While it took Pentax longer than most to get into the compact digital ultrazoom class, their X70 was by most accounts a worthy addition to that field. Pentax has improved on the original a bit and the new X90 has corrected some of the X70 deficiencies, notably battery life and AF acquisition time at wide angle. Still image quality got generally good reviews in the first camera and the X90 follows suit with good image and color reproduction. The camera affords the user an above average number of inputs into some automatic settings, most notably ISO sensitivity.
There’s an annoyingly long blackout after the first shot in the full resolution continuous shooting mode and AF acquisition times at the telephoto end of the lens seem slower than the class norm. While video got upgraded to include a 30 fps capture rate, overall quality seems only average at best. Considering how good the still images look, this was probably the most surprising aspect of the X90 performance.
Of course, if video is your main concern you should really be looking at a dedicated video camera. On the other hand,if you’re looking to get into the superzoom class the X90 is a good way to go.
- Good image and color quality
- Very good shutter lag and AF acquisition time (wide angle)
- Nice array of user inputs available in many shooting modes
- AF acquisition time at telephoto a bit slower than average
- Video quality disappointing