Ricoh has announced the launch of the Pentax XG-1, a bridge camera with a 52x optical zoom lens.

It also features a 16 million pixel back-illuminated 1/2.3 inch CMOS sensor, and finds inspiration for its appearance from the Pentax range of DSLR cameras.

The 52x optical zoom gives a 35mm equivalent focal range of 24-1248mm, which should get you very close to the action. There's also a digital zoom available of 4x, which boosts that reach up to 208x. At its widest point, the lens has a maximum aperture of f/2.8, rising to f/5.6 at the furthest reach of the lens.

On the back of the camera is a three inch 460k dot screen, while there's also a 200k dot electronic viewfinder for those who prefer traditional means of composition.

Pentax XG-1

Get close

A macro mode allows you to get as close as 1cm away from the subject, while continuous shooting of 9fps is offered for sports and other fast moving subjects. A super high speed continuous shooting mode with a maximum speed of approximately 60 images per second is also available (image size is reduced to VGA format), along with a standard high speed shooting mode of 30 images per second (image size is reduced to four million pixels).

Pentax XG-1

Full HD video recording is possible and there's a choice of digital filters, such as black and white. A range of shooting modes, including Program, Face Beautifier and Scene Mode are available.

Although it doesn't have inbuilt Wi-Fi connectivity, the X-G1 is compatible with Wi-Fi cards if you wish to add that functionality to the camera.

The Pentax XG-1 price will be around £279.99 / approx US $478 / approx AU $509 and it will be available from mid-August.