The Pentax X-5 features an impressive 26x optical zoom, full manual control, a tiltable LCD screen and design styling akin to the manufacturer’s range of DSLRs. Furthermore, the X-5 is priced so as not to break the bank and thus is an appealing prospect. As to how is fares in our test, you’ll have to read on to find out…
Image Quality and Verdict
Pentax X-5 review – Image Quality
On the whole, images produced by the X-5 are of a respectable level, although there are certain issues that are worth highlighting.
The model’s white balance is generally reliable, although it does have a slight tendency to produce images to the warmer side of the scale – an issue accentuated by the fact that the X-5 is lacking in Raw capture functionality. When the white balance does perform accurately, colours appear on the more neutral and, as a result, more natural end of the scale. There is range of different tonal settings, as well as sliders for saturation and contrast, so if you’re looking for more customised control you can do so.
Although there are issues with the model’s white balance performance, on the whole the exposures are generally reliable forming an image of what the eye sees. There are issues with the camera’s dynamic range with a slight clipping seen in highlights, although this isn’t to the great detriment of overall image quality.
Despite the fact that the X-5 is at the affordable end of the scale, the 26x optical zoom generally performs well. There are some signs of distortion at the wide end of the zoom, although chromatic aberration is noticeably well controlled.
The X-5 handles noise perfectly well at lower ISO settings, with the camera resolving detail perfectly well up to ISO 400. Above that, there is a noticeable deterioration in resolution as the X-5’s noise reduction kicks in. The higher ISO settings above ISO 800 still deliver usable results, although the images lose sharpness and resolve much less detail, and as a result they won’t stand up to large-scale enlargement.
Pentax X-5 review – Verdict
If you’re looking for an affordable bridge camera, the chances are that the X-5 will be on your shortlist. The good news is that the X-5 is certainly a capable camera, and one which handles well and offers a decent level of performance in a generally well designed package. There are drawbacks – the LCD screen is poor, as is the EVF, while there are some image quality issues and the use of AA batteries will disappoint some. So although it’s a capable model, it just falls short of a full recommendation.