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Pentax announces X-5 DSLR-like 26x zoom 16MP CMOS superzoom

By dpreview staff on Aug 22, 2012 at 22:00 GMT

Pentax has announced the X-5, a 26x superzoom built around a 16MP backlit CMOS sensor. The X-5 is designed to closely resemble the company's K-5 DSLR, despite being based around a 1/2.3"-type sensor. The lens offers a 22.3-580mm equivalent range, backed up with sensor-shift image stabilization. It can capture 1080p30 movies and features a selection of the multi-shot and image processing modes that have become common on CMOS-based cameras. It features a tilting 460k dot rear LCD and 230k dot electronic viewfinder. It is powered by AA batteries, giving around 500 shots per charge when used with NiMh rechargeable cells.

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Press Release:

PENTAX Introduces New X-5 Digital Camera

Versatile 16 megapixel BSI CMOS point-and-shoot digital camera features a powerful 26X super-telephoto zoom lens as well as convenient tiltable LCD monitor

Denver, CO (August 22, 2012) – PENTAX RICOH IMAGING AMERICAS CORPORATION today announced the introduction of its PENTAX X-5 digital camera, an ideal choice for photographers who want to easily capture beautiful, high-quality images of a wide variety of subjects and scenes. Featuring a powerful high-magnification optical 26X super-telephoto zoom lens, the new PENTAX X-5 provides photographers with a focal length of 4mm-104mm (22.3mm ultra-wide angle to 580mm super telephoto 35mm equivalent). Coupled with the camera’s Macro mode, which allows photographers to capture dramatic close-up images of subjects as near to the lens as 0.4 inches, the X-5 delivers an extensive range of creative photographic possibilities.

“The new X-5 features classic PENTAX styling. It is the ideal compact travel companion for photo enthusiasts who want a digital camera with them wherever they go that’s capable of taking every type of image from gorgeous portraits, to scenic landscapes to extreme close-ups and more,” said John Carlson, Sr. Manager of Sales and Marketing, PENTAX.

And for effortless image composition and image playback, the PENTAX X-5 also features a large tiltable 3.0-inch, high-definition LCD screen that offers sharp image viewing, even in bright sunlight, while allowing users to shoot from high and low angles to keep the subject neatly framed in the image area. By combining a state-of-the-art image processing engine and back-illuminated CMOS image sensor with low-noise, even up to ISO 6400, and approximately 16.0 effective megapixels, the PENTAX X-5 provides users with very high-resolution images.

Additional features include:

State-of-the-art imaging engine, supported by Super Resolution technology
Supported by the latest Super Resolution technology, the X-5’s imaging engine offers outstanding image-processing performance to produce clear, high-quality images with well-defined details. In addition, the camera’s Handheld Night Scene shooting mode helps the photographer capture blur-free nighttime images by taking multiple images at once and blending them into a single composite picture.

Triple shake-reduction technology for sharp, blur-free images and video
The X-5’s triple shake-reduction system couples the PENTAX-developed mechanical sensor-shift-type SR (Shake Reduction) mechanism with a digital SR mode for stills or movie SR mode for video to more effectively compensate for camera shake. This hybrid system assures the photographer of sharp, blur-free images and video even under demanding, camera-shake-prone shooting conditions, such as when using a telephoto lens, shooting with incident light in poorly lit locations, or photographing sunset scenes.

Electronic viewfinder
The X-5 features an electronic viewfinder with diopter adjustment for a clear view of the subject even under bright sunshine. This comes in handy when shooting a subject in harsh backlight or when the photographer needs a more solid hold of the camera. Its diopter adjustment mechanism assures the user of the clearest view of both subject and viewfinder display, while minimizing eye fatigue during extended shooting sessions.

Full HD-standard movie recording for extended recording of high-quality movies
The X-5 features a Full HD movie recording function employing the h.264 recording format. The user can capture high quality, extended movie clips (1920 x 1080 pixels at a 16:9 aspect ratio) at a frame rate of 30 frames per second. The camera also offers creative movie playback features, such as High-speed Movie mode for slow-motion playback and Time-lapse Movie mode for fast-forward playback, and features a micro-HDMI terminal (Type D) for the output of recorded movies and sound to external devices.

User-friendly Auto Picture mode for hands-off selection of the best shooting mode
The X-5 features the PENTAX-original Auto Picture mode, which automatically assesses the subject’s conditions and selects the most appropriate shooting mode from 16 distinctive shooting options, including Landscape, Portrait, Candlelight and Pet. It even comes with an Auto Macro function, which automatically switches the focus mode to Macro when it detects the subject is close to the lens.

Quick-set mode dial for delay-free selection of a desired shooting mode
The X-5 lets the user quickly and effortlessly select the desired shooting mode — from a total of 10 modes including the hands-off Auto Picture, Scene, Program, Manual, Landscape, and Handheld Night Snap — with a single turn of the mode dial, without having to access the on-screen menu.

Additional features of the PENTAX X-5 include:

  • Powered by easy-to-obtain AA batteries
  • Remote control operation using a PENTAX optional remote controller
  • High-speed burst shooting of up to 10 images per second, for a maximum of 30 images in a single sequence
  • 12 digital filters including Miniature and Toy Camera to add creative touches to captured images
  • A range of creative image processing tools including Stretch filter, Small Face filter and Collage function
  • A choice of three aspect ratios (4:3, 16:9 and 1:1) to accommodate specific applications
  • Image viewing, editing and filing software included: MediaImpression 3.5 for PENTAX (Windows version compatible with Windows 7) and MediaImpression 2.1 for PENTAX (Macintosh version compatible with Mac OS X 10.7)
  • Compatibility with Eye-Fi wireless LAN SD memory cards

Pricing and Availability
The new PENTAX X-5 will be available at retail outlets nationwide and online in September 2012 with a suggested retail price of $279.95

Pentax X-5 specifications

Body type
Body typeSLR-like (bridge)
Max resolution4608 x 3456
Other resolutions4608 x 2592, 3456 x 3456, 3072 x 2304, 3072 x 1728, 2592 x 1944, 2592 x 1464, 2048 x 1536, 1920 x 1080, 1024 x 768, 640 x 480
Image ratio w:h1:1, 4:3, 16:9
Effective pixels16 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors16 megapixels
Sensor size1/2.33" (6.08 x 4.56 mm)
Sensor typeBSI-CMOS
ISOAuto, 100, 200, 400,800, 1600, 3200, 6400
White balance presets8
Custom white balanceYes
Image stabilizationSensor-shift
Uncompressed formatNo
JPEG quality levelsBest, Better, Good
File format
  • JPG (EXIF 2.2)
  • DCF 2.0, DPOF
Optics & Focus
Focal length (equiv.)22–580 mm
Optical zoom26×
Maximum apertureF3.1 - F5.9
  • Contrast Detect (sensor)
  • Multi-area
  • Tracking
  • Single
  • Face Detection
  • Live View
Digital zoomYes (7.2x)
Manual focusYes
Normal focus range40 cm (15.75)
Macro focus range1 cm (0.39)
Number of focus points9
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCDTilting
Screen size3
Screen dots460,000
Touch screenNo
Live viewYes
Viewfinder typeElectronic
Viewfinder resolution230,000
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed4 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/1500 sec
Exposure modes
  • Program
  • Aperture Priority
  • Shutter Priority
  • Manual
  • Movie
  • Scene
  • Custom
Scene modes
  • Flower
  • Blue Sky
  • Sunset
  • Night Scene
  • Night Scene Portrait
  • Fireworks
  • HDR
  • Surf & Snow
  • Baby
  • Kids
  • Pet
  • Food
  • Digital SR
  • Stage Lighting
  • Text
  • Museum
  • Digital Wide
  • Digital Panorama
  • Frame Composite
Built-in flashYes (Pop-up)
Flash range9.10 m
External flashNo
Drive modes
  • One shot
  • Continuous Shooting
  • Burst Shooting (L/H)
  • Self-timer
  • Remote Control
  • Auto Bracketing
Continuous drive10 fps
Self-timerYes (2 or 10 sec)
Metering modes
  • Multi
  • Center-weighted
  • Spot
Exposure compensation±2 (at 1/3 EV steps)
Videography features
Resolutions1920 x 1080 (30 fps), 1280 x 720 (60, 30 fps), 640 x 480 (30 fps)
FormatMotion JPEG
Storage typesSD/SDHC/SDXC
Storage included75. 3 MB Internal
USB USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMIYes (Type D)
WirelessEye-Fi Connected
Remote controlYes (Optional Remote O-RC1)
Environmentally sealedNo
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery description4 x AA batteries (Alkaline, Lithium, Nickel and Rechargeable Ni-MH)
Battery Life (CIPA)330
Weight (inc. batteries)595 g (1.31 lb / 20.99 oz)
Dimensions119 x 86 x 107 mm (4.69 x 3.39 x 4.21)
Other features

Additional images

I own it
I want it
I had it
Discuss in the forums


Total comments: 408
By Combatmedic870 (Aug 22, 2012)

22.3mm Woot! The widest lens!

Comment edited 12 seconds after posting
Joe Ogiba
By Joe Ogiba (Aug 22, 2012)

It has a 4.0-104mm 26x zoom lens and the Nikon P500 has a 4.0-144mm 36x zoom lens.

By peevee1 (Aug 23, 2012)

And Oly Sp-820UZ has 4.0-160.0. ;)

By Combatmedic870 (Aug 23, 2012)

The p500 has a 22.5mm lens....the 820uz has a 22.4mm lens....this has a 22.3mm!!!!
Thats makes it the widest!!

By JJJPhoto (Aug 22, 2012)

I would have been interested in this bridge camera if it had a hot shoe for external flash. I just don't see the point of a camera this big that doesn't have a hot shoe.

By ManuH (Aug 23, 2012)

I agree, Pentax missed an easy opportunity here to sell more of their flashes.

1 upvote
By Alizarine (Aug 23, 2012)

good catch there. yeah, the hotshoe would've been great (though for superzooms, will it be that useful?)

1 upvote
By AllOtherNamesTaken (Aug 22, 2012)

I stopped reading at "1/2.33". Next please.

By KZMike (Aug 22, 2012)

Same here. . . WHY NOT a 2/3" size at the very minimum. I don't know why Pentax is wanting to be like the bazillon other P&S cameras on the market with this size sensor.

Joe Ogiba
By Joe Ogiba (Aug 22, 2012)

And you thought it was an APS-C DSLR with 22-580mm eqiv zoom for $279. Dream on.

By KZMike (Aug 22, 2012)

I'd easily trade off 50% +/- of the zoom for a larger sensor

Comment edited 7 minutes after posting
By AllOtherNamesTaken (Aug 23, 2012)

Who said anything about an APS-C with 22-580 for $279? Not sure where you got that. I do think that the people attracted to DSLR-like P&S's would appreciate a sensor that doesn't start to degrade above ISO100 like every 1/2.3 I've ever seen. Heck, cut that zoom range in half, and increase the sensor size. Anything is better than a 1/2.3. This camera with a 28-200 equivalent zoom range or 24-120ish and a larger sensor would appeal to far more people IMO, and I'm sure they would happily pay a slight price increase. I've also never seen the appeal of the DSLR-like P&S cameras because they always lack responsiveness, continuous focusing ability, or a useful buffer (everything appealing about a DSLR pretty much) but retain the largest drawback of a DSLR (Size). Anyways just my IMO but it's not a great trade off.

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 3 minutes after posting
1 upvote
By familyogre (Aug 23, 2012)

You think the majority of superzoom buyers know or care how big the sensor size is in their camera? answer no. These superzooms are all about having a great big zoom and a price to match. They must be profitable because eveyone seems to want a piece of the action.

By AllOtherNamesTaken (Aug 23, 2012)

I agree however you can get superzooms with the same range & sensor size in much smaller packages. I would also argue that the majority of superzoom buyers do not care about maximum external control or the huge size of a DSLR with none of the benefits a DSLR typically offers. I find *most* P&S customers have size, or the lack of, as a fairly high priority. Enthusiast users seem to be willing to sacrifice some size for external control and a decent sensor. That has just been my observation, anyways.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
By IcyVeins (Aug 22, 2012)

Does this camera have anything unique at all besides the 22.3mm wide angle? And not even that since Olympus just announced one with a 40x zoom.

Gully Foyle
By Gully Foyle (Aug 22, 2012)

Uhmmm, it looks like a K5. Others don't.

(OK, just kiddin'!)

By micahmedia (Aug 22, 2012)

Unique is the incredibly low resolution EVF.

By Camediadude (Aug 22, 2012)

I am curious about the resolution myself. Where did you see the specs for that, micahmedia? I looked, but could not find it.
Edit: Oh ok just saw it. My noggin must have been on autopilot when I skimmed over that. Not great, but like a lot of specs on this camera, "good enough" I say. It is the combination of features that intrigues me here (and those AA batteries and lifespan play no small part! Yes, I am one of those AA nuts!)

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 12 minutes after posting
By Ergo607 (Aug 22, 2012)

The looks are great. But everything else has already been said by others...

Gully Foyle
By Gully Foyle (Aug 22, 2012)

Although I agree with you, it seems that Pentax is the only company able to produce daring (if not crazy) cameras with otherwise unimpressive specs (OK 22.3 wide is quite a spec, but then again 1/1500). They work too!

1 upvote
Zvonimir Tosic
By Zvonimir Tosic (Aug 22, 2012)

No other bridge superzoom looks as close as it gets to K5, or comes in silver and black :)

By Camediadude (Aug 22, 2012)

I too am a bit let down by the shutter speeds, that is the one main disappointment for me. (I guess then that is just one more reason why I can never let go of my iso 50 1/4000 C8080 !) But, 1/1500 aside, just about everything else I am seeing is hitting the right buttons for me. This sounds like it will be one crazy Photokina ...

1 upvote
By Matt1645f4 (Aug 22, 2012)

As much as i love Pentax i really which they'd put a slightly bigger sensor in it, theres no reason to buy this over anyother bridge camera. Please give us a proper CSC the Q is lovely but the K-01 ...... well next time get a few pro's or even a blind person to design it, not some person most have never heard off and create a product that judging buy the heavily discounted kits i've seen wants to buy.

Comment edited 9 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Gully Foyle
By Gully Foyle (Aug 22, 2012)

And then a faster lens and maybe a couple of dials more and then it doesn't cost 280USD. Wishes abound.

Zvonimir Tosic
By Zvonimir Tosic (Aug 22, 2012)

Yep, APS-C sensor, 22-560 mm zoom with a fixed f/2.8, and a personal Arnold Schwarzenegger to carry it around for you, all included in RRP :)

By Matt1645f4 (Aug 22, 2012)

was thinking similar size to fuji x10, does anyone really use long lenses on these things ? be a had fuzzy i suspect, but i'll be happy if proved wrong

1 upvote
Gully Foyle
By Gully Foyle (Aug 22, 2012)

That would have been a good Q mount camera.

By toomanycanons (Aug 22, 2012)

Sounds too good to be true for $280. If it is true, I might get one. Maybe it's a price typo, maybe it's really $579.

By AngryCorgi (Aug 22, 2012)

What a POS.

By Alizarine (Aug 23, 2012)

Just like your post.

By T3 (Aug 22, 2012)

Not a bad deal for $280.

By tkbslc (Aug 22, 2012)

Funny how they play the spec wars. Nikon had a well selling superzoom with a 22.5mm wide angle. Then a few hours ago Olympus releases one with a 22.4mm. Now we have this Pentax 22.3mm wide angle!

(Nevermind the fact that they nobody could tell the diff between 22.3 and 22.4)

By Camediadude (Aug 22, 2012)

Thanks for that heads up on these other superzoom bridge cams, I must have lapsed in my otherwise-incessant searchings of late, regarding some of the more recent models like these. That Olympus and Nikon put out such a wide angle recently, already ....kudos to them! I have been itching for even wider compacts (18-22 ranges, hey I can dream) for years. I am happy to see camera makers pushing these boundaries..

Roland Karlsson
By Roland Karlsson (Aug 22, 2012)

OK Pentax - you succeeded - I am surprised.

1 upvote
By Nathebeach (Aug 22, 2012)

That is what happens when marketing designs products instead of, well, engineers or actual photographers to name a few. I really want to like Pentax, but come on! They are making it really hard.

By Luke1 (Aug 23, 2012)

Pretty sure many of the big players have crappy superzooms. Why would this dumpy camera affect your opinion of pentax's serious dslr's?

By arammc (Aug 22, 2012)

AA batteries, articulating screen.

looks good for travel.

If it uses AA why does the description say "battery pack"?

By Camediadude (Aug 22, 2012)

Wow... I am having a fit of hysterics here, lol... I am still digesting this, let me see,
22.3 mm wide (one of the widest ever on a fixed lens digi save for that Samsung, dual lens Kodak and the weird Casio??), full HD, AA BATTERIES (where is the party-smiley hehe) EVF, manual zoom, control dial, tilting lcd, remote control, and a darn low msrp ... This is one of the most exciting announcements to me since the Fuji HS series. Go Pentax!

Gully Foyle
By Gully Foyle (Aug 22, 2012)

Aaaand... K5 looks! ;)

By Camediadude (Aug 22, 2012)

Heheh, true (K5 is a fantasy camera for me).. and if they made this thing weatherproof as well, I think they would have induced a heart attack, or at least palpitations in me (lol I jest but you get the idea)
No hot shoe, but that is ok with me as I do not use flash terribly much, being mostly into landscape and nature. I see above a poster mentioned other super zooms that also have gone this wide lately, namely Oly and Nikon. I stand corrected! But the more manufacturers who follow this trend, the merrier I will be. That is a "war" (of the wides :P ) that I fully support!

Comment edited 27 seconds after posting
By Camediadude (Aug 22, 2012)

Oh and inb4 the board here is flooded with calls for bigger sensors in everything, hehe. I think the bigger sensor cams look and sound amazing, but in this case here, If the low light is decent, and the IQ can be solid across the range, I will be one happy camper. This could be "the one" that prys me away (at times! I can't abandon my precious) from my C 8080. This could be one other sort of tool to have in one's toolbox. For landscape, macros, birds, what have you and tremendous dof, this could be just the ticket for me. To each their own! I respect it is a matter of taste, subjectivity, in addition to having the proper parameters.

By photoholiko (Aug 22, 2012)

Not a bad toy for $279! I may get one for my daughter.

By Absolutic (Aug 22, 2012)

so is it like a toy for people who cannot afford a real DSLR so they can pretend they have a DSLR?

Frodo at work
By Frodo at work (Aug 22, 2012)

no, maybe it shows, what features are to be seen in the next big "DSLR", such as EVF and articulated LCD...

By Mmarv1 (Aug 22, 2012)

I have always liked Pentax, but the new Panasonic Lumix has RAW and f2.8 through the zoom range. Pentax has a wider angle and AA batteries , but, optics being equal I need to go with FZ200.

By Lacerta (Aug 22, 2012)

A bridge camera with an DSLR style ergonomics is a bad thing? What is a bridge camera anyway?

By Braxton7 (Aug 22, 2012)

Is that the first Pentax superzoom bridge camera? Couldn't find another one.

By KZMike (Aug 22, 2012)

A 'bridge' camera allows the photographer to walk on water while taking photos. . .

By Matt1645f4 (Aug 22, 2012)

X70 and X90 came before

By Koulang (Aug 23, 2012)

I prefer Panasonic FZ200 too especially for the RAW format and its bright F2.8.

By Alizarine (Aug 23, 2012)

for a lot of people nowadays, yes.

By Camediadude (Aug 28, 2012)

Absolutic, to answer your question from my own perpective ...
I for one would definitely not pretend that this is a dslr, or delude myself into believing that it is. I am considering this camera for my next purchase and my first real 'birding' cam, but we shall see. I would like to see first what else debuts in Photokina and to also perhaps see at least two solid full-length reviews with samples before deciding.

Total comments: 408