Pentax WG-1000 and WG-8 Are Entry-Level and Pro Underwater Cameras

The image displays two rugged, waterproof cameras by Pentax, specifically the WG-8 (left) and WG-1000 (right). Both cameras have water droplets on them, highlighting their durability and outdoor-proof design. The WG-8 is black while the WG-1000 is gray.

Pentax announced a pair of new underwater, rugged cameras in the WG-1000 and WG-8. As the latest members of the company’s WG series of all-weather cameras, they sport a rugged chassis and are waterproof, dustproof, and shock-resistant.

This announcement splits the options between providing a casual underwater photographer who wants to a more affordable option and a more serious system that has what Pentax describes as “top-of-the-line” features.

The Pentax WG-1000

Starting at the entry-level end, the WG-1000 is meant for the casual underwater shooter who wants to take a camera as deep as 49.2 feet (15 meters) for up to an hour of continuous operation. It can also sustain a fall from a height of 6.5 feet and is fully dust and dirt sealed.

It is equipped with a four-times 4.9-19.6mm optical zoom lens, which is that is equivalent to a 35mm full frame 27-108mm field of view. It also has a digital zoom function that pushes that even further: out to 24 times zoom. Behind the lens is a backside illuminated Type 1/2.3 16.35-megapixel CMOS sensor that has an ISO sensitivity of up to 3200. The camera caps out at 1080p Full HD recording at a 30 frames per second.

A rugged, grey Pentax WG-1 adventure-proof digital camera is shown from the front. The camera features a waterproof and shockproof design with various buttons and a lens in the center. The model and brand names are prominently displayed on the body.

Pentax equipped the WG-1000 with seven capture modes, including Auto Mode, which automatically detects a given scene or subject and selects the most appropriate shooting mode; Manual Mode, which lets the user manually select the desired aperture, shutter speed and ISO sensitivity; Underwater Mode, which reproduces true-to-life colors of the underwater world by reducing the bluish color cast; and Scene Mode, which lets the user select the desired scene mode from 18 different options.

The back view of a Pentax Adventure Proof camera featuring a large display screen, various control buttons including Mode, DISP, OK, Menu, and zoom buttons (T and W). The camera has a rugged design with protective edges.

It also has 20 color modes which, in addition to the expected black and white or sepia tones, also has Japan Style, which enhances bluish hues; Italian Style, which enhances greenish hues; French Style, which enhances reddish hues; Negative, which looks akin to negative film before a positive is made; and Sketch, which adds a visual effect that looks like a drawing.

The Pentax WG-8

The WG-8 is a much heavier-duty camera with many more options. Firstly, it can survive submersion at a depth of up to 65.6 feet (20 meters) for up to two hours of continuous operation and is shockproof from a fall of up to 6.8 feet (2.1 meters) onto five centimeter-thick plywood. It is fully dustproof and resistant to temperatures as low as -10 degrees Celcius and crushproof against weights of up to 100 kilograms of force.

The camera has a 5-25mm optical zoom lens (equivalent to a 28-140mm lens on a 35mm full-frame camera) and has a minimum focusing distance of one centimeter. Its “Intelligent Zoom” function can extend that range by about 40.5 times without, Pentax claims, compromising image quality. Behind the lens is a 20-megapixel Type 1/2.3 CMOS sensor that can capture images at up to ISO 6400. It also comes with a Hand-held Night Snap mode, which Pentax says automatically captures several images of the same nighttime scene and produces a single, blur-free composite image.

Two Pentax WG-8 adventure-proof digital cameras are displayed. One is green and the other is black. Both are labeled "waterproof" and feature a rugged design with prominent lenses. The green model is on the left and the black model is on the right.

On the video front, the WG-8 can capture up to 4K in H.264 format (30p) and, in addition to the conventional shake reduction mode, it also features a SR+ mode that promises stability similar to the one created by using a gimbal in exchange for a cropped field of view. SR+ is only supported when shooting Full HD 1080p videos.

Users can also employ the WG-8 as a webcam by switching to the UVS (USB Video Class0 mode and connecting it to a computer via a USB cable. In this mode, it supports up to 1080p resolution and can be used in tandem with the camera’s close-focusing capability and built-in LEDs around the lens.

On that note, the WG-8 features a six-bulb ring light unit that can be seen around the lens array which illuminates subjects to allow for faster shutter speeds and improve macro photography. Brightness can be adjusted and the camera also allows a user to only activate the horizontally or vertically aligned lights.

A green and black Pentax WG-6 rugged digital camera is shown against a reflective black background. The camera features a Pentax lens with a ring of LED lights around it. It is advertised as waterproof and shockproof.

The rear of the camera features a three-inch, 1.04-million dot rear LCD with an anti-reflective coating which is designed to minimize glare and reflections even when shooting in bright sunlight. Beyond that, it also features an “Outdoor View Setting,” which lets the user adjust the monitor’s brightness level according to changes in ambient lighting conditions.

The WG-8 also features a built-in GPS module that automatically records position data and travel log data onto captured images and adjusts the built-in clock to local time. This module can be activated with a single action and can receive signals from GLONASS (Global Navigation Satellite System), as well as U.S. GPS satellites. The GPS Lock function lets the user save GPS data onto captured images by using previously acquired position data. GPS data, directional data acquired by the digital compass and UTC (Coordinated Universal Time) can also be imprinted on the lower right corner of an image.

The back view of a digital camera displaying a large central screen, various buttons including power, settings, menu, GPS, directional pad, and zoom controls, with labeling indicating 4K and 20 megapixels. The camera is black with a textured grip.

Pentax included two remote control receivers, an electronic level, 18 scene modes, 12 digital filters, user position on the mode dial to program and instantly recall user-selected camera settings, and three strap lug receptacles for varied strap arrangement.

Pricing and Availability

The WG-1000 will be available mid-July for $229.95 while the WG-8 will be available late July for $399.95.