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Pentax W60 Gordon Laing, December 2008

Pentax Optio W60 Gallery

The following images were taken with a Pentax Optio W60. The Optio W60 was set to 10M *** quality, Auto White Balance and Multi-segment metering. The sensitivity was set to Auto for the first three images, but set manually for the remaining five.

The individual exposure mode, file sizes, shutter speeds, aperture, ISO and lens focal length are listed for each image.

The crops are taken from the original files, reproduced at 100% and saved in Adobe Photoshop CS2 as JPEGs with the default Very High quality preset, while the resized images were made in Photoshop CS2 and saved with the default High quality preset. The three crops are typically taken from far left, central and far right portions of each image.

Note: you may wish to open a number of galleries for direct comparison of detail and noise: Canon PowerShot SD 880IS / IXUS 870 IS sample images, Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX35 sample images.

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Pentax Optio W60

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Landscape: 3.40MB, Program, 1/500, f4.2, ISO 50, 5-25mm at 5mm (equivalent to 28mm)

  This first shot was taken with the Optio W60 under bright conditions with the lens zoomed-out; the Auto sensitivity selected its lowest 50 ISO setting.

With 28m coverage, the W60 has easily captured the entire yacht's sail unlike those with 36mm which only just squeeze it all in.

The image is vibrant without going overboard and the crops detailed and sharp across most of the frame.

Like many compacts though there are subtle noise textures on flat areas of colour like the sky and sail when viewed at 100%.

Landscape: 3.56MB, Program, 1/200, f4.2, ISO 50, 5-25mm at 5mm (equivalent to 28mm)

  Another shot taken under bright conditions with the Pentax zoomed-out to its widest angle view.

We shot at a low angle here, where lesser camera's screens can become quite hard to see, but a decent viewing angle on the W60's made composition relatively easy.

In Auto sensitivity, the camera's again selected 50 ISO here. The crops are sharp, again sharp across most of the frame with only a little softening in the corners.

Underwater: 3.17MB, Underwater, 1/125, f4.2, ISO 50, 5-25mm at 5mm (equivalent to 28mm)

  The W60's unique selling point is of course its ability to take photos while fully submerged at depths up to 4m. Here's an example taken under the chilly surface of Queenstown's Lake Wakatipu with its Underwater preset.

The screen is reasonably easy to view underwater, and flash good for distances of a couple of meters. So long as your subject is relatively close, you can grab good shots.

Here the W60 again opted for its lowest sensitivity of 50 ISO to keep noise down. The subject isn't 100% sharp, but we're happy with the results.

Portrait: 3.52MB, Program, 1/640, f6.6, ISO 200, 5-25mm at 25mm (equivalent to 140mm)

  For this portrait shot we zoomed the Pentax into its longest focal length at an equivalent of 140mm, activated face detection and manually set the sensitivity to 200 ISO. The W60 locked onto the subject without a problem, and also features smile detection if you desire.

Like most compacts though, it's tricky to blur the background even when fully zoomed-in. The DOF is too large, even with the aperture close to its maximum. Viewed at 100%, the image is also exhibiting greater noise and an overall softening. Again normal for 10 Mpixel compacts.

Macro: 3.33MB, Program, 1/8, f3.8, ISO 400, 5-25mm at 5mm (equivalent to 28mm)

  For this macro shot we increased the sensitivity to 400 ISO and positioned the camera as close at it would focus. The Optio W60 will focus down to just 1cm, although you'll have to watch out for shadows at that distance.

Impressively there's less geometric distortion than many compacts at 28mm from this distance, and the field is fairly flat, although becomes softer away from the centre with some fringing in the corners.

The increase to 400 ISO has brought greater noise, but the subject matter is quite forgiving.


Indoor: 3.25MB, Program, 1/50, f3.5, ISO 400, 5-25mm at 5mm (equivalent to 28mm)

  Our first indoor shot was taken with the Optio W60 at 400 ISO under artificial light.

Face detection once again locked-on fairly easily, although the metering system has arguably under-exposed a little here.

Flat areas of colour like skin tones and the orange jacket reveal a visible leap in noise, although we're pleased to see Pentax resisting the urge to smear it out with processing. As such, there's still a decent amount of detail present.

Indoor: 3.58MB, Program, 1/13, f3.5, ISO 800, 5-25mm at 5mm (equivalent to 28mm)

  Our second indoor shot was taken with the sensitivity increased to 800 ISO. The W60 opened its aperture, but dim conditions still resulted in a shutter speed of just 1/13. While any wobbles would have been easily ironed-out by rivals with stabilisation, the W60 has none, hence some camera shake here.

The W60 only offers digital stabilisation which increases the sensitivity, with reduced quality as a result. Here it would have gone for 3200 or 6400 ISO with poor results. Lack of optical or sensor-shift stabilisation is the biggest downside to the W60.

Indoor: 3.29MB, Program, 1/60, f3.5, ISO 1600, 5-25mm at 5mm (equivalent to 28mm)

  Our final indoor shot was taken with the sensitivity at 1600 ISO. Despite holding back on the noise reduction earlier, the W60 has now applied plenty of it here with smearing and loss of detail as a result.

Looking at galleries from rival cameras, we'd say the W60 doesn't perform as well at 1600 ISO, but then the others are hardly great at this sensitivity. So again, 1600 ISO should be avoided unless for emergency use or small emailed images.

The W60 also offers 3200 and 6400 ISO modes, operating at 5 Megapixels - see our High ISO Noise results.

All words, images, videos and layout, copyright 2005-2017 Gordon Laing. May not be used without permission.

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