Pentax Optio WS80 Review

November 20, 2009 | Mark Goldstein |

Image Quality

All of the sample images in this Review were taken using the 10 megapixel High JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 3Mb.

The Pentax Optio WS80 produced images of average quality during the review period. The Pentax Optio WS80's main drawback in terms of image quality is noise, with the relatively slow speed of ISO 100 suffering from easily visible noise. The noise and loss of detail get progressively worse as you go from ISO 100 to 800, with the faster settings of 1600, 3200 and 6400 all proving virtually unusable.

The Pentax Optio WS80 handled chromatic aberrations well with limited purple fringing effects appearing in high contrast situations. The 10 megapixel images were just a little soft straight out of the camera at the default sharpen setting and either require some further sharpening in an application like Adobe Photoshop, or you should increase the in-camera sharpening level.

The night photograph was poor, with the maximum shutter speed of 4 seconds not capturing enough light for most situations. Macro performance is below par too, only allowing you to focus as close as 10cms away from the subject. The built-in flash worked well enough indoors, with no red-eye and adequate overall exposure. The does preserve detail in the shadow and highlight regions, albeit at the expense of some colour saturation and increased noise.


There are 8 ISO settings available on the Pentax Optio WS80. Here are some 100% crops which show the noise levels for each ISO setting.

ISO 64 (100% Crop)

ISO 100 (100% Crop)


ISO 200 (100% Crop)

ISO 400 (100% Crop)


ISO 800 (100% Crop)

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)


ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

ISO 6400 (100% Crop)

Focal Range

The Pentax Optio WS80's 5x zoom lens offers a versatile focal range, as illustrated by these examples:




Here are two 100% crops which have been Saved as Web - Quality 50 in Photoshop. The right-hand image has had some sharpening applied in Photoshop. The out-of-the camera images are a little soft at the default sharpening setting. You can change the in-camera sharpening level if you don't like the default look.

Original (100% Crop)

Sharpened (100% Crop)


File Quality

The Pentax Optio WS80 has 3 different image quality settings available, with Fine being the highest quality option. Here are some 100% crops which show the quality of the various options, with the file size shown in brackets.

10M High (3.56Mb) (100% Crop) 10M Normal (1.76Mb) (100% Crop)

Chromatic Aberrations

The Pentax Optio WS80 handled chromatic aberrations well during the review, with limited purple fringing present around the edges of objects in high-contrast situations, as shown in the example below.

Example 1 (100% Crop)


The Pentax Optio WS80 allows you to focus on a subject that is 10cms away from the camera. The first image shows how close you can get to the subject (in this case a compact flash card). The second image is a 100% crop.


100% Crop


The flash settings on the Pentax Optio WS80 are Auto, Flash On, Flash Off, Auto + Red-eye reduction, Flash On + Red-eye and Soft Flash. These shots of a white coloured wall were taken at a distance of 1.5m.

Flash Off - Wide Angle (35mm)

Flash On - Wide Angle (35mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

Flash Off - Telephoto (175mm)

Flash On - Telephoto (175mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

And here are some portrait shots. As you can see, neither the Flash On or the Red-eye-Reduction settings caused any red-eye.

Flash On

Flash On (100% Crop)

Red-eye Reduction

Red-eye Reduction (100% Crop)


The Pentax Optio WS80's maximum shutter speed is 4 seconds, which is not very good news if you're seriously interested in night photography. The shot below was taken using a shutter speed of 1.3 second at ISO 800. I've included a 100% crop of the image to show what the quality is like.


Night (100% Crop)


The Pentax Optio WS80 has a D-Range setting that helps to prevent whitewashed over- and under- exposed areas in an image. Here's an example with both settings turned on:


Highlight and Shadow Correction On