Mountaineering medics are to use Pentax cameras on the summit of Everest to document what they claim is the largest ever expedition of its kind.rnrnrnPicture credit: Caudwell Xtreme Everest rnrnrn

Mountaineering medics are to use Pentax cameras on the summit of Everest to document what they claim is the largest ever expedition of its kind.

The cameras – which include Pentax?s K100D digital SLR – are being deployed to capture ?every detail? of a medical research team?s expedition to record the ?first ever measurement of oxygen levels in human blood at this altitude?.

To begin with, hundreds of healthy volunteers will trek to Everest base camp, undergoing a series of tests on route as part of research aimed at helping care for patients who are critically ill and suffering from a shortage of oxygen in the body.

The first volunteers began arriving at Kathmandu on Sunday 1 April.

Leading the mission is a fleet of Pentax Optio W20s compacts – models which are designed to be waterproof down to 1.5m.

?These are ideal for extreme and snowy conditions encountered during the ascent to Everest base camp,? explained the project?s logistics manager Mac Mackenney.

?We also require a camera that produces quality images and can be easily carried around so as not to hinder us on our expedition.? he added. ?The Optio W20s cameras are slim and compact, so they can be simply slotted into our insulated jacket pockets and quickly taken out to capture any moments that we wish to document.?

A Pentax UK spokesperson told us: ?Pentax has provided the Caudwell Xtreme Everest team with its latest generation of waterproof compact digital ?W? series cameras and digital SLRs to store and transmit quality images with ease, no matter how difficult the environment they find themselves in.?

It is hoped that the K100D DSLRs will be used for ?more advanced photography?, both on the mountain and back at the project?s lab in London.

This is not the first time Pentax cameras have been involved in lifesaving work. Earlier this year AP reported how Pentax Optio models are helping the RNLI to record dramatic rescue operations at sea.

To see more pictures from the Everest project keep an eye out for upcoming issues of AP, in shops every Tuesday.

Picture credit: Caudwell Xtreme Everest