Tried & Tested

Tried and tested: Pentax Optio H90 digital camera

28 Jun 2010 by AndrewGough

Toy-like or post-modern retro? Business Traveller tries out the H90 from Pentax

Pentax Optio H90Being a bit of a fan of anything “Japanese pop”, Pentax’s Optio H90 immediately caught my eye – not only because of its funky, minimalist design but its very reasonable price tag. It is available in three colour-ways – silver and white, silver and black, and orange and silver (my favourite) – and although feels a little bit toy-like, has a post-modern retro look to it as well that would appeal to a certain audience. 

The 12.1-megapixel camera features a Pentax lens, 5 x wide-angle optical zoom, 6.25 x digital zoom, 2.7-inch screen, a rechargeable battery, and HD video (720p) at 30 frames per second. Image quality is very clear and sharp, colours are true, and is particularly good for shooting outside. However, some interior shots had a yellowish tinge to them. Recovery time is quick so you don’t need to wait more than a second or two to take another picture. 

I liked the fact that the menu system is intuitive so there was no need to trawl through the user manual before using it. There is a simple zoom bar on the back by the screen, separate buttons for playback, face detection, delete and menu, and a central four-way jog button for flash, macro, timer and mode settings, with “OK” in the middle. However, some people may find them hard to see without glasses as they are quite small.

Another nice touch is that the unit is compatible with Eye-Fi wireless memory cards that automatically transfer pictures from the camera to a computer without the use of a cable. But unfortunately I did not have the opportunity to try this function. 

There are a number of filter options including extract colour, colour enhancement, retro, soft and brightness but being a bit of a purist, again I didn’t play around with these much. One small negative I noticed was when playing back still photos on the camera, there is a 0.5-second lag on the image coming completely into focus, which is a little annoying. But if you are looking was a well-made, small, easy-to-use point-and-shoot, this is a good piece of kit at an affordable price. 

PROS Clarity of image, easy to use, affordable

CONS Toy-like design won’t appeal to everyone

PRICE £118


Jenny Southan

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