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on 12 November 2012
In purchasing a new camera, I had two main criteria to balance - firstly, that it must be able to take good quality photographs of our baby; and secondly, that it should be able to take reasonable to good quality video footage. Anything else was really going to be a bonus, perhaps with the exception of budget, which was not to exceed £200. With these factors in mind, I set about researching cameras on Amazon that met these criteria, and had received a good quantity of positive reviews.

I almost wrote off the Pentax X-5 based on the fact that there were only a few (albeit good) reviews - I am very glad that I did not, and it took me a while to realise why I was having difficulty finding reviews and sample photos - the camera had only been released in September 2012! Having researched a bit more into this camera, including looking up sample photos, online video reviews and forum comments, I was quickly persuaded that this bridge camera would be the way to go - just looking at the 1cm Macro sample photos of insects flashed images into my head about being the next David Attenborough, and the optical zoom range had me daydreaming about snapping birds for the latest countryfile calendar! Combined with the possibilily of FULL HD 1080p video recording, I was sold!

So, what do I think of the camera now that I have purchased it? In a sentence - it has surpassed (and continues to surpass) my expectations. It easily ticks my two intitial requirements, and there are so may extra features onboard (requiring a manual on CD of over 200 pages) that I will be discovering them for days after - just today I experimented with slow-motion (albeit at 30fps and 640 x 400 resolution), timelapse, panoramic photographs, and post-photograph filters.

For the more advanced and experienced photographer, there are many manual settings that I am sure will appeal, including adjusting exposures and various balances, as well as setting various light setting modes.

The view screen is clear and bright, and can be pulled away from the camera on a bracket and adjusted up / down etc. to achieve awkward angles for photography, and there is also an electronic viewfinder which can be used instead.

The flash is good, and like many other features it can be adjusted, and pops up with the simple press of a button.

So, in summary, I would say:

Good quality photographs - well balanced colours and tones, minimal chromatic abberation
Good quality video - up to full 1080p HD
Good onboard functionality - ability to edit / apply filters to photos etc.
Good ergonomics - fits well in the hand, not too heavy but feeling quite solidly built
Zoom and Macro modes - match and surpass many more expensive models
Onboard features - plenty of options here, including the ability to assign a customisable set-up to a 'green button' on the back
Takes 4x AA batteries - convenient!

No flash card supplied, carry case or HDMI cable for output to TV (quite normal I think)
Low-light photography a little on grainy side with 'autopicture' setting - could most likely be improved by changing settings
A few autofocus issues at zoom (again, quite normal for bridge cameras - focussing can be achieved by half-press of trigger button)
Battery cover a little flimsy - no big issue though


If you are looking for a high-end digital SLR with professional looking photographs every time, then this camera will naturally not tick all the boxes, but then again it doesn't pretend to - it is a bridge camera, and it achieves this very well for a good price. If, like me, you are an amateur photographer wishing to take a mixture of good quality family photos and good video, with an eye to perhaps more in depth functionality, then this camera could well be for you. My advice is to definitely check out sample photographs on google to help you decide for yourself - I don't think that you will be disappointed!
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on 14 March 2013
Ive been around cameras for lots of years so I do know what I am talking about. Over the years you gain
experience from using all kinds of stuff and you get to know all the ins and outs of cameras.
My first thoughts were the build quality - which is plastic. Not in its self a bad thing as it keeps the weight down. The first thing i did was to insert the batteries and noticed a very loose sliding battery lid which felt as if it was going to full off at any moment. However, I dismissed this as probably OK as Pentax would have obviously tested it for strength and usability.
The feel of the camera is very good with a nice rubber hand grip. It also has a wide rubber band of TEXTURED rubber on the lens barrel but this is purely cosmetic and is for holding the camera only - it dosn't turn the the lens. That is done in manual focus mode which is electronically activated.(takes a bit of getting used to)
As for the menu system on this camera - it is probably the simplest I have ever come across and for me is a bonus. Its logical and it works as you would hope - easily!
I am not going into the technical side of things here as you can read all about that elsewhere. Everthing as far as I can tell is hunky dorry so from my experience you can rest assured that if you buy this camera you will not be disappointed as it does everything it says on the tin.
The picture quality is fine. The menu is fine, the price is AMAZING for what you get. The diopter adjustment on the electronic viewfinder is a great convenience, and you have the ordinary batteries (or re-chargeables) which is great for when you are out and about. A great zoom lens. And its a nice weight to carry.
All in all, a camera you would pay three times as much for with a metal body and the build was better on the battery cover.
I wanted to give it 5 but 4 is fair- because of this obvious fault. BUT dont let it put you off buying it. Its a marvelous piece of kit FOR A PENNY LESS THAN 150 QUID THE PRICE IS A REAL BARGAIN - IT REALLY IS!
Note: The manual is on a cd which is supplied together with Arcsoft software - Arcsoft do very good photo manipulation software and is very enjoyable to use - a bonus!
Last thoughs.........You can use it in remote control mode but the remote is an extra expense. I want one!
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on 3 June 2013
A major brand, 16megapixel CMOS, wide angle, 26x zoom, 6400 iso, auto macro, every conceivable program option and Eye-fi compatible. Not forgetting HD video.

The tilt screen is genius - my previous Canon had a flip out reversible screen, but that was OK on a smaller camera. On a 3 inch screen flip out is not such a good idea. Tilt allows overhead shots and low shots (as well as easy viewing of photos and videos) - the advantage of a more stable hold on overhead shots and videos (I think) outweighs the inability to take photos of yourself on a reverse flip out screen.

The program functions are very well thought out and logical. It is easy to remember where all the settings are located if you want to go away from auto. The flip screen (and viewer) shows all data in manageable phases - eg in viewer mode, first you get minimum data, press disp you get maximum data, press disp again you get no data (I remembered that!)

The only thing I did not like straight away was the battery compartment cover which I thought was slightly more wobbly than it needed to be. The viewer is more pixely than it needs to be (but apparently viewers are to use in bright sunshine - some similarly priced cameras no longer have a viewer).

All in all this is the best camera I have ever owned in about 50 years of owning a camera. It allows you to photograph or film anything in any situation almost as quickly as a camera phone. Again the speed and ease of use (I think) outweigh the minor issues some of the professional reviewers have raised.

Don't buy this camera because it is the cheapest bridge camera on the market. Buy it because it has some of the best features, because it is very user friendly, and because it happens to be £150 (two tanks of petrol?)
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on 28 October 2012
I have always loved my old film SLR. And even with, digital versions being available for some time now, I have never been convinced by them: either I had to navigate through a complex menu to get to the settings I wanted or the purchase of a DSLR would have left me seriously out of pocket.

Two weeks ago, I finally took the plunge and went for the Pentax X-5. The main selling points for me were that there are specific buttons to adjust the white balance and shoot mode (drive v. single shot), and that the camera takes standard AA batteries that are easily available. When comparing to pricier models (Nikon, Sony, Fujifilm), I still had to navigate through different menus for quite some time before I could make adjustments - and when taking pictures you want to spend time on the shot, not the menu.

The camera arrived just in time for my trip to India, and it has been absolutely brilliant so far. The shake reduction has been great for taking pics on the move, be it out of a car window or from the back of a tuk tuk. The simplicity with which you can make adjustments to cater for the lighting has been fab and has allowed me to take some great shots in the mountains.

Granted the AA batteries do not last as long - all in all I had to change them after four days heavy use, but I could get replacement batteries (for pennies) even in some very remote locations in the Indian countryside - and only had to buy new ones because I forgot my spare set of rechargeable ones.

All in all, the perfect camera for me!
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on 5 October 2013
Wow this is an amazing camera especially for the price, I don't think there is another camera in this class than can match this. I recently decided to get a bridge camera after selling my SLR equipment as it was to much of an effort to carry all the different lenses around. After much research I narrowed my choice down to three the Pentax X5, Canon Powershot SX500IS and the Fuji Finepix SL300. After originally purchasing the Powershot SX500is I soon decided to return it as it was just too small and the image quality was pretty poor. I eventually decided to go with the Pentax X5 based on user reviews and the amount of features such as tilt screen, 1080p video recording and the actual design. I love it the zoom is simply amazing and the picture and video quality is awesome. I really like the Pentax user interface it's really easy to use and just feels much better than Nikon and Canons. I highly recommend this camera to anyone looking for a nice bridge camera. Absolute Bargain.
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on 15 May 2013
This is an amazing camera, being affordable and amazing for what I needed it to do. It's got great image quality and options included in the camera, and is very easy to set up. My only issue is that it runs on batteries (4 AA batteries) which are included when you buy the camera, but I would have rathered a rechargeable camera that charged by a wall socket or USB. Other than that, it is an amazing camera and I highly recommend it. Another issue was buying a case for it separately, but I found that the 'Gem Compact Easy Access Camera Case for Pentax K-01, X-5' case on amazon was a perfect fit. If you get the camera, I suggest buying the case at the same time! Overall, it's an amazing camera, and though it needs batteries to run, the cost of it far make up for that. Plus, running on batteries makes taking photos while travelling the better choice. I highly recommend it to anyone.
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on 25 August 2013
A solid easy to use bridge camera. I did the usual research, price verses quality and found the X5 ticked all the boxes. I had reservations about the AA batteries against rechargeable lithium. AA batteries can be picked up any where and to be honest I have not had to replace them yet. Plus you can get rechargeables if you wish. The piccies are fantastic quality and I have found that even indoors in the early evening the X5 takes lovely soft photo's. It has a meggar zoom so useful in nearly every situation and conversely the wide angle feature is all you need. This is a camera worthy of its advertising and for me 'a novice' is brilliant.
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on 18 July 2013
This camera has a wonderful set of easy to use functions.

It has a great lens and takes superb photographs. It feels really good and easy to handle. The external buttons to change settings are superb and it negates the need to wade through menus so much of the time.The screen is bright and clear with a nice quality. The viewfinder is digital but is so useful and reasonably clear. I am very happy with my purchase having used a Nikon D50 with a sigma 10-20 mm lens and also a Sigma 150-500 mm lens over ten years ago.

This camera may not create quite such quality images as that sort of equipment, but what it makes up for in ease of use and size is to my mind what gives it such great appeal. There are many on-board editing functions such as colour filters, cropping, borders to add, etc etc..EV, ISO, Sharpening and many more adjustments can be made in programme and most other modes. The cost factor alone makes this a winner .!

15th August. : I have been using this camera for a few weeks now and I am more than happy with it. I have posted a photo taken of a young blackbird that was taken in low light at full optical zoom, then cropped a little. I have also posted a moon image taken the other night on a tripod. This camera has it`s limitations but when used wisely it creates wonderful images and is so very versatile. I really like it.
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on 14 March 2013
I bought this camera to take on safari and was not disappointed. I got some fantastic still shots and used the camera in a range of situations. I found the functions of the camera easy to switch to and from as the subject required it.The viewfinder made it easy to focus and cut out glare. I was able to use the likes of multi-shot function to take photos of moving animals and birds, got some fantastic action photos. And what made this bridge camera stand out from others with me who had expensive SLRs was that I could switch to video mode and managed some very special recordings of leopards doing what they do best and giraffe fighting. I have just recently used the camera at a friends christening, and without any fuss was able to take a range of excellent photos.
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on 28 June 2013
I am not expert in cameras, I asked a friend to give me a good tip, but my budget was too low for a certain kind of cameras,,,I know Canon or Fuji offer high quality, but for a really high price. I found a great camera, with a high resolution, incredible zoom, Shake Reduction System, tiltable LCD monitor...and what about the Pentax lens!
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