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Pentax Optio W90 12.1 MP Waterproof Digital Camera with 5x Wide Angle Zoom and 2.7-Inch LCD (Pistachio Green)

by Pentax
3.4 out of 5 stars 120 customer reviews

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  • 12.1 megapixel CCD
  • 720p high-definition video at 30 fps
  • Wide-angle 5x optical zoom (28-140mm equivalent)
  • 2.7" LCD 16:9 display
  • Waterproof up to 20 ft
2 used from $99.00

Technical Details

Product Description

Product Description

PENTAX 16426 12.1 Megapixel Optio W90 Digital Camera (Green)

From the Manufacturer

The eleventh generation Pentax Optio W90 waterproof digital camera is built for rugged adventure in every way. It offers enhanced waterproof, shockproof, dustproof, and coldproof performance and features an inventive Digital Microscope mode with LED lighting to capture small but intriguing subjects. Designed with the look of mountaineering equipment, the Optio W90 kit includes a woven web fabric strap complete with a carabiner to attach the camera to a backpack and other outdoor gear.

Adventure photography doesn't get any better than this. The rugged Optio W90 offers photographic performance, innovative features and style that surpass other outdoor compact digital cameras now available on the market.

  • Waterproof to 20 feet for reliable underwater photography
  • Shockproof to 4 feet withstanding the rigors of extreme use
  • Coldproof to sub-freezing temperatures for use in wintery, snowy activities
  • 12.1 megapixel sensor and wide angle 5x optical zoom (28-140mm equivalent)
  • Digital Microscope mode with LED lens lighting perfectly captures the smallest and closest macro subjects as near as 1cm from the camera
  • Eye-Fi wireless SD memory card connectivity for built-in Wi-Fi capability to transfer photos and videos from the camera to a computer or an online sharing site such as Picasaweb, Flickr, Facebook and YouTube. (Eye-fi cards sold separately.)
  • Large 2.7-inch LCD with 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio that is easy to view in strong light or underwater
  • Capture movies in widescreen 720p HD video at 30 frames per second An HDMI port plays back beautiful high-resolution imges and video on HDTVs
  • Advanced Pixel Track Shake Reduction captures blur-free images in any lighting Fast Face Detection, Smile Capture, Blink Detection, and processing modes specifically designed for portraiture, and new Pet Recognition captures up to 3 pre-programmed pet faces in memory
  • Infrared remote control compatibility with new waterproof Remote Control WP, as well as other Pentax infrared remotes
  • Autofocus assist lamp helps to quickly and accurately focus, even in challenging lighting
Pentax Optio W90 Highlights

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.

Additional features
  • Remote Control Waterproof O-RC1 (available as an optional accessory) for wireless remote shooting*
  • New Collage function to compose a single picture from multiple images
  • New Ink Rubbing filter to create a monochromatic, high-contrast image from a recorded image
  • Auto Picture mode to automatically select one of the eight shooting modes for the optimum result 12 digital filters to add distinctive visual effects to recorded images
  • Digital Wide function to compose an extra-wide-angle image (equivalent to an image taken with an approx. 21mm lens in 35mm format) from two images
  • MediaImpression 2.0 for Pentax image viewing, editing and filing software included (compatible with latest operation systems, such as Windows 7 and Mac OS X 10.6)
* Wireless remote operation is not available when shooting under water.

Product Information

Product Dimensions 4.2 x 2.3 x 1 inches
Item Weight 5.8 ounces
Shipping Weight 1.1 pounds
ASIN B0039237H4
Item model number W90 Pistachio Green
Customer Reviews
3.4 out of 5 stars 120 customer reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars
Best Sellers Rank #9,454 in Camera & Photo
#198 in Electronics > Camera & Photo > Underwater Photography > Cameras
Date first available at Amazon.com February 24, 2010

Warranty & Support

Product Warranty: For warranty information about this product, please click here


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Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Verified Purchase
Pros: easy to use, both underwater and on land. Easy to hold and small size fits well in pocket. Like the caribeener for my primary uses. Underwater pictures turned out very nice.

Cons: On the first visit to the pool, it worked for about 25 pictures, and then suddenly got into a mode where the camera would automatically take a picture when turned on, but none of the controls other than power would work at all. Presumably, some drop of water made it through the waterproofing (note that no "abuse" occurred, as the camera was never under more than 5 ft of water, and was not subjected to any fast moving water, etc...). After 4 days, it finally started working correctly again, and I was able to use it with no problem for over an hour of snorkeling in salt water.

Hopefully, this was a fluke in manufacturing of this particular camera, but I'm returning it and trying the Panasonic TS2 instead.

UPDATE: I have to credit Amazon for a really smooth return. I returned the camera just under the 30 day limit, and they have refunded not only my purchase price but the expedited shipping charges that I had paid for 1 day delivery. So far the Panasonic Lumix TS2 is holding up after its first trip to the pool :)
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Verified Purchase
Update: Shooting results after 24 hours of use - my initial impressions of the design and feature set are below. But first, a few words about image quality. So far, I've taken ~100 photos in different modes and lighting just playing around with the camera and settings. Image quality is not quite as high as I was hoping for. I was hoping for outstanding image quality; this is only good.

Color accuracy appears very good, with the exception of a strong yellow cast in some videos and in night modes. The camera consistently seems to use higher-ISO than I would prefer (or than would be used by similar PnS cameras), and the result is graininess for many of the photos.

Some small amount of graininess is present even in the fastest mode, ISO-80, in broad daylight and at fast shutter speeds. It is disappointing that there is noise present even in perfect conditions. My guess is that this is a reflection of 12.1megapixels being forced out of a tiny 1/2.3" CCD. This is not unusual, but the cameras I use most often -- a variety of 8-10mp Canon PnS cameras -- have noticeably less image noise.

The upside is that with 12.1mp and a 5x zoom, most people will seldom really need all those pixels. When printed in small sizes or reduced for the screen, little or none of the noise is apparent.

Another factor contributing to noise is that this camera lacks any actual image stabilization -- it has a software-implemented "shake reduction" feature for both the still-frame and video modes, but the "shake reduction" -- at least in my limited experience so far -- produces blurrier images when it's on than when it's off. I think this feature is marketing hype and does not translate to real world improvement on pictures. I have not tested it yet with video, only with still shots.
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This is the third Pentax Optio Waterproof camera that I have owned. I have been pleased with this family of cameras over the years, but I had read that recent versions of the camera were not as good as the older versions which I had owned. But I must say that this latest version is amazing and a lot of fun. It looks very different from previous Pentax Optio Waterproof cameras... In fact, it looks pretty different than any camera I've ever seen! The pistachio green camera, which I own, has a really cool, outdoors look. The camera has a sturdy feel and rugged design, but it is also slim and light and fits comfortably in a pocket. The camera was already dropped on a tiled floor on the second day that I owned it, and it was fine.

What really surprised me is how much better this camera does with INDOOR pictures. I was always pleased with the quality of outdoor pictures in my previous Optio WP cameras, but the quality of indoor shots was not as good on those cameras. Not so with this camera... I am not a camera expert, but it seems that there is a lot more technology built into this camera to help pictures turn out well. It can take close up pictures, it has face recognition capabilities, and it can even detect when a person smiles and then take the picture at that moment.

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.
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This is quite simply the best camera I have ever owned. It is perfect for every situation- underwater or otherwise. It has a mode to fit every situation I encountered on my recent vacation to Oahu, Hawaii. See the "customer images" at the top for my example pictures. The landscape mode is stunning and brings out the greens and blues in a landscape. Pictures of landscapes from my 14 megapixel Samsung look dim and boring in comparison to this camera's landscape mode. And microscope mode can turn the simplest items (sand, dirt, bark) into professional-looking photography. With sand, you can see the individual grains and shells with incredible detail. I even used this mode on a sweet potato... it looked like a purple grand canyon (yeah, the sweet potatoes in Hawaii are purple for some reason). Microscope mode also works well underwater as well for things such as fish and hermit crabs. Panoramic mode is easy to use and patches up to 3 pictures together very well (as long as there aren't moving people or cars in the picture... then there are ghosts of these items where it was stitched together). I took a panoramic picture at the top of Diamond Head that looked incredible. Even the "food" mode impressed me; it made a simple picture of a meal from a shrimp shack look professional and rich in color. Basically, the different modes on this camera automatically make the same adjustments to the pictures that I would normally make in Photoshop, except without the hassle and hundreds of dollars worth of software.

My only semi-complaint is that when on the highest quality settings, the movie mode used a TON of space on my memory card. A 90 second video took up almost 300MB!
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