Shockproof, waterproof, but…


… not idiot proof. I’m not talking about the dog here, although he does fulfil that criteria quite nicely.

That’s one of the first shots with my new Pentax W80 which apparently shrugs off “bad things that’ll happen to it during any period of Al ownership“. A perfect trail camera then – especially considering being dropped into a rocky stream is an every ride experience, especially when wrestling the camera from a neoprene case with thick gloves.

Although considering my Canon S80 survived four years of this kind of abuse, maybe that’s a gimmick I don’t need. Not at the£250 list price certainly, but then this example didn’t even cost half of that. It’s not optically perfect either, with clever reviewers talking of it being “inappropriately noisy when pushed”. Again a position I can relate to.

Actually what it is is a chip-load of very clever software moulded round a lens. The Airbus of cameras’ if you will; twenty different presets but none of them so old school as aperture or shutter priority. I’ve not yet read the 232 page manual which accompanied (and out-sized) the happy little unit, but I’ll be surprised – and a little disappointed – if I cannot select the “indoor, non fluorescent, slightly pink ceiling, small child beating her sister” setting.

Already we’ve discovered face recognition, some kind of magical post processing anti shake, a rather natty video mode and – my current favourite – pet mode including dog colour selection. Honestly, how bored were the designers at that point?

It’s not entirely idiot proof tho, and being that idiot I feel entirely qualified to comment. Firstly if the dog has licked the lens, that’s going to affect the picture quality. And trying to find the right setting before the child in picture grows up and leaves home is not entirely unchallenging.

But it was cheap, it’s a neat design and I’ll probably carry it out more. The old Canon has taken to eating batteries and coming over all curmudgeonly when being asked to sprout the lens. Spares or repairs on eBay then. At least I’ve a camera to take a picture of it with.

All the time the W80 was essentially wresting control from my uncomplaining hands, I could hear Seb Rogers grumbling into his tea. He’s probably right but there is something rather liberating about letting software rule your world. It could be worse, might have been written my Microsoft.

What really makes my head ache tho is how can something this well finished, fiendishly clever and apparently indestructible cost less than two sets of MTB tyres, which themselves have the lifespan of a well sucked wine-gum?

Somebody’ll know. It’s not me.

6 thoughts on “Shockproof, waterproof, but…

  1. Gingerdave

    Nope, i’ve thought about this and i still can’t quite figure out how you a) destroy things quite so quickly and b) can afford to replace them with profound ease

    you’re either single-handedly trying to hold up the economy or are helping the govt with sustaining the national debt..

    with regard to destruction i’ve had the same pair of holey mountain gloves since 2000 (holed in the great winter of ’06)and only just got round to replacing them at the weekend.

    I think it’s MTB kit, climbing stuff is awesome and lasts ages, mtb stuff disintergrates. I’m off to get my forks sorted at the weekend as they’ve developed a weird noise (only had the bike 2 yrs)

  2. Alex

    Ulllo Dave, long time no hear.

    a) No no idea either. I think of it as a skill, almost everyone else believes it to be a consequence of my general klutziness.

    b) Remember the financial crisis and all that sub prime lending. Ahem.

  3. Gingerdave

    sounds about right…

    aye, i’ve been lurking. But have managed some biking (hence noticing the odd sound from forks), my knees still haven’t exploded. However, I do seem to be following a vein as at one point had 7 bikes in my shed,, but this has now gone down to 6,, 5 of which are mine!

    still not riding as much as i should be, but am generally getting about out and about more (hell – was climbing a weekend ago). Things are not as desperate as they seemed a year ago!

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