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Pentax X-5

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14 45,030 Thu June 1, 2023
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
93% of reviewers $200.46 8.43
Pentax X-5

Pentax X-5
Pentax X-5
Pentax X-5
Pentax X-5
Pentax X-5
Pentax X-5

The Pentax X-5 is a "bridge" point-and-shoot digital camera featuring many of the advanced features of DSLR and mirrorless cameras condensed into a single-lens body. Its shape resembles that of the Pentax K-5 DSLR and it will be available in both silver and black. It features a quarter-VGA electronic viewfinder as well as a 3-inch LCD on the back, both of which can be used for shooting videos and stills.

The Pentax X-5 was launched in August, 2012 at a price of just $279.

This appears to be a successor to the Pentax X-90, though the latter has not been available for several years.

Camera nameX-5
Sensor16 MP (4608 x 3456) back-lit CMOS, 1/2.33 inch
ISO rangeAuto, Manual 100 - 6400
Image aspect ratio16:9, 4:3, and 1:1
Exposure modesAuto Picture, Program, Manual, USER, Movie, Handheld Night Snap, Sport, Landscape, Portrait,, Scene (Flower, Blue Sky, Sunset, Night Scene, Night Scene Portrait, , Fireworks, HDR, Surf & Snow, Baby, Kids, Pet, Food, Digital SR, Stage Lighting, Text, Museum, Digital Wide, Digital Panorama, Frame Composite), Green
Exposure compensation+/- 2 EV (1/3EV steps)
Expanded dynamic rangeHighlight and shadow
Light meterMulti-segment, center weight, spot
ShutterMechanical (in lens) and electronic (sensor)
Shutter speeds1/4s to 1/1500s. Night scene mode and manual up to 4s
Shutter lag0.046 s
Shake reductionSensor shift combined with software based (digital SR)
Drive modesSingle, continuous (1.1 fps), burst (10 fps up to 30 frames at 5MP (4:3) or 4 MP (16:9) resolution), self timer (2 and 10 s), remote control, auto-bracketing
Lens26x optical zoom, 4 - 104 mm F3.1 - F5.9 (22 - 580 mm eqv.), 12 elements in 9 groups
Digital zoom7.2x digital zoom for a combined zoom range of 187x
Auto focus9 point contrast detect AF, spot, auto tracking, macro, super macro, focus point selection, focus lock
Manual focusManual focus, infinity
Closest focus distance1 cm / 0.4 inches
FlashBuilt-in: Range up to 11.5 m/38 ft (wide angle), 6 m/20 ft (telephoto),
 flash exposure compensation
Viewfinder230,000 dot electronic viewfinder with diopter adjustment (-3 to +1)
White balanceAuto, Daylight, Shade, Tungsten light, Fluorescent light (3 settings), Manual setting
Digital filtersYes
File formatStill: JPG, Movie: MPEG-4 AVC/h.264 (.mov), Sound: PCM (.wav)
MovieFull HD (1920 x 1080) at 30 fps,
 HD (1280 x 720) at 30 and 60 fps,
 SD (640 x 480) at 30 fps,
 high speed for slow-motion playback,
 time lapse
 MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 compression
Movie shake reductionYes, software based
In-camera movie editingYes: Split into scenes, capture still image
LCD monitor3 inch tiltable, 460,000 dots (half VGA)
ConnectivityUSB 2.0, PC/AV, HDMI, DC in
Storage mediaSD, SDHC, SDXC, 75 MB built-in, Eye-Fi compatible
Battery4x AA
Battery life950 images with lithium, 500 with Ni-MH rechargeable
Special featuresDigital panorama mode, digital wide mode, date stamp, face detection, smile capture, blink detection
Size (W x H x D)120 x 86.5 x 106.5 mm, 4.7 x 3.4 x 4.2 in.
Weight599 g, 21.1 oz (with batteries)
Megapixels: 16
ISO Range: Yes, Full HD at 30FPS
Weight: 599g (with battery and SD card), 507 g (no battery, no card)
FPS: 26x optical
LCD: 3-inch Half VGA
In Production: Buy the Pentax X-5
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Senior Member

Registered: February, 2011
Location: Brno
Posts: 295
Review Date: June 1, 2023 Not Recommended | Price: $100.00 | Rating: 3 

Pros: Visual design, wide lens, long reach, usable video, articulating LCD
Cons: Horrible image quality, no RAW
New or Used: Used   

I bought this camera few years ago as 2nd hand mainly as collectible item because price was tempting. Visual design is promising, grip is very ergonomic, articulating LCD is nice and lens has very interesting range from 22mm wide to 580mm+ equivallent. This is the end of positives.

Image output in highest quality JPG is surprisingly horrible with huge amount of jpeg artifacts and noise removal processing visible. There are no details to speak about and if you resize images to 4-5Mpix you loose zero optical data. Camera unfortunately does not provide RAW which would probably help a lot to avoid such image processing.
Camera has constant tendency to overexposure photos and loose even more data in highlights. So taking pictures with EV-0.3 or -0.7 is pretty much standard.

Concerning manual controls, camera is quite limited to ISO and shutter, because there are only two aperture settings. Open or half closed. Both deep into diffraction already.
Sensor of this camera simply has too much resolution. 16Mpix for such small surface 1/2.33" is too much. With 8Mpix and RAW it would be much better camera to begin with.
ISO100 is so-so usable. ISO200 fairly noisy and anything above that kills even more details. ISO800 renders image unusable. Values like 1600-6400 are pure marketing scam.

Video offers either FullHD or low-res hi-speed and low-res time capture modes. FullHD is usable, hi-speed only can do short clips in 640x480, but might also be handy for something.
There is also "digital zoom" feature, but completely unusable as it only enlarges already bad image. Marketing scam only again.
Autofocus operation on stationary targets is acceptable, sometimes it needs refocus or simply does BF/FF. If subject moves, camera will probably miss every shot. If subject does not have contrast pattern, AF will miss too. There are various AF modes and each time you start the camera, it is switched to full auto AF zone with face detection. You have to select AF point mode always again to be able to tell camera on what you want to focus.

Lens has various optical issues as expected from such long but physically tiny zoom. Zooming action is OK for the price range/category. F3.1 - F5.9 is not very bright/fast and on long end you need a lot of light to keep that 580mm equiv steady (shutters like 1/640s with low ISO and F5.9 are only doable on good light). Or use tripod.

Camera can do interesting close-up or almost macro shots, but with limited image output.

Buttons on camera give you feeling that you are playing with some toy, because it uses cheapest tactile switches and simple plastic buttons over them. Just shutter button is better.
LCD is articulating and offers nice angles on tripod or above head. EVF is small and low-resolution, but usable especially on bright sun light or helps with aiming that 580mm equiv lens on target.

Menu system is inspired by other Pentax cameras, but looks like OEM from different company. Green button does not reset settings to auto like on Pentax DSLRs, but simply switches whole camera into FULL AUTO dummy mode including AF area, exposure mode etc..

Flash is OK, but camera does not have flash hot-shoe although it has similar shape on top plastic cover.
Lens has rubber ring around which looks like zooming or focusing ring, but unfortunately it is fixed and only for visual effect. Tripod mount is plastic. Camera runs on 4xAA batteries, which is not bad, but it can drain fresh 2000mAh NiMh quite quickly.

This camera is perfect example of some strange combination of interesting design idea (small K-5 like camera) mixed with cost cutting measures. I can imagine camera like Olympus Stylus 1s in the same body shape and it would be excellent compact, but X-5 as we have it is far from being good camera. It might be nice toy for kids or for users who have no idea about image quality. But if compared to lets say that Olympus Stylus 1, this is several levels worse and even though that Oly has "only" 12Mpix of resolution, it provides significantly more image data and resolution than X-5 with 16Mpix BSI CMOS. These days (2023) these cameras are both quite old and cheap, but provide VERY different experience.

Which is sad.. X-5 looks so nice, but that is not enough. If only it had that RAW or uncompressed TIFF support at least..

I can even imagine Q system camera with EVF in this body, that could be hit. But we have what we have.

New Member

Registered: November, 2013
Posts: 14
Review Date: May 24, 2020 Recommended | Price: $90.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: sharp lens, nice colors, video mode 60 fps
Cons: softness in corners at 24mm wide angle
New or Used: Used   

++ nice very easy to use

+/++ good image quality

++ excellent image quality at 35-100mm (in relation to 35mm full frame)

O/+ some weakness in the corners at 24mm WW - edges not very sharp and few CA's

for best results M program, low ISO and aperture closed

30x40 cm posters possible

highly recommended
Closed Account

Registered: March, 2015
Posts: 8,694

3 users found this helpful
Review Date: April 22, 2016 Recommended | Price: $195.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Excellent travel camera, good features
Cons: None for me
New or Used: New   

The Pentax X-5 is an excellent little travel camera. From the 1 cm. macro to the super-zoom ( 26X ), this camera is great for having the capabilities to do it all. I took mine on overseas holidays, and was glad that I did. I could have taken my DSLR ( K20D at the time ), but I would have missed many photographs because of not having the right lens on the camera. The picture quality is not that of a DSLR, but it is very acceptable. The articulating screen is very good for low to the ground or overhead shooting. I can highly recommend this little camera. PS. The Pentax XG-1 is the X-5 successor and is also worth a look.
New Member

Registered: May, 2015
Posts: 15

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: August 14, 2015 Recommended | Price: $120.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: I can carry the whole works. No bag full of lenses that I cannot even lift.
Cons: The battery.card cover. Be careful how you open it.
New or Used: Used   

For me, the best thing is the flip-out screen. I can put it on a tripod and I don't have to bend down. This is great since I can no longer bend down.
Image quality is acceptable, very much so for what it is. It will never match a DSLR with a carefully chosen lens, and a good flash setup, But, this is what it is capable of:
Forum Member

Registered: December, 2009
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 92

3 users found this helpful
Review Date: February 4, 2015 Recommended | Price: $240.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Good Anti Shake,good as a backup,good pics
Cons: For the price i cant think of any
New or Used: New   

Here is a couple of pics i took from Sydney Harbor Bridge ( One Wide and One Zoomed )
Veteran Member

Registered: March, 2014
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 890
Review Date: June 25, 2014 Recommended | Price: $89.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Nice feature set. Good quality pictures. Well designed.
Cons: Can't attach lens filters. No RAW / DNG
New or Used: New   

Bought the X-5 as a new/return item from a big-box reseller. Seemed like a perfect entry-level camera for my daughter. I want to see how she fares with this before going a full DSLR kit for her. The X-5 has a nice set of features similar to a full-blown DSLR allowing for experimenting and creativity with the ability to function as a nice P&S when you don't want to deal with the fuss. Picture quality is typical Pentax -- excellent! And zoom is surprisingly good. A very good "bridge" camera.
New Member

Registered: December, 2013
Posts: 1

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: December 21, 2013 Recommended | Price: $280.96 | Rating: 6 

Pros: easy to understand menu, small and easy to carry, easy to acquire power source, can do manual exposure
Cons: only two aperture settings, no raw format, no custom function, no ae/af lock command dial cannot be use to change settings.
New or Used: New   

I am using one myself as a main camera for event photography. So far I found out that this camera is too fiddly. I have to fiddle with the menu to get to the setting I want to get to. No raw and only two aperture settings on the manual settings, no accessorize lens adapter for filter attachment. Focusing is pretty sketchy but over all, The camera is great. Hope there will be firmware that will enable the raw function and make the aperture settings from f/3.1 to f/16 in 1/3 increments and I can use the command dial to navigate in the menu and also the AE/AF locks.
Junior Member

Registered: July, 2012
Location: Perth, Australia
Posts: 41

4 users found this helpful
Review Date: August 31, 2013 Recommended | Price: $180.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: well built, good image quality, zoom , macro, scene modes, value for $$$
Cons: heavy
New or Used: New   

I have the x90, predecessor and a colleague bought this at a bargain price through Australia Post shops. I gave him the run through and was immediately impressed.

Very similar system to the X90, but way better image quality, very solid feel, tilt out screen and a host of scene modes, but seemed to be missing the time lapse function.

For the price, this is a bargain!!! Looks and feels like a serious photo tool. My colleague was impressed and feels like a pro. The green line on the lens and overall quality look and DSLR feel is impressive.

Not meant to stack up against more expensive cameras in its class for high tech innovation, but as most people in this league just want a jpeg, program only function camera, then this absolutely fits the bill.

This is exactly the marketing tool Pentax needs to get its name back in the game with joe blow average consumer and Pentax Au teamed up with Aussie Post is doing this admirably. Top marks.
Senior Member

Registered: August, 2012
Location: Chicagoland
Posts: 244

6 users found this helpful
Review Date: August 24, 2013 Recommended | Price: $200.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Light all-in-one with APS-C equivalent 17 - 380mm
Cons: no aperture control
New or Used: New   

I have a K-5 and lots of gear, but I wanted something I could take into the field and get great documentary shots of flora without carrying $5K and 30 lb on my back. This definitely meets my expectations. It takes a little getting used to, though.

I'm used to shooting in RAW and regret losing the 14+ bit depth in DR, but I'm finding that if I use the D-Range option and pay more attention to exposure than I'm used to , I can still process through ACR and get great results for my purposes. I'll post some if I can figure out where best to do that on the forum.

With the "Manual" mode option, I was disappointed when my tests of high and low f-number failed to show any difference in DoF, and then I read something about their use of a "neutral density filter" which I think is probably being done electronically. So the "aperture" control basically is just an exposure option (about a 3.5 EV toggle) allowing you to shoot in manual to have control of both shutter speed and ISO.

To do this, I found it useful to program the "Green" button as a "function" button and assign ISO to the right side of the four way selector; I put focus mode on the upper and exposure on the lower with white balance on the left (which you have to pay more attention to when shooting in jpg only).

So I shoot only in manual, selecting my "aperture" based upon the desired shutter speed / amplification (ISO) balance. And this works perfectly fine for me since I'm not trying to produce artistic shots with amazing bokeh (although that is possible with this camera if you factor in the distances of subject and background into your composition.)

In evaluating the reach of the lens, I compared it with my K-5 and the Pentax 300 mm DA, and that's how I arrive at an equivalent of 380 mm for the X-5 at full extension. While contrast and resolution for the K-5 were marginally better, the difference would certainly not be worth carrying costs on a walk in the woods or a vacation trip. I'm finding the X-5 does quite well.

At my age, when I kneel down to take a close-up of a flower, I have a hell of a time standing up again, so I REALLY appreciate the tilt-out LCD display. I don't use Liveview on the K-5 much unless I'm doing focus stacking, so I naturally use the electronic viewfinder in the X-5 most of the time -- and autofocus exclusively, of course.

I should mention that I also have an Optio 80, a water-proof and dustproof compact, and in learning the software for the X-5, I also learned how to more effectively use the Optio W80 which has essentially the same software, and so I am now tending to carry that on my belt all the time. It is, however, significantly more noisy than the X-5 as ISO is increased, an no electronic viewfinder, tilt LCD etc. But I'm just saying that it still does a decent job of documentary and has similar software.

I picked up a 45mb/ss 16G card for the X-5 because I also want to do some video with it on vacation, but I've been using it with the 8G 95mb/s cards I use with the K-5, and don't notice big delay problems other than when it is trying to lock focus on something that is moving around.

So, in conclusion, I would highly recommend this as a fun, all-in-one carry-around camera at this price. It does a great job at both ends, near and far.
Senior Member

Registered: December, 2010
Location: Ljubljana
Posts: 238

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: April 25, 2013 Recommended | Price: $240.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: excellent lens, good image quality, great video
Cons: comes without a lens shade
New or Used: New   

it's dSLR-like styling can mislead even experienced people, but that was probably the idea behind this design: to pretend to be more serious. But X-5 exterior is not just show, it's all about good functionality. The unusual chunky grip gives excellent hold, the buttons are layed out clear, nothing to complain about. The articulated LCD is a real bonus, this particular construction less flexible but very reliable and more compact as others. The e-viewfinder is very usable in bright light, although it doesn't have stellar resolution. The viewfinder can also be used in playback mode when in the crowd you don't want anyone else to see what you have captured.

The lens is backed up by a efficient Shake Reduction, which allows freehand shots at extreme telephoto range. The photographic toolset is great for the beginner (a lot of different scene modes) but a bit less interesting for the advanced user (no Av & Tv modes, just P & M). Also the AE-lock button has been missed.

One thing blew me away and wasn't yet noticed by any former user review: X-5 captures fantastic video! The green button can be customized to act as a function-button and additional functions can be added to the four-way button array. To be even more flexible for video the X-5 has a HDMI-socket and a direct record button to instantly start video capturing.

How could Pentax make this sort of camera even better? By adding a manual zoom (like on the Fuji compacts), Av and Tv modes, a proper aperture in the lens (now it uses a ND-filter) and a AE-lock button would do it. Bigger sensor and the possibility to use standard dSLR accessories (like flash) would top it.
New Member

Registered: January, 2012
Posts: 19

5 users found this helpful
Review Date: April 23, 2013 Recommended | Price: $256.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Attractive, typical great ergonomics, very useable wide angle 22mm, well made, tilting LCD, quick start up, image quality
Cons: Writing speed slow, even using a Class 10 SD card.
New or Used: New   

Two weeks ago, I bought my second X5. I was making up for a mistake I made a few months ago when I sold my X5 over a SX50.

I've tried Nikon superzooms, and found their photos lack colour saturation and sharpness, and the Fujifilm HS superzoom series, and dislike their software and controls, so I bought the Canon SX50 in December 2012, and when I heard the Pentax X5 came out, decided to give it a try too. They were two different beasts. I decided to keep the Canon and sell the X5 because the X5 was heavier, and I travel as light as possible. But in hindsight, that was a mistake. For although it was lighter, the SX50 was not very user friendly, at least in my hands. In the end, the X5 was a better match and I've sold the SX50 and bought the X5 again, and a Peak Camera Clip to attach to my backpack straps when I go hiking.


- Price. Although price was not an issue for me, I can easily see that the form, features and function of the X5 exceeds that of every other superzoom of the same price.

- Zoom. Funnily enough, the X5 zoom seems to go further than 580mm, imho. I have never measured it, but having used to many, it seems to be as long as those that go to 680, 720 or even 800mm. Entirely subjective, but that's how I honestly feel about it.

- Wide angle- the 22.3mm wide angle (35mm equiv) is incredibly useful. You can easily point the camera around for self portraits, or for taking landscapes, or large group photos. Really can't emphasise how useful this wide angle is. Even had a group photo with 25 people in front of one of those windmills you have at wind/electricity farms and got everyone in, (turned side on like portrait)

- Ergonomics. This means- is everything where it should be, is it easy to use, do things get in the way of your fingers/eyes/nose. etc. The answer is that although it looks a bit messy (compared to the Canon SX50), it's very good.
- the electronic eyepiece, sticks out a few mm further than most, making it easier to look through, as you don't jam your nose against the LCD screen as much. The EVF itself is only average, but it's much more comfortable to use.
- There's a rubber pad where your thumb goes for easier gripping.
- The right hand grip fits my hand almost perfectly. I can carry the camera very easily.
- Buttons do not interfere. The Canon SX50 had a very light D ring, and often I would try to take a photo quickly, and after laboriously flipping open the 2 axis LCD, would try to take a photo, only to find I'd pressed the D ring and accessed some other function and no photo was taken. I'd then have to close that menu and restart. It wasn't just me. A Third of the time I gave the camera, in auto, to take photos for me, the user had the same thing happen to them as well.

- Fast start up. Press the on button, and you're ready to go in half a second. Much better than many compact sensor sized camera's I've used, and better than the SX50. Writing speed is a different issue though.

- Good range of functions, easy to use menu system, useable information on the display. I am used to the Pentax menu though, from previous dslr's so I'm biased here.

- Good battery life (although it contributes to camera weight, using x 4 AA's

- Good looking camera, seems durable.

- Tiltable LCD screen. It's only up and down, so not totally as versatile as two axis LCD's but I feel 90% of photos can be taken using single axis only, and it's so much quicker taking photos than fiddling with everything and needing 2 hands to balance the camera and screen.

- Red dotted button for single touch video. (I never use it though)

- Green dot button so you can customise the 4 D pad buttons- hold down Green button while pressing the D pad button for a customised function.

- Battery cover has a lock- not just click into close position, but actual switch for lock. This again is in contrast to the SX50 which did not have the lock switch, and opened 4-5 times on me, so the battery slid out, even though there was an internal latch supposedly to hold battery in.

- Oh yeah- what about the photos? Quality is good for the class, with good colour richness, accuracy and saturation, although you can adjust these too. Reasonable out of focus look, although hardly dlsr lens quality bokeh.

- Decent auto focus.


- Heavier than competitors. Given there are cameras which go out to 1200mm nows, you'd think the glass on the X5 would be about half the weight, and so the camera would be lighter. Not so.

- Can't get rid of Pentax screen on startup- might make turning the camera on even faster.

- Slowish write speed, even using a Class 10 SD card. But at least I can take the photo, due to quick start up.

- Fake manual zoom/focus ring.

- Can do high speed photo capture- 7-10fps? But it's reduced to 5mp. On the SX50, it was full sized.

- Zoom not as far as other brands, despite it's size.

Overall, Pentax has come up with a real winner. A well built, highly featured superzoom and, unusually for Pentax, aggressively priced (Pentax have a habit of pricing this at prices higher than their competitors, almost as if they don't want their products to sell......) The fact that I bought another one should say it all. I've already taken hundreds of photos with both X5's and I'll be using it more and more.
New Member

Registered: December, 2012
Location: Kedah
Posts: 10

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: January 16, 2013 Recommended | Price: $295.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Design, Feature, Weight, Zoom, Cheap
Cons: Battery Door, No Hot Shoe
New or Used: New   

I bought this as a present to my dad. My first impression was that it resembles Pentax K-5.
My dad love it.
New Member

Registered: December, 2012
Posts: 24

3 users found this helpful
Review Date: January 3, 2013 Recommended | Price: $320.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Features, zoom, price, Cmos sensor and so much more
Cons: really none
New or Used: New   

The X5 is a great camera. It does not pretend to be a DSLR but does have many functions that make it a great camera to use. easy for the beginner, and very useable for the more advanced user.
Veteran Member

Registered: November, 2012
Location: Raleigh, North Carolina, USA
Posts: 329

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: December 25, 2012 Recommended | Price: None indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: small, cheap, good quality
Cons: non-interchangable lens
New or Used: New   

I received this as a gift, I was very impressed by the image quality as well as the size of the camera. I would highly recommend this as an affordable camera.
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