Summary: I always wanted a camera that I could literally take and use anywhere. The Pentax W90 fits the bill very nicely. And indeed it does go everywhere with me. I reviewed it for ePHOTOzine and liked it so much that I bought one. If you want a tough camewra that you won't worry about to carry in your jacket pocket, one that will withstand the kids jumping on it, one that you can use in rain, sleet, snow, ice and even underwater, this is it.
Pros: Waterproof, crushproof, cold resistant and very compact. Buy the pentax Neoprene case to go with it - it hardly adds any bulk and gives good protection and fast access. It's a very liberating experience to have a carry-anywhere camera that can be used in all conditions. My picture of the inside of a working dishwasher has caused some interest, but eqyually well I've shot images from the street floor covered in water, driving rain, and when doing camera club talks pop ...
Cons: Infinity is not the best area of performance for the lens. It's much better at morer modest distances, but given its take-anywhere uses, this is probably not an unreasonable compromise. The flat glass cover for the lens also needs to be kept scrupulously clean, so in the very long term it gets more cleaning than camera lenses normally would. No scratches after 18 months or so, but eventually it may take its toll. This would be equally true of any waterproof camera.
Summary: Bought a new oldstock model to bring to our honeymoon in Thailand. I own a Canon Powershot S95 but was looking for something that could take a fall into a river. The Pentax looked like it had a nice feature set for the price, and I've had fun with the Optio line in the past. We brought it along the night of our wedding. The camera is lightweight and intuitive. Pictures were average in full-light situations and poor in low-light. Images showed a good amount of noise.
Summary: I purchased the Pentax W90 mainly for it's Macro picture taking abilities. I love taking macro pictures! With the Microscope mode I am able to get within 1 inch of a subject and take an incredible picture. I also love taking pictures underwater in the ocean. This is where I ran in to problems with the Pentax W90.
Excerpt: Overall I really enjoy this camera. I love the timelapse, the incamera panorama. P mode is great for taking quick shots- except under incandesant light and the very similar floresants- where no white balance preset is right and there's no way to adjust it. I like the customizableness that allows me to change vital parameters easily (with one hand as I ride down the road on my bicycle).
Summary: The macro setting is AWESOME. I have tried with other cameras to get close up shots that would never focus as well. The on camera editing is a pretty neat feature. Images are crisp and clean. I would DEFINITELY recommend this camera to anyone who is interested in an all weather camera.
Summary: I had this camera for about 2 years for using on my kayak. The picture quality is not as good as non-waterproof cameras, but if you take your time you can get some high quality shots. The macro mode produced some of the best results. I had used it several times in depths down to about 3 feet without a problem, but when I took it down to about 8 feet the seal succumbed, water leaked in, and that was it for the camera.
Pros: Lightweight, convenient for pictures while kayaking, canoeing or just hiking in the rain.The zoom works well and the macro mode works very well.
Cons: Difficulty controlling the focus spot, flash is useless on the water. Should only be used down to 2-3 feet and not for long periods of time.