New Pentax Optio W90

It’s taken about a year of hemming and hawing, but today I finally placed an order for a brand new camera.

One of the things that made shopping so difficult is that I’m not a photographer and have no desire to learn anything about photography. My brain’s full enough as it is!

How I narrowed down my choices was by listing my ‘must haves’ and then eliminating cameras one by one until only one remained. My list will make photographers laugh. The new camera must:

-Have easy to access buttons. I have big fingers with little dexterity. My current Exilim is excellent–it has a few, very well defined, well spaced out, buttons;

-Be easy to hold. My Exilim isn’t. I like how the Canons have a curvature in the front that makes them easy to grip;

-Not use regular-type batteries. I’ve taken thousands of photos with my Exilim over three years and am still on the original Casio lithium battery that lasts me a week taking hundreds of pictures a day;

-Make it easy to transfer the pictures. My Exilim has a dock that plugs into my Powerbook and iMac via USB. I just put the camera on the dock, click a button on it, and iPhoto opens;

-Be small. I can tuck my Exilim into a coat pocket;

-Have enough memory to hold several hundred pictures at a time;

-Be able to take many pictures in rapid succession, which is where my Exilim fails miserably. It’s a camera that only takes pictures when it’s good and ready rather than at my convenience;

-Have a big view screen. The Exilim’s screen is almost as big as my iPod Touch screen;

-Have enough megapixels to take pictures that will look nice when reduced to 500×500 or so on a blog;

-Be robust; I didn’t like having to worry about my camera last year on the Chilkoot;

-Have pleasing aesthetics;

-Price isn’t the foremost consideration, but less than $250CAD would be great.

And the winner, coming in at a reasonable amount over $250CAD is…

Pentax Optio W90 in Pistachio Green!

I debated waiting till August to get the camera since it will be coming out in orange, but decided that the green will do. ๐Ÿ˜€

I was going to order it off of for 299.99USD+shipping, the best price I’d seen, but further Googling revealed Abes of Maine, which had it on sale for 241.99USD+shipping. At that price, it was worth my adding a 4GB memory card (my current camera has just 1GB). The invoice just landing in my inbox and the total is 306.89USD. Even with the memory card, I’m at less than what would have charged me! Joe at Abes and I have been emailing back and forth all morning tweaking the order and I am thus far very impressed with the service.

The camera won’t be here for my trip next week (days off, yay!!!), but I will have it for my journey to Inuvik in August. I’m rather looking forward to seeing if the Pentax’s pictures of Tombstone will be any different from the Casio’s.
Check out my review of the Pentax Optio W90.

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  • I can relate to your list of “must haves” for a camera. Now if they would only figure out a way to take decent pictures with aging eyes. I can only “point and shoot” in the most basic way, as I can’t really see what is on that little screen. I don’t care if it does take up nearly the entire back of the camera, it’s still a little screen.

    I am looking forward to seeing the pictures from this camera, and will keep Abe’s in mind. Funny, but it seems a lot of blogger are buying new cameras with fancy telescopic lenses and such, and I thought that is what you were going to announce. I’m glad there is someone out there like me with large fingers that don’t want to deal with the little tiny buttons. Add to my list is few or no icons. Lord how I hate them – I just want to see words that I can understand!

  • I have bought from Abe’s and have been happy. It might be “Gray Market” ie: no USA warranty but who cares? Nice camera!

  • I like a big lcd screen, but I also was frustrated with how few inexpensive cameras now have the manual view screen. There are definitely times when the big screen is handy, but it is hungry for power, and in brighter sunlight, is nearly useless. I too wanted easy, and relatively compact.
    My new one is not super compact, but respectable – like an old cheaper manual focus analog camera for size. Not quite pocket, but a light neck dangler. It allows you to be more self reliant if you choose, but more importantly, is capable of point and shoot.
    Also, it does have that grip that you mentioned. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Not an easy shop. I hope you like yours too. (I agree with Martha – there are a lot of bloggers replacing cameras lately!)

  • When I saw I had three comments for this post, I was a tad nervous that they were going to be “OH NO, I can’t believe you bought a crummy Pentax!” ๐Ÿ˜€

    Martha: you and are in perfect agreement when it comes to cameras. I just want to be able to point it at what I want to record for posterity and be done with it. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Croft: thanks for the vote of confidence about Abe’s!

    Donna: My only experience with cameras has been with the big view screen like my Casio Exilim has, so I can’t compare. I’ve never had to worry about power; the lithium battery lasts about a week. You lost me with “manual focus analog camera”–do you mean a camera that uses, *gasp* film? ๐Ÿ™‚

    I’m replacing mine for two reasons: 1) it can’t do multiple shots in rapid succession and 2) it occasionally ‘loses’ my day’s pictures. *growl*

  • Yay for a new toy! I love when I get a new camera. I was obsessed with my DSLR when I first got it. Still am, but now I know what all the buttons and dials do. LOL

  • Nicole: DSLR? I’d owned my Casio for more than a year before I found out it has a zoom function. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Rae: DSLR = Digital Single Lens Reflect. I got a Nikon D60 for Christmas a couple years ago and love it! So crispy! But I still go back to my Canon PowerShot S5 when we are on the go or for super zoom. LOL. I would love a zoom lens for my Nikon but it is pretty much a house payment. So pricey!

    I would love a small pocket camera, I take LOTS of pictures and must admit that lugging around either of my digitals can be a pain.

  • Okay, that didn’t help much. Told ya I’m not a photographer! ๐Ÿ˜€ Small and portable is the only way to go for me. Anything fancier than point and shoot is wasted on me. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • […] importance before I get into the details of my day. One of the things that irks me about my otherwise wonderful camera is that it has to be plugged into the computer to transfer photos over. If I forget to eject it and […]

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