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January 25, 2010

New Pentax Optio H90 tries to make Optio P&S cameras cool

Once upon a time, Pentax tried some interesting ideas with their Optio cameras, like the rotating Optio X, the bazooka hybrids (long before stills-video convergence was popular), and the retro-cred Optio 750. The last few years however, the Optios were relegated to traditional P&S models and waterproofs. However, today, the Optios return to retroness with two new retro cameras.

First up is the new Optio H90, which starts with a modest price of $180 and features a 12mp 1/2.3" sensor, with a 5X optical zoom lens (28-140mm eq), 30fps 720p HD video, 2.7-inch (230K) LCD, face-detection, digital filters, and the usual consumer-friendly/consumer-bait features. However, there is no actual image stabilization here. There is program and scene modes, but no ASM of PASM.

It takes SD/SDHC and is friendly to EyeFi cards as well. It takes the D-LI88 lithium-ion battery which is partly what allows it to be so slim. It's hard to do this with AA-batteries, even if you only use two of them.

Pentax estimates start-up time to be 1.7 seconds and shutter release lag 0.03 seconds.


The camera is available for pre-order at Amazon for $180 in your choice of multi-tones, including the cool-looking orange (see above), along with the also cool-looking black-and-white, and the white-silver. Shipping is estimated to begin in February, but as always, it's not set in stone.

And in a rare display of announcement-website co-ordination, the new cameras are now shown at the Pentax Web Store!

Further Reading
+ dpreview
+ Imaging Insider
+ Photoscala
+ The PhoBlographer

Update (Febr 2010)
According to Pentax Japan the initial production output for this particular model is 65000 monthly units. A decent amount for sure.

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