updated 06:10 pm EST, Wed February 24, 2010
Pentax W90 adds to X90 launched earlier
Pentax followed up the earlier launch of the X90 by launching the Optio W90. The new version of the rugged camera is tougher still than the W80 and is not only dustproof but cold-resistant to 14F and can be submerged in water up to 20 feet deep. Its rubberized housing can withstand drops from higher than the W80 at 4 feet.
Software now plays a larger role in the camera's outdoors nature with a new Digital Microscope mode. Along with a macro-oriented LED ring on the body, the W90 can take illuminated shots and moving footage as close as 0.4 inches from the lens.
While the 12-megapixel resolution and 720p video recording remain the same, the new Optio now has the same fast 32-person face detection as the X90 and has a software-based stabilization system that works both for stills and for videos. A 5X, 28-140mm equivalent lens and an anti-glare preview display further help with Pentax's outdoor ambitions.
W90 shipments start in April, when the camera will be available in $330 either in a two-tone pistachio green or all-black. Extras will bring a carabiner clip, a waterproof IR remote and (in June) a secondary underwater housing that will keep the camera intact as deep as 197 feet.