Pentax X90

Pentax X90 front
  • 12MP - 1/2.3" Sensor
  • 2.7" Fixed Screen
  • ISO 80 - 6400
  • Sensor-shift Image Stabilization
  • 1280 x 720 video
  • 26-676mm (F2.8-5.0) lens
  • 428g - 111 x 85 x 110mm
  • Announced July 2010
  • Read full specs
  • Alternatives
  • Size Comparison
  • FAQ

Pentax X90 overview

Pentax X90 is Pentax's Small Sensor Superzoom digital camera initially launched on July of 2010. It has a 12 MegaPixel, CCD 1/2.3" sized sensor and has a maximum resolution of 4000 x 3000.

The X90 places at #221 out of 244 in Small Sensor Superzoom cameras and all around #976 out of 1465 for cameras in our list. Remember to look at our Smart camera search to see camera listings based on your customized requirements.

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Here is a graph of various criteria used in the scoring system.

Pentax X90 history

The Pentax X90 is part of a family of products. You can see the detailed range below.

ModelVisualizeLensResolutionSensor SizeReleased
Pentax-XG-1 front thumbnailPentax XG-1
X90 vs XG-1
Pentax-X-5 front thumbnailPentax X-5
X90 vs X-5
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Pentax-X90 front thumbnailPentax X9026-676mm
Pentax-X70 front thumbnailPentax X70
X90 vs X70

Pentax X90 Pros and Cons

Below is a checklist of advantages and drawbacks of the Pentax X90 based on features that are often viewed as important in a digital camera.

amazing zoom range (26-676mm 26.0 x zoom)
comes with HDMI out
flash built-in
great min ISO (80)
has image stabilization (Sensor-shift)
has tracking autofocus
long reach (676mm)
manual focus
really wide (26mm)
cannot use external flash
doesn't have a selfie friendly screen
doesn't have external microphone support
doesn't have headphone support
doesn't have Timelapse function
fixed lens (fixed lens mount)
fixed screen
lack of phase detect auto focus
lack of RAW format
low megapixels (12 megapixels)
pixelated screen (230 thousand dots)
sensor is very small (1/2.3")
slow at tele end (f5.0)
sluggish max aperture (f2.8)
small screen (2.7 inches)
video res low (1280 x 720 pxls)
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Pentax X90 Sensor info

The Pentax X90 is powered by the Prime processor. The sensor size on the Pentax X90 is 6.08mm x 4.56mm (1/2.3"). The 28 mm² sensor is able to resolve 4000 x 3000 pixels at aspect ratios of 1:1, 4:3, 3:2 and 16:9. The camera includes Image Stabilization (Sensor-shift). Optical stabilization is preferable than digital stabilization since the latter can easily cause cropping.

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The CCD sensor boasts 12 megapixels and has a standard ISO range of 80 to 6400. Unfortunately, RAW format is not supported so you have less margin for error.

The graphic below shows the X90's sensor dimensions compared to other popular sizes. The X90 sensor comes with a crop factor of 5.9 and is showcased in green.

Pentax X90 sensor size Photography Glossary

To get an understanding of specific aspect ratios, you should refer to the graphic below.

Camera sensor aspect ratios

Pentax X90 dimensions

Pentax X90 has a weight of 0.94 pounds (428g / 15.10 ounces) and the sizing of the camera is 111mm x 85mm x 110mm (4.4" x 3.3" x 4.3"). The weight of normal Small Sensor Superzoom camera is 387g and the Pentax X90 is heavier when compared with other rivals.

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Listed below is a pic of the Pentax X90 alongside a soda so you can have a feel for its scale.

Pentax X90 dimensions scale

The top view directly below will provide the button design on the X90.

Pentax X90 topview buttons dials

Pentax X90 Lens info

The X90 comes with a built-in lens providing a focal range of 26-676mm giving it a 26.0 x zoom which is great and does allow you to zoom right in.

At the widest 26mm, it offers an aperture of f2.8 which is quite slow and not the best in low light situations and you may find it hard to capture good bokeh. You will also have to up the ISO setting which results in noisy photos. At the tele end, 676mm is terrific zoom and comes with f5.0 making it fairly sluggish and you may need to apply slower shutter speeds.

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Pentax X90 Connectivity

The X90 has the following connectivity:

  • USB Yes
  • Wireless Yes
  • HDMI Yes

Cameras that include NFC and / or Bluetooth support can easily be used wirelessly through smartphones. You will be able to copy files and in some cases adjust settings without the hassle of connecting directly to the camera.

A few applications even give a Liveview and click the shutter if you aren't close to the camera. If the camera has a HDMI out, it could be hooked up to an external monitor. Almost all cameras will allow you to charge the battery with the USB port.

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Pentax X90 Video info

The maximum video resolution on the Pentax X90 is 1280 x 720 and it can capture in Motion JPEG file format. 720p is awful by today's standards. You should target a minimum FUll HD resolution for good video. The camera doesn't feature a mic and / or headphone socket so you have got no control over your sound. It is probably best to get an alternative camera should you require better sound in your videos.

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Pentax X90 Weather Sealing

Pentax X90 doesn't include weather proofing so wet conditions could damage the camera.

Pentax X90 Screen and Viewfinder

The Pentax X90 has a 2.7 inch fixed display boasting a resolution of 230 thousand dots.

Unfortunately the display isn't a touch screen.

Pentax X90 screen and viewfinder Snapchat Adds Watermarks to AI-Created Images

The View Finder details regarding Pentax X90 are below:

  • ViewFinder Electronic

Viewfinders can be rather helpful for bright outdoor situations which can easily make the camera screen washed out and hard to view.

Pentax X90 Shutter info

The maximum shutter speed is 1/4000s.

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Pentax X90 Flash and Hot shoe info

Pentax X90 includes only built-in flash without external flash ability.

Pentax X90 Autofocusing info

Pentax X90 includes just Contrast Based Auto Focus and doesn't have Phase Detect Auto Focus. Phase Detection autofocusing is more faster & accurate when compared with Contrast Based autofocusing.

It has 9 focus points to choose from. It also includes Tracking Auto Focus for subjects that move. Pentax X90 boasts manual focusing in case it is needed for low light situations or you want more accurate focusing control.

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Pentax X90 Battery life

The general Small Sensor Superzoom camera battery life is 316. Fujifilm HS35EXR features the highest possible (600) battery life for this group of cameras.

Here is a number of Small Sensor Superzoom cameras that come with the best battery life:

Pentax X90 for various categories of photography

The following graph shows a overview of the Pentax X90 for various categories of photography. To check out more, visit the specific paragraph below.

Pentax X90 Portrait photography details

The Pentax X90 has a rating of 29 which is low, meaning that it is not really suitable to use for portrait images. Photographing portraits favors heavily to sensor dimensions, RAW support and option to work with external lighting.

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has manual focus
cannot use external flash
low resolution sensor (12 megapixels)
sensor size is tiny (1/2.3")
doesn't have RAW format

Pentax X90 Street photography advice

Coming in at a low rating of 45, the Pentax X90 is not really suitable to buy for street photography. A good street photography camera comes with a good balance of picture quality and portability.

Photography Glossary
has image stabilization (Sensor-shift)
no moving screen
sensor size is tiny (1/2.3")
no RAW format

Sports photography with Pentax X90

A low sports photography points total of 42 indicates the Pentax X90 is not really suitable for shooting sports. A camera needs excellent autofocus and fast shutter speeds for sports photography.

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excellent zoom range (26-676mm 26.0 x zoom)
built in image stabilization (Sensor-shift)
offers tracking focus
sensor resolution low (12MP)
very small sensor (1/2.3")
does not have phase detect autofocus

Pentax X90 Travel photography highlights

Size is really critical when buying a travel camera. Over-all, the Pentax X90 gets a moderate 51 as a travelling camera which is somewhat acceptable to take with you on your travels.

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built-in flash
relatively wide (26mm)
very long reach (676mm)
missing Timelapse mode
resolution not great (12MP)
doesn't have a selfie friendly display
somewhat slow maximum aperture (f2.8)

Pentax X90 Landscape photography information

For those who are looking to buy a camera for landscape photographs, the most essential aspect will no doubt be image quality. The Pentax X90 and it's low score of 35 as a landscape camera is not really suitable in the current market.

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has manual focus
decently wide (26mm)
image stabilization (Sensor-shift)
fixed lens (fixed lens mount)
somewhat slow max aperture (f2.8)
screen is somewhat small (2.7")
megapixel count low (12 megapixels)
tiny sensor (1/2.3")
doesn't have RAW files
does not have Timelapse recording

Vlogging with Pentax X90

A camera for vlogging should come with a articulating display screen, mic port and preferably IBIS. Taking everything into account, the Pentax X90 is not really suitable as a vlog camera as it comes to a low score of 23.

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quite wide (26mm)
image stabilization (Sensor-shift)
slow max aperture (f2.8)
display isn't selfie friendly
low video resolution (1280 x 720 pxls)
missing mic jack

Pentax X90 Alternatives

If you are interested in replacements to the X90, here is a collection of the top rated cameras which fall under the category of Small Sensor Superzoom.

The line chart down below offers you a bird's eye view of the X90 vs it's highest rated rivals mentioned earlier.

Here are a few more cameras you might have a look at as alternatives. To see a extensive comparison, simply click the "compare" link.

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General Information
Brand Name
Model type
Pentax X90
Small Sensor Superzoom
Physical type
SLR-like (bridge)
Sensor Information
Sensor type
Sensor size
Sensor measurements
6.08 x 4.56mm
Sensor surface area
Sensor resolution
Anti alias filter
Aspect ratio
1:1, 4:3, 3:2 and 16:9
Highest resolution
4000 x 3000
RAW pictures
Highest native ISO
Lowest native ISO
Manual focusing
Touch focus
Continuous AF
AF single
Tracking AF
AF selectice
Center weighted AF
AF multi area
Live view AF
Face detection focusing
Contract detection focusing
Phase detection focusing
Total focus points
Lens mount type
fixed lens
Lens zoom range
26-676mm (26.0x)
Maximum aperture
Macro focusing range
Crop factor
Screen type
Fixed Type
Screen diagonal
2.7 inches
Screen resolution
230 thousand dots
Selfie friendly
Touch display
Viewfinder Information
DXO scores
DXO All around rating
not tested
DXO Color Depth rating
not tested
DXO Dynamic range rating
not tested
DXO Low light rating
not tested
Slowest shutter speed
4 secs
Maximum shutter speed
1/4000 secs
Shutter priority
Aperture priority
Manual mode
Exposure compensation
Change WB
Image stabilization
Integrated flash
Flash distance
9.10 m
External flash
AE bracketing
White balance bracketing
AF area
Center weighted
Video features
Supported video resolutions
1280 x 720 (30, 15 fps), 640 x 480 (30, 15 fps), 320 x 240 (30, 15 fps)
Highest video resolution
Video data format
Motion JPEG
Microphone support
Headphone support
Eye-Fi Connected
USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
Environment sealing
Water proofing
Dust proofing
Shock proofing
Crush proofing
Freeze proofing
428g (0.94 pounds)
Physical dimensions
111 x 85 x 110mm (4.4" x 3.3" x 4.3")
Battery ID
Self timer
Yes (2 or 10 sec)
Time lapse recording
Storage type
SD/SDHC, Internal
Card slots
Cost at launch