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.
Pentax Optio W90 Key Features
- 5x Optical Zoom
- Advanced Pixel Track Shake Reduction
- 720p HD Video Capture at 30fps
- Waterproof to 20 feet
- Shockproof to 4 feet
- Coldproof to -10° C
- 2.7-inch LCD
- ISO 80-1600 (full-res)
- ISO 3200-6400 (5MP or 3.8MP)
Pentax Optio W90 Hands-On Time
The first thing that is apparent with the W90 is that it looks different from all the other rugged cameras out there. It is a very compact little camera. The W90 comes with a carabiner attachment, which makes it a great companion for the avid hiker and outdoors enthusiast.
There are a lot of rubberized components on the W90. The perimeter of the camera body is covered with a rubberized material, which helps with shock resistance and helps prevent unwanted elements from finding their way in. The W90 has the feel of a tough flashlight rather than a camera.
One of the coolest features on the W90 is the inclusion of three LED lights surrounding the lens. These LEDs serve as a light source of extremely close up macro shots. Often times when you use a point and shoot with one of these extreme close up macro modes, the camera’s own shadow blocks the light source and makes it difficult to get a decent shot. Pentax aims to remedy this problem with the W90 by providing a built-in light source for those extreme close ups.
Aside from the rugged build, LEDs and robust controls, the W90 shapes up to be a rather ordinary point and shoot camera; however, I think that is the precise goal of the camera. It’s not trying wow anyone with bells and whistles. The W90 is made for the hiker, climber, kayaker, etc. who wants a decent camera to carry along and that won’t die when things get nasty outside.
Because the W90 that I tried out was a preproduction model, Pentax wouldn’t let me bring back any image samples to share. As soon as I get a full production model on hand, I’ll be sure to pass along some image samples and provide my thoughts on the overall image quality and competence of this rugged point and shoot. If you missed the announcement and full press release you can find it here: Pentax Optio W90
The Pentax Optio W90 should be available in April 2010 for $329.95. Check availability on Amazon.com.
Finally, here’s a short clip of the W90 in hand to give you a better idea of the size and form factor.