Pentax W90

Pentax Optio W90 front
  • 12MP - 1/2.3" Sensor
  • 2.7" Fixed Screen
  • ISO 80 - 6400
  • 1280 x 720 video
  • 28-140mm (F3.5-5.5) lens
  • 164g - 108 x 59 x 25mm
  • Introduced February 2010
  • Read full specs
  • Alternatives
  • Size Comparison
  • FAQ

Pentax W90 overview

Pentax W90 is Pentax's Waterproof digital camera originally launched on February of 2010. It has got a 12 MegaPixel, CCD 1/2.3" size sensor with a maximum resolution of 4000 x 3000.

The W90 is ranked #69 out of 75 in Waterproof cameras & all round #1138 out of 1465 for cameras in our collection. Remember to try our Advanced camera search to see camera ratings based on your customized factors.

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The following is a diagram of multiple criteria used in the scoring system.

Pentax W90 history

The Pentax W90 has a history of related cameras. Below, you can check out all past and current models alongside important specs.

ModelVisualizeLensResolutionSensor SizeReleased
Pentax-WG-3 front thumbnailPentax WG-3
W90 vs WG-3
Pentax-WG-3-GPS front thumbnailPentax WG-3 GPS
W90 vs WG-3 GPS
Photography Glossary
Pentax-WG-10 front thumbnailPentax WG-10
W90 vs WG-10
Pentax-Optio-WG-2 front thumbnailPentax WG-2
W90 vs WG-2
Pentax-Optio-WG-2-GPS front thumbnailPentax WG-2 GPS
W90 vs WG-2 GPS
Pentax-Optio-WG-1-GPS front thumbnailPentax WG-1 GPS
W90 vs WG-1 GPS
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Pentax-Optio-WG-1 front thumbnailPentax WG-1
W90 vs WG-1
Pentax-Optio-W90 front thumbnailPentax W9028-140mm
Pentax-Optio-WS80 front thumbnailPentax WS80
W90 vs WS80
Pentax-Optio-W60 front thumbnailPentax W60
W90 vs W60
Pentax-Optio-W80 front thumbnailPentax W80
W90 vs W80
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Pentax W90 Pros and Cons

Here is a checklist of pluses and minuses of the Pentax W90 based on criterias which are oftentimes viewed as important in a digital camera.

built-in flash
built in lens has zoom (28-140mm 5.0 x zoom)
environment proofing
focusing manually
good min ISO (80)
pretty wide (28mm)
cannot change lenses (fixed lens mount)
cannot use external flash
doesn't feature selfie friendly screen
doesn't have HDMI support
doesn't have headphone jack
doesn't have microphone jack
lack of image stabilization
lack of shutter priority mode
low MP (12MP)
low quality video (1280 x 720 pixels)
low resolution screen (230 thousand dot)
manual exposure not possible
max zoom aperture not good (f5.5)
no aperture priority mode
no articulating screen
no phase detect auto focus
no RAW format
painfully slow continuous shooting (1.0 frames/s)
sluggish maximum aperture (f3.5)
small screen (2.7 inches)
tiny sensor size (1/2.3")
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Pentax W90 Sensor features

The Pentax W90 is run by the Prime processor. The measurement of the sensor in the Pentax W90 is 6.17mm x 4.55mm (1/2.3"). The 28 mm² sensor has the ability to resolve 4000 x 3000 pixels with aspect ratios of 4:3, 3:2 and 16:9.

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The CCD sensor has 12MP and provides a standard ISO range of 80 - 6400. Sadly, RAW files are not saved therefore the user has less margin for error.

The image underneath shows the W90's sensor size when compared to other popular sizes. The W90 sensor has a crop factor of 5.8 and is presented in green.

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To get an idea of various aspect ratios, you can refer to the graphic below.

Camera sensor aspect ratios

Pentax W90 dimensions

Pentax W90 weighs in at 0.36 pounds (164 grams / 5.78 ounces) & has outer size of 108mm x 59mm x 25mm (4.3" x 2.3" x 1.0"). The weight of normal Waterproof camera is 195 grams so the Pentax W90 is lighter than its competitors.

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Down below is a image of the Pentax W90 with a soft drink to help you get a sense of its size.

Pentax Optio W90 dimensions scale

The top view just below will illustrate the button design on the W90.

Pentax Optio W90 topview buttons dials

Pentax W90 Lens features

The W90 comes with a fixed lens with a focal range of 28-140mm giving it a 5.0 x zoom which isn't really huge however it may be invaluable in a few scenarios.

At it's widest 28mm, the lens has an aperture of f3.5 and that is fairly sluggish and not very good for low light occasions and you will likely find it hard to get good bokeh. You could also have to raise your ISO setting which results in noisy photos. For the long end, 140mm comes to f5.5 which is quite slow and you would have to set slower shutter speeds.

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Pentax W90 Connectivity

The W90 has the following connectivity:

  • USB Yes
  • Wireless Yes

Cameras which include NFC or Bluetooth support can be used wirelessly through smartphones. You are able to send images and oftentimes change camera settings with no need to connect physically with the camera.

Certain apps also give a Liveview and click the shutter in case you aren't near the camera. If the camera provides a HDMI port, it can be hooked up to an external display. A good number of cameras enable you to recharge the battery using the USB port.

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Pentax W90 Video features

The maximum video resolution in the Pentax W90 is 1280 x 720 and you can save in Motion JPEG file format. 720p is awful for today's standards. You really should target at least 1080p resolution for decent video. The body doesn't feature a microphone or headphone socket which means that you have got zero control over the audio. It is perhaps a better idea to take a look at an alternative model if you want better audio for your videos.

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Pentax W90 Weather Sealing

Pentax W90 provides environment sealing which makes it a fantastic candidate for use during tricky climates. This is particularly handy any time you are unsure about the elements you might face during outdoor photography.

Pentax W90 Screen and Viewfinder

The Pentax W90 has got a 2.7 inch fixed display screen with a resolution of 230 thousand dots.

Please be aware that the display has no touch support.

Pentax Optio W90 screen and viewfinder Japan-exclusive Leica Leitz Phone 3 features big sensor and new modes

The View Finder specs for Pentax W90 are below:

  • ViewFinder None

For sunny outdoor situations that make the camera screens washed out and tough to see, viewfinders can be rather useful.

Pentax W90 Shutter features

Pentax W90 has the ability to shoot continuously at 1.0 frames/s. The max shutter speed is 1/1500 sec.

Photography Glossary

Pentax W90 Flash and Hot shoe features

Pentax W90 has just built-in flash lacking external flash ability.

Pentax W90 Autofocus features

Pentax W90 has only Contrast Detect Auto Focus & does not have Phase Detect Auto Focus. Phase Detection focusing is a lot more quicker & accurate than Contrast Detect focusing.

It has got 9 focus points to pick from. Pentax W90 boasts manual focus if needed during low light or you want more exact focus control.

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Pentax W90 Battery life

The general Waterproof camera battery life is 275. Olympus TG-4 has got the highest possible (380) battery life within this type of cameras.

Below is a collection of Waterproof cameras with the best battery life:

Pentax W90 for specific forms of photography

The following graph presents a summation of the Pentax W90 for specific forms of photography. To see more, have a look at the specific section underneath.

Pentax W90 as a Portrait photography camera

The Pentax W90 receives a rating of 27 which is terrible, and means the camera is simply not appropriate to use for portrait photography. Taking portrait photos leans greatly towards sensor dimensions, RAW support in addition to the ability to work with off-camera flash.

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you can focus manually
no manual control
no external flash support
resolution not great (12 megapixels)
very small sensor (1/2.3")
lacks RAW format

Pentax W90 Street photography features

Coming in at a decent points total of 54, the Pentax W90 is fairly suited to buy for street photography. A decent street photography camera has a perfect balance of image quality plus portability.

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environment sealing
screen does not articulate
no image stabilization
sensor size is tiny (1/2.3")
doesn't have RAW support

Pentax W90 Sports photography features

A terrible sports photography points total of 24 suggests the Pentax W90 is simply not appropriate for taking pictures of sports. A camera should have very good focusing and fast shutter speeds for sports photography.

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weather sealing
slow continuous shooting (1.0 fps)
no shutter priority mode
no image stabilization
low MP (12 megapixels)
tiny sensor (1/2.3")
has no phase detect AF

Pentax W90 as a Travel photography camera

Portability is really crucial when getting a travel camera. All things considered, the Pentax W90 gets a very good 64 as a travelling camera which is a fine choice to take on your trips.

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environment sealing
flash built-in
reasonably wide (28mm)
low megapixels (12MP)
doesn't feature selfie friendly screen
somewhat slow maximum aperture (f3.5)

Landscape photography with Pentax W90

For anyone planning to buy a digital camera for landscape photos, the most significant factor is going to be image quality. The Pentax W90 with it's terrible rating of 37 as a landscape camera is simply not appropriate compared to its competitors.

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has manual focus
really wide (28mm)
environment sealing
fixed lens (fixed lens mount)
sluggish max aperture (f3.5)
tiny screen (2.7 inches)
lack of manual mode
does not have image stabilization
megapixel count low (12MP)
sensor is very small (1/2.3")
does not have RAW format

Pentax W90 Vlogging information

A camera for vlogging preferably should posses a moving display, mic input and ideally IBIS. Considering all the details, the Pentax W90 is simply not appropriate for vlogging as it delivers a terrible rating of 25.

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rather wide (28mm)
sluggish max aperture (f3.5)
screen is not selfie friendly
does not have image stabilization
low res video (1280 x 720 pixels)
doesn't have microphone support

Pentax W90 Alternatives

If you want alternatives to the W90, below is a list of the top ranked cameras that fall within the category of Waterproof.

The diagram here provides you a summary of the W90 compared to it's highest scored rivals mentioned above.

Following are several cameras you may see as alternative options. To read a complete comparison, just click on the "compare" link.

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General Information
Pentax Optio W90
Body design
Sensor Information
Sensor type
Processor Chip
Sensor size
Sensor measurements
6.17 x 4.55mm
Sensor surface area
Sensor resolution
12 megapixels
Anti aliasing filter
Aspect ratio
4:3, 3:2 and 16:9
Maximum resolution
4000 x 3000
RAW format
Maximum native ISO
Minimum native ISO
Focus manually
Autofocus touch
Continuous autofocus
Single autofocus
Tracking autofocus
Selective autofocus
Autofocus center weighted
Autofocus multi area
Autofocus live view
Face detection autofocus
Contract detection autofocus
Phase detection autofocus
Number of focus points
Lens mount
fixed lens
Lens focal range
28-140mm (5.0x)
Highest aperture
Macro focus distance
Focal length multiplier
Screen type
Fixed Type
Screen size
2.7 inches
Resolution of screen
230 thousand dot
Selfie friendly
Touch operation
Viewfinder Information
Viewfinder type
DXO scores
DXO All around score
not tested
DXO Color Depth score
not tested
DXO Dynamic range score
not tested
DXO Low light score
not tested
Slowest shutter speed
Maximum shutter speed
Continuous shooting speed
1.0 frames/s
Shutter priority
Aperture priority
Expose Manually
Custom white balance
Image stabilization
Built-in flash
Flash range
3.90 m
Flash settings
Auto, On, Off, Red-eye, Soft
Hot shoe
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
Microphone input
Headphone input
Eye-Fi Connected
USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
Environmental seal
Water proof
Dust proof
Shock proof
Crush proof
Freeze proof
164 gr (0.36 pounds)
108 x 59 x 25mm (4.3" x 2.3" x 1.0")
Battery model
Self timer
Yes (2 or 10 sec)
Time lapse recording
Type of storage
SD/SDHC card, Internal
Storage slots
Price at launch