Wanted to Love it, but I don't
I came across this camera when shopping for the Panasonic FZ200 and being a Ricoh/Pentax admirer, I checked it out, seem to have good reviews but planned to get the Panasonic FZ200 anyway. But then I found it on sale for $149 so I bought it. At that price I could give up a nicer EVF and the wider aperture of the Panasonic.
My first impressions were similar to other reviews. I don't mind double A batteries but the fall out easily when removing the SD card. But my main problem with camera is it seems to be sluggish compared to any of my Panasonic's I already own. Pressing the EVF button has a long delay compared to my LF1 EVF button, and pressing the shutter has a lag even in good light.
I also knew the EVF was low resolution but I underestimated how hard it would be to track objects with it when zoomed in which would make it tough for birding. I am not sure if a wider field of view would help much, but I think a red dot site would. I am not penalizing the camera for the EVF as the fold out LCD is useful.
I took some Macro photos with it, and its actually quite excellent and the images were wonderful. But I also tried taking some decently lit indoor portraits at the max f3.1 with it as well as some bird shots in good afternoon light and I was not impressed. Even when the subjects were in focus, the were not sharp. I did see you can adjust the sharpness settings, but since there is no .RAW capability I was disappointed with over all image quality. In fairness I was testing the absolute limits of the camera for my intended use which any camera like this will not work miracles, but I was able to get way sharper images from my 12MP Panasonic LF1 with only 200mm equivalent zoom by cropping some.
I wouldnt consider my review the gospel as I am returning after a day and I have a limited purposes in mind. I did like the menu and layout of controls. I think my wife would do OK with it, but I think she would want something with less shutter lag.
It was too slow in Kid/pet/ or sports modes to get a single decent shot.
I think if you are into Macros this camera is great, but I plan to spend more and get a decent bird/macro superzoom. I am rating high on Still life for macro capability.
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Pretty much an objective reaction to this camera. It looks quite snazzy taking style references from its K7/5 big brothers but thats about it. At its launch it was already a so-what sort of model and speculated as a generic quick fix for Pentax to get a foot in the already crowded megazoom market.
Played with one in a store. Really doesn't seem up to Pentax's usual standards. Felt cheap, the EVF and rear LCD were both notably low-res. I can imagine consdering one as a low-cost alternative to FZ200 -- X-5 is functional but it's clear where economies were taken. FZ200 is one of the best of its type...costs twice as much...but maybe worth it.
This review pretty much matches what I have read in German magazines for reviews of this camera. Better than average image quality at the price, but at the expense of quite slow operation.
Jack Hass wrote:
is the x5 any good at taking pictures cause i think it is a good camera for the price
Jack I think a good photographer could get some nice images from it but for me the reason the price is so low is because getting those decent images takes learning the cameras strengths and weekness and finding the conditions it will perform in. I would say spend your money else where and sacrifice some features or zoom.
It will take some good macros, but forget using the zoom for anything long. J