Pentax X-5 Announced

An affordable "bridge" megazoom digital camera

By PF Staff in Pentax Announcements on Aug 22, 2012

It's not the long-awaited full-frame, or even a DSLR for that matter, but today Pentax has announced a very interesting 16-megapixel all-in-one "bridge" digital camera called the Pentax X-5.  The X-5 looks the part: it closely resembles the Pentax K-5 DSLR in terms of styling, with a sizable grip and a traditional would-be prism housing bearing the Pentax logo.  Its button layout is very close to that of the intro-level Pentax DSLRs, with a few modifications here and there to support features unique to this type of camera, such as built-in power zooming and the electronic viewfinder.

Pentax X-5 Silver Front

The X-5 houses a very powerful "megazoom" lens featuring 26x optical zoom over an aperture range from F3.1 to F5.9. Its zoom range is equivalent to 22.3-580mm on film, meaning that you can zoom all the way from wide-angle to extreme-telephoto without having to switch lenses (or cameras).  On top of that, the lens focuses as close as 1 centimeter, allowing you to take real macro shots (this feature is also found on the Pentax Optio WG-2, where we found it to work very well)!

Pentax X-5 Silver

Best of all, this camera is loaded with features and only costs $279, making it an amazing value!  It can shoot full-HD video, capture photos as quickly as 10FPS, and gives you plenty of manual control if you want to forgo full automation.  On the back of the camera you'll find a large 3-inch tilting LCD (with half-VGA) resolution, as well as a QVGA (approx.) electronic viewfinder (EVF).  We think that this camera will be an attractive option for many consumer photographers, as well as a nice backup body for more serious shooters, and we hope to bring you an in-depth review of it once it becomes available!  Until then, you can pre-order the camera in black or silver and expect it to ship toward the end of September.

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This type of camera isn't entirely new to Pentax, as two previous models (the X-70 from 2009 and the X-90 from 2010) closely resemble this new X-5.

Pentax X-90 New Pentax X-5

The only thing that we have second thoughts about is this camera's sensor.  While Pentax has included sensor-shift shake reduction in the X-5 body, the sensor itself closely resembles the 1/2.33-inch backlit 16-megapixel unit found in the Pentax Optio WG-2, which we found to perform poorly for landscapes and distant subject.  It could very well be that the X-5's larger lens will make up for the small sensor size, but seeing that other manufacturers have started putting such a big emphasis on large-sensor compacts (i.e. Sony with their highly-successful RX100), the future of digital camera surely lies there.  Nevertheless, we have no doubts that this handy little Pentax camera will be a success, as not even Olympus can't beat the low $279 price tag!

The full X-5 specifications will soon be posted in our Pentax Camera Database, where a basic listing with more photos of the camera has already been created.

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