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Backpacker Magazine – Fall Gear Guide 2013

Gear Review: Pentax Optio WG-3 Digital Camera

A camera built for adventure races.

by: Andrew Matranga

Pentax Option WG3 (Courtesy Photo)
Pentax Option WG3 (Courtesy Photo)

Trail-Tough Point-and-Shoot
Our testers from sister publication Climbing magazine traveled far and wide with this svelte-but-sturdy 8.1-ounce camera, bumping it on rock walls in Wyoming’s Big Horn Mountains and dragging it over the boulder-filled Sierras around Bishop, California. And on hikes throughout Colorado’s Front Range, this unit delivered as an underwater camera, as testers routinely dunked it in creeks and lakes to get fish-level perspectives and kept it clipped to a packstrap during afternoon downpours.

Our photo assistant put the Optio WG-3 through heavy-duty paces during a 14-mile Tough Mudder adventure race in the Rockies, pounding it on hand-size rocks and dunking it in icy water holes and deep mud. It emerged unscathed—and he still brought home print-quality images. Our testers’ top features? A wide aperture, great for low-light photos without distortion, and custom shot modes like HDR** and candlelight. $300; 8.1 oz.;

HDR High Dynamic Range. On a smartphone, your app takes three pictures and stitches them together to enhance the depth of color. Use HDR on landscapes with high contrast between land and sky.

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