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Pentax Optio W90: Strapping snapper

Last year's Pentax Optio W80 rugged camera has been guzzling steroids and pumping serious iron, emerging as the Optio W90, a barking nutjob and no mistake

Last year's Pentax Optio W80 rugged camera has spent the past few months down the gym, guzzling steroids and pumping serious iron. Now it's emerged as the Optio W90, a barking nutjob and no mistake. 

The W90 shares the same 12.1-megapixel resolution as the W80, but can dive deeper (6m rather than 5m) for up to 2 hours, and can fall further too (1.2m rather than 1m). Like the W80, it can operate at temperatures as low as -10C, and it laughs in the face of dust. It comes with a carabiner strap for attaching it to your backpack or Challenger battle tank.

You can record 720p videos at 30 frames per second and watch them back on the 69mm (2.7-inch) LCD display, which has an anti-reflective coating. There's a mini-HDMI port too, if you want to display your antics on a high-definition TV.

A 5x wide-angle optical zoom lets you get up close and personal with your enemies as they charge towards you, while a 'digital microscope' macro mode lets you take photos of them from as little as 1cm away, when they're all up in your face, giving it all that. Three LED lights ranged around the lens barrel mean you needn't worry about casting shadows on your subject.

The W90 can detect up to 32 human faces at a time, but you can also register the faces of up to three dogs and cats, and set the camera to take a photo of them when they look directly at the camera -- useful for snapping that man-eating tiger that's been doing the rounds, before you slice its head off.

The W90 will be available from March for around £270. Keep an eye out for our review, in which we'll do our best to duff it up a treat.