Pentax WG-3

 
Pentax WG-3 front
 
  • 16MP - 1/2.3" Sensor
  • 3" Fixed Screen
  • ISO 125 - 6400
  • Sensor-shift Image Stabilization
  • 1920 x 1080 video
  • 25-100mm (F2.0-4.9) lens
  • 230g - 124 x 64 x 33mm
  • Introduced July 2013
  • Read full specs
  • Alternatives
  • Size Comparison
Portability
90
Imaging
41
Features
44
Overall
42

Pentax WG-3 overview

Pentax WG-3 is Pentax's Waterproof digital camera originally announced on July of 2013. It features a 16 MegaPixel, BSI-CMOS 1/2.3" size sensor with a maximum resolution of 4608 x 3456.

The WG-3 places at #20 out of 74 in Waterproof cameras and all around #613 out of 1428 for cameras in our collection. Remember to try out our Smart camera finder to find camera rankings based on your custom requirements.

World's smallest camera makes it into Guinness Book of Records

Here is a chart of specific criteria used in the scoring system.

Pentax WG-3 history

The Pentax WG-3 is part of a family of products. You can see the full list below.

ModelVisualizeLensResolutionSensor SizeReleased
Pentax-WG-3 front thumbnailPentax WG-325-100mm
F2.0-4.9
16MP1/2.3"2013
Pentax-WG-3-GPS front thumbnailPentax WG-3 GPS
WG-3 vs WG-3 GPS
25-100mm
F2.0-4.9
16MP1/2.3"2013
Handle those 8K RED files like a boss
Pentax-WG-10 front thumbnailPentax WG-10
WG-3 vs WG-10
28-140mm
F3.5-5.5
14MP1/2.3"2013
Pentax-Optio-WG-2 front thumbnailPentax WG-2
WG-3 vs WG-2
28-140mm
F3.5-5.5
16MP1/2.3"2012
Pentax-Optio-WG-2-GPS front thumbnailPentax WG-2 GPS
WG-3 vs WG-2 GPS
28-140mm
F3.5-5.5
16MP1/2.3"2012
Pentax-Optio-WG-1-GPS front thumbnailPentax WG-1 GPS
WG-3 vs WG-1 GPS
28-140mm
F3.5-5.5
14MP1/2.3"2011
Coronavirus is affecting the sensor business
Pentax-Optio-WG-1 front thumbnailPentax WG-1
WG-3 vs WG-1
28-140mm
F3.5-5.5
14MP1/2.3"2011
Pentax-Optio-W90 front thumbnailPentax W90
WG-3 vs W90
28-140mm
F3.5-5.5
12MP1/2.3"2010
Pentax-Optio-WS80 front thumbnailPentax WS80
WG-3 vs WS80
35-175mm
F3.8-4.7
10MP1/2.3"2009
Pentax-Optio-W60 front thumbnailPentax W60
WG-3 vs W60
28-140mm
F3.5-5.5
10MP1/2.3"2009
Pentax-Optio-W80 front thumbnailPentax W80
WG-3 vs W80
28-140mm
F3.5-5.5
12MP1/2.3"2009
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Pentax WG-3 Pros and Cons

Here is a checklist of positives and negatives of the Pentax WG-3 based on aspects that are often viewed as essential in a digital camera.

comes with face detection focusing
comes with tracking autofocus
environment proofing
good max aperture (f2.0)
has built in flash
has image stabilization (Sensor-shift)
high res video (1920 x 1080 pxls)
in built zoom lens (25-100mm 4.0 x zoom)
includes HDMI support
pretty good screen size (3 inches)
rather wide (25mm)
sensor resolution is decent (16MP)
you can focus manually
can't change lenses (fixed lens mount)
doesn't have phase detect AF
doesn't have RAW files
does not have external microphone jack
does not have headphone jack
external flash not possible
manual mode not possible
no aperture priority mode
no shutter priority mode
pixelated screen (460 k dot)
screen does not articulate
screen is not selfie friendly
sluggish at full zoom (f4.9)
terrible battery (240 per charge)
tiny sensor size (1/2.3")
Google will print your 'Best' photos for $8 a month

Pentax WG-3 Sensor information

The measurement of the sensor on the Pentax WG-3 is 6.17mm x 4.55mm (1/2.3"). The 28 mm² sensor has the ability to resolve 4608 x 3456 pixels with aspect ratios of 1:1, 4:3 and 16:9. The camera has got Image Stabilization (Sensor-shift). Optical stabilization is more desirable than digital stabilization since the latter may lead to cropping.

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The BSI-CMOS sensor boasts 16MP and includes a standard ISO range of 125 to 6400. Sadly, RAW files are not supported which means that you have less room to maneuver in post.

The graphic below displays the WG-3's sensor size in comparison to other popular sizes. The WG-3 sensor comes with a crop factor of 5.8 and is presented in green.

Pentax WG-3 sensor size Unsplash partners with Institutions to bring historical archive photos

To get an idea of different aspect ratios, you should refer to the graphic below.

Camera sensor aspect ratios

Pentax WG-3 dimensions

Pentax WG-3 weighs 0.51 pounds (230 grams or 8.11 ounces) and the overall size of the camera is 124mm x 64mm x 33mm (4.9" x 2.5" x 1.3"). The weight of normal Waterproof camera is 196 grams and the Pentax WG-3 is weightier than various competitors.

Last day to get your files as Canon Irisa shuts down

Listed below is a pic of the Pentax WG-3 next to a soft drink to help you have a feel for its size.

Pentax WG-3 dimensions scale

The top view here will provide the button layout on the WG-3.

Pentax WG-3 topview buttons dials

Pentax WG-3 Lens information

The WG-3 is equipped with a fixed lens with a focal range of 25-100mm giving it a 4.0 x zoom which is definitely not very good but it can be valuable in some circumstances.

At it's widest 25mm, it provides an aperture of f2.0 and that is beneficial in low light events and capturing good bokeh. It is going to also make it easier to go with a much lower ISO to capture cleaner shots. For the long end, 100mm comes with f4.9 making it very sluggish and you will have to go with slower shutter speeds.

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Pentax WG-3 Connectivity

The WG-3 has the following connectivity:

  • USB Yes
  • Wireless Yes
  • HDMI Yes

Cameras that include NFC or Bluetooth support can easily be used wirelessly through smartphones. You are able to copy images and sometimes change camera settings without connecting straight with the camera.

Some apps also enable a Liveview and click the shutter when you aren't close to the camera. If the camera includes a HDMI out, it could be attached to an external screen. A good number of cameras will allow you to charge the battery with the USB port.

400 Megapixel mode coming to Fujifilm GFX 100

Pentax WG-3 Video information

The maximum video resolution on the Pentax WG-3 is 1920 x 1080 and it can save in MPEG-4 and H.264 file format. 1080p resolution can provide a good balance for video quality versus file size but FULL HD will not give you much room to downsample. The body doesn't feature a mic or headphone socket which means you have zero control over your sound. It is probably a better idea to look into a different camera in case you require better sound in your videos.

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Pentax WG-3 Weather Sealing

Pentax WG-3 has environment sealing which makes it a fantastic candidate to use for tough conditions. This can be particularly helpful if you are uncertain about the elements you may encounter for outdoor photography.

Pentax WG-3 Screen and Viewfinder

The Pentax WG-3 features a 3" fixed screen with a resolution of 460k dots.

Please be aware that the screen offers no touch support.

Pentax WG-3 screen and viewfinder World's smallest camera makes it into Guinness Book of Records

The View Finder details regarding Pentax WG-3 are the following:

  • ViewFinder None

In those bright outdoor situations that make the camera screens washed out and tough to view, viewfinders will be very helpful.

Pentax WG-3 Shutter information

Pentax WG-3 continuous shooting speed is 10.0 fps. The maximum shutter speed is 1/4000s.

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Pentax WG-3 Flash and Hot shoe information

Pentax WG-3 has got just built in flash lacking external flash ability.

Pentax WG-3 Autofocusing information

Pentax WG-3 has got only Contrast Based Auto Focus and doesn't have Phase Detect Auto Focus. Phase Detection autofocusing is a lot quicker and exact than Contrast Based autofocusing. The camera features Face detection which makes it handy for taking portraits of people.

The AF system features 9 focus points to pick from. It also has Tracking Auto Focus for moving objects. Pentax WG-3 comes with manual focusing when needed for low light conditions or you want to have more accurate focusing control.

Coronavirus is affecting the sensor business

Pentax WG-3 Battery life

The battery (D-LI92) for the Pentax WG-3 is designed to last for 240 clicks according to the CIPA benchmarks making it less than its competition. The general Waterproof camera battery life is 274. Olympus TG-4 has the highest possible (380) battery life for this kind of cameras.

Underneath is a collection of Waterproof cameras which have the strongest battery life:

Pentax WG-3 for varying types of photography

The following illustration provides a overview of the Pentax WG-3 for varying types of photography. To see more, scroll to the specific paragraph below.

Pentax WG-3 Portrait photography advice

The Pentax WG-3 gets a points tally of 41 which is horrible, meaning that it is not suitable to use for portraits. Photographing portrait photos leans heavily to sensor resolution, RAW support in addition to the potential to work with external flash.

Google will print your 'Best' photos for $8 a month
has manual focus
resolution is good (16 megapixels)
supports face detection focus
no manual mode
external flash not possible
very small sensor (1/2.3")
lack of RAW format

Pentax WG-3 Street photography features

Coming in at a nice rating of 61, the Pentax WG-3 is a respectable pick to use in street photography. A very good street photography camera provides a fine balance of picture quality and portability.

Unsplash partners with Institutions to bring historical archive photos
has image stabilization (Sensor-shift)
environment proofing
fixed screen
tiny sensor size (1/2.3")
has no RAW support

Pentax WG-3 Sports photography highlights

A horrible sports photography score of 45 indicates the Pentax WG-3 is not suitable for taking pictures of sports. A camera really should have excellent focusing plus fast continuous shooting for sports photography.

Last day to get your files as Canon Irisa shuts down
built in image stabilization (Sensor-shift)
megapixel count good (16MP)
provides tracking autofocus
environment proof
lack of shutter priority mode
sensor is small (1/2.3")
not so great battery life (240 CIPA)
no phase detect AF

Pentax WG-3 Travel photography factors

Weight is pretty crucial in buying a camera for travel. All round, the Pentax WG-3 gets a nice 72 for a travel camera which makes it a fine choice to take with you on your holidays.

Photographer fined '$200,000' for failing to deliver photos
environment proofing
megapixel count decent (16MP)
built-in flash
reasonably wide (25mm)
fast max aperture (f2.0)
terrible battery life (240 CIPA)
screen is not selfie friendly

Pentax WG-3 Landscape photography factors

For anybody planning to purchase a camera for landscape photography, the most vital aspect will be image quality. The Pentax WG-3 with it's reasonable grade of 54 as a landscape camera is fairly appropriate within the current market.

400 Megapixel mode coming to Fujifilm GFX 100
manual focus
quite wide (25mm)
great maximum aperture (f2.0)
good sized screen (3 inches)
built in image stabilization (Sensor-shift)
resolution is good (16MP)
environment sealing
lens is fixed (fixed lens mount)
manual mode not possible
sensor is very small (1/2.3")
lacks RAW format
low battery (240 per charge)

Pentax WG-3 as a Vlogging camera

A camera for vlogging really should offer a moving screen, microphone input and preferably IBIS. Considering all things, the Pentax WG-3 is not suitable for vlogging as it gets a horrible rating of 36.

Instagram's $20 billion Ad success
really wide (25mm)
fast maximum aperture (f2.0)
has image stabilization (Sensor-shift)
features face detect focus
video resolution high (1920 x 1080 resolution)
screen isn't selfie friendly
does not have mic socket

Pentax WG-3 Alternatives

If you are interested in alternatives to the WG-3, below is a list of the highest rated cameras which fall in to the class of Waterproof.

The graph below will give you a summary of the WG-3 compared to it's top rated rivals listed earlier.

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

World's smallest camera makes it into Guinness Book of Records

Specifications

General Information
Brand
Pentax
Model type
Pentax WG-3
Type
Waterproof
Introduced
2013-07-19
Body design
Compact
Sensor Information
Sensor type
BSI-CMOS
Sensor size
1/2.3"
Sensor measurements
6.17 x 4.55mm
Sensor surface area
28.1mm²
Sensor resolution
16 megapixel
Anti alias filter
Aspect ratio
1:1, 4:3 and 16:9
Highest resolution
4608 x 3456
RAW data
Highest native ISO
6400
Minimum native ISO
125
Autofocusing
Focus manually
Touch to focus
AF continuous
AF single
AF tracking
AF selectice
Center weighted AF
Multi area AF
Live view AF
Face detection AF
Contract detection AF
Phase detection AF
Total focus points
9
Lens
Lens mount type
fixed lens
Lens zoom range
25-100mm (4.0x)
Highest aperture
f/2.0-4.9
Macro focusing range
1cm
Focal length multiplier
5.8
Screen
Screen type
Fixed Type
Screen diagonal
3 inches
Screen resolution
460k dot
Selfie friendly
Liveview
Touch functionality
Screen tech
Widescreen TFT color LCD with anti-reflective coating
Viewfinder Information
Viewfinder type
None
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
Features
Slowest shutter speed
4s
Maximum shutter speed
1/4000s
Continuous shooting speed
10.0fps
Shutter priority
Aperture priority
Expose Manually
Change WB
Image stabilization
Inbuilt flash
Flash distance
3.40 m
Flash modes
Auto, On, Off, Red-eye, Soft
External flash
AE bracketing
WB bracketing
Exposure
Multisegment metering
Average metering
Spot metering
Partial metering
AF area metering
Center weighted metering
Video features
Video resolutions
1920 x 1080 (30 fps), 1280 x 720 (60, 30 fps)
Highest video resolution
1920x1080
Video format
MPEG-4, H.264
Microphone input
Headphone input
Connectivity
Wireless
Eye-Fi Connected
Bluetooth
NFC
HDMI
USB
USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
GPS
None
Physical
Environmental seal
Water proofing
Dust proofing
Shock proofing
Crush proofing
Freeze proofing
Weight
230 gr (0.51 lb)
Physical dimensions
124 x 64 x 33mm (4.9" x 2.5" x 1.3")
Other
Battery life
240 shots
Battery format
Battery Pack
Battery ID
D-LI92
Self timer
Yes (2 or 10 sec)
Time lapse feature
Type of storage
SD/SDHC/SDXC card, Internal
Storage slots
1
Cost at launch
$300