The Pentax X-5 – New 26x Superzoom DSLR Lookalike

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The Pentax X-5 – New 26x Superzoom DSLR LookalikePentax just announced a new superzoom camera, the 16-megapixel X-5. It looks pretty much just like a digital SLR except it has a long 26x 22.3-580mm (equivalent) zoom lens and an electronic viewfinder. There’s no digital SLR that comes with a kit lens like that – no one even makes a digital SLR zoom lens that long. There are other compact superzoom cameras with longer zooms but I believe the 22.3mm short end of the Pentax X-5 lens is the widest available on a superzoom camera – maybe even any compact camera. The X-5 also has a full HD video (1920 x 1080 @30 FPS), “Triple Shake Reduction,” a real mode dial, a 3-inch tilting LCD display and a range of shooting modes to satisfy everyone from seasoned pros to complete beginners.

Pentax X-5 26x Superzoom Camera

Pentax Optio WG-2 & WG-2 GPS Key Features and Specs:

  • 16-megapixel 1/2.33-inch backlit CMOS sensor
  • 26x 22.3-580mm (equivalent) f/3.1-5.9 zoom lens
  • Triple Shake Reduction (mechanical sensor-shift + digital SR mode + movie SR mode)
  • 1920 x 1080 full HD video at 30 FPS (h.264)
  • High-speed and Time-lapse movie modes
  • 3-inch 460k-dot tilting LCD display
  • 230k-dot electronic viewfinder (EVF) with diopter
  • Sensitivity: ISO 100 to 6400
  • Super Macro mode focuses as close as 0.4 inches (10.1mm)
  • 10 frames per second high-speed burst (reduced resolution)

Superzoom cameras like the Pentax X-5 are a great option for people who want the control and flexibility of a digital SLR without the cost and intimidation factor. The new Pentax X-5 caught my attention because it looks so much like a digital SLR. So much in fact, that I thought it might actually be a superzoom version of a digital SLR. I happen to have a Pentax K-30 DSLR sitting right here in front of me so I compared the X-5’s physical specs to the K-30 and it turns out they’re essentially the same size except the X-5 has a much longer zoom than the 18-135mm lens I have mounted on the K-30. So that’s pretty sweet – a 26x monster zoom in the same size package as the K-30 with a kit lens. However, I was disappointed when I looked at the specs and discovered the X-5 has a standard 1/2.33-inch point-and-shoot sensor. Yes, it is a state-of-the-art backlit CMOS sensor but it’s basically the same sensor you’d get in most point-and-shoot cameras right now. Bigger is better with digital camera sensors and unfortunately, the X-5 isn’t going to be able to deliver the image quality that its DSLR-like body promises. If you make a superzoom this big, you might as well take advantage of the size and give it a bigger sensor that that gives it standout image quality.

In spite of the small sensor, the X-5 is still a good camera. It’s packed with great features and the long zoom range is excellent – especially on the wide end. As I said at the beginning of this article, I don’t think the X-5’s 22.3mm wide-angle has any competition. At $279.95 (MSRP) the X-5 is also very wallet-friendly. You aren’t going to find another superzoom camera that offers the same combination of zoom range and control for that kind of money. I just wish Pentax really gone for it and given it a more worthy sensor.

The Pentax X-5 superzoom camera will be available at stores and online dealers next month (September, 2012). The suggested retail price is US $279.95. It will be available in black or silver.

Pentax X-5 Superzoom Camera Press Release >>

Related Content:
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Pentax Cameras Web Page

About the author: Photo-John

Photo-John, a.k.a. John Shafer, is the managing editor of and has been since the site launched back in 1999. He's an avid outdoor enthusiast and spends as much time as possible on his mountain bike, hiking or skiing in the mountains. He's been taking pictures for ever and ever, and never goes anywhere without a camera.

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