of anything. The oblong-shaped lid has to be slid sideways to gain access to the compartment in which the memory card and the Lithium Ion battery are placed. The lid features an attractive finish, and upon opening it you will once again notice the considerable extra effort Pentax have put into the camera's housing. Behind the lid we find a large rubber strip; which ensures the compartment can be closed securely and keep it water-proof. That is, for a maximum of 30 minutes, whilst not exceeding the maximum underwater depth of 1.5 meter. The compartment also holds the A/C power and USB/AV interfaces. The small Lithium Ion battery is kept in place by a security lock, which prevents it from accidentally dropping out upon opening the compartment.
Pentax Optio W10 - Dust- & Waterproof camera
Both sides of the Pentax Optio W10 have been kept sober, and feature no functions apart from the eyelet for the wrist strap. The top side of the camera too features only very few buttons. This is mainly due to the camera's waterproof features; after all, each button could form a potential risk. As a result, the camera seems very clear and well-arranged, which is a definite advantage. The centre of the camera's top side holds a loud speaker, nicely hidden from view, flanked by a microphone. The on/off switch features a LED which will emit a green light whenever the camera is activated, a rather luxurious addition. A rectangular shutter release button lies sunk into the top. The camera's thin size proves particularly pleasant to work with. The Pentax Optio W10 fits easily into your trouser or inside pocket, and thanks to the fact that the optical zoom lens does its work internally; the camera is able to keep its compact measurements. The housing has a very neat finish, and it is clear a great deal of thought and effort has gone into its design. It's not for nothing that the Pentax W10 features a high-quality water-proof and dust-proof classification!