My New Toy

I photographed this monitor lizard at the Vivarium in Berkeley with my new toy. My new toy is a Pentax Optio WPi. It measures about 3½ X 1½ X 1 inches and weighes a couple of ounces. The thing is waterproof. It takes six megapixel Jpegs. The cost, with an appropriate SD memory card, is a little more than $300.00.

The waterproof feature is worth the price of admission, at least at dinner parties. (Watch me drop it in a glass of ice water, and then take pictures!) However, as you might expect, the camera is a little hard to use precisely, and it’s too bad it won’t do a RAW capture.

My thinking in buying this “toy” was born from frustration about not wanting to take my expensive equipment out in wet and dusty conditions. There’s no problem with dust or water with this “little guy”, you just wipe it off. Just slip it in a pocket, it’s a far cry from schlepping my usual thirty pounds of gear.

And it does pretty decent pictures once you figure out how to use the manual modes.

I also bear in mind something that photographer Ruth Orkin once explained: she could get in and take photos with a consumer point-and-shoot in places she never could use her professional gear. My little guy goes anywhere and does not shout “pro photographer.”

Oh yeah, he also is an alarm clock, a voice recorder, and (for your inner spy) has a document photography mode.

I’ll be posting more photos from my little guy in the fullness of time.

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