Pentax WG-1

Pentax Optio WG-1 front
  • 14MP - 1/2.3" Sensor
  • 2.7" Fixed Screen
  • ISO 80 - 6400
  • 1280 x 720 video
  • 28-140mm (F3.5-5.5) lens
  • 157g - 114 x 58 x 28mm
  • Revealed February 2011
  • Read full specs
  • Alternatives
  • Size Comparison
  • FAQ

Pentax WG-1 overview

Pentax WG-1 is Pentax's Waterproof digital camera first launched on February of 2011. It uses a 14 MegaPixel, CCD 1/2.3" sized sensor and has a maximum resolution of 4288 x 3216.

The WG-1 is scored #57 out of 75 in Waterproof cameras & all round #968 out of 1465 for cameras in our list. Remember to use our Smart camera filter to get camera rankings based on your custom requirements.

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The following is a graph of various criteria used in the scoring system.

Pentax WG-1 history

The Pentax WG-1 is part of a family of products. You can read the full range below.

ModelVisualizeLensResolutionSensor SizeReleased
Pentax-WG-3 front thumbnailPentax WG-3
WG-1 vs WG-3
Pentax-WG-3-GPS front thumbnailPentax WG-3 GPS
WG-1 vs WG-3 GPS
Samsung Releases Faster Versions of EVO MicroSD Cards
Pentax-WG-10 front thumbnailPentax WG-10
WG-1 vs WG-10
Pentax-Optio-WG-2 front thumbnailPentax WG-2
WG-1 vs WG-2
Pentax-Optio-WG-2-GPS front thumbnailPentax WG-2 GPS
WG-1 vs WG-2 GPS
Pentax-Optio-WG-1-GPS front thumbnailPentax WG-1 GPS
WG-1 vs WG-1 GPS
Photobucket discusses licensing 13 billion images with AI firms
Pentax-Optio-WG-1 front thumbnailPentax WG-128-140mm
Pentax-Optio-W90 front thumbnailPentax W90
WG-1 vs W90
Pentax-Optio-WS80 front thumbnailPentax WS80
WG-1 vs WS80
Pentax-Optio-W60 front thumbnailPentax W60
WG-1 vs W60
Pentax-Optio-W80 front thumbnailPentax W80
WG-1 vs W80
Japan-exclusive Leica Leitz Phone 3 features big sensor and new modes

Pentax WG-1 Pros and Cons

Below is a shortlist of advantages and drawbacks of the Pentax WG-1 based on criterias that are often viewed as useful in a digital camera.

environment sealing
features tracking autofocus
good zoom range (28-140mm 5.0 x zoom)
great min ISO (80)
has built in flash
has HDMI out
manual focus
megapixel count decent (14MP)
pretty wide (28mm)
can't change lenses (fixed lens mount)
external flash not possible
has no phase detect autofocus
has no RAW files
lack of external microphone support
lack of headphone support
low fps (1.0 frames per second)
manual mode not available
no aperture priority mode
no image stabilization
no moving screen
no shutter priority mode
pixelated screen (230 k dots)
screen is not selfie friendly
sensor is very small (1/2.3")
slow at tele end (f5.5)
slow maximum aperture (f3.5)
tiny screen (2.7")
video quality not great (1280 x 720 pixels)
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Pentax WG-1 Sensor info

The sensor spec on the Pentax WG-1 is 6.17mm x 4.55mm (1/2.3"). The 28 mm² sensor has the ability to resolve 4288 x 3216 pixels at aspect ratios of 4:3, 3:2 and 16:9.

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The CCD sensor has 14MP and supports a standard ISO range of 80 to 6400. Unfortunately, RAW format is not supported so you have less room to maneuver in post.

The graphic below illustrates the WG-1's sensor dimensions when compared to other popular sizes. The WG-1 sensor has a crop factor of 5.8 and is shown in green.

Pentax Optio WG-1 sensor size Apple Innovates by Creating Next-Level Optical Stabilization for iPhone

To get an understanding of different aspect ratios, you can refer to the graphic below.

Camera sensor aspect ratios

Pentax WG-1 dimensions

Pentax WG-1 weighs in at 0.35 lbs (157g or 5.54 ounces) & has exterior size of 114mm x 58mm x 28mm (4.5" x 2.3" x 1.1"). The weight of normal Waterproof camera is 195g and the Pentax WG-1 is lighter compared with its competitors.

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The following is a pic of the Pentax WG-1 with a soda to help you get a feel for its scale.

Pentax Optio WG-1 dimensions scale

The top view here will provide the button layout on the WG-1.

Pentax Optio WG-1 topview buttons dials

Pentax WG-1 Lens info

The WG-1 provides a fixed lens and a focal range of 28-140mm giving it a 5.0 x zoom which isn't really perfect however it could be useful in certain situations.

At the widest 28mm, it comes with an aperture of f3.5 and that's quite slow and not great for low light circumstances and you will likely find it difficult to get good bokeh. You will likely also have to increase the ISO setting resulting in noisy photos. On the tele end, 140mm comes to f5.5 making it fairly sluggish and you might need to set slower shutter speeds.

Photography Glossary

Pentax WG-1 Connectivity

The WG-1 has the following connectivity:

  • USB Yes
  • Wireless Yes
  • HDMI Yes

Cameras that consist of NFC and Bluetooth compatibility can be used wirelessly through smartphones. You can easily send images and oftentimes change camera settings with no need to connect straight to the camera.

Certain applications even provide a Liveview and click the shutter when you aren't close to the camera. If the camera boasts a HDMI port, it can be connected to an external screen. Nearly all cameras will allow you to charge the battery using the USB port.

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Pentax WG-1 Video info

The maximum video resolution on the Pentax WG-1 is 1280 x 720 and you can capture in Motion JPEG file format. 720p is low for today's standards. You should really go for a minimum FUll HD resolution for good video. The camera doesn't feature a microphone and headphone jack so you get no control over the sound. It is probably best to order an alternative camera if you want good sound for your videos.

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Pentax WG-1 Weather Sealing

Pentax WG-1 has got environment sealing which makes it a very good candidate for use during tough conditions. This can be particularly beneficial if you are not sure about the elements you may encounter during outdoor photography.

Pentax WG-1 Screen and Viewfinder

The Pentax WG-1 houses a 2.7" fixed display boasting a resolution of 230k dots.

Unfortunately the display isn't a touch screen.

Pentax Optio WG-1 screen and viewfinder Snapchat Adds Watermarks to AI-Created Images

The View Finder specifications for Pentax WG-1 are as follows:

  • ViewFinder None

Viewfinders can be rather beneficial during bright outdoor situations which can make the camera screen washed out and difficult to see.

Pentax WG-1 Shutter info

Pentax WG-1 continuous shooting speed is 1.0 frames per second. The highest shutter speed is 1/1500s.

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Pentax WG-1 Flash and Hot shoe info

Pentax WG-1 comes with only inbuilt flash with missing external flash ability.

Pentax WG-1 Autofocusing info

Pentax WG-1 comes with just Contrast Based Auto Focus & doesn't have Phase Detect Auto Focus. Phase Detection autofocusing is a lot more snappier and exact compared with Contrast Based autofocusing.

The Sensor boasts 9 focus points to pick from. It also includes Tracking Auto Focus for things that move. Pentax WG-1 has manual focusing if needed during low light occasions or you want more precise control on focusing.

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Pentax WG-1 Battery life

The battery (D-LI92) for the Pentax WG-1 is designed to last for 260 pictures according to the CIPA standards making it about average when compared to it's competition. The general Waterproof camera battery life is 275. Olympus TG-4 features the highest possible (380) battery life within this group of cameras.

Following is a number of Waterproof cameras which have the best battery life:

Pentax WG-1 for various kinds of photography

The following bar chart indicates a analysis of the Pentax WG-1 for various kinds of photography. To read more, go to the specific paragraph below.

Pentax WG-1 Portrait photography advice

The Pentax WG-1 receives a points tally of 35 which is bad, meaning that it is just not suitable to use for portraits. Taking portraits favors heavily to sensor dimensions, RAW support along with the capability to utilize off-camera flash.

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you can focus manually
MP count decent (14 megapixels)
lack of manual mode
cannot use external flash
tiny sensor (1/2.3")
doesn't have RAW format

Pentax WG-1 Street photography highlights

With a reasonable score of 54, the Pentax WG-1 is fairly appropriate for street photography. A very good street photography camera offers a fine balance of image quality plus portability.

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environment proofing
screen does not articulate
no image stabilization
sensor size is tiny (1/2.3")
does not have RAW support

Pentax WG-1 Sports photography information

A bad sports photography points tally of 37 means the Pentax WG-1 is just not suitable for shooting sports. A camera must have very good autofocus plus shutter speeds for sports photography.

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MP count good (14MP)
supports tracking focus
environment sealing
very slow continuous shooting (1.0 frames per second)
lack of shutter priority mode
no image stabilization
small sensor (1/2.3")
doesn't have phase detect auto focus

Travel photography with Pentax WG-1

Portability is extremely critical when getting a camera for travel. On the whole, the Pentax WG-1 gets a above average 71 as a travelling camera which is a respectable option to buy for your holidays.

Photography Glossary
environment sealing
good megapixels (14MP)
flash built-in
quite wide (28mm)
display is not selfie friendly
slow max aperture (f3.5)

Pentax WG-1 Landscape photography advice

For anyone who is planning to pick a digital camera for landscape photography, the most significant factor will no doubt be image quality. The Pentax WG-1 with it's bad score of 42 as a landscape camera is just not suitable among its rivals.

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has manual focus
rather wide (28mm)
megapixel count decent (14MP)
environment proofing
lens is fixed (fixed lens mount)
slow max aperture (f3.5)
screen is somewhat small (2.7 inch)
manual mode not available
no image stabilization
very small sensor (1/2.3")
doesn't have RAW files

Vlogging with Pentax WG-1

A camera for vlogging should really offer a articulating screen, microphone input and preferably image stabilization. Considering every thing, the Pentax WG-1 is just not suitable for vlogging as it gets a bad score of 25.

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quite wide (28mm)
slow maximum aperture (f3.5)
display isn't selfie friendly
no image stabilization
video res low (1280 x 720 pixels)
does not have microphone socket

Pentax WG-1 Alternatives

If you are searching for alternatives to the WG-1, below is a number of the top rated cameras which fall in to the family of Waterproof.

The chart below gives you a bird's eye view of the WG-1 vs it's top ranked competitors mentioned previously.

These are various other cameras you might look into as alternate options. To look at a complete comparison, simply click the "compare" link.

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General Information
Model type
Pentax Optio WG-1
Physical type
Sensor Information
Sensor type
Sensor size
Sensor measurements
6.17 x 4.55mm
Sensor surface area
Sensor resolution
Anti alias filter
Aspect ratio
4:3, 3:2 and 16:9
Full resolution
4288 x 3216
RAW images
Max native ISO
Minimum native ISO
Focus manually
Touch to focus
Continuous AF
AF single
AF tracking
AF selectice
Center weighted AF
AF multi area
Live view AF
Face detection AF
Contract detection AF
Phase detection AF
Total focus points
Lens mount type
fixed lens
Lens zoom range
28-140mm (5.0x)
Largest aperture
Macro focusing range
Focal length multiplier
Screen type
Fixed Type
Screen sizing
Resolution of screen
230k dots
Selfie friendly
Touch display
Screen tech
TFT color LCD with Anti-reflective coating
Viewfinder Information
Viewfinder type
DXO scores
DXO All around rating
not tested
DXO Color Depth rating
not tested
DXO Dynamic range rating
not tested
DXO Low light rating
not tested
Slowest shutter speed
Maximum shutter speed
Continuous shooting rate
1.0 frames per second
Shutter priority
Aperture priority
Expose Manually
Change WB
Image stabilization
Inbuilt flash
Flash distance
3.90 m
Flash modes
Auto, On, Off, Red-eye, Soft
External flash
White balance bracketing
Multisegment metering
Average metering
Spot metering
Partial metering
AF area metering
Center weighted metering
Video features
Video resolutions
1280 x 720 (30, 15 fps), 640 x 480 (30, 15 fps), 320 x 240 (30, 15 fps)
Max video resolution
Video data format
Motion JPEG
Microphone support
Headphone support
Eye-Fi Connected
USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
Environmental sealing
Water proofing
Dust proofing
Shock proofing
Crush proofing
Freeze proofing
157g (0.35 lb)
114 x 58 x 28mm (4.5" x 2.3" x 1.1")
Battery life
260 photographs
Style of battery
Battery Pack
Battery ID
Self timer
Yes (2 or 10 sec)
Time lapse feature
Type of storage
SD/SDHC/SDXC, Internal
Card slots
Launch cost