Japan imaging industry, PENTAX, has announced its fifth model in the manufacturer’s waterproof digital camera line, PENTAX Optio W30 recently. The announcement was made in advance of the Photo Marketing Association International Trade Show (PMA 2007). PMA 2007 is going to be held from March 8 – 11 at Las Vegas Convention Centre, South Hall, Las Vegas, Nevada USA.

The aluminium-alloy Optio W30 comes with an enhanced waterproof design where its performance capacity has more than doubled and now allows photographers to capture images underwater up to 10 feet for 2 hours. (Optio W20 only allows you to capture images underwater up to 5 feet for 30 minutes of continuous operation). The 7-megapixel model is dust-sealed, which should afford protection against sand.

The brightness under water is quite scarce, so Optio W30 can automatically switch to higher light sensitivities as and when needed, or be manually set as high as ISO 1600. Besides that, the generous 2.5 inch LCD monitor offers users an LCD Bright Mode that can adjust the brightness of the screen as necessary for improved viewing in the sunlight. With its zoom range of 38-114mm, the Optio W30 also features the Face Recognition function and Macro Photography mode to allow image capture at under half an inch for stunning close-ups of photography subjects such as insects, flowers, jewelry, etc. with its auto-macro mode. This will switch to regular auto-focus as the subject moves away.

The 5.6-ounce camera shoots 30 frames per second in video mode. It will be available in the market in late March for US $299.95.

Read more from PENTAX and Digital Photography Rreview.

Optio W30 – Front View

Optio W30 – Back View

Optio W30 – Side View