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: 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.
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.
Summary: The Pentax Optio W90 is a good camera for the outdoors - from snorkeling to body surfing the camera held up to many hard waves in the Alantic and Caribbean. Note to the design engineers (same for other similar underwater cameras) the view screen is extreemly hard to see when taking underwater images. On and under land the camera holds up great to moisture, and high humidity, a worthy investment.
Summary: I bought this camera because I wanted to upgrade from my 6 year old Sony 3.5megapixel camera before a trip to the Caribbean. I wanted something that was rugged that I wouldn't have to worry about getting wet. This camera accomplishes these criteria. Pros - Easy to use – 5X optical zoom - The camera turns on and is ready to take pictures very quickly. - It's rugged and will withstand a sizable drop. - The LCD display is bright and clear, even in bright sunshine.
Summary: We have had problems with other H2O cameras, but this one is GREAT. We purchased it to use only in water situations, but like it so much we use it for everything. The picture quality is fantastic, the camera is easy to use and so sturdy you feel like you can just take it anywhere with confidence you won't break it.