Pentax Optio cameras put through their paces

Last Tuesday 8 May the RNLI hosted a press day in Poole. Journalists were given the chance to test the new Pentax Optio W30 waterproof camera and to observe lifeboat crew in action. The day began at the impressively refurbished Lifeboat College with a demonstration of an inshore lifeboat capsize exercise in the vast survival tank which replicates the conditions crews face on the water.

Journalists were later given a chance to put the Pentax Optio W30 camera through its paces at speed while on a trip onboard the RNLI’s latest design, the 16m Tamar class lifeboat, which can travel at 25 knots. The design incorporates a Systems and Information Management System (SIMS) which allows the crew to control many of the on-board functions while remaining safely strapped into their seats.

The camera stood up well to the wet and windy conditions, its built-in shake reduction mode well-suited to outdoor sports. All 232 RNLI lifeboat stations have been issued with the waterproof camera in order to record rescue situations and to assist in training. The photograph on the left shows just how well the cameras respond to sticky situations, it was the winning entry for the RNLI’s inaugral ‘Photographer of the Year’ competition at this year’s London Boat Show, taken by Volunteer Portsmouth Senior Helmsman John Brook.

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