Pretty nice bridge camera for the price
All in all, if you are interested in a bridge camera with a long zoom range, you really can't beat the Pentax X-5. While the size might put off some, remember you are getting a zoom lens that goes from 22.3mm to 580mm (in 35mm equivalent focal lengths). It is far from perfect, but, given the cost, it is well worth the money.
Macro performance is excellent
Looking at first glance like a fully-fledged DSLR with its pretend lens ring and hotshoe flash cover, the Pentax X-5 soon reveals itself to be something of a wolf in sheep's clothing, leaning much more to the point-and-shoot end of the compact camera spectrum. Those looking for a fully-featured bridge camera will be disappointed, but for everyone else the X-5 is still appealing, especially given its low price tag.
Huge focal range, DSLR aesthetics
While this is a neat little package, you should be aware that there are many other premium compact cameras fulfilling a similar need and producing stronger image quality, offering faster lenses and heavier feature sets, albeit at a slightly higher price point. The Canon PowerShot SX50 HS and Panasonic Lumix FZ200, for example.
Great value for money, Takes good pictures
Pentax have created a decent bridge camera which will appeal to those who want a DSLR style camera but don't want the bulk or perhaps don't have the budget required. There aren't many cameras available with this amount of optical zoom for less than £200, so you'd expect there to be a sacrifice made somewhere. There is with image quality, but it's not much of one.
Long zoom, Low price, Articulated screen
Line up these specs against the asking price for an X-5 and you'll see it's an absolute bargain. Naturally some corners have had to be cut to keep the price so low, but not to a degree that would leave a hobby photographer disappointed with the results. Overall, a good performance and a great zoom make it a very tempting entry-level camera.
Well designed body, Good handling, Affordable price
If you're looking for an affordable bridge camera, the chances are that the X-5 will be on your shortlist. The good news is that the X-5 is certainly a capable camera, and one which handles well and offers a decent level of performance in a generally well designed package. There are drawbacks - the LCD screen is poor, as is the EVF, while there are some image quality issues and the use of AA batteries will disappoint some.
Autofocus easily confused
Despite looking enticingly flashy in the press shots with its broader than average zoom lens extended, when placed before you the Pentax Optio VS20 is a bit of a lump compared with travel zooms costing a little more, such as the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ20 and other Panasonic TZ series cameras.
The Pentax Optio VS20 offers a lot of zoom as well as a unique dual shutter and zoom control feature, that is normally reserved for professional Digital SLRs. Another unique is the second tripod socket found on the side. However, we tend to find most tripods have a built in ability to rotate to portrait shooting, so we suspect the portrait shot mode will be used without a tripod. Apart from this, the camera is quite large in comparison to other pocket zoom cameras.
Disappointing movie performance
You'll struggle to find a new camera with such impressive specs any cheaper. Sadly, the Pentax Optio VS20's performance didn't stand up to close scrutiny. The dual shutter buttons are a neat feature, but you may be better provided by a high-end camera from last year, which will come close to matching the specs at a similar price.
Image quality isn't great, especially upwards of 800 ISO
In the end, the same conclusions can be drawn about the VS20 as last year's RZ18 - the camera is easy to use, has a powerful zoom lens and sells at a competitive price. Unfortunately, picture quality is only really up to scratch in very good lighting conditions ... In a similar price range, we prefer the Olympus SZ-20, which doesn't zoom quite as far but which generally takes better-quality pictures.
The camera was hard to handle and the pictures were fair at best. I would not recommend this camera.
The 24X-optical-zoom Pentax X70 is one of the lightest, smallest megazoom cameras on the market, but it maintains "bigness" where it should: in the lens. The 24X-optical-zoom Pentax X70 is one of the lightest, smallest megazoom cameras on the market, but it maintains "bigness" where it should: in the lens.
Very easy to use
The Pentax X70 is smaller and lighter than nearly every other camera in its class--depending on your hand size, that might be either good or bad. Although its diminutive size gives it a slightly fragile feel, I love being able to tuck the camera into my backpack or throw it around my shoulder and hardly know it's there. I'd just make sure I purchased a backup rechargeable battery to tote along with it.
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