Pentax X-5 Review

October 24, 2012 | Mark Goldstein | |

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#1 dan

I don’t know, i love Pentax but this camera just seems a poor job, its cheap but it needs something to make it stand out. Canon have 50x zoom, Panasonic have that amazing f2.8 lens. It needed the Q sensor (and mount).

12:52 pm - Wednesday, October 24, 2012

#2 Joshua Amahit

Yea this camera is a bit off if you ask me. there seems to be a tons of other bridge style cameras that offer better imaging features and controls.

There is nothing unique on this one. but I guess this camera would stand out for those who mind the price more than the overall features. then again, fujifilm has wide array of bridge cameras for a bout any price… so i dont really know where to palce this one if I had the chance.

4:04 pm - Wednesday, October 24, 2012

#3 Chris

In the conclusion Photography blog says “the Pentax X-5 soon reveals itself to be something of a wolf in sheep’s clothing”.

Don’t you actually mean a sheep in wolf’s clothing!

7:07 pm - Wednesday, October 24, 2012

#4 zebarnabe

Pentax Q sensor is quite good for its size, I wonder why can’t they make a cheap Pentax Q camera with bridge priced and spec’ed lens.

One could then have the bridge spec’d lens, a prime, a super wide angle, etc… cost wise it shouldn’t be that high and quality wise would please many while keeping versatility, size and weight in a nice spot…

While the camera price is not that high for a bridge, it is a matter of price vs quality :/

8:34 pm - Wednesday, October 24, 2012

#5 Oliver

Compared the X-5 sample images to the Pana FZ200, and was careful to pick only the ones with similar ISO settings. Since many images are shot at the same location, comparing is both interesting and revealing. Well, either the X-5 impresses or the FZ200 dissapoints. The highly regarded Leica lens and Pana’s endlessly refined and improved FZ-series hard- and software will be better on paper, but when comparing it to the X-5 output,the difference is marginal and sometimes not there at all. Both show noise and other sensor limitations. In the end the FZ is ‘highly recommended’, while the X-5 ‘recommended’ with half a star between them. I know, the FZ EVF is much better as will be the build quality. But looking at the price level, the FZ is firmly in entry DSLR, the X-5 in compact camera territory. You can buy two X-5’s for the price of one FZ200. I’ll have the X-5. Thanks for the review.

10:02 pm - Wednesday, October 24, 2012

#6 Mad Hungarian

Hey, I own this camera and I love it. It does not pretend to be anything that it is not. A solid value at $250-300 range. I travel a lot to areas where recharging is not possible. Normally take 3 extra sets of lithium AAs and I am good for days. Has wide angle, excellent color reproduction, fold-out bright LCD screen, good weight, built-in-flash, good enough macro, good zoom range. This is all I need on my mining expeditions. And if I’d drop it and gets destroyed I just go and buy another one. Perfect travel camera.

11:43 pm - Wednesday, October 24, 2012

#7 NR

It ASTONISHES me how often otherwise good camera reviews will gloss over image quality as almost incidental due to other features. If the IQ is no good, what’s the point of the camera? Looking at the images from the Pentax, I didnt’ know they still made cameras this bad, especially compared to cameras such as the Canon SX40 etc.

6:56 am - Thursday, October 25, 2012

#8 zebarnabe

There are worse cameras being released… this one is no that bad.

Imagem quality vs. Price is all over the board, the old Canon A800 costs 55€ and it is pretty awesome for example.

8:23 am - Thursday, October 25, 2012

#9 Oliver

@NR: check the SX50 sample images. Most are taken under the same grey and wet London weather conditions, some at the exact same locations like the community center. What I’m seeing is a variation in image processing with the SX50 producing a somewhat smoother output, alas not in a higher image quality catagory. The X-5 is to my eyes certainly not “this bad”, it hold up fine against the competition and costs a lot less.

9:14 am - Thursday, October 25, 2012

#10 matt

Looks like good value for money. This is the camera that I’d recommend for non-photographer friends and family if they wanted a big zoom.

I especially like the EVF. It’s not really high-res, but at least it exists for those LCD-crippling bright-sunny-day situations. Not much else in this price range has one.

4:36 pm - Thursday, October 25, 2012

#11 JB

For 8 years I only used SLR camera’s (from Pentax) for nature photography.
Because of the huge amount of lenses and other accessoiries I decided to by a bridge-cam: The X-5
Just back from a short “Majorca-holyday” i have to say: I’m honestly pleasant surprised by this camera.
It did a really great job. Macro (which i use very often) is superb! Lowlight conditions: better than mentioned here: Okay!
The only things I don’t like are the lack of an AV/TV setting and the build quality: the battery-door could be more solid…
Anyways: I’m a new happy owner!

11:53 am - Saturday, October 27, 2012

#12 JGT

I’ve looked at this Pentax-camera, I like the camera but the reason why i’ll not buy this camera, is the lack of a hotshoe fot an external flash. I wonder why Pentax doesn’t put a hotshoe on this camera. It seems to me that with a hotshoe, you can do more with this camera.

5:22 pm - Saturday, October 27, 2012

#13 Bernie Masters

I’m tempted to buy the X-5 primarily because it takes ordinary batteries. I can spend 2 or 3 weeks away in the outback of Australia where rechargables simply wouldn’t be an option. Can anyone suggest alternatives to the X-5 that have better image quality but still takes standard AA batteries?

12:44 pm - Wednesday, November 7, 2012

#14 zebarnabe

Bernie Masters,
At X-5 price range/quality no, Fujifilm has FinePix HS25EXR / HS28EXR, FinePix S4200, S4300, S4400, S4500 ...

HS25 EXR is probably a good rival… though it does cost a bit more (not much though), you have the extra zoom, the great manual controls (missing RAW though) and a crazy DR in EXR mode…

Sensor and lens wise, HS25 EXR, I think it has the same as the ones in HS30 EXR, so it is just missing some crucial features like: RAW, Better EVF, Li-on Battery…

Take notice that Alkaline batteries don’t last that much in cameras with AA’s…. where Li-on rechargeable can do 2 or 3 times more, it’s not a rule though, you can get 4 rechargeable AA’s for less than half the price of a cheap Li-on battery…

1:30 pm - Wednesday, November 7, 2012

#15 Bernie Masters

Thanks for the suggestions, zebarnabe, I’ll have a look at the FinePix models. Best wishes.

12:19 am - Thursday, November 8, 2012

#16 Regbaron

Look the X-5 is a great camera for the traveller on a budget,for $270 yep $270 you get a 16mp,22-580mm (26x)stabilised lens,foldout LCD or electronic viewfinder,HD movie and much more.
I snapped one up just because of the value,didn’t even check it out in the shop.( Here’s a couple o pics from Sydney Harbour Bridge ).

9:28 am - Thursday, November 15, 2012

#17 Matt Brading

This sounds like a great ‘second body’ camera but I’m in the market for something a little bit more substantial. I’m also a long time Pentax fan but given the age of all my lenses, wondering if it might be a good time to switch brands. What’s the consensus out there ... if Pentax still competitive on price, image quality and features?

11:14 pm - Sunday, November 18, 2012

#18 melvyn flores

Its a great camera. Sharp pics, triple blur reduction, view finder, 10 frames per second, filter were you can edit your pics. and has a manual mode not found in other bridge cameras.
Surely, it has some imperfections but aren’t more
expensive ones have too?

4:23 pm - Sunday, November 25, 2012

#19 Derek

can anybody explain the use of the M setting on theX5? I thought that the idea was to select the choice of shutter speed or aperture and the camera would set the corresponding step. Fiddling with either setting has no effect on the other.

12:28 pm - Tuesday, November 27, 2012

#20 tracy

Anybody know if you can put a lens hood on this camera, given that it doesn’t have a filter threads?

5:07 am - Saturday, December 1, 2012

#21 Regbaron

No i don’t think so, its not designed for one as the lens retracts when turned off.

6:38 am - Saturday, December 1, 2012

#22 Timtomato

I am looking to buy my first bridge camera, could anyone tell me if the x5 is worth it or are there better cameras out there for a similar price? Thanks

12:58 pm - Monday, December 3, 2012

#23 Regbaron

The X5 is defiantly worth it,makes a good travel camera and i find it easy to use.I suggest you check it out and some of the others in a camera store,but for someone on a budget its a gem.

11:38 pm - Monday, December 3, 2012

#24 timtomato

Thanks Regbaron, i think im going to get one.

10:19 pm - Friday, December 7, 2012

#25 Regbaron

Ok!,but do check out some of the others before you decide.

8:14 am - Saturday, December 8, 2012

#26 Regbaron

Here is a link to some Pentax X-5 images. ( )

4:38 am - Monday, December 10, 2012

#27 Jay

I bought mine from my local Asda for a mere £123! It was the display model and had to go as new stock was due to arrive. Am mightily impressed with this camera, however I do have issues with battery consumption. I am using Duracell 2400 mAh rechargeables and get fewer than 100 pics with them afore the red warning light appears. Not a huge problem, but a blight on an otherwise great camera.

2:35 pm - Saturday, April 27, 2013

#28 Jay

I forgot to mention… would have been very nice if Pentax could have supplied a printed user manual (alongside the quick user guide) as it’s a pain having to boot the computer up just to read the PDF file.

2:38 pm - Saturday, April 27, 2013

#29 Regbaron

Thats strange because i had a full user manual supplied with mine,maybe as it was a display model it had go mislaid at the shop.

9:57 pm - Sunday, May 19, 2013

#30 Jay

Quite possibly, I shall challenge them at my next visit.

1:40 pm - Monday, May 20, 2013

#31 Carla Talavera

Regbaron, thank you for sharing those pictures, I sure hope I can master taking some like that.  I bought this camera for my vacation, because I love taking photos of mountains and flowers I thought this would be a good choice.  The price was in my ballpark…$179.99 and I still received 5% off! I’ll give it a whirl and see how it goes.  My last camera was only 8 meg and the zoom was real inferior.  I’m in love with the Pentax zoom! The only thing I’m not happy with is the “plastic” feel to this camera…..not sturdy like my last one.  Oh well can’t have price and perfection all in one :-)

7:44 pm - Wednesday, June 19, 2013

#32 Penny Anglin

does this camera allow for selective coloring (where most of the image is black and white and you highlight something in color)...

4:22 pm - Monday, September 30, 2013

#33 Regbaron

Pentax X5 does not have selective colour,just extracta colour and various other filters.
I think its only in more expensive cameras,i use Elements 11 which does and its easier to do on the computer.

9:40 pm - Monday, September 30, 2013

#34 Mark

In respond to JAY comment who says “I do have issues with battery consumption. I am using Duracell 2400 mAh rechargeables and get fewer than 100 pics with them afore the red warning light appears.” The camera is designed to use 4 AA alkaline batteries that makes 4 x 1,5V = 6V. Your rechargeable batteries voltage is 1.2V each or 4.8v altogether. That is why they do not last long!

1:29 am - Thursday, October 31, 2013

#35 Peter Morgan

My X5 just wont switch on worked perfectly then nothing only 18 mths old thought batteries died ar first but no. Never been dropped or banged any ideas ????

11:56 am - Monday, April 21, 2014

#36 regbaron

Check to see if the lens is fully retracted and flush with the body if not gently push it but don’t use to much force.Sometimes if the battery’s go flat while in use the lens stays out,also try this web sight.

1:06 am - Tuesday, April 22, 2014

#37 MICK J


9:03 am - Monday, June 23, 2014

#38 regbaron

Actually Mick i thought the DSLR would be better for action pics as there’s no delay when pushing the button.
And if you put it on burst even better.

2:33 pm - Monday, June 23, 2014

#39 Derek

I bought this for my wife who uses it in auto mode. But,when taking pics of buildings they turn out with the verticals all over the place as if the camera has elected max wide angle, utterly unusable.
When the camera is turned on it is set at the wide angle setting. I would have thought that it set at mid focal length to give the user a normal scene with the option of zooming either way.
Not impressed

9:30 am - Thursday, July 24, 2014

#40 regbaron

I assumed the lens started at it’s widest then you zoomed in from there but then my other camera is a DSLR so i cant compare.
I also think you may have a faulty camera as i haven’t had the same problems with buildings,
check out the sample images at top of this page to compare.

11:29 am - Thursday, July 24, 2014

#41 Derek

Thanks regbaron,

after playing around with it the results always distort tall verticals. I think that you are right and the camera has a fault. The wife’s little Sony boots up to the mid range/ normal focal length,zooming in or out is the option. This thing always sets to wide angle necessitating fiddling with the zoom lever which reacts at warp speed.

12:32 pm - Thursday, July 24, 2014

#42 regbaron

Before you return it go into the menu and set it back to default,I don’t think it will work but you have nothing to lose as it seems as tho its an optical problem.
You could also try it with the shake reduction turned off and any think else you can think of before you return it.

8:57 pm - Thursday, July 24, 2014

#43 Derek

Thanks again regbaron
Have pressed and fiddled with every button and setting with no joy. It will work ok provided there are no high buildings or structures in the scene. You should see what it does to masts in a marina. The wife will have to stick to landscapes and portraits. It is out of guarantee and quotes for repair are ridiculous.Time to bring out the Box Brownie!!

12:12 pm - Friday, July 25, 2014

#44 eddie

my wife is looking for her 1st “real” camera,we see the x-5 in general is fine for the price.are there any alternatives in the same price range? she wants to take photography more serious than just using her compact.we travel a lot[without power]and have limited room,so the aa battery/no lens changing/no tripod suits her fine.

2:40 pm - Wednesday, December 31, 2014

#45 regbaron

Hi Eddie
The Pentax X5 is a couple of years old now,but if you can get one its worth considering if you are on a budget.
I also have a DSLR but I always take the X5 with me as well its long zoom is handy and its light.
There is the Pentax XG-1 for $ 209 out now, but it doesn’t use AA battery’s if that’s important to you.
I think you are just going to have to do some research,there’s a lot of bridge cameras out there,but I do recommend a Viewfinder much easier for sunny days.

12:55 am - Thursday, January 1, 2015

#46 Barry Fountain

I use this camera for all my ebay pictures. I find the macro pics to be great though sometimes have problems with the normal setting and I get too close with the flash as the flash tends to shut down rather than be that bit brighter but when I realise this has happened a take a step back and then use the zoom to zoom in a bit and the problem is solved. I use ‘Energizer’ lithium batteries which are only £4.50 a pack on eBay and always carry a spare set. They last for quite a fair amount of shots and when they die I order a fresh set which comes within a day or two from my supplier (Babz media). Very quick indeed and often next day. I’ve had it since it came out a couple of years ago and although it has it’s issues I find it a very good camera and excellent for producing images (including close -ups for eBay)

11:30 am - Thursday, January 1, 2015

#47 regbaron

Hi Barry
Have you considered getting two packs of Eneloop battery’s and a charger instead of buying Lithium.

12:39 pm - Thursday, January 1, 2015

#48 Barry Fountain

I hadn’t, though I had rechargeables which didn’t last long at all which is why I went for the lithium. Now you’ve mentioned Eneloop I’ll look into it as I hadn’t heard of them before. Thanks for the tip. best wishes Barry

2:34 pm - Thursday, January 1, 2015

#49 Nick

I’ve owned X5 for over a year.  A couple of comments.

a) 2 sets of 4 Eneloop rechargeable lithium batteries are the way to go.  Off the shelf alkaline AAs can barely turn the X5 camera on before going flat.  I thought my camera was busted at one point but it just needed better power. 1 set Eneloops in camera, spare set recharging and then carried as spares. Can confidently shoot for days.

b) I’m surprised that the review and comments did not mention aperture on this camera.  Not having shutter or aperture priority is one thing, but this camera only has aperture range of F3.1-F5.9, and usually only 2 aperture settings on full manual.  So you are pretty much stuffed if you want any photos with large depth of field - e.g. sharp landscapes.  It has an infinity focus setting but that has low DOF also.  The X5 auto exposure system mainly adjusts shutter speed and ISO because the aperture is set at wide all the time.

Overall I like a lot of things about this camera .. and it is great as a 1 unit travel option.  But I’m continually wishing it was able to make sharper images with greater depth of field.

3:05 am - Tuesday, February 3, 2015

#50 divyansh

hey guyz plz tell m can we add xtra lens in pentax x5 plz

1:49 pm - Monday, March 30, 2015

#51 regbaron

No divyansh it’s a Superzoom not a Dslr.

2:36 am - Tuesday, March 31, 2015

#52 Barry

Well, after reading some of the somewhat negative reviews on this camera I’m a little self-conscious.  I’m by no means a seasoned photographer, but I will say that what concerns me most about newer electronic products is long term reliability and how much a digital camera drains batteries while not in use.

I’ve had my Pentax X-5 for about two years and use it fairly extensively to take pictures for my business websites.  In the two years I’ve had this camera, it has performed absolutely flawlessly - not one single glitch that required a reboot, no faults or inconsistencies whatsoever.

I’ve had some digital cameras drain the batteries completely within a week even when not being used, and thus have been afraid of using batteries and always used AC power up until a few weeks ago when it was too impractical to have a wire connected to it.  I popped in a fresh set of batteries and was pleasantly surprised at how long they lasted.

My semi-educated opinion is that if a user is THAT concerned about image quality and perfect color rendition, they should probably be using a super-expensive camera.  My X-5 is unquestionably “good enough” for the heavy demands of supporting a business, and I know I can depend on it every single time.  I wish I could say that about most other modern electronic equipment.

6:03 am - Thursday, June 11, 2015

Entry Tags

hd video, hd, 3 inch LCD, compact, 1080p, wide-angle, 16 megapixel, hdmi, super-zoom, manual, tilting, tilt, bridge, EVF, 26x zoom, 22.3mm, x-5, pentax x-5, Pentax X-5 Review

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