It's been a couple of years since Pentax announced a new full-size megazoom camera, and I was starting to think that camera, the Pentax X90, would be the last. But, with the introduction of the X-5 today, Pentax is back.
Though its 26x zoom isn't as long as competing models' (and that's really not a bad thing since longer lenses don't make for better photos), it does start at an ultrawide-angle 22.3mm and zooms in to 580mm. For those who like to shoot close-ups, the X-5 can focus as close as 0.4 inch from a subject.
Behind the lens is a 16-megapixel BSI CMOS sensor for faster shooting and better low-light performance than the CCD sensors found in past Pentax megazooms.
On back you'll find an electronic viewfinder and a 3-inch tilting LCD and a thumb dial for manual control of shutter speed and aperture in the camera's manual mode. The camera also has plenty of automatic options, too, including a scene-recognition Auto mode that selects settings based on 16 scene types including macro.
Other features you'll find include full HD movie capture at 30 frames per second and high-speed burst shooting at 10fps; 12 digital filters such as Miniature and Toy Camera; and time-lapse and high-speed movie modes.
All of this is powered by convenient AA batteries, which is rare to find with all of the camera's other features.
Look for the Pentax X-5 in September for $279.99.