Pentax Option WG-1 Fishing Camera.
When the first of the waterproof Pentax camera came out a few years ago I was instantly a big fan. They were easy to use and for back in the day took decent photos. I actually bought them for almost 4 generations of upgrade. From the Optio WP all the way to WP40.
Following the success of the Pentax optio, the Kodak Playsport, and the Olympus series, there has been many waterproof cameras on the market the last couple years. I tried a couple of the Olympus but was never really impressed with their ergonomics. I love the Kodak Playsport as it was easy to use and relatively inexpensive.
For the 2011 Pentax just came out with the Optio WG-1 their next generation of waterproof outdoor point and shoot camera. When I saw it at the store I was thinking so what. Besides the fancy “rugged” looking case and more megapixel, what else is new?
When I got home I did more research and found out it was actually had some interesting upgrade from the last generation of Optio.
- Rugged 12th-generation waterproof digital camera is adventure proof, and suitable for almost any environment
- Waterproof to 33 feet; shockproof design protects from drops up to 5 feet; also crushproof, coldproof and dustproof * perfect specs for a fishing camera. *
- 14-megapixel resolution; wide-angle 5x internal optical zoom lens (28-140mm equivalent)
- Capture video in widescreen 720p HD at 30 frames per second
- Compatible with SD, SDHC, SDXC memory cards (not included)
- Optional GPS function
Above is the cut and paste quick specs. I will go over some of the more interesting features that peaked my interest.
5x optical zoom, for a point and shoot waterproof, this is pretty good. Digital zoom is useless to me.
Able to use 46mm filters. This awesome for a point a shoot camera. For a fishing camera you want the ability to use a polarize filter. Polarization gets rid of the glare make things outside look better overall. It is the equivalent of putting sunglasses on your camera.
Last but not least, it has a built in Macro LED lights to do some awesome close ups. The camera can focus less than an inch away from the subject. Getting cool shots of fish scales, insects, water droplets, flies, lures, leaves, eyeballs has never been easier. Lots of cool concepts come to mind that I could never do before. Underwater video macro shots, rain macro video and stills.
The macro with a built in ring light is just a really cool feature I have never seen in a waterproof/rugged camera. Buying a macro lens for your DSLR runs $500 to $1000, this alone is worth the upgrade.
The camera list for $349.00 but I found it on Amazon for $285.00.
Bellow is a video preview I found and it shows how close you can actually get with the camera in macro mode. You can see the folds and creases in the skin, very cool.
For myself, as opposed to previous years, it has been a rather lengthy transition from the fading winter winds to the commonly temperate south florida spring. By all accounts it has been a mild spring weather pattern and the fish have shown their appreciation by flooding the flats. Thoughts of sailfish have since long been replaced with oversized tarpon and the migratory waterfowl have been swapped with the hopes of spotting a few thunder chickens in the bush.
Typically springtime presents some amazing fish opportunities before the bull rush of the clinically insane tarpon fanatics plague the shallows and screw up fishing altogether, including myself.
A few nice days in the slash pine forests yield many gobblers found …………………….zero in range for a reasonable shot. I swear god created these creatures to inflict mental anguish on poor mindless rednecks, including myself.
Generally the quest for oversized sardines has been persistent since January, some days better than others, but the fish showed up early and have been giving most of South Florida heartburn since late winter. Most of the early season fishery is completely hit or miss but its certainly worth putting your chips in the game.
Sometimes secluded lagoons require early morning runs………..
But the rewards of being by your lonesome can be worth the effort…………………
On one occasion a fellow came tight on what presumably would have been the largest tarpon ever caught on my skiff. It was one of those bites that provide a nice tug then nothing, no jump, no drag screaming, nothing. The thoughts of catfish, snagged on the bottom or possibly a tarpon float in the back of your mind. Then like piano dropped from a 747, this fish (aptly now named Shamu) exploded off the bow. It was enormous and as I threw my sandwich to the ground to grab the camera. I calmly told my buddy to relax …..go easy on this fish. This conversation quickly accelerated to “holy shits” don’t screw this up. Pretty much the natural progression of any good monster fish on the line. Before the reality of what we really had on the line set in the fish aired out 50 feet from the skiff and my buddy cupped the spool and then the echoed sound similar to Indiana Jones bull whip was heard long and far. This is a direct result of what I like to call “buck fever”. Literally not a word was spoken for 15 minutes………………….I later learned that Capt. Andy Thompson had girthed two fish near the 185lb mark two days earlier in the same area.
Shamu as she left giving us the middle finger………………
On many instances we fell back on the old faithfuls that are willfully here year round for our enjoyment……………………….some of the fish were belly crawling ridiculously shallow.
That afternoon I was able to connect with an old friend from the Miami Beach Rod & Reel club days. At its heyday that club had the best group of anglers in the country every Wednesday night for dinner. It was a breeding ground of good fisherman and even larger fabricated fishing stories.
But nearly on all occasions when the weather is fair you are inevitably drawn to the tarpon fishing. And why the hell not…………..
filling the box is half the fun, right? (fly was compliments of Hon’s brainwork)
we got ‘em laid up………..
we got ‘em swimming in the skinny…….
we got ‘em hauling ass…………..
we got ‘em shaking their heads…………
we got ‘em doing some head stands………
and on some occasions we got ‘em shaking our hands…………
(buddy who lost Shamu had some redemption)
Something special about coming tight on a completely motionless, suspended 100lb fish………….the first glimpse
Even made it down south with the family for the Easter Holiday as we do every year…….windy as hell which didn’t bode well for tarpon fishing but the permit gave my old man some love. As if F18’s buzzing us all day wasn’t enough for an old fighter pilot to have a good enough time……………..
even got a chance to say hello to a few old friends…………………
Those humid hot sunrises are soon to be the norm………………………my favorite time of year