Originally Posted by Mark1616
From all the reviews I've read on it the image quality just doesn't cut it. I was seriously looking at getting on but instead got a Panasonic TS2/FT2 which has much better IQ. There is now the new Sony which looks to be slightly better again.
I have the Pentax W90 on order (from Abes @ $199 no shipping/no tax) and I have done a lot of comparisons with reviews and sample pics relating to the W90 and its competition. The TS2 has significantly more noise and fuzz at the same ISO looking at Steve's Digicam samples with the M&M doll. You don't need to enlarge at all to see the Pentax pics are much cleaner, sharper, and colorful. The Pentax cam produced video in the review link on this thread is very good for a non-camcorder, and underwater (in clear water) are some great scenes on the web and other good stuff. Sound is also good, in or out of water. My Art student daughter will get plenty of abstact mileage out of the excellent Macro features.
I don't get on well with lens in corner camera's like the Panny TS1 & 2 either (which the Olympus Tough is also guilty of), due to finger or glove in pic issues that are hard to avoid on the go ... and this camera segment is all about "action" photo's with spontaneous grab and shoot situations. The Pentax is super fast start and very low shutter lag. Getting the shot trumps all other details when you are out in nature especially!
There is also a Canon D10 WPrf cam, but it's more $ and is very bulbous which my 20 yr old daughter would not get in her pocket! Meanwhile, the W90 also has a tough carry strap and mounting lug/clip. In fact, my swimming, running, hiking, climbing, beach loving daughter is shortly going to be studying and travelling in Europe. She has a tragic record for breaking, dunking, and losing untethered cellphones (including two iPhones) that would make any parent go pale. If she returns next May without losing or being separated from her W90 (say in Marrakesh), I will report back on the survival test extraordinaire that this cam is going to be put through!
ps: The doors and seals are reportedly very durable and effective, as this Pentax has evolved from many years of waterproof cam field tests in that aspect of design.