Pentax has released the Optio W90 rugged compact sporting a tougher body than its predecessor, the W80. It is designed to be dustproof, waterproof up to 6 meters, coldproof down to -10°C (14°F) and shock-resistant for drops of up to 1.2 meters. An interesting Digital Microscope mode claims to deliver magnified images of tiny objects aided by three LED lights in front of the lens barrel. The camera features 12MP sensor, 28-140mm equivalent lens, 2.7" LCD and includes HD video recording and pet detection that apparently 'makes it simple and effortless to capture the delightful faces of active pets.''

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Press Release:

 The Waterproof Crossover


A waterproof digital compact camera designed for worry-free underwater photo-shooting, with a new Digital Microscope mode to make active outdoor photography even more exciting

HOYA CORPORATION PENTAX Imaging Systems Division is pleased to announce the launch of the PENTAX Optio W90 digital compact camera. In addition to its upgraded waterproof, dustproof and shockproof capabilities, this heavy-duty model provides the new Digital Microscope mode, which allows for a closer look at small but intriguing subjects in outdoor shooting.

Major Features
Enhanced waterproof and shockproof performance
By further enhancing the air tightness of the camera body, PENTAX has upgraded the Optio W90’s underwater picture-taking performance to six meters (compared to five meters for its predecessor) and for up to two hours of continuous operation. Along with its outstanding IPX8 (or JIS Class 8) waterproof performance, the Optio W90 also offers exceptional shockproof capacity* to withstand a fall from a height of 1.2 meters*1 (one meter for its predecessor) without damage to the body, thanks to its new body design and refined internal mechanisms. In addition to these characteristics, the Optio W90 comes with remarkable dustproof performance equivalent to IP6X (or JIS Class 6) and exceptional coldproof performance for reliable operation at temperatures as low as –10°C, making it a perfect choice for active photographers who venture to shoot pictures in demanding outdoor conditions.

Digital Microscope mode for nature observation from 1cm away
Combining a macro shooting capability from one centimetre away with the Digital Zoom function, the Optio W90’s new Digital Microscope mode delivers a magnified view of miniscule subjects difficult to observe closely with the naked eye, and makes it possible to capture fine-detailed images of such subjects.*2 Thanks to three LED Macro Light installed on the face of the lens barrel, the subject is clearly and brightly displayed on the LCD monitor even when the camera is held at a distance at which it casts a shadow on the subject. This mode not only comes in handy when observing the wonders of nature and photographing such subjects as leaf veins and tiny insects, but also opens the door to new discoveries and unexpected surprises in the ordinary subjects found in daily life.

Upgraded face detection to detect even the faces of 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, then catches them in sharp focus and optimum exposure in just 0.03 seconds. In addition to popular features such as the innovative Small Face filter, 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. The user can even program the camera to automatically release the shutter the moment the subject’s face turns straight toward the camera. These features make it simple and effortless to capture the delightful faces of active pets.

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)*3 at a frame rate of 30 frames per second. This mode also offers a variety of editing functions: Still images can 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
On the back of its small body, the Optio W90 features a large 2.7-inch high-brightness colour 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, the user is 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). Thanks to this wide zoom range, the Optio W90 can 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*4
During movie recording, the Optio W90 prevents blurry images by effectively minimizing annoying camera shake through the use of exclusive software.

Subscreen Input function for constant display of a favourite image on the screen
Thanks to its large, horizontally extended LCD monitor, the Optio W90 offers the innovative Subscreen Input function.  This allows the user to display a thumbnail of a recorded image in the upper left corner of the LCD panel, so it can be used as a reference. This comes in handy 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 favourite image on the screen.

Other features

  • Carabiner strap included for hooking the camera to a backpack or other outdoor gear
  • Remote Control Waterproof O-RC1 (available as an optional accessory) for wireless remote shooting*5
  • Waterproof housing down to 60 meters, available in June 2010 (available as an optional accessory) to enable the divers to go even deeper than 6 meters
  • 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)
  • Compatibility with Eye-Fi wireless LAN SD memory cards.

*1 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.
*2
When using the Digital Microscope mode, the image size is fixed at 2.1 megapixels (at 16:9 proportions).
*3
When the High-Sensitivity anti-shake mode is selected, the recorded size is fixed to five megapixels (2592 x 1944 pixels).
*4 When the Movie SR is selected, the angle of view becomes narrower than normal shooting.
*5 Wireless remote operation is not available when shooting under water.

Pentax Optio W90 specifications

Sensor

• 1/2.3" sensor
• 12.1 million effective pixels
• 12.39 million effective pixels

Image stabilization • Pixel Track SR
• Digital SR
Movie mode

• 1280 x 720
• 640 x 480
• 320 x 240

Lens • 5x zoom
• 11 elements in 9 groups (5 aspherical elements)
• 5-25mm (approx. 28 - 140mm in 35mm format)
Digital zoom approx. 6.25X
Focus modes • Standard
• Spot
• Auto Tracking
• Infinity Landscape
• Super Macro
• Macro
• Manual
• Pan-Focus
AF assist lamp Yes
Scene modes

• Auto Picture
• Program
• Night Scene
• Night Scene
• Movie
• Underwater
• Underwater Movie
• Landscape
• Flower
• Portrait
• Digital Wide
• Surf & Snow
• Digital SR
• Kids, Pet
• Half Length Portrait
• Sport
• Fireworks
• Candlelight
• Night Scene Portrait
• Text
• Food
• Digital Panorama
• Frame Composite
• Report
• Green
• Digital Microscopic

Metering

• Multi-segment
• Center-Weighted
• Spot

Exposure compen.

• +/-2 EV
• 0.3 EV increments

Sensitivity

• Auto (80-1600)
• 80 - 6400

Shutter speed

• 1/1500- 1/4 sec.
• 4 sec in night scene mode

Aperture values F3.5 - F5.5
White balance • Auto
• Daylight
• Shade
• Tungsten light
• Fluorescent light
• Manual Setting
Drive modes

• One shot
• Self-timer
• Continuous Shooting
• High-Speed Continuous Shooting

LCD monitor • 2.7"
• approx 230K dots
Flash • Flash-on
• Flash-off
• Red-eye reduction
• Soft-Flash
FLash range • Wide: approx. 0.3 - 3.9m (ISO Auto)
• Tele: approx. 0.98 - 2.5m (ISO Auto)
Connectivity

• DC Input
• AV Output
• USB 2.0 High speed

Storage • Built-in Memory (approx. 26.7MB)
• SD/SDHC Memory Card
Power • Rechargeable D-LI88 lithium-ion battery
• Optional AC adapter kit is also available
Dimensions 108 × 59 × 25 mm (3.9 x 2.2 x 1.0 inches)
Weight (with battery) Approx. 144g (4.8oz)

Additional images