Pentax is going for broke with its take on the rugged camera, the W90
, which is unlikely to ever be confused for a svelte and stylish point-and-shoot. What it loses in looks, it gains in usability, however, as the 12.1 megapixel shooter can withstand shocks from a height of four feet, go nearly 20 feet under water, and
withstand temperatures as slow as -10 degrees Celsius. The dustproofing is just topping on that rugged cake, though it still offers things like 720p / 30fps video recording and 5x optical zoom that are now considered standard camera specs. There are also three forms of shake reduction: one is post-processing of affected images, the second is by automatically increasing the ISO in low light conditions, and the third is the use of "exclusive software" during movie mode. We can't say any one of those will be as good as a well-implemented optical image stabilization, but at least they're there and might offer some assistance. As to the X90, it joins a growing
band of 26x and above optical superzoomers
, while adding the W90's 720p video mode and anti-shake plus its own sensor-shift stabilizer for good measure. Both shooters are expected in April, priced at $330 for the W90 and $400 for the X90, though we've noticed the former will show up a month earlier in the UK with a £270 ($417) price tag.