247 of 250 people found the following review helpful
on September 23, 2012
Color Name: BlackVerified Purchase
I was reluctant at first to purchase this camera thanks to its small sensor (typically smaller sensors show more noise in the images), but, since it is a backlit sensor, similar to the Pentax Q (which I thoroughly enjoy), I decided to try it. The cost helped, too, of course. So far, I have shot nearly 300 images since getting the camera, and, so far at least, I am very impressed with the images I have obtained.
The camera build quality is okay but is nowhere near the level of the Q. Buttons don't have much in the way of tactile feedback and actually seem somewhat mushy on my copy. The camera itself is fairly lightweight considering the amount of glass in that zoom lens, but it is bulky, making it seem (to me) to be bigger than it really is. I suspect those people with small hands might have difficulty with the grip -- it's very deep, but fits my hand pretty well. The battery door, the bane of many modern cameras, seems awfully flimsy (IMO), but perhaps it is better built than it seems -- I've certainly had no problem with it so far even though it is very tight-fitting with batteries installed. The LCD tilts nicely and solidly holds its place, no matter where it is positioned. When I turn up the brightness, the LCD is clearly visible in the direct Texas sunlight I have to cope with. The EVF, while being somewhat low resolution, is actually far better than I had expected, being clear enough for composition and manual focusing. The EVF diopter adjustment can accommodate my terribly myopic eyes. I can even see the entire view with my glasses on!
On my copy of the camera, the exposure is a bit off. I've had to dial in a -0.7 to -1.0 EV to get a better shot. Switching to Spot metering helps a little, but the exposure is still too bright in most situations I have encountered so far. The camera resets the EV setting to 0.0 upon restart, a bit annoying to me, but not a big deal and it may be irrelevant to the average user.
Images are surprisingly clean to my eyes, but when pixel peeping I can see that noise has been handled a little too aggressively by the camera. I suspect it would only be noticeable in huge prints, though, which I don't make very often. Unfortunately, though, the camera provides no RAW saving capability, but the JPG engine is quite good enough for me. I have not bothered trying any ISOs beyond 400; 400 is the max I ever use for my style of photography, even when shooting film.
The lens covers a huge range (one of the selling points of the camera, right?) and the optical quality is pretty good. However, some chromatic aberration creeps in when shooting high contrast scenes (birds against a clear sky, for example), especially at the longer focal lengths. Again, it's really only noticeable to me when pixel peeping. Zooming is virtually silent and reasonably fast. For that matter, once you turn off the annoying shutter noises, the camera is incredibly quiet. Be warned about startup/shutdown and processing times, though. The camera is rather slow to start: positioning the lens takes a second or so and increases slightly if you have the zoom "memory" set -- this is where the camera returns the camera to zoom position it was last at when powered down. Powering down also takes a second or so as the lens has to follow an interesting "dance" to retract into the camera. Finally, even when pre-focused, I have noticed a modest delay in capturing/saving photos. The camera isn't really one for you action photogs, sorry to say. The macro is phenomenal! While many cameras reserve macro for the widest location in the zoom range, the X-5 uses the middle end of the zoom, giving the photographer better composition options, IMO. There is also a 1 cm macro setting that really lets you close in on your subject.
Manual control is implemented better in this camera than in some others I have used. Tapping the EV button on top will switch the control wheel between shutter speed and aperture. This arrangement works quite well for me but YMMV.
What has really surprised me is the battery life. As I wrote above, I have shot nearly 300 photos so far and the battery indicator hasn't changed since I first put in the batteries (Sanyo Eneloops).
All in all, if you are interested in a bridge camera with a long zoom range, you really can't beat the Pentax X-5. While the size might put off some, remember you are getting a zoom lens that goes from 22.3mm to 580mm (in 35mm equivalent focal lengths). It is far from perfect, but, given the cost, it is well worth the money.
I know this is a rather long-winded review, but I hope someone will find it useful.
191 of 195 people found the following review helpful
on February 13, 2013
Color Name: BlackVerified Purchase
Having been a professional photographer with experience in Pentax quality, the X-5 is a mixed blessing to me. I like very much the design and layout of controls, the dual viewing screens (eye and tiltable 3 inch) and the overall feel in your hands. It gives you the DSLR feel, although on a smaller scale. The software is very logical and easy to figure out, plus the large instruction manual explains things nicely. The digital anti-shake performs flawlessly and is really quite breathtaking in what it can do ( i.e.- zoomed out to about 1000mm and still being able to read a sign that was a hand-held photograph) Having praised its attributes, I have some big disappointments with the pictures it takes. In bright sunlight, the picture is certainly acceptable, but the edges are definitely soft to the extreme. This is due, no doubt, to the camera software only providing 2 f-stops for pictures: wide open and about f-8. (price you pay for the convenience of a lo-o-o-ng zoom). Is it worth keeping?? I guess so, the price was good for the features it offers, but I really expected more from Pentax on this one.
March 12th update to 1st review: I've spent a couple of weeks with the camera now and have come to like it. Lens performance is still soft on the edges to the point it sometimes gets annoying, but that lo-o-o-ng zoom can really amaze you. I zoomed in on a steeple with a clock (about 900mm) and could read all the numbers, where in the wide angle shot (22.5mm), you could not even see the steeple. Plus, I photographed the full moon full frame and could see the craters. The anti-shake software again performed flawlessly as I could hardly keep my hands steady enough to keep the moon in frame. I know being on a tripod is the proper way to shoot the moon, but I was testing the camera this way on purpose to see how it would capture a hand held photograph, using the anti-shake. Pentax aced it on that software. I'm glad I kept the Pentax.
63 of 65 people found the following review helpful
on April 21, 2013
Color Name: Black
Two weeks ago, I bought my second X5. I was making up for a mistake I made a few months ago when I sold my X5 over a SX50.
I've tried Nikon superzooms, and found their photos lack colour saturation and sharpness, and the Fujifilm HS superzoom series, and dislike their software and controls, so I bought the Canon SX50 in December 2012, and when I heard the Pentax X5 came out, decided to give it a try too. They were two different beasts. I decided to keep the Canon and sell the X5 because the X5 was heavier, and I travel as light as possible. But in hindsight, that was a mistake. For although it was lighter, the SX50 was not very user friendly, at least in my hands. In the end, the X5 was a better match and I've sold the SX50 and bought the X5 again, and a Peak Camera Clip to attach to my backpack straps when I go hiking.
- Price. Although price was not an issue for me, I can easily see that the form, features and function of the X5 exceeds that of every other superzoom of the same price.
- Zoom. Funnily enough, the X5 zoom seems to goe further than 580mm, imho. I have never measured it, but having used to many, it seems to be as long as those that go to 680, 720 or even 800mm. Entirely subjective, but that's how I honestly feel about it.
- Wide angle- the 22.3mm wide angle (35mm equiv) is incredibly useful. You can easily point the camera around for self portraits, or for taking landscapes, or large group photos. Really can't emphasise how useful this wide angle is.
- Ergonomics. This means- is everything where it should be, is it easy to use, do things get in the way of your fingers/eyes/nose. etc. The answer is that although it looks a bit messy (compared to the Canon SX50), it's very good.
- the electronic eyepiece, sticks out a few mm further than most, making it easier to look through, as you don't jam your nose against the LCD screen as much. The EVF itself is only average, but it's much more comfortable to use.
- There's a rubber pad where your thumb goes for easier gripping.
- The right hand grip fits my hand almost perfectly. I can carry the camera very easily.
- Buttons do not interfere. The Canon SX50 had a very light D ring, and often I would try to take a photo quickly, and after laboriously flipping open the 2 axis LCD, would try to take a photo, only to find I'd pressed the D ring and accessed some other function and no photo was taken. I'd then have to close that menu and restart. It wasn't just me. A Third of the time I gave the camera, in auto, to take photos for me, the user had the same thing happen to them as well.
- Fast start up. Press the on button, and you're ready to go in half a second. Much better than many compact sensor sized camera's I've used, and better than the SX50. Writing speed is a different issue though.
- Good range of functions, easy to use menu system, useable information on the display. I am used to the Pentax menu though, from previous dslr's so I'm biased here.
- Good battery life (although it contributes to camera weight, using x 4 AA's
- Good looking camera, seems durable.
- Tiltable LCD screen. It's only up and down, so not totally as versatile as two axis LCD's but I feel 90% of photos can be taken using single axis only, and it's so much quicker taking photos than fiddling with everything and needing 2 hands to balance the camera and screen.
- Red dotted button for single touch video. (I never use it though)
- Green dot button so you can customise the 4 D pad buttons- hold down Green button while pressing the D pad button for a customised function.
- Battery cover has a lock- not just click into close position, but actual switch for lock. This again is in contrast to the SX50 which did not have the lock switch, and opened 4-5 times on me, so the battery slid out, even though there was an internal latch supposedly to hold battery in.
- Oh yeah- what about the photos? Quality is good for the class, with good colour richness, accuracy and saturation, although you can adjust these too. Reasonable out of focus look, although hardly dlsr lens quality bokeh.
- Decent auto focus.
- Heavier than competitors.
- Can't get rid of Pentax screen on startup- might make turning the camera on even faster.
- Slowish write speed, even using a Class 10 SD card. But at least I can take the photo, due to quick start up.
- Fake manual zoom/focus ring.
- Can do high speed photo capture- 7-10fps? But it's reduced to 5mp. On the SX50, it was full sized.
- Zoom not as far as other brands, despite it's size.
Overall, Pentax has come up with a real winner. A well built, highly featured superzoom and, unusually for Pentax, aggressively priced (Pentax have a habit of pricing this at prices higher than their competitors, almost as if they don't want their products to sell......) The fact that I bought another one should say it all. I've already taken hundreds of photos with both X5's. I can't wait to take it hiking with my new Peak camera clip.
Thank you for your patience- I do tend to be too wordy!
61 of 63 people found the following review helpful
on October 3, 2012
Color Name: Black
I had the Pentax X70 and X90 and was fairly impressed with both, marginally favouring the X70. I reckoned both cameras to be underrated by the experts, but not by most users. It was thus with some confidence that I bought Pentax's latest bridge camera. First impressions suggest I was not wrong. Despite the hike in megapixels from 12 to 16 sounding warning bells, the image quality exceeds that of both the X70 and X90 and better than most of Panasonic's FZ range - and I've had most up to the FZ150. The X-5 seems comparable to that - and that is praise indeed. AND it's about 45% cheaper. How do Pentax do it?. It can't just be the saving from the brown box it comes in.
It is much heavier than the X70 or X90, and that's no bad thing as Pentax's previous 2 bridge cameras felt too light to hold steady at maximum zoom. The EVF is very clear and the 3 inch screen is excellent.
The only worry is the battery door, which seems a bit flimsy and you need care to close it securely. Don't know how long AA batteries will last but I've invested in some Sanyo Eneloops.
For the money, this is the best bridge camera I've owned. Early days, yes, but I am very impressed!
30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on February 7, 2013
Color Name: Silver
The Pentax X-5 is my second bridge camera, the first being the GE X5. The GE was a great camera to really learn about manual settings and so forth, but it was easy to outgrow. I did a lot of searching before deciding on the Pentax, comparing cost, features, and other factors across the board (including DLSRs and system cameras). My decision to purchase the Pentax involved little compromise, as the camera is full-featured and easy to use.
One of the features I was undecided about in terms of bridge cameras is manual focus. Increasingly, manufacturers are including manual focus as an option, albeit not on the same level as DSLRs. The Pentax X-5 does include a manual focus mode (digitally controlled through the buttons on the back). The feature is not quick, but it works extremely well. This was the only point of compromise I made against the DSLRs I was considering, as manual focus on higher-end cameras is far more controllable and speedy.
In any case, the auto focus on this camera is fast and accurate, something that the GE X5 was not capable of being. The images on this camera are fantastic, and the digital filters can be applied after the picture is taken with the option to save the edited image separate from the original. The non-destructive nature of this feature is certainly a treat, although it comes at the expense of being able to see the image through the filter as you're taking it. For instance, you can't switch to a monochrome mode and see what the picture will look like in black and white before you take it. This can present some challenges if your composition has a lot of lighter colors which would look too similar in monochrome, so you have to do some thinking in terms of composition. This is much like film cameras and is a limitation that can help you become a better photographer, so I don't mind it too much.
The zoom on this camera is fantastic. You can maintain a high level of detail and control while zoomed in, and the twofold camera stabilizer works well to eliminate jitters at full zoom. Still, I recommend a tripod for best results.
The only thing I wish this camera had was a dedicated time-lapse feature. It would have been nice to have a mode where the camera took pictures at 10- or 30-second intervals, but no such feature exists. The only analog to it is actually in video mode, where it cuts frames out at intervals. The effect is not as detailed or controllable as true time-lapse.
Video on this camera is respectable, but not amazing. The slow-motion capture on this camera suffers on a few counts, as resolution is limited to 640x480 and you can only record 15 seconds at a time (this gives you a full minute of video when you slow it down to normal speeds). Still, it's fun to play with, as I've gotten some great videos of my kid jumping on his bed.
For the price, this camera is unbeatable. There are still some pretty clear advantages of going with a full-fledged DSLR, but if you need a camera packed with features that carries well, you're looking at the right camera. In fact, the biggest factor that pushed me towards this camera and away from a DSLR is the portability and ease of carry. It doesn't take much effort to keep this camera with you. This is especially important to me, as I live by the old phrase "The best camera you own is the one that's with you." With this camera, I can have it in my bag at all times and know that the shots I take with it will be amazing. I highly recommend this camera.
42 of 45 people found the following review helpful
on December 7, 2012
Color Name: Black
Having been a Pentax afficado since my first Pentax, the legendary Spotmatic II, and doing most of my current work on the Pentax K200D ( and looking forward to the K-5 or its successor), I have found that the Pentax product line has consistently outperformed the Nikons and Canons that I have owned, especially in the 10+ Pentaxes that have never needed service... in spite of some of the tough conditions I put them to in yacht and other outdoor portraiture situations.
In getting tired of hauling around my 20+ lb camera bag of Pentax goodies, I was looking for a bridge camera, and after about 6 months of researching the competition, I am very pleased with the Pentax X-5 that arrived from Amazon earlier this week.
Living up to the Pentax tradition of quality workmanship, especially for the price, I found that it is a well built, solid camera, about 3/4 of the size of the K-5 and larger than most other bridge cameras that I had tried, but it sits comfortably in my hands, and at just under 5 lbs (with the AA batteries ... a Pentax feature that I love, rather than specialized batteries), it had the feel of nicely balanced camera.
After my first test series, in a hand-held mode, I was amazed by the 26x zoom range and the stability of the camera in hand-held mode... on a tripod, with the digital zoom enabled, the detailed manual rates this out to a 186x zoom range.. one of my next tests, probably this weekend.
What surprised me at first handling of this camera is the incredible range of features, and this compares with bridge cameras at nearly twice the price... Pentax/Ricoh have pulled off another winner. To really understand all of the features of the camera (there are hundreds), I recommend checking [...]for a great review of the camera, as well as the link to download a .pdf file of the X-5 manual, which I now carry with me on my Kindle app Android tablet.
My first few hundred images yielded surprising good results, especially with the Pet Detect feature, which captured my cat in some great poses, under available light conditions. I posted several of the sunset pictures which I took with the X-5 on my facebook page, with a slew of multiple positive reviews, especially on my HDR shot processed in-camera by the X-5. In daylight, at first pass, the X-5 images compare favorably with the results from my K200D, but I'll have to check into this with more tests over the coming days... so far.. the results have been better than expected.
While it is limited to the fixed zoom lens, I played around with the macro feature where a fingernail.. at about 1" fills the frame. Looking forward to using this for jewelry and floral work that I do on some of my websites.
What makes the X-5 different from other Pentax DSLR format cameras is the electronic viewfinder, supplemented with an excellent, tiltable 3" live view display. I have used both features, and depending on your subject, the electronic finder is great for motion shots, while the display viewer is perfect for composing and the playback of images.
It lacks a hot shoe contact, but the built in flash seems pretty powerful, and with one of my flash triggered slaves, the X-5 should be a very nice backup camera on my photoshoots.... and my primary camera on my exercise hikes.
For the money, I don't think that anything in this price range can beat the features and quality of the X-5, but I do strongly advise reading the User's Manual to fully appreciate all the functions of this camera. In doing so, I found how easily some of the purported shortcomings in a few other reviews on the X-5 can be over-ridden, by some simple programming changes.
In short, I just love this "baby Pentax" and know that it will be getting a lot of use on shore and on the water, especially with it's water-resistant feature, again, another feature rarely found in bridge DSLRs.
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on June 17, 2013
Color Name: Silver
I have a Sony h55 point and shoot that has many of the settings and manual abilities of the x5 but I wanted better without going full blown dslr. While purchasing a Nikon p&s with and for my wife at Target the x5 caught my eye. After reading tons of reviews, both pro and amateur, I decided to give it a try. Due to an error on their website and Targets willingness to price match their website I got it for $190 after my Red Card discount.
I've had it for about a week, have taken about 400 throw away type photos and about half an hour of video using Duracell Nimh rechargeable batteries and a Transcend Wi-Fi 32gb class 10 card.
I've tried out just about every scenario I can think of and changed a bunch of things around just to see what it's capable of.
Using the rechargeable batteries and Wi-Fi card and wirelessly sending everything to other devices has used about half of the battery life which I have found amazingly better than the Sony.
Ease of use and ergonomics.
I have big clunky hands and am used to a much smaller camera so it took several dozen shots to get the hang of not holding it like the Sony to get the best and fastest usage of the buttons. Once I got the hang of it somewhat I found the ergonomics to be very finger friendly and the balance of weight to size to be very nice feeling and easy to get my hands into the right position quickly and comfortably. If this will be your first step up from a pocket camera it will have a learning curve on how to hold it and multi task with different fingers comfortably.
I have found it very handy to have several pre set options on the big wheel vs having to go to the menu, scenes, choose. The dedicated video start button is also a nice feature and is put in a place where it's harder to accidentally start shooting a video when you meant to tap the gallery button instead. I found the necessity to press buttons harder a plus but some may find this a minus. As I wrote before, my hands are big and clunky so I'm very apt to touch the wrong button at any given time so the extra pressure needed makes the oops not a big oops.
Included Software I can't comment on because my photos will be sent to my tablets and phone wirelessly for any edits or other things I'll do with them so I haven't even unpacked the CD for the desktop. The onboard software for editing on the camera itself is easy to use and does a nice job, my favorite being gray out everything but a chosen color for some unique effects.
I really like the tilt outer display but use it only sparingly. The biggest thing I've missed since my old 35mm days
eye focal lens. This one isn't optical and isn't the best at color reproduction within but it does the job more than adequately. One thing I liked about my old Samsung digital, and would've loved on this one was an optical viewfinder to help with battery life if nothing else. On the Samsung using the optical vs LCD tripled the battery life as well as giving a 35mm camera feel that I was used to. On the Sony I just never quite got the hang of no viewfinder besides on the back.
Startup and Save times.
This and the inability to optically zoom while shooting a video are my only negatives for this unit. From what I've read, a slower save time is the norm for a bridge type camera so I knew going into it wasn't going to be super fast at startup or save times. Both are much much faster than my h55 but not as fast as the wife's Nikon (l16?). Most shots are saved and the camera is ready again in under a second but it occasionally needs about 2 seconds to write to the card and be ready to shoot once more. Startup time is about as long as it takes for me to get the lens cap situated like I want so it's really no wasted time for me while waiting anyway.
I decided on this over a very similar Fujifilm version because of the 1080 vs 720 capability. I shoot a lot of video and make still shots of my children, animals, etc because it's much easier to get the right still that way. I've found this to be a great usage on the videos shot from this camera. I get the stills I want that are high quality to look at and large file sizes for printing. This one seriously blows away my Sony when zoomed out at not only lack of blur but color accuracy and realism. It films in .mov for ease of use with QuickTime so I convert them to .mp4 for ease of use on my Android devices. I got some really cool stills of a Seahawk (aka Osprey) diving into the Appomattox river and bringing out a fish.
As I wrote before I've put it through its paces in every light and environment condition I can imagine at this point and have found in normal to bright lighting it takes photos on the bright side but 1 step down from 0 on the EV setting takes it back to natural in most cases,2 steps down at most. Low to no light I've found it to be very natural in coloring and accurate unless I set it up totally wrong. This is why I'm taking throw away photos so I can get the personality of the camera. Manual focus is pretty cool, thigh not super fast to setup. As an example I took a few photos of a tree in the rain from inside my truck using this and was able to get the tree in 1 shot, the raindrops on the windshield in another and a mixture of both in yet another.
Macro focus is awesome and makes some beautiful shots of flora and insects.
The zoom is another reason I got it but I had no idea how much better 26x is than 14x is at bringing things in closer. The wow factor for me with the zoom maxed out is not only the accuracy of the photos but also how well the image stabilization works under the extreme condition. I've been using a monopod often because I can't hold myself still enough to keep the focal object in center without it. The anti shake makes a very stable shot but holding by hand the stable is well off center from my desired result. It looks like my 5 year old got a hold of my camera and started shooting things. I guess what I'm saying is the camera is much better than the operator in this case without the user having something to stabilize the device. I do get an occasional out of focus shot when zoomed out fully and in totally dark trying to use focus assist but good golly what I was shooting totally dark and 25-50' away so I'm not saying that as a negative of the camera but a negative of the users choice of what I was trying to do and 8 of 10 came out fine.
I find myself using Program the most so far because it's almost like Auto but gives me abilities to fine tune some things that Auto won't allow. I'll use User with the settings I've got from Program at some point as my most used probably. If I get to the point where manual is most used, like on the Sony, I'll know it's time to think about the next level for me.
Some complain about the build quality and battery door but I like the feel and weight and haven't had any problems with the battery door not closing right or feeling unsecured. I just use both thumbs to line it up before closing and it easily snaps into place. Using a Wi-Fi card will help me not need to use the door as often also.
If you are looking for $600+ camera results, you might be very disappointed but if you, like me, want very very good shots with a camera small enough and easy enough to carry and use with kids in tow this one is a keeper. This is not some dslr wanna be but what it is is a nice step up from the standard no nonsense, no user settings camera.
I always used Pentax in my 35mm days and it's good to see the company still makes a good product that's an excellent value.
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on October 29, 2012
Color Name: BlackVerified Purchase
So far, I have been very pleased with this camera. I'm definitely an amateur, and definitely on a learning curve with this camera. So many fun, helpful features to learn.
Definitely, you can take great pictures using just the default settings. :)
Am very pleased with the viewfinder and with the LCD screen image quality too. Having a viewfinder was a requirement for me. The viewfinder allows me to compose pictures when in the bright sunlight at the beach!!!
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on August 14, 2013
Color Name: SilverVerified Purchase
After reading the many helpful reviews here, I decided to buy one. I've had a K-5 for about a year and a Pentax 300mm DA SMC that I did a quick comparsion against. Hand-held from my deck at full optical extension, the X-5 is approximately equivalent to a 380mm lens in an APS-C sensor format; i.e., if you shot a subject at 380mm with a K-5, the image would be just about the same size for the X-5 at full extension. As you would expect, contrast and resolution is marginally better for the K-5 Pentax 300mm combination, but not bad at all for the X-5. I decided to do a similar comparison at wide angle against the Tamron 10-24mm super wide angle lens in the K-5 with APS-C sensor. The wide angle on the X-5 lens is equivalent in terms of image size on the K-5 with the Tamron lens at 17 mm is the same as the widest setting on the X-5 lens.
So for those of use who don't have the means to use full frame 35mm sensors, in terms of the typical DSLR, this X-5 camera produces images equivalent in size to a range of 17 - 380 mm; at 16MP. Not bad for an all-in-one camera.
After some tests, the selection between a high and low f/number in Manual mode seems to produce identical Depth of Field results suggesting that this "aperture" selection is really just a EV difference, likely done electronically; the same sort of effect you would get by using a 3.5 EV neutral density filter, allowing you to use a slower shutter speed than otherwise possible. From what I see, I would say the lens aperture is fixed. Although I wasn't able to change DoF, the choice of "f/numbers" could be useful in achieving the desired exposure under bright conditions.
You can turn it on without removing the lens cap if you turn it on by holding down the playback button and you're in playback mode and if you don't, mine didn't pop the lens cap off as someone said would happen; I was just asked to confirm when I had removed it. No problem.
I like it that you can program the "Green Button" as a separate function button and assign often used operations to the four-way controller. I programmed mine with ISO, Focus Area, Exposure Metering Area, and White Balance, the four things I tend to change most often, so I can reset ISO, for example, or the other three quickly with just a few button presses.
I like being able to turn off the big LCD and see the smaller version through the viewfinder, but the tilt-out LCD is great for taking pictures of plants that are closer to the ground; when I get down on my knees at my age it's hard to get back up again :)
It does a very nice job with close-up focusing, and whereas I had been using a Tamron 90mm macro lens with the K-5, the X-5 will do just fine for documentation purposes. I'd tried to use my Optio W80 for wildflowers, but with the noise issues there at even moderate ISO, no viewfinder, no tilting LCD, and various other problems (such as no manual controls), the X-5 solves all those without being too heavy and bulky to carry around for three hours in the summer sun.
It would have been nice to have a separate slot for the SD card so you didn't have to open the battery compartment every time you need to get it out, and I'm hopeful that the Pentax design engineers picked the right materials so it lasts awhile. It's very similar to my K100D Super battery compartment latch and that's lasted for 5-6 years with 15,000 shots without any signs of a problem.
Even through there will be a significant loss in dynamic range, still I can use Adobe Camera Raw with the jpgs. I'm expecting the D-Range options to make up a little of the difference but I guess I'll have to start paying more attention to exposure than I have been.
So that's a quick first impression, and I'll update this after a month or so of use in the field and on an upcoming vacation, leaving the heavy camera bag and tripod at home.
24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on November 19, 2012
Color Name: SilverVerified Purchase
Cons: No Manual Zoom, only two selectable aperture values.
The above are the only two negatives I have for this camera.
It looks good, love the tiltable LCD screen ( there's better screens out there, but not at this price).
Focus rather quickly, good image quality for a sensor of this size.
Obvious strengths in its macro ability, showing rather good details.
Again.... You can get better cameras but not one with such all rounded capability at this price point!