Pentax Optio W90 rugged camera
Whatever the weather
Review Summer is here, sort of. The beaches are soon to be filled to capacity and anyone with any sense is clambering aboard the first plane to somewhere hot and sandy. That's a disaster for most cameras, which don't happily take to beaches, airport baggage handlers or seawater. Unless you've a 'ruggedised' model, of course,
Environment friendly? Pentax's Optio W90
Having reviewed the Olympus sandproof, weatherproof, underwater compact, the 14Mp Tough 8010 recently, a test of the 12.1Mp Pentax Optio W90 seemed in order. This is yet another camera claiming all kinds of disaster resistance and it sports a nifty karabiner too, either for rock-climbing, or simply showing off.
The W90 is a slim, easily pocketable compact with a practical, all-purpose lens and enough durability to outlast virtually any environment, weather, or mishap you can throw at it. Where the Olympus Tough 8010 weighed a shade less than 200g, the W90 is 50g lighter and is considerably smaller in the hand too.
The sides, top and bottom of the camera are surrounded by a strip of rubber, the better for gripping the camera and keeping out the elements. The visible screw heads on the front and back round off the styling, emphasising that the W90 is for real men. Cack-handed real men, that is.
The Pentax Optio W90 complies with MIL-STD 810F for shock proofing, which means, on paper, it will survive drops of 1.2 metres onto plywood. However, with testing safely out of the way, the W90 had far worse dished out. It survived six foot drops onto hardwood and being hurled across lawns, which suggests that 1.2m is just Pentax being cautious.
Basic controls on top
It also worked after being left in direct sunlight with the lens pointing at the sky. Like the Olympus Tough 8010 the W90 is rated for temperatures as low as -10, although it would be a surprise if it couldn't survive in much colder climates than that, particularly with sporadic warming in a snug pocket.
I have a W60, which is excellent for hillwalking.
Just stick it in a trouser pocket, and you don't need to worry about the rain or anything.
The photo quality is more than adequate for me.
Sounds like the W90 is smaller, more rugged and has better video - all to the good!
Love the W-series
I have the previous model (W80) myself and it's excellent. Not perfect picture quality, but I often bring it into the water and snap pictures both under and close to water. Have dropped it a couple of times as well. Still works without any problems as well.
Oh, and if you actually do manage to kill it with water, Pentax will replace it for you. (Atleast Pentax have done so with the older W-models.)
Not quite the point of the carbeener...
I think the point of it was to make for a handy way to clip the camera to a bag, strap, or other attachment point rather then fumbling around with putting it back into a bag.
Otherwise I'm in full agreement- there are far too many morons out there who think that the look-alikes are rated for holding people and get injured or remove themselves from the gene pool because of it.
mine's the one with the class III trama plates and armoured joints.
A nice review
Glad to see it's toughened up. I have an older W30 model that I take out kayaking (stuck to the bow of my kayak with a suction monopod, taking photos once a minute automatically) and it was a toss-up at the time between that and the competing equivalent Olympus model, which was shock-proof, drop-proof, and all sorts of other 'tough' while the Pentax was only water/dustproof. However, the Olympus came out well on top for technical features and picture quality, and I'm glad to see that future models can cope well against the competition too. From personal experience, I highly recommend this range of Pentax point'n'shoot to outdoorsy types for camping, hiking, kayaking and similar sports.
No, the caribeenerererer is not for climbing
That will make you dead. I'm betting the manual is full of "NOT FOR CLIMBING" too. There have been too many muppets who have come to grief due to accessory clips like that being misused as load-bearing attachments, which break right away. so you have to be super-careful now.