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on 3 July 2017
great..it does just what it says on the tin...
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on 11 May 2017
Worked well initially but the power switch has jammed and the camera will no longer switch on. Lasted about a year. Would not recommend
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on 26 October 2016
Excellent Camera
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on 3 August 2016
this has been a very very good camera
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on 2 December 2015
First class camer in its grade
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on 18 September 2015
I really like this, better than a compact but not as good as a full DSLR it's a bridge camera after all. But it's got me decent shots of the moon, and the semi-eclipse earlier this year.

My one gripe, and the reason it never got 5 stars... it takes 4 AA batteries and they just don't last long enough. Rechargeable seem to go flat even quicker than regular high powered AA. I even bought the highest capacity rechargeable ones I could find and they still go flat too quickly.
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on 7 September 2015
Good camera would recommend.
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on 17 June 2015
Excellent camera
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on 25 May 2015
When I started looking around for a bridge camera, I was surprised to find that many current models only had an LCD screen. For me, a viewfinder was a must-have feature and the Pentax X5 with its electronic viewfinder, tilting LCD screen, 26x zoom and 16 megapixel resolution, makes this a very versatile camera. In the following, I will try to add to what other users have said, rather than repeat them.

More important than high pixel count, is the quality of the lens. Pentax have a long history of making cameras and lenses for a wide range of applications, and in my opinion this lens is first class. At maximum optical zoom, a hand-held photo of my caravan 80 ft. away on a very dull day, shows the caption on the gas bottle locker quite legibly. Using 1cm macro, my watch face occupied the entire picture.

A "Sensor Shift" optical stabiliser detects movement of the camera while shooting. This feature is very effective and allows photos to be taken hand-held with low shutter speeds, so photos can be taken in dull situations where flash is not permitted, or would not be effective.

The camera body is comfortable to hold and although quite chunky, it feels well-balanced. The eyepiece of the EVF has dioptre adjustment and projects from the rear face of the camera, making it even more practical. The button controls are well-placed and when you have taken your photo, you can immediately review it on the LCD screen. At any time, the "Display" function shows all camera settings, including a histogram. The menu button brings up a 4-page menu that is clear and easy to use.

Anyone can use this camera, as it has a range of automatic and scene modes that set the exposure for you. I prefer to use Program (P on the dial) mode, which gives the user more choice over settings - particularly ISO value and exposure value (EV) compensation. If you adjust the EV setting, the effect is reflected in the image on the display.

There is a Memory function that will retain selected settings from the last photo, such as zoom position, EV compensation and Display mode, and many others.

In Program mode, ISO values can be set from 100 all the way to 6400, or you can also select an "Auto ISO range". However, there is no dedicated button to set an ISO value, so normally you would set it via the menu, requiring some 10 button presses.

However, on the back of the camera there is Green button, which you can pre-set, either as an instant Auto mode or as a "Function" button. As Auto can be selected via the mode dial anyway, the Green button is far more useful as a Function (Fn) button. This enables you to assign 4 additional functions, for selection by the 4-way controller. The first and most obvious Fn mode to assign is ISO sensitivity, to bypass the menu. Three more shortcuts from some 12 options can be chosen, such as exposure, focus or white balance.

I don’t think that any other camera in this price range has an EVF viewfinder AND an articulated LCD screen. This is a very useful feature. If you are photographing something at ground level, you tilt it so you are looking down at the screen. You can tilt it the other way, to take photographs from high up if you are in a crowd.

A printed manual is not included, but an excellent one can be obtained via eBay. In the eBay search box, enter:- "Pentax X5 User guide Instruction manual printed A4 or A5".

The Pentax X5 does not have a variable iris, so is at full aperture all the time. To limit exposure in the brightest conditions, it uses an automatic neutral density (ND) filter. ND filters are universally used in phones and tablets, and are increasingly used for exposure control in digital cameras in this price range. This is a very elusive subject and it’s not easy to discover which cameras work this way. You see variations in F number as you use the zoom, but this is only reflecting the changes in focal length.

This is unlikely to bother anyone but the more serious photographer, who would vary aperture (F/number) to control the range to be in focus. A wide aperture is OK for portraits to restrict depth of field (DOF), but with the X5, you cannot reduce the aperture for extended depth for landscapes and street scenes. For these scenes, I use wide rather than telephoto and avoid focusing on nearby features in the scene.

Because there is no variable iris, there is no Aperture priority or Shutter priority mode. There is a Manual setting (M on the dial), which uses the same EV control to make small changes to "Aperture" and shutter speed. However, these adjustments are not reflected in the displayed image, so you don’t see the effect until you have taken the photo. Program mode is far more useful.

The zoom movement is far too fast, even with "Quick Zoom" off, and you have to jab the lever, to step the zoom to where you want it.

I also have a Canon point & shoot camera that can be slipped into the pocket, but for photos around the house and garden, I always use the Pentax for its versatility under the widest range of conditions.
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on 10 May 2015
This camera is a joy to use and takes very nice pictures. Feels great in your hands, with generous rubberised grips and it feels high quality, a pleasure to hold. The shutter button has a good precise feel and the zoom lever is smooth and responsive. The command dial is easy to use, but just sufficiently stiff enough that it won't move when you don't intend it to. On some other brand cameras I've used, this dial doesn't have enough resistance so the slightest accidental movement and you've selected something you didn't want to - only to find out when you go to take a picture and maybe end up shooting a video instead - that doesn't happen here.

The viewfinder is bright and clear, better than the viewfinder on some cameras costing a lot more. Focusing is pretty quick and it's accurate - you can be confident that you will get your shots in focus with this camera without it being hit and miss like on some cameras. This camera does take nice detailed pictures, obviously it's not DSLR quality but compared to its peers in the same bridge and compact camera class it is as good as any of them.

Video recording, this camera can shoot 1080p at 30fps, 720p at 30fps or 720p at 60fps - the latter is one of the reasons I bought this camera as it means you can video fast moving objects like birds or planes, with a level of smoothness and fluidity that it lacking in many competitor cameras. It also makes it superior to a lot of camcorders these days because they usually lack a viewfinder, and if you've ever tried to video a small and distant object with a camcorder outside on a sunny day, you'll know how difficult if not impossible it is with the sun reflecting off the camcorder's flip out screen. Here you have a viewfinder so it makes such videos much easier to achieve. One negative, although you can zoom in and out optically to any degree you want before beginning recording a video, once you start shooting, you cannot zoom in or out any more (you can zoom in digitally which isn't generally recommended, but you can't zoom out beyond the point you started from). One feature which I find really helps with shooting video with this camera, which many bridge cameras lack, is the ability to manually focus to infinity. You can just tap the focus button a few times to select infinity and you don't have to worry about the autofocus losing focus, or focusing on the wrong thing during shooting, which can happen with other cameras in my experience. You can use the autofocus instead if you prefer though and it works fine, but I've found the infinity option very useful.

The camera is lacking in some regards to better specced competitor bridge cameras but whether these things matter to you, depends on how much of a 'serious' photographer you are, and what you intend to use the camera for. If you are just going to shoot stationary subjects then I don't think this matters at all. But here's what I found when shooting some planes landing at an airport on a sunny day recently. The camera has a max shutter speed of 1/1500, which is lower than some cameras. Also the camera does not allow much adjustment of aperture, there are two choices basically, either wide open or smaller. So what this means is that you do not have the same full range of 'artistic' options you would have on a camera with a full aperture priority mode. But it also means that sometimes you will end up with a much lower shutter speed than you need, even on a sunny day, or in my case, especially on a sunny day, let me explain (and it might get a bit technical).

To shoot fast moving objects like birds or planes you generally want to use a high shutter speed, as high as possible, and turn off any image stabilisation. Normally, bright sunlight would be a photographer's friend, but with this camera, that isn't always the case. If it's a sufficiently bright day, which last week it was (the sun was at my back), this camera even at ISO 100 is unable to fire its shutter fast enough to achieve correct exposure, while the aperture is wide open (lowest f/stop number). On most cameras, this wouldn't be a problem, you would either manually, or the camera would do it for you in auto mode, close down the aperture slightly (ie. increase the f/stop number) which would allow you to both have the highest shutter speed possible while also achieving the correct exposure. Not on this camera, because the range of apertures is limited. So while one minute you might get f/3.1 and 1/1500s which is good and the subject is frozen sharply because of the high shutter speed, for the next shot (and this is taken from an actual photo I took) the camera might select f/12.6 and 1/200s which means the subject comes out slightly blurred. The camera does have a 'manual' mode but it doesn't allow the full range of apertures, and shutter speed is still capped at 1/1500s. I should say that most people who buy this camera will probably not care about any of this, or be hindered by it.

Overall I love this camera, and having owned a DSLR before which was heavy and cumbersome, although the DSLR was a 'better camera' I really appreciate not having to change lenses with this one, and it being very lightweight and easy to carry around without getting tiring, and I am always ready to shoot anything, whether it be near or far. It looks good, feels good and gets consistently good results. Highly recommended.
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