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Pentax X-5 review

Set to impress the bridge market with a gigantic zoom range

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What camera should I buy Your options explained
What camera should I buy?

On paper the Pentax X-5 sounds like it could fulfil the needs of a niche consumer base; seeking to please photographers who want a camera that exudes the build of a DSLR but has the simplicity of one lens that provides a huge focal range.

These shooters may also have a bias for auto operation, but want the potential for manual modes if the need should arise.

We liked

The eye-popping focal range is perhaps the main draw of the Pentax X-5, while the camera's incorporated manual mode will also seek to interest more advanced users - although it can be a tad trickier to operate than other brands'.

We disliked

While a manual mode is included, aperture priority and shutter priority are sadly forgotten, as is support for raw file shooting. Although image quality is of a solid level, there were slight issues with glare, noise and white balance.

Final verdict

While this is a neat little package, you should be aware that there are many other premium compact cameras fulfilling a similar need and producing stronger image quality, offering faster lenses and heavier feature sets, albeit at a slightly higher price point. The Canon PowerShot SX50 HS and Panasonic Lumix FZ200, for example.

That said, it feels unfair to be so critical of the Pentax X-5, because it does do a relatively good job at producing decent image quality and handles well in auto modes, and as such most novices may find this a great little camera.

The problem that some people will have is that, other than an extraordinary focal range, this bridge camera doesn't really offer anything new or exciting. Plus elsewhere it feels a little rushed or unfinished, with obvious features missing such as semi-manual shooting modes and support for raw shooting.

Tech Specs

Product TypeBridge Camera
Battery Size SupportedAA
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
TouchscreenNo
Effective Camera Resolution16 Megapixel
GPSNo
USBYes
HDMIYes
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
ColourSilver
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 Addresshttp://www.ricoh.co.uk
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