Pentax X70 Review

September 3, 2009 | Gavin Stoker |

Review Roundup

Reviews of the Pentax X70 from around the web. »

The ultrazoom category is a force to be reckoned with in today's market. Not only do these cameras offer a wide- to telephoto focal range; they cost less than a dedicated SLR. The Pentax X70 is a 12 megapixel powerhouse with a 24X optical zoom, the first entry from the same company that manufactures the formidable K-series of DSLRs.
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Up until now Pentax has specialised in two types of camera; its Optio range of ultra-compacts, and its successful range of digital SLRs. It has a couple of other products, such as the W-series of waterproof compacts as well as some very nice binoculars and assortment of accessories, but up until now it has never ventured into bridge camera or super-zoom territory. The new Pentax X70 is the company's first foray into this uncharted territory, but it's a pretty accomplished debut. With a 24x zoom lens with a 26mm-equivalent wide angle, a 12-megapixel sensor, a 2.7-inch 230k monitor, sensor-shift image stabilisation and manual exposure options can it succeed in a highly competitive sector of the digital camera market?
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For the first camera in the superzoom range, Pentax have done quite well. I think they've started as they mean to go on by putting one of the largest zooms available in the camera. A lot of the other features are found on basic compacts and I think are simply there to bulk the camera out and keep it uniform with the rest of the range.
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The Pentax Optio X70 is highly versatile due to its 24X optical zoom which starts at a very wide-angle 26mm and reaches 624mm, in 35mm equivalent terms. This wide range covers most photographic uses, particularly well in the telephoto range for wildlife and bird photography. This super-long reach puts the X70 even beyond the reach of DSLR lenses under $1000 USD. Macro photography is also possible with the Pentax Optio X70 which can focus as close as 1cm (0.4").
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