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Daniel Bell review the Pentax X-5, a bridge camera with 26x optical zoom and available for less than £200.
We go hands-on with the new Pentax X-5, the stylish bridge camera from Pentax with SLR styling.
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 from Clifton Cameras. 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!
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