Product Reviews (13)
OK for now, but somebody could do better.
Strengths: Water resistant construction. Numerous features not found on other similar cameras. Optical zoom. Compact size. Lens mechanism totally enclosed within the camera body. Easy downloading of photos.
Weakness: Skimpy megapixel size. Decent but not stellar picture quality. Camera discontinued by Pentax, so obsolescence factor has already kicked in. Lack of available accessories. Less robust than desired.
Water resistant digital cameras are still surprisingly rare, and this Pentax appeared the one out there that best met my needs (except for the higher resolution Pentax 43WR and the WRi) despite some other manufacturers having entered the market recently.
I started my search looking for a camera similar to my old Nikon ActionTouch and Minolta Weathermatic, 35mm true waterproof cameras of robust construction that could stand a licking and take pictures under shallow water or at least withstand a vigorous washing off under a hose or spigot. I do not dive but use my cameras at work in dirty environments.
This camera does not purport to take underwater pictures as did the Nikon or Minolta, and it certainly is not nearly as robust as either. I absolutely did not want a camera that required a separate external housing. Also, a real optical zoom was essential. The 33WR was merely the next best thing I could find.
The Sony DSC-U60 was quirky enough to appeal to me, but with only 2MP and no optical zoom, I looked elsewhere. There is now a rudimentary Bushnell fixed focus camera available, but it seems more like a toy. The Olympus Stylus 600, while touted as water resistant, with its large exposed LCD screen and numerous telescoping joints seemed too fragile for me to be comfortable using it in the environment where I would use it.
A rant: Why products sold in the US cannot be sold with actual words labeling their functions instead of "icons" escapes me. This camera has numerous Capture Modes, a plus, except that I do not intend to memorize what each of the 12 icons means. Therefore, I need to carry with me the instruction manual for reference. This leads to the next complain - the instruction manual, which is actually larger than the camera. I had to buy a new camera bag, much larger than the camera itself, just to hold the d*mn manual. Had Pentax printed a manual of the same small square size as the camera, with separate manuals for the German, French, and Spanish that I could toss out since I do not intend to read those either, I could have gotten all in a small, compact bag.
By mekerr - Apr 21, 2006
33 Wr's Outdoor Uses
Strengths: Runs on AA's, Light-wieght, durable, small, and water resistant
Weakness: None that I have noticed
I bought this camera about 3 months ago after lossing a 2.0 mega-pixle Kodak on the side of Mt. Adams. I am just about always going on a long back packing trip, climbing, hunting, or fishing, so this camera origionally apealled to me because it ran on AA's. This is a huge help especially when your in the middle of no where in Central Oregon going over a lava flow and not a wall outlet to charge a camera with for miles. The durability factor also played a role as I also love to climb and hike a cross pretty tretrous terian and this design alows me to drop it with out worying about it breaking into pieces. Last the water resistant feature, perfect for glissading and having your camera on your pack belt without worrying about frying it, but still being able to easilly use it. Thumbs up here.
By trapper90 - Nov 25, 2005
this camera is great for it's...
Strengths: very compact, easy screen, very user-friendly. operates very quickly. the water resistant feature is another reason i chose this product over others. it has nice rubber grips on each corner.
Weakness: it eats batteries (regular alkaline) like crazy. you definitely need ni-mh or the crv3 rechargables! that's the only thing i've found so far.
this camera is great for it's quality and value. i can use it in my kayak without worrying about splashes. i also play in a band, and it fits in my pocket so i can get great candid shots of members without them knowing it! great item!! great price!!
By unbridledv - May 4, 2005
So far this seems to be a great...
Strengths: Durability, Small Size, Good Ergonomics, 1-second start-up time, Water Resistant
Weakness: Devours batteries very quickly when (esp. when using flash), 2.8X optical zoom, no AC Adapter included (hard to find)
So far this seems to be a great camera. The style is great. At first I was concerned on how a square-shaped camera would feel while holding it, but truthfully, I find it a better fit then regularlly shaped cameras. Because of the shape, you can set the camera on a table and use the self timer function to take a self-portrait. The camera comes with many different shooting modes including self-portrait, snow & surf, and even fireworks! This camera is also water resistant with a class 7 rating, and has been rated to be very durable.
By Tremortime - Jan 31, 2004
I was really excited to get this...
Strengths: small, appears to be very durable, very quick start-up time, nice array of features
Weakness: no lens cover, resulting in smudges on lens. I dislike the awkward quick-time movie program used to play the movies.
I was really excited to get this camera, as it appears to have everything I was looking for. Durability, water-proof, (and kid-proof)and a convenient size. I am very satisfied, but as an owner of many higher-end cameras, I realize the limitations of this type of camera. It only uses two AA batteries, which means they will run down fairly quickly, especially when using the flash. The fact that it has no lens cover means that the lens will frequently be dirty and may eventually get scratched. Overall, I'm happy with the camera, though. The buttons are conviently located with the most frequently used being very easy to access. I give it a thumbs up.
By ja8868_1094260809 - Sep 18, 2004
My husband and I are professional...
Strengths: Pentax quality and image sharpness
Weakness: None thus far
My husband and I are professional digital camera lecturers. Our next contract will be doing workshops on a cruise ship for the Alaskan season. Therefore we felt it was appropiate to show a water resistant digital camera and there was a $50 rebate being offered on the Pentax 33WR, so we ordered it.
Frankly, I was amazed by the digital camera. I had read the reviews on the professional web sites, but until I had used the Pentax 33WR, myself, I was a bit skeptical. The images produced by this digital camera are excellent in every way.
The digital images are very sharp and extremely well detailed even though the digital camera is only 3.2mp digital camera. To my surprise the Pentax 33WR also excels at macro or close-up digital photos.
All in all the Pentax 33WR is a very high quality and extremely capable digital camera. I would recommend it to novice or beginning digital camera users without hesitation.
By softlyspoken - Apr 1, 2004
I have never been so pleased with...
Strengths: This is the smallest digital with the most features for the price I have encountered. Easy to carry.
Weakness: Memory cards are very small and easy to lose.
I have never been so pleased with the size of a camera.
Its easy to take everywhere and the water resistance feature makes it great in rainy or inclement weather.
I have not tried dropping in an aquarium as the testers did for their advertisement but I plan to use it in weather and in watery environments. The Kansas City Star also gave this camera a high recommendation in their Business Review section.
By tgarrikc - Dec 26, 2003
Pentax Optio 33WR Digital Camera
Strengths: Very good to take photos out door, easy to carry
Weakness: Indoor photos come out very dark (even though the inbuilt flash is on)
Anybody has any suggestions on how to improve the clarity / brightness of the photos taken indoors ?
I have noticed good quality pictures coming out when taking pictures outdoors , but not indoors.
By rekmen - Jan 17, 2006
Takes a licking and keep on clicking.
Strengths: volcano, jungle, snow, river, mountainbike, horse, elephant, motorcycle, alcohol, and idiot proof.
Weakness: somewhat bulky if you want a small camera
I do a lot of extreme traveling and this camera has seen the worst of it. I also carry two film SLRs and they usually have to stay in my backpack because of the extreme conditions. What is really nice is how easy it to shoot from the hip and not have to put it up to your face to get a good shot. Can't tell you the numerous times I have abused this camera and it just keeps going. If you travel alot you will appreciate the cameras ability to use regular AA batteries. Trying to find a power plug to charge your camera is near impossible at the top of an icy glacier or in a steamy jungle. BTW, this camera kept going on a white water tour where everybody elses cameras went haywire (including my own SLRs which gave out from the humidity of the jungle). Needless to say, I was the only one with any pictures the whole trip.
By spotty41 - Oct 19, 2007
Great camera has lasted years.
Strengths: Water proof, uses AA batteries, all moving parts are internal.
Weakness: Clean lens too often, odd shape for most camera bags, not a sexy form factor.
This camera has been great. I keep it in my car year round , summer heat or winter freeze it always works. It's been in fresh and salt water. Its easy to clean, even after being in my fish slimy or muddy hands. Its images are very good, not the best, but darn good at the ISO 50 setting. The macro feature has worked wonderfully. The live histogram makes it easy to get the exposure right without bracketing.
However, the camera is an odd size and shape. Its easy to put your finger on the lens when removing it from a camera bag. You have to keep a lens cloth in the bag too. The jpg format has a little more noise in the image than I would like. The Auto White Balance settings don't match the representative pictures. The picture that indicates 'outdoor in shadows' is the best for almost all outdoor photos, regardless of clouds or shadows. And the inside incandescent is just not quite right. I usually have to post work the white balance.
By lcady - May 5, 2007
pentax optio 33 wr
Strengths: small and handy, good photo quality on beach and in snow(probably because of special mode)
Weakness: poor visibility of screen in bright sun
This is my first digital camera and it fits me just fine.
I use it for making photo's outdoors and it is very easy to use thanks to all the special mode's.
The battery life is o.k. as long as you stick to nimh batteries.
I have the camera for about a year now and use it mainly for making photo's of surfing and snowboarding. For me it still performs better then a lot of newer/more expensive camera's i have seen.
By anonymous; - Feb 13, 2006
Pentax Optio 33WR
Pentax Optio 33WR receives an overall TopTenREVIEWS score of 2.32 out of 4.00. It is ranked the #215 standard digital camera of all time. The overall rating represents an intelligent balance of features, value as a function of price to features, and a summary of reviews from a variety of sources. The TopTen REVIEWS' formula gives a picture of important consumer features, market value, and a...
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By TopTenREVIEWS.com - Jul 16, 2008
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By Imaging Resource - Mar 30, 2004