Summary: Pentax has released 11 generations of "tough" waterproof cameras in its Optio family of cameras, with the latest being the Optio W90. My Pentax Optio W90 review shows a point and shoot camera with some very handy extra features.
Pros: Extremely sturdy, well-built camera, Image quality is pretty good overall, Several in-camera editing features are easy to use, LCD is very bright, works well in direct sunlight, Fast start-up times, fast auto-focus in good light
Cons: Some images are a little soft, but it's not noticeable unless you're making very large prints, Original MSRP is a little high, Too heavy and wide to operate one-handed, No optical image stabilization, only digital IS
For Shooters With Furrowed Brows and Grizzly Dispositions
20 April 2011
Excerpt: The march of ruggedized cameras continues with the waterproof (20 ft), shockproof (4 ft), coldproof (14°F) Pentax Optio W90 ( $330 ). Specifically designed for adventure photography, the Optio W90 is equipped with a 12.1 megapixel sensor, 5x (28-140mm) wide optical zoom lens with a unique “Digital...
Excerpt: Point-and-shoot cameras often have it tough. A night out on the town can mean anything from a tumble down a flight of concrete steps to close encounters with vomit for the average handheld digi-snapper.
Pros: Ruggedized without being ugly. Waterproof up to 18 feet and resistant to extremes in cold. 720p HD-video support, plus face detection plus Microscope mode gives you plenty of robust shooting options. Comes with a carabiner.
Cons: Noisy images and video in low-light situations. No real whiz-bang features aside from ruggedness.
Excerpt: While the Pentax Optio W90 has just been announced, I had the opportunity to get some hands-on time with a preproduction model of the new camera at CES 2010 last month. For my first impressions on the 12MP deathproof camera, keep reading.
Summary: This is a point and shoot camera of above average competence. We like the look of it, sort of cold war techno chic. We would rank this on a par with the Canon Powershot D10 and many customers will no doubt prefer the Pentax’s austere, no nonsense body form.
Pros: We gave the W90 the tourist treatment around town and were impressed with the sharpness, exposure and colour as long as we didn’t go past ISO200. There is the usual tendency to over expose under grey skies. Auto white balance is good. The 1280X720 movie mode produces surprisingly good results. Th...
Cons: The exposure compensation control is buried in the menus when it should be controlled from a camera-body dedicated button.
Conclusion: If you buy a waterproof, robust digital camera your emphasis is likely to be more on fun than looking for a picture that offers truly high end picture quality. Even so I was disappointed with the picture quality offered by the Pentax Optio W90.
Pros: General features - macro lights - remote control
Summary: Pentax's Optio W90 certainly looks the part and, as ever with devices of its indestructible ilk, it would be no surprise if image quality often comes second to beefy dimensions and additional padding.
But this is not just a camera of outer muscle; it's one with inner strengths too.
Conclusion: It's only worth paying a £100+ premium for the W90's rough and tumble resistant padding if you're the sort of person who indulges in said rough or indeed tumble. However, even for the less adventurous the W90 is one of the more coolly styled examples of the toughened digicam, and a sight more...
Pros: Robust enough to allow pictures that would prove impossible for standard cameras, more compact mobile phone-like dimensions than we're used to from a camera of this ilk, plus unique creative features and image quality that's better than expected
Cons: You'll pay extra over a non-protected digicam, and the modest battery life is its Achilles' heel