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09-08-2012, 07:21 AM - 1 Like   #1
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Some X-5 news: a short preview

Hello everyone Just got a rare chance to preview the Pentax X-5, live.

Disclaimer:
Before everything else, it's a pre-production camera, so some of the things I describe here might change in the coming weeks. Couldn't put my SD card in to take samples so I just used its internal memory. Too bad it doesn't have WiFi, I could've uploaded photos taken with it here. Also, there are points that I may sound somewhat biased in terms of perspective to SLRs, because that's what I'm used to handling. so you might want to judge the camera more objectively.

Here are some photos, with captions to describe the camera.


The X-5 really looks like a DSLR. It's also almost the size of a K-x.


The lens fully extends on max zoom (26x). And bad news for lens lovers- that ribbed ring that looks a la DA18-55 WR does not turn. (I tried digging through the menu options, but couldn't figure out how to activate manual focusing too.)


That green button you see is not a green button; it's just the power switch that lights up when the camera is on. I actually thought it was the green button at first =))


Top view. Look how deep that grip is-- it's a wonder to hold! Honestly! It feels like I'm holding a lightweight K-5.


The X-5 in my right hand. All three fingers rest well on the body to hold, with my index finger falling right into the shutter button. It's really got great ergonomics!


Now to the bloody details..
This cam is really simple to the P&S user - lots of info in the screen, with the menus not so complicated (but there are a hell lot of options! It feels like a dumbed-down Q), but rich in terms of control. Had a hard time accessing the drive menu though, see that they're at the same button on top of the 4-way controller. Flash is OK but just enough for fill; hint: the K-x built-in flash pops brighter.. Also, that thing on top is not a hotshoe cover... it just looks deceptive. =))

The tilting screen feels like a Sony's. It feels tough. The entire camera feels tough for a plastic thing, actually. The texture makes you think it's got the skin of the K-5, minus magnesium or stainless-steel interiors. It's not that light either. Think the weight of a K-x/K-m minus two AA's. While it's not as awesome nor as handsome as the K-30's, the screen updates fast. It does get grainy in low-light though.

The photos: the lens renders and performs like the DA 18-55 kit lens, only with longer reach in the long end. The colors are well saturated, sharp enough stopped down, but suffer softness in the wide end, with recognizable distortion in the edges. In good light they look like typical SMC rendering- slightly warmer tones. The SR definitely helps when zoomed in. Mount it on a tripod and you got a great zoom lens in a light package! Highlights clip early though, and shadow detail isn't as clean as the Q. Not sure if it's the same sensor, but the Q performs better. The focus assist beam is orange not green; I don't know why they opted for that color in contrast to the DSLRs. Probably to make it distinctive?

Is the AF fast? Fair enough, compared to an entry-level DSLR. If you've tried using an FA28-105 PZ on a K-x, it's like that. But it's responsive. Very responsive. With good light, it focuses faster than my K-x, unless you're focusing from infinity to MFD or v/v. Face detection is quick, though not that smart. It doesn't grind to keep focus. Good enough for sports? At max zoom, DO NOT EXPECT But since I wasn't able to do an extensive AF test (had it with me for around 20 minutes, as I had to make way for others who also might want to check it out), I can't say if it will as fast or that decisive in all shooting situations. Especially fast-moving objects.

Video was... so-so. Its tiny sensor can handle noise really well, but... it's just not as good as the ones on DSLRs. That is expected. Good news though, there's a dedicated video button! Sorry everyone if I forgot to check all the ports... but I somehow recall seeing an HDMI port.



NOW, the EVF. Look into it, and it will feel like you've just traveled through time... to around 3 years ago. Pros: it contains a lot of info for a bridge cam... Cons: You think looking through it is bad? You thought right. But to be fair, it's fairly responsive, but also small. Don't expect any miracle out of it. I am sure OVF users will be disappointed.

Well, that's as much info as I can provide as of now... Conclusions? It's a downgrade if you're coming from a DSLR. It's years behind the Pana FZ200, or the Nikon superzoom. But then again, for its price... and its target market, it's an awesome catch, primarily for daylight IQ.


and oh, if I put the post in the wrong section please move it to the right one... thanks!


Last edited by Alizarine; 09-08-2012 at 07:27 AM.
09-08-2012, 08:09 AM   #2
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Lol it really looks like a K-5 shot with a shrinking ray!
I'm just not sure what the marketing department was thinking. It tries to ride on the good name of the K-5: It has a similar name, similar look, the lens looks similar with its "zoom/focus" ring (which doesn't actually turn), it has the green button (which isn't really a green button), it has a viewfinder that looks big from the front, but then turns out to be tiny..
The problem with coupling products is that while it may make the worse product sell more, it may also give a bad rep to the better product (or the brand as a whole)
But nice review, thanks for sharing!
09-08-2012, 08:15 AM   #3
mee
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Perhaps they are afraid of risk, so they are riding on what they consider a safer choice?

Which is also why, in the movie world, there are so many remakes these days..
09-08-2012, 08:32 AM   #4
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Thanks for the quick review. Looks like a decent offering for the price.

09-08-2012, 08:34 AM   #5
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Nice mini review

Nice mini review. What does the green button on the back do?
09-08-2012, 10:07 AM   #6
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Looks like a lot for the price!
09-08-2012, 12:17 PM   #7
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Basically looks like a K-5 with a fixed lens. Anyway even the model name itself speaks for it, they just replaced a K with an X. Then considering that you claimed it is a preproduction model and you're from Manila makes a lot of sense since most Pentax DSLRs are assembled in the Philippines (I have verified the bottom of a K-r and a K-5 and the name Hoya Corporation and assembled in the Philippines stands out, I suppose if the X-5 still bears that mark while Pentax has been repossessed by Ricoh then we could assume the assembly line in the Philippines remains).
09-09-2012, 04:15 AM   #8
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Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by lammie200 Quote
Nice mini review. What does the green button on the back do?
It functions as the green button when in shooting mode. Not sure how accurate the X-5 meters though, wish I had an X-90 to compare it to that time to compare its overall performance too
QuoteOriginally posted by deepblue Quote
I suppose if the X-5 still bears that mark while Pentax has been repossessed by Ricoh then we could assume the assembly line in the Philippines remains).
Yup check out the bottoms of K-30's now - they still contain that label, though the name has changed from Hoya to Ricoh (started with the K-01 I think)

09-09-2012, 05:50 AM   #9
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Price range in peso

Thanks for confirming, kabayan. I will be very much pleased if you could post the price range for pentax products in peso starting from Pentax Q, K-r, K-5, K-30, K-01 so I could weigh better where should I buy any further equipment, here in UK or at home when I get any holiday. Best regards.


Will
09-09-2012, 07:55 AM   #10
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It looks nice and if it can take descent pictures (P&S quality) then it is a nice travelcamera.
09-09-2012, 11:23 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by deepblue Quote
Thanks for confirming, kabayan. I will be very much pleased if you could post the price range for pentax products in peso starting from Pentax Q, K-r, K-5, K-30, K-01 so I could weigh better where should I buy any further equipment, here in UK or at home when I get any holiday. Best regards. Will
Kamusta po? Hope you're doing great out there! BTW here's some of the prices so far... sure prices during the last week of August: (mall retail prices; straight cash purchase prices are lower)

Q basic prime kit: Php 24,990 ($595)
K-r 18-55 kit: Php 25,990 ($618)
K-5 body only: Php 64,990 ($1,547!) straight cash price: Php 55,500 ($1,321!)
K-5 18-55/18-135 kit: Php 76,990 ($1,833!)/cash: Php 64,000 ($1,523!) || Php 96,990 ($2,309!)/cash: Php 72,000 ($1,714!)
K-30 body only: Php 44,990 ($1,071!) cash: Php 42,400 ($1,011!)
K-30 DAL kit/18-135WR kit: Php 47,990 ($1,142) / Php 64,990 ($1547!)
K-01 body: Php 29,990 ($714!)
K-01 XS kit: Php 38,990 ($928!)

this may change slightly for the better by this week since Photokina is here.

Not sure about UK prices, but I'm pretty sure you'll find cheaper deals there for brand-new items
09-09-2012, 03:42 PM   #12
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Ok lang dito kabayan, tiis tiis lang pero nakapag afford din ng ganitong hobby. I'm just glad to compare that Pentax K-5 still cost a lot back home where it has slowly taken a price drop here. Other Pentax cameras are priced quite the same as in here and I suspect the optimum low price for cameras could really be enjoyed if bought from Hidalgo camera shops back home. Salamat for taking time to update us of this Philippine prices to compare with (if Pentax assembly line in the Philippines really does contribute a factor). Best regards and we could only hope for the final outcome of the these latest Pentax products rumors after Photokina expose everything about two weeks from now.
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