Pentax X-5 superzoom unveiled, packs in 26x optical zoom

The Pentax X-5 is the company's latest superzoom camera, and packs a big 26x optical zoom lens into a small, easy-to-transport body.

The camera's lens starts at a super-wide 22.3mm wide-angle and extends through to a 580mm equivalent. Whether wide group shots or distant candid shots are your thing, the X-5 looks to have all bases covered.

The widest-angle setting sounds particularly impressive, overshadowing its competitors which tend to have a 24mm wide-angle lens. Olympus, which held the widest-angle crown on its 22.4mm SP-820UZ for only 14 hours, will be frustrated. Furthermore the X-5's 1cm-from-lens macro mode means close-up shooting ought to be a breeze too.

At the heart of the X-5 is a 16-megapixel, back-illuminated CMOS sensor that's capable of shooting from ISO 100-6400. The sensor also benefits from sensor-based Shake Reduction to help avoid blurry images. Although the camera looks rather DSLR-like, it doesn't have a large DSLR-sized sensor.

In lower light there's also a Handheld Night Scene mode that can snap multiple images at once before processing the shots into one final image, with lower image noise than a single snap would otherwise produce.

On the rear of the camera there's a 3-inch, 460k-dot, tilt-angle LCD screen for viewing images from multiple angles during composition.

The X-5 also features an electronic viewfinder which will come in handy if sunlight gets too much for the rear LCD screen. A dioptre adjustment makes it easy to adjust for those of us with poorer eyesight.

Other features include a 1080p HD movie capture, digital filters, a 10 frames per second burst mode, and there's even an optional remote control (sold separately).

As per other Pentax superzoom cameras, the X-5 is powered by four AA batteries that are said to deliver 330 images before you'll need to pop a new set in.

Does the X-5 offer enough to tempt you, or is it still behind its bigger-zoom competitors? Let us know in the comment below...



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