Pentax H90

Pentax Optio H90 front
  • 12MP - 1/2.3" Sensor
  • 2.7" Fixed Screen
  • ISO 80 - 6400
  • Sensor-shift Image Stabilization
  • 1280 x 720 video
  • 28-140mm (F3.5-5.9) lens
  • 153g - 101 x 65 x 28mm
  • Released January 2010
  • Read full specs
  • Alternatives
  • Size Comparison
  • FAQ

Pentax H90 summary

Pentax H90 is Pentax's Small Sensor Compact digital camera first introduced on January of 2010. The camera features a 12MP, CCD 1/2.3" sized sensor and has a max resolution of 4000 x 3000.

The H90 is positioned #176 out of 261 in Small Sensor Compact cameras & over-all #1109 out of 1465 for digital cameras in our list. You should check out our Smart camera search to get camera rankings based on your custom factors.

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Here is a diagram of specific factors used in the rating system.

Pentax H90 Pros and Cons

Below is a shortlist of upsides and downsides of the Pentax H90 based on factors that are usually considered necessary in a digital camera.

above average minimum ISO (80)
comes with tracking autofocus
focusing manually
has built in flash
has image stabilization (Sensor-shift)
in built lens has zoom (28-140mm 5.0 x zoom)
pretty wide (28mm)
can't use external flash
doesn't have phase detect autofocus
doesn't have RAW files
fixed lens (fixed lens mount)
lack of external mic socket
lack of HDMI socket
lack of headphone socket
lack of Time Lapse function
low resolution screen (230 k dots)
low video resolution (1280 x 720 resolution)
max zoom aperture not good (f5.9)
no aperture priority mode
no articulating screen
no manual mode
no shutter priority mode
screen is not selfie friendly
sensor is very small (1/2.3")
sensor resolution low (12MP)
slow continuous shooting (1.0 frames per second)
slow maximum aperture (f3.5)
tiny screen (2.7")
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Pentax H90 Sensor specifications

The Pentax H90 is run by the Prime chip. The sensor size on the Pentax H90 is 6.17mm x 4.55mm (1/2.3"). The 28 mm² sensor has the capability to capture 4000 x 3000 pixels and aspect ratios of 4:3 and 16:9. The camera features Image Stabilization (Sensor-shift). Sensor stabilization is superior than digital stabilization since the latter can lead to cropping.

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The CCD sensor has 12MP and includes a standard ISO range of 80 to 6400. Sadly, RAW format is not supported therefore you have less room to maneuver in post.

The image below illustrates the H90's sensor dimensions compared to other popular sizes. The H90 sensor has a crop factor of 5.8 and is displayed in green.

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To get a sense of specific aspect ratios, you can refer to the graphic below.

Camera sensor aspect ratios

Pentax H90 dimensions

Pentax H90 has a weight of 0.34 lb (153g or 5.40 ounces) & the volume of the camera is 101mm x 65mm x 28mm (4.0" x 2.6" x 1.1"). The weight of typical Small Sensor Compact camera is 174g and the Pentax H90 is less heavy in comparison with other competitors.

Photography Glossary

Listed below is a photo of the Pentax H90 beside a soft drink so you're able to get a feel for its scale.

Pentax Optio H90 dimensions scale

The top view directly below will provide the button design on the H90.

Pentax Optio H90 topview buttons dials

Pentax H90 Lens specifications

The H90 has got a built in lens and it has a focal range of 28-140mm giving it a 5.0 x zoom which isn't really very good nevertheless it would certainly be convenient in certain conditions.

At the widest 28mm, it features an aperture of f3.5 making it rather slow and not great for low light events and you will likely struggle to get a shallow depth of field. You will probably also need to increase the ISO giving you noisy photos. Towards the tele end, 140mm comes with f5.9 making it pretty sluggish and you might need to set slower shutter speeds.

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Pentax H90 Connectivity

The H90 has the following connectivity:

  • USB Yes
  • Wireless Yes

Digital cameras that consist of NFC or Bluetooth compatibility can be controlled wirelessly via smartphones. You can easily copy images and sometimes adjust settings without connecting physically to the camera.

Several applications even allow a Liveview and hit the shutter if you are not close to the camera. If the camera contains a HDMI port, it can be connected to an external display. Most cameras will allow you to charge the battery pack with the USB port.

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Pentax H90 Video specifications

The max video quality on the Pentax H90 is 1280 x 720 and you can shoot in Motion JPEG file format. 720p is low for today's standards. You really should shoot for a minimum FUll HD quality for video. The camera does not have a microphone or headphone port which means that you get little control over the sound. It is probably a better idea to look at a different camera in case you need decent sound for your videos.

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Pentax H90 Weather Sealing

There is no environment proofing on the Pentax H90 so you need to be careful in rainy and dusty conditions.

Pentax H90 Screen and Viewfinder

The Pentax H90 features a 2.7" fixed screen supporting a resolution of 230k dots.

Please be aware that the screen has no touch support.

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The ViewFinder specs for Pentax H90 are below:

  • ViewFinder None

For bright outdoor conditions which make the camera displays washed out and tough to see, viewfinders are quite useful.

Pentax H90 Shutter specifications

Pentax H90 continuous shooting speed is 1.0 frames per second. The highest shutter speed is 1/2000 sec.

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Pentax H90 Flash and Hot shoe specifications

Pentax H90 features only inbuilt flash without external flash support.

Pentax H90 Autofocusing specifications

Pentax H90 features just Contrast Based AF & lacks Phase Detect AF. Phase Detection autofocusing is a lot faster and accurate in comparison with Contrast Based autofocusing.

The AF system features 9 focus points to choose from. It also boasts Tracking AF for objects on the move. Pentax H90 can use manual focusing when needed in low light conditions or you need more exact focusing control.

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Pentax H90 Battery life

The usual Small Sensor Compact camera battery life is 241. Fujifilm X30 comes with the maximum (470) battery life in this class of cameras.

Below is a listing of Small Sensor Compact cameras that have the best battery life:

Pentax H90 for varying types of photography

The following bar chart indicates a rundown of the Pentax H90 for varying types of photography. To look at more, scroll to the specific paragraph below.

Pentax H90 Portrait photography factors

The Pentax H90 receives a points tally of 27 which is really bad, and means the camera is just not appropriate for portrait photography. Taking portrait photos leans greatly towards sensor dimensions, RAW support along with the option to work with off-camera flash.

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focusing manually
lack of manual mode
cannot use external flash
resolution not great (12 megapixels)
sensor is tiny (1/2.3")
has no RAW format

Pentax H90 Street photography info

With a reasonable points tally of 56, the Pentax H90 is somewhat adequate to buy for street photography. A decent street photography camera has a perfect balance of picture quality plus portability.

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built in image stabilization (Sensor-shift)
no moving screen
sensor size is tiny (1/2.3")
has no RAW files

Pentax H90 as a Sports photography camera

A really bad sports photography score of 31 indicates the Pentax H90 is just not appropriate for taking pictures of sports. A camera must have great autofocus plus fast continuous shooting for sports photography.

Photography Glossary
has image stabilization (Sensor-shift)
features tracking focus
slow continuous shooting (1.0 frames per second)
no shutter priority mode
low megapixels (12MP)
sensor size is small (1/2.3")
lack of phase detect autofocus

Pentax H90 Travel photography information

Size is pretty important when picking a camera for travel. In general, the Pentax H90 gets a moderate 57 as a travelling camera which is somewhat suitable to purchase for your journeys.

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built-in flash
really wide (28mm)
does not have Timelapse mode
low MP (12 megapixels)
screen is not selfie friendly
somewhat slow maximum aperture (f3.5)

Pentax H90 as a Landscape photography camera

If you're looking to buy a digital camera for landscape photos, the biggest factor is going to be image quality. The Pentax H90 with it's really bad score of 36 for a landscape camera is just not appropriate among its competition.

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manual focus
reasonably wide (28mm)
built in image stabilization (Sensor-shift)
fixed lens (fixed lens mount)
sluggish max aperture (f3.5)
small screen (2.7 inch)
manual mode not possible
low MP (12MP)
very small sensor size (1/2.3")
lacks RAW format
lack of Time Lapse mode

Vlogging with Pentax H90

A camera for vlogging preferably should posses a moving display, microphone input and preferably IBIS. Taking all things in to account, the Pentax H90 is just not appropriate as a vlog camera as it delivers a really bad rating of 28.

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pretty wide (28mm)
has image stabilization (Sensor-shift)
somewhat slow maximum aperture (f3.5)
screen is not selfie friendly
video res low (1280 x 720 pxls)
doesn't have microphone support

Pentax H90 Alternatives

If you want replacements to the H90, below is a number of the highest placed cameras that fall within the class of Small Sensor Compact.

The chart followed below gives you an overview of the H90 vs it's top scored rivals listed earlier.

Following are several cameras you may look at as alternate options. To read a thorough comparison, just click on the "compare" link.

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General Information
Model type
Pentax Optio H90
Small Sensor Compact
Physical type
Sensor Information
Sensor type
Powered by
Sensor size
Sensor dimensions
6.17 x 4.55mm
Sensor surface area
Sensor resolution
Anti alias filter
Aspect ratio
4:3 and 16:9
Highest Possible resolution
4000 x 3000
RAW images
Maximum native ISO
Lowest native ISO
Focus manually
AF touch
AF continuous
AF single
AF tracking
AF selectice
Center weighted AF
Multi area AF
Live view AF
Face detection focusing
Contract detection focusing
Phase detection focusing
Total focus points
Lens support
fixed lens
Lens zoom range
28-140mm (5.0x)
Maximum aperture
Macro focusing range
Focal length multiplier
Type of screen
Fixed Type
Screen size
Resolution of screen
230k dots
Selfie friendly
Touch operation
Viewfinder Information
DXO scores
DXO Overall rating
not tested
DXO Color Depth rating
not tested
DXO Dynamic range rating
not tested
DXO Low light rating
not tested
Min shutter speed
4 seconds
Max shutter speed
1/2000 seconds
Continuous shutter rate
1.0 frames per second
Shutter priority
Aperture priority
Expose Manually
Custom WB
Image stabilization
Inbuilt flash
Flash distance
4.00 m
Flash modes
Auto, On, Off, Red-eye, Soft
Hot shoe
Auto exposure bracketing
WB bracketing
Multisegment exposure
Average exposure
Spot exposure
Partial exposure
AF area exposure
Center weighted exposure
Video features
Video resolutions
1280 x 720 (30, 15 fps), 640 x 480 (30, 15 fps), 320 x 240 (30, 15 fps)
Maximum video resolution
Video file format
Motion JPEG
Mic port
Headphone port
Eye-Fi Connected
USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
Environmental sealing
Water proofing
Dust proofing
Shock proofing
Crush proofing
Freeze proofing
153g (0.34 lbs)
Physical dimensions
101 x 65 x 28mm (4.0" x 2.6" x 1.1")
Battery ID
Self timer
Yes (2 or 10 sec)
Time lapse shooting
Type of storage
SD/SDHC, Internal
Card slots
Price at release