Pentax Optio W90

Last Updated (26 January’11):
– Review by ITReviews

Pentax Optio W90 is a 12.1 megapixel all-weather proof compact camera features 720p high-definition video at 30 fps, ISO 80-6400, Wide-angle 5x optical zoom (28-140mm equivalent in 35mm camera), waterproof up to 20 ft, and a 2.7” widescreen TFT color LCD w anti-reflective coating LCD. The camera measures (W x H x D): 4.2 x 2.3 x 1.0” and weighs 5.7 oz.

Pentax Optio W90
Overall Rating: ★★★★☆ | Latest Price Info

Expert Reviews

Pentax Optio W90 Reviews

ITReviews reviews the Pentax Optio W90 and writes;
“If you’re willing to pay that bit extra (although we’ve seen online prices as low as £194) for waterproofing and shockproofing as well as improved macro and face recognition technology, then the Optio W90 is an ideal outdoor activity camera.”
Rating: ★★★★☆

ePhotozine reviews the Pentax Optio W90 and writes;
“The Optio W90 is an impressive and competent performer that excels in close up and medium distance shooting. Adding the waterproof, dustproof and shockproof features makes it ideal for snorkelling, beach, holidays, parties and all the general photography that people enjoy. It is capable of tackling a huge range of subjects.”
Rating: ★★★★☆

CNET reviews the Pentax Optio W90 and writes;
“The good: Outstanding design; excellent feature set, shooting options for its class. The bad: Short battery life; no optical or mechanical image stabilization. The bottom line: The well-designed Pentax Optio W90 offers up very good photos and performance at a reasonable price for a rugged pocket camera.”
Rating: ★★★★☆

About reviews the Pentax Optio W90 and writes;
“Colors are realistic, and the camera includes a “bright” setting that really works well in creating even more vivid colors, especially for nature photos. “
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ImagingResource reviews the Pentax Optio W90 and writes;
“The camera is missing some pieces, such as optical image stabilization, and it’s HD video recording leaves a lot to be desired. Still, the camera does not want for features, leaving you plenty to play with when you’re done subjecting it to nature’s wrath. Better yet, the image quality’s pretty good for a rugged camera, earning it a Dave’s Pick in the Underwater/Tough, Macro and Travel categories.”
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Steve’sDigicams reviews the Pentax Optio W90 and writes;
“Overall, the camera produces nice 12-megapixel photos for a camera in this price range. Outdoors the camera captured good exposures with accurate color reproduction. Images are also nice and sharp, with only slight edge softness along the right hand side of the frame.”
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PhotographyBlog reviews the Pentax Optio W90 and writes;
“Overall though, the W90 acquits itself better than expected. And whilst it’s not the sharpest compact we’ve ever seen, it nevertheless delivers a consistent and so reliable performance in terms of image quality that puts it up there with Panasonic’s rugged offerings and slightly betters that of recent Mju Toughs..”
Rating: ★★★★☆

DigitalVersus reviews the Pentax Optio W90 and writes;
“The W90 is pleasant to use and has a nice design. Unfortunately the technology isn’t really up to scratch, as there’s no real stabilisation system and picture quality is nothing more than average..”
Rating: ★★★☆☆

Infosyncworld reviews the Pentax Optio W90 and writes;
“the underwater video mode was beautiful. One of our samples begins underwater and ends out of the water. The quality shift is uncanny when we look at underwater compared to the outdoors. If anything, the Pentax Optio W90 would serve as an excellent scuba cam. “

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Pocket-lint reviews the Pentax Optio W90 and writes;
“One of the more successful attempts at a toughened digicam; though it’s pricier than the average point and shoot this looks the part and takes decent images too”
Rating: ★★★★☆

User Opinions

Pentax Optio W90 User Reviews

Camera exceeds expectations | Rating: ★★★★★
“I have not yet used it outdoors, but I am looking forward to taking it with me on numerous camping trips, bike rides, ski trips, mountain climbs, and other outdoor adventures, as I have done with my previous Optio WP cameras. This camera is perfect for those kinds of uses.” – By Agent 003

Initial Impressions: Excellent design; yet suffers from lack of shutter-priority and above-average image noise | Rating: ★★★★☆
“It appears this camera is better thought out than any other model I’m aware of for taking pictures anywhere of anything and getting the shot you want — with you in it. If picture quality is anywhere near design quality for this camera, I am going to be very, very pleased. ” – By T. Haynes

Great Waterproof Point and Shoot! | Rating: ★★★★★
“This is a great camera to take photos in all conditions and does it very well. There is noise at higher ISOs, but that is to be expected with just about any camera. Cool design that is fun to use!!! I love the fast start up and plenty of shooting options. The microscope option really works, you can get to 1cm away and has clear focus.” – By E. Brown

Great all around Camera | Rating: ★★★★☆
“I take this camera hiking. It does incredibule micro shots. Very compact, fits in a pocket. Wish it had a view finder because it is sometimes hard to see in the LCD viewer when you are in certain lighting. It is no replacement for an SLR Camera but works well for nature shots.” – By Hiking fool

Nice (almost) indestructable | Rating: ★★★★☆
“Great little point and shoot, the panorama and wide modes are a lot of fun to play with. The pet detection works, although it’s hard to predict when it will take the piture. For a point and shoot it works marvelously and I’ve had it under water, frozen, and dropped it in the month I’ve owned it and it still performs flawlessly.” – By S. Crass

Hiking outdoors. | Rating: ★★★★☆
“Just what I wanted for the wet outdoor hiking I do! Having a robust camera is a must in rough terrain with rock scrambling, river crossing and in-climate weather, just part of a day in the outdoors. ” – By Allan Porter

More User Opinions | Write your opinion


Pentax Optio W90 Sample Photos

Casio Exilim EX-H15 Sample Photos @ ImagingResource
Casio Exilim EX-H15 Sample Photos @ Steve’sDigicams
Casio Exilim EX-H15 Sample Photos @
Casio Exilim EX-H15 Sample Photos @ Photographyblog
Casio Exilim EX-H15 Sample Photos @
Casio Exilim EX-H15 Sample Photos @


Pentax Optio W90 User Manual (PDF)

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Pentax Optio W90 Features

Waterproof, Shockproof, Dustproof, Freezeproof
Rated JIS Class 8 waterproof, the Pentax Optio W90 captures images up to 20 feet underwater (four feet deeper than the previous Pentax W series model) for up to two hours. The shockproof* Optio W90 is designed to withstand falls from a height of four feet without damage to the body. Rated JIS Class 6 dustproof, the Optio W90 also offers exceptional coldproof performance for reliable operation at temperatures as low as -10 degrees C, making it a perfect choice for active photographers who venture to shoot pictures in demanding outdoor conditions. The camera also comes equipped with carabiner strap to attach the camera to a backpack or other outdoor gear.
* Measured under Pentax-original testing standards (from a height of 1.2 meters, onto a surface of 5cm-thick plywood), conforming to the Method 516.5-Shock of the MIL-Standard 810F.

Digital Microscope mode for nature observation from 1cm away
Combining a macro shooting capability from less than one inch away with the Digital Zoom function, the Optio W90’s new Digital Microscope mode magnifies the view and captures miniscule subjects that are difficult to observe closely with the naked eye.
* Three LED Macro Lights installed on the face of the lens barrel camera captures subjects such as plants and insects clearly and brightly on the LCD monitor for extreme macro photography.
** When using the Digital Microscope mode, the image size is fixed at 2.1 megapixels (at 16:9 proportions).

Eye-Fi wireless SD memory card connectivity
Eye-Fi SD memory cards store media and offer built-in Wi-Fi capability that accesses an assigned wireless network to effortlessly transfer photos and videos from the camera to a computer and online sharing site such as Picasaweb, Flickr, Facebook and YouTube. Equipped with an Eye-Fi Card, the Optio W90 allows users to enable/disable the Eye-Fi Card’s Wi-Fi connectivity via the camera menu and provides an on-screen card activity indicator. (Eye-fi cards sold separately.)

Upgraded face detection detects dogs and cats
The Optio W90 features a new-generation Face Detection AF & AE function, which instantly and accurately detects up to 32 faces in the image field and captures each in sharp focus and optimum exposure in just 0.03 seconds. This upgraded version is programmed to detect not only human faces, but also the faces of dogs and cats. When the user selects pre-registered dog or cat faces (up to 3 choices), the camera automatically detects them and optimizes focus and exposure. Users may program the camera to automatically release the shutter the moment the subject’s face turns straight toward the camera, which is helpful for pet photography.

High-quality, HD-proportioned movie recording
The Optio W90 captures beautiful, flawless movie clips at 16:9 high-definition TV proportions (1280 x 720 pixels) at a frame rate of 30 frames per second. This mode also offers a variety of editing functions: Still images may be extracted from movie clips; title images can be added to the beginning and/or end of a movie clip; and more. The Optio W90 also provides an HDMI micro terminal for audio/video signal output.

Extra-wide 2.7-inch LCD monitor for effortless outdoor viewing
The Optio W90 features a large 2.7 inch high-brightness color LCD monitor with approximately 230,000 dots and horizontally extended 16:9 proportions. This monitor is treated with a special AR (Anti-Reflection) coating to cut the glare of external light and minimize annoying reflections, making it easy to view recorded images and on-screen menus even in bright sunlight.

High image quality
Combining approximately 12.1 effective megapixels with the Pentax-developed imaging engine and the high-performance Pentax zoom lens, the Optio W90 delivers brilliant, high-quality images with well-defined details. Even when images are enlarged to larger sizes, users are assured of sharp, high-resolution prints with edge-to-edge sharpness.

Optical 5x zoom lens with a 28mm wide-angle coverage
Despite its compact dimensions, the Optio W90 features an optical 5x zoom lens covering focal lengths from 5mm to 25mm (equivalent in the 35mm format to approximately 28mm wide angle to 140mm telephoto). This wide zoom range may be used for a wide variety of subjects and scenes, from spectacular landscape and group shots to tightly framed snapshots taken from a distance.

Triple anti-shake protection to prevent different types of camera shake
– Pixel Track SR. When recording still images, the Optio W90’s Pixel Track SR (Shake Reduction) effectively compensates for camera shake by processing affected images.
– High-Sensitivity anti-shake mode*. When the Optio W90 detects low-lighting conditions in still-image shooting, it automatically raises its sensitivity to as high as ISO 6400, making it possible to use a higher shutter speed. This effectively minimizes the adverse effects of camera shake and subject shake under poor lighting conditions.
– Movie SR**. During movie recording, the Optio W90 prevents blurry images by effectively minimizing annoying camera shake through the use of exclusive software.
*When the High-Sensitivity anti-shake mode is selected, the recorded size is fixed to five megapixels (2592 x 1944 pixels).
**When the Movie SR is selected, the angle of view becomes narrower than normal shooting.

Subscreen Input function for constant display of a favorite image on the screen

The Optio W90 features a Subscreen Input function that allows users to display a thumbnail of a recorded images in the upper left corner of the LCD panel for a picture in picture effect that may be used as a reference. This features is helpful when the photographer wants to shoot subjects from the same angle and at the same image size every time (such as photographing prepared food in the same way to compile a recipe file) or when the user wants to constantly keep a favorite image on the screen.

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