Certainly, it showed no short-term effects after being left in a pool of water in a freezer overnight. It complies with the IPX6 standard for dust ingress, which means it will still be running on dusty safaris across Africa long after you've wheezed your last.
Access to the innards is a twofold affair
The first unusual thing to note about the W90 is the lack of any kind of lens protection. "Lens protection" is a bit of a misnomer - the 28-140mm (35mm equivalent) lens assembly is safely housed behind a sheet of glass and, as is the fashion of reinforced cameras, doesn't poke out beyond the main housing in the name of safety.
However, with nothing to protect the front glass element at all, the front of our W90 quickly became smeared with fingerprint grease, fluff and other detritus that you can expect a ruggedised camera to pick up. Note: to real men, just remember to carry a hankie around with you.
Toughness aside, there isn't too much to get excited about in terms of the hardware. The top of the W90 is where the power and shutter release buttons live, and there's the usual gaggle of buttons on the back.
The battery and memory card, and the USB port and type D HDMI port, are hidden behind a pair of doors that require a double action to open. Pull down the switch with a fingernail, then slide the door open. It's fiddly, but that's preferable to a simpler single action, which could result in you accidentally opening the door while the camera's underwater.
Sharp, bright screen – ideal for the great outdoors
The screen is excellent. The 2.7in diagonal feels roomy, even if its widescreen aspect ratio means framing up a 4:3 still wastes a fair amount of space. But it's exceedingly sharp, and bright enough that I had no problems using it in very bright sunlight.
Next page: Sample Shots
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.