The Pentax Optio E90 looks to prove that you can buy a decent compact for under £100. The Pentax E90 review follows...
This is as basic a compact as you can get, with a 10.1MP sensor, 3x zoom lens and VGA movie mode.
The E90’s sensitivity can be adjusted between ISO 100-1600, though there’s no lens- or sensor-based image stabilisation, only a sensitivity-based mode. Face Detection is complemented by Smile Detection, while a useful Image Recovery mode for retrieving accidentally-deleted pictures also features, as does AF tracking.
The camera starts up in around 1.5 seconds while shot to shot times are similarly satisfactory. The quietness of the focusing system means subtlety when shooting is a plus, though this together with the low-resolution LCD screen can make it difficult to tell when focusing is taking place.
Image details are clear and sharp, and the metering system produces consistent exposures in a variety of conditions, but a wayward Auto White Balance system, purple fringing and distortion at wideangle all compromise image quality.
A surprisingly effective budget compact camera