Pentax X-5 review

Set to impress the bridge market with a gigantic zoom range

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We found that the Pentax X-5 has a slight bias towards overexposing in auto and scene modes, with an apparent loss of detail in the shadows, and slightly blown out highlights in some cases.

The Pentax X-5 offers eight white balance presets plus a custom option. Using the majority of these options produced satisfactory results, with colours being very nearly on point. Yet the daylight, auto and even the custom option failed to deliver colours as rich as the real-life subjects, with reds and green in particular appearing muted.

In terms of noise performance, we see little disruption at ISO 100 and 200, with colours appearing smooth and lines clean. The first tale-tell signs become visible in darker sections of images by ISO 400, and are quite obvious by ISO 800, with colours and the crispness of detail becoming compromised.

Pentax X 5 review

After that, images show clear incremental damage as we move through the sensitivity range, and by ISO 3200 and certainly by 6400, the image quality is so degraded at full size that results are relatively unusable.

Chromatic aberrations are noticeable in areas of high contrast, as is often the case with lower-end compact cameras.

However, what is more disturbing is the purple glare captured in any circumstance where the light source is photographed - be it as harsh as the midday sun or as delicate as a flickering church votive.

Pentax X 5 review

We see relative softening at either end of the 22-580mm focal range straight out of the camera, but nothing that should put you off.

However, despite Pentax promising no compromise to image quality when using the infamous Intelligent Zoom feature, we found the results at its full extension were relatively unusable. They more often than not exhibited distortion, blur and colour desaturation.

Given its very reasonable price tag, we weren't expecting flawless images, yet actually the Pentax X-5 does very well for its class. There were a handful of image quality concern areas we could take issue with, but nothing that should deter you from considering it.

Pentax X 5 review

Tech Specs

Product TypeBridge Camera
Battery Size SupportedAA
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
Effective Camera Resolution16 Megapixel
Wide AngleYes
HD Movie ModeYes
Memory Card SupportedSecure Digital (SD) Card, Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC), Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) Card, Eye-Fi Card
Image StabilizationOptical
Optical Zoom26x
Digital Zoom7.2x
Brand NamePentax
FeaturesBlink Detection, Face Recognition, Face Detection, Smile Detection, Pet Detection, Live View, Self-timer, Continuous Shooting Mode
Screen Size7.6 cm (3")
Video FormatsMPEG-4 AVC
Viewfinder TypeElectronic
Weight (Approximate)507 g
Image Sensor Size1/2.33" (6.13 mm x 4.60 mm)
Maximum Image Resolution4608 x 3456
Display Screen TypeLCD
Height86.5 mm
Width120 mm
Depth106.5 mm
Focal Length4 mm to 104 mm
Image FormatsJPEG
External FlashNo
Focus ModesManual, Auto
ManufacturerRicoh Imaging Company, Ltd.
Product ModelX-5
Product NameX-5 Bridge Camera
Exposure Control
  • Program AE
  • Aperture Priority
  • Shutter Priority
  • Manual
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part Number12773
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

Within its compact, easy-to-carry body, the PENTAX X-5 features a high-magnification optical 26-times zoom lens offering a focal-length coverage from 22.3mm ultra-wide angle to 580mm super telephoto (in the 35mm format). Coupled with the 1cm Macro mode, which lets the photographer capture dramatic close-up images of a subject from just one centimeter away, it offers quick, effortless shooting in a wide range of photographic situations. It also provides the Intelligent Zoom function, which extends the camera's zoom coverage to approximately 187.2 times (for a focal length of 4174mm in the 35mm format) without compromising image quality.

Package Contents
  • X-5 Bridge Camera
  • USB Cable I- USB7
  • 4 x AA Alkaline battery for X-5
  • Lens Cap O-LC129
  • Strap O-ST92
Limited Warranty1 Year