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Pentax XG-1

Reviews Views Date of last review
1 13,159 Wed July 19, 2017
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $210.00 6.00
Pentax XG-1

Pentax XG-1
Pentax XG-1
Pentax XG-1
Pentax XG-1
Pentax XG-1
Pentax XG-1

The Pentax XG-1 bridge camera was announced in July 2014 with a list price of $399.95 in the USA.

The XG-1 has 16 MP back-lit CMOS sensor and a 52x zoom lens, F2.8 to F5.6, 24 - 1240 mm equivalent in the 24x36mm format. It features Pentax sensor shift shake reduction in still image mode and software based shake reduction in movie mode. It captures movies in full HD at 30 fps.

It has a 200,000 dot electronic viewfinder and a 460,000 dot rear LCD.

The XG-1 replaces the Pentax X-5 and has a much larger zoom range, but a lower high ISO (3200 vs. 6400 for the X-5), and the LCD monitor is fixed rather than tilting, which has allowed for a more compact design.

The XG-1 has added Av and Tv exposure modes as well as a user mode (custom settings) over the X-5, and it operates on a rechargeable Li-Ion battery, where the X-5 used four AA batteries. The battery life of the XG-1 is just 240 images, where the X-5 could reach 950 images.

Camera nameXG-1
Sensor16 MP (4608 x 3456) back-lit CMOS, 1/2.33 inch
Recorded PixelsStill: (4:3) 16M (4608x3456), 10M (3648x2736), 5M (2592x1944), 5M (2592x1944), 3M (2048x1536), 0.3M(640x480) (3:2) 14M (4608x3072) (16:9) 12M (4608x3072), 2M (1920x1080)
ISO rangeAuto, Manual 100 - 3200
Aspect ratio4:3 and 3:2
Shake reductionSensor shift combined with software based (digital SR)
Exposure modesAuto Picture, Program, Aperture priority, Shutter priority, Manual, Face beautifier, Night snap, Scene (11 scene modes and HDR), Movie, Custom settings
Exposure compensation+/- 2 EV (1/3EV steps)
Light meterFace, center weight, spot
ShutterMechanical (in lens) and electronic (sensor)
Shutter speeds4s to 1/2000s. In manual mode down to 30s
Shutter lag0.2s
Drive modesSingle, continuous (0.67 fps), burst L 4.7 fps up to 10 frames, H: 10 frps up to 20 frames, 30 fps high speed at 4MP (2304 x 1728), 60 fps super high speed in VGA resolution (640 x 480), self timer (2 and 10 s), remote control, auto-bracketing, interval shooting
Lens52x optical zoom, 4.3 - 223.6mm (24-1,248mm eqv.), F2.8 - F5.6
Optics15 elements in 13 groups (6 aspherical elements)
Digital zoom4x digital zoom for a combined zoom range of 208x
Auto focusContrast detect AF, Single-AF, Multi-AF, Object tracking , Face detection AF, Continous AF , focus lock
Closest focus distance1 cm / 0.4 inches
Viewfinder200,000 dot electronic viewfinder with diopter adjustment
White balanceAuto, Daylight, Cloudy, Tungsten light, Fluorescent light (2 settings), Manual setting
Digital filtersYes
FlashBuilt-in: Range up to 6 m/20 ft (wide angle), 3.6 m/12 ft (telephoto),
 flash exposure compensation
MovieFull HD (1920 x 1080) at 30 fps,
 HD (1280x720) at.60/30 fps,
 VGA (640x480) at approx. 30 fps,
 high speed for slow-motion playback (no sound),
 MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 compression
Movie shake reductionYes, software based
LCD monitor3 inch, 460,000 dots (half VGA)
Storage mediaSD, SDHC, 15 MB built-in, Eye-Fi compatible
ConnectivityUSB 2.0, PC/AV, HDMI, DC in
BatteryLithium-Ion LB-060
Battery life240 images, 200 min movie
Size (W x H x D)120 x 89 x 96.5 mm, 4.7 x 3.5 x 3.8 in.
Weight567 g, 20 oz (with batteries)
AccessoriesAC adapter

Specifications are subject to change.
Megapixels: 16 MP
ISO Range: Full HD at 30 fps
In Production: Buy the Pentax XG-1

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Registered: June, 2007
Location: Near Algonquin Park
Posts: 34,320

4 users found this helpful
Review Date: July 19, 2017 I can recommend the Pentax XG-1: Yes | Price: $210.00 | Rating: 6 

Pros: Nice little camera if you want one "do everything" camera. And I mean, "do everything." The 35mm equivalent is 24mm to 1250 mm with macro.
Cons: It can be very annoying to operate.
New or Used: Used   

The things I do with my camera are:
1. Take pictures of birds at my feeders

The AF is not as fast as you'd like, but when you get results they are right up there with the best I shoot. So you ask yourself, can I do what I do with my K-3 Tamron 300 2.8 and 1.7 TC combo, the answer is yes I can and I can actually do better, but it will take me longer. However the 16 MP files are very good, good enough for any use I might think of for these files. You will be limited by the pretty hard 400 ISO max. but in good light you have a capable tool. One note. To shoot 1000mm even in equivalent terms, you need a tripod. You might feel silly putting a little camera this size on a tripod but, simple fact, you have to do everything with this camera you'd have to do with a 6 pound lens on a K-3, except the tripod can be a lot smaller.

2. garden flowers and small wildflowers.

The close focusing ability of this camera for macro is seriously flawed. This in itself is enough to cause the camera a loss of two points on the rating scale.

You are more likely to get this

than this

In fact the ratio for this was about 6 out of focus to 1 in focus. You lock your focus, and press the shutter, and just before the shutter releases it changes the focus point to the back ground. I suppose if I became an expert I could figure out how to make this work better, but, who wants to become an expert on how to use their "cheap and easy" camera.

However, once again, the results if you are patient are worth the wait.

These are the best images I've ever taken of these Hostas. The wide depth of field afforded by the small sensor gets the whole flower and the bottom right flowers in acceptable focus. That's nearly impossible with a K-3 or K-1. So we have at least one instance where this is the camera to use, bar none.

Operation is harder than any other Pentax I've used with the exception of the Q with a K mount macro lens on it but if you have the time, it holds it's own

3. My dogs.
It's actually a pretty darn good dog camera. Once you get out of the macro mode in the in between focal lengths etc. the AF is reasonably snappy. No complaints there at all.

4. Wildlife
I haven't had much opportunity to shoot wildlife. Tess picked the camera up in my absence and shot this duck image. Again, it's not snappy, but it gets the job done.

These are all areas at which my other cameras pretty much excel. The XG-1 is the "I've got it with me " choice. Not the "I'm sitting here with 5 cameras which one do I use?" Choice. It gets the job done, but a slower less predictable pace.

Now what about the areas where it might actually be the preferred camera.

5. How about family snapshots in good light?

It's got wide DoF and face recognition, just awesome for snapshots.

The the above shot, a square appears around the middle person's face and you just shoot, it also has smile recognition. It will hold your shutter until it sees a smile.

6. Zoom range.

For this aspect of the camera as a "do it all camera", this camera is incredible. The zoom range in 35mm terms is 24mm to 1250 mm. From this

Zoomed out at 24mm

Same tripod set zoomed in

The zoom range is so great it's going to be hard to pick out where in the frame the zoomed in image is taken.

I heard a complaint in a review I read that there were no 1250mm images. Well in good old Pentax forum style, we don't slack off.

Tess leaving the campsite.

A few minutes later she's about 500 meters away for a 1250mm image.

I don't care who you are, that's a great 1000mm plus image at a long distance.

8. other ordinary everyday stuff. It's A good average camera in those circumstances.

Can it handle the great outdoors in the noonday sun? Not particularly well, but in all seriousness, my K-1 didn't do a lot better.

Shots taken on a paddle about.

Nothing wrong there.

9. Sunsets... surprisingly good. IN fact I'd say stunningly good. Some amazing work has been done by the Pentax engineers to make this function top notch.

10. The camera has a special 4 MP burst mode avaialable from a top button that is just ecxcellent for producing 40 MP movie like gif at up to 30 frames per second. You know the people going nuts about the Sony A9 with 22 FPS? That's right, I said 30 FPS. Mind you it's on 2300 by 1700 but still. that's good enough for anything but a k monitor or above.

The problem with this mode is your viewfinder stays dark, so you can't track your subject. But still with a bit of planning it's a functional feature.

In short, if you are going to take just one camera with you on an outing with endless possibilities, you'd be crazy to leave this camera home. It's seems slow compared to many, the close focus is imprecise and there are many other issues. However, it gives you a fighting chance at practically any image you might want to take. That in itself is remarkable. Sometimes it's a choice between a camera that does everything poorly but is still useable, and camera that does a couple of things well, but can't do nearly as much. There are so many situations where this camera can get a decent shot, it's hard to argue it shouldn't be the first camera in the bag, as long as you are taking something else that's good for what you plan to shoot. And it's so small you'll hardly even notice it's there. It's not your plan to use camera. It's your un-anticipated opportunity camera.

But if you have to use it a lot, it won't focus on subjects close to the camera even 20% of the time. When the face recognition or whatever algorithm decides to shoot something you aren't aiming for, you are locked in a hopeless situation. Even with your subject filling the frame for some reason that little green square is locked into that little corner focussed on somebody's hedge and you can't get it out of there even by turning the camera off and on.

In the end. 2/10 for ease of use.
7 out of 10 for image quality.

That's an average of 4.5 out of 10. I gave it a 6 because I was feeling generous and because if it's all you've got, it really is a great (but annoying) camera. Great image quality in a small package, but it can border on in-operable. It's definitely not for those lacking in patience or time, unless you use it for snapshots, as a point and shoot.

And you have to remember, normally these images would have been taken with a K-1 or K-3, a standard lens, a macro lens, a medium telephoto and a really long telephoto weighing 15 pounds at least. This camera fits in my pocket, and weighs less than most of my lenses. If you value convenience and portability more than ease of use and low light or narrow depth of field capability, you could easily rate this camera a 10.

Edit: It has an electronic viewfinder you can switch on instead of using the back screen. It is very handy shooting in the bright sun, and making it much better than your average point and shoot or even a Q. Plus the electronic viewfinder allows you to display the histogram, in the viewfinder should you choose to do so.

As of July 20, 2017, for the next few days any questions will be answered in this thread
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