By Terry Gardner, Special to Tribune Newspapers
3:03 PM EST, March 4, 2014
Name: Pentax WG-III GPS camera
What it is: A rugged, waterproof 16-megapixel advanced point-and-shoot that fits almost every adventure, with GPS to note where photos were taken. It is shockproof from 6 1/2 feet, coldproof to 14 degrees, waterproof to 45 feet and crushproof to 220 pounds of force. It also can shoot high-definition video. Other features include shake-reduction technology, an optical 4X zoom lens, six LED macro lights around the lens and a high-resolution 3-inch color LCD monitor. The camera uses a rechargeable lithium ion battery and comes with a custom USB charging cable and power adapter, a stand, an ArcSoft photo software program for Mac or PC and a carabiner strap to attach the WG-III to a belt or backpack.
The good: This is the ideal camera for most adventurers. It has survived drops, dust, swims and most dives without a scratch from the Rhine River in Germany to the ocean at Koror, Palau. Automatic settings cover almost any situation: shooting at night or moving in close with food or far away with panoramas. It also works well with action photos and underwater video. In addition, there are settings for time-lapse images or even superclose shots as if from a digital microscope.
The bad: In some low-light situations, I longed for a manual setting. Also, do not dive below the 45-foot waterproof limit. When I accidentally descended to about 55 feet, the LCD monitor was damaged even though I didn't turn the camera on until I was at 40 feet. The camera still worked without the LCD display, but I couldn't see what I was shooting.
Available from: pentaxwebstore.com, bhphotovideo.com, amazon.com and bestbuy.com.
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