'Tis the season for inexpensive superzooms. In the market for a camera with a long 26x optical zoom, but don't want to break the bank? This camera comes in at AU$299, and fills a neat gap in the Pentax range as a reasonably-priced superzoom.
The X-5 is not just cheap and cheerful, as it packs some useful features too. There's a 3-inch LCD screen (460,000 dots) that can tilt up and down for photographers to access different shooting angles. Behind the lens sits a 16-megapixel backlit CMOS sensor, and Pentax has fit the camera with a dual shake-reduction (image stabilisation) system to help alleviate camera shake. The combination of sensor-shift and digital image stabilisation sounds like a good idea on paper, so we'll wait and see how it stacks up in real-world situations.
Cameras that are powered by AA batteries are becoming increasingly rare, but the X-5 uses four AA units. There's 1080p video recording at 30 frames per second, plus time-lapse and slow-motion movie modes. These last two options reduce the video resolution to VGA, which may limit their usefulness.
Given the price, the X-5 is particularly lightweight and is made from plastic, so it's not as sturdy as some other (more expensive) superzooms on the market. Expect the X-5 in Australia from October in silver and black, and our full review will be coming soon.