Pentax Unveils Rugged Optio W90 and Optio X90 Superzoom

Pentax has taken the wraps off two new specialized entries in its Optio camera lineup, the Optio W90 and the Optio X90. The W90 is designed to let people take quality pictures of people (and pets!) in rugged rough-and-tumble every life (including underwater!) while the X90 aims to provide more serious photographers super-zoom capabilities and extensive controls without the pain and cost of a DSLR.

pentax unveils rugged optio w90 and x90 superzoom  black

First up the Optio W90 (which will be available in black or with pistachio green trim) offers a 12.1 megapixel resolution and a 5× optical zoom in a relatively compact design: however, the camera is also ruggedized to handle falls as high as 1.2 meters, a IP6x dustproof casing, and reliable operation all the way down to -10°C. The camera is also waterproof down to six meters for those exciting underwater action shots. The camera also features a “digital microscope” feature with three LED macro-mode lights on the face of the lens barrel, the camera can take 2.1 megapixel 16:9 images from as near as 1 cm away—perfect for gross-out shots of bugs or the wonders of crystals. The W90 also sports upgraded face detection technology that can handle up to 32 faces in an image, and includes a Small Face filter that can handle dogs and cats as well…although users apparently have to pre-register the animals with the camera so it can recognize them later. The W90 also features a 2.7-inch LCD display, 720p high-definition video capability, and triple anti-shake protection to reduce blur from shaking and camera motion. The W90 should be priced around $330; no definitive word from Pentax on availability.

pentax unveils rugged optio w90 and x90 superzoom

Next up, the Optio X90 steps away from the idea that a camera needs to be small and compact…but as compensation it offers a mammoth 26× optical zoom and sensitivity down to ISO 6400, paired with a 12.1 megapixel resolution. The X90 also has CCD-shift anti-shake technology, a 2.7-inch viewer LCD, 720p high-definition video capability, and improved battery life that should be able to handle 255 shots on a single charge. The X90 also features an up-close macro mode that can take pictures from as close as 1cm from the lens. The X90 incorporates the same 32-face face detection feature as the W90 (complete with Small Face capability). The X90 also features a burst mode that can take about 11 images per second—great for action shots. Pentax is again being coy about availability dates, but expect retail pricing around $400.

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