Pentax XG-1 Ultra Zoom Review

Pentax XG-1
Amazon.co.uk: £

Reviewed The Pentax X-G1 - an ultra zoom bridge camera with a 52x optical zoom lens, 16 megapixel sensor, 3inch screen and an electronic viewfinder.

12/09/2014 - 08:59

Features
Handling
Performance
Verdict
Specification

Pentax X G1 Front

The Pentax X-G1 is an ultra zoom bridge camera with a 52x optical zoom lens, a 16 megapixel sensor, a 3inch screen and an electronic viewfinder. The 52x optical zoom lens gives the equivalent of 24mm - 1248mm in 35mm terms.

Pentax XG-1 Features

Pentax XG 1 (3)

The Pentax XG-1 has a 16 megapixel CMOS sensor and f/2.8-5.6 52x optical zoom lens which is a 35mm equivalent of 24-1248mm, with sensor shift shake reduction to reduce the effects of camera shake. The lens also has a minimum focus of 1cm when shooting wide which is great for macro shots.

There is an auto mode which adjusts the camera settings automatically, as well as PSAM modes for more control. You'll also find a number of scene modes. There are also a number of digital filters (including vivid, sepia, partial colour and more) as well as the option to record HDR images where the camera combines a number of shots. Videos are recorded in Full HD, 1080p with stereo sound and optical zoom available.

On the back is a 3inch screen with 460k dots, and an electronic viewfinder (EVF) with 200k dots. Next to the EVF is a button to switch between the screen and EVF. 

Pentax XG 1 (4)

Key Features

  • 16 megapixel CMOS sensor
  • 52x optical zoom lens (35mm equiv: 24-1248mm)
  • Optical image stabilisation (Sensor-shift)
  • 3.0 inch 460k dot LCD screen
  • 200K dot electronic viewfinder (EVF)
  • Full manual controls
  • Full 1080p HD video recording
  • ISO 100-3200
  • 1cm minimum focusing distance
  • Numerous filter effects

Pentax XG-1 Handling

Pentax XG 1 (7)
 

The Pentax X-G1 has a similar look to a small DSLR, although it wouldn't really be small enough to carry in your pocket. The grip is rubberised to help you to hold the camera, with a rubberised patch on the rear for your right thumb, as well as rubber around the lens barrel and on the left hand side of the camera.

There is a mode dial on the top, this gives access to PSAM and auto modes, as well as face beautifier modes. The top has the zoom rocker and shutter release and also has buttons for continuous shooting on / off, and exposure compensation which gives access to ISO, aperture and shutter speed, depending on what mode you're using. The flash also has a button to pop it up.

On the rear the i button gives access to the filters, there are also menu, playback, video record and display buttons. Lastly, there is a d-pad with a set button in the middle. The directional buttons can be used to access focus, macro, flash and self-timer.

Pentax XG 1 (5)

The menu system is fairly easy to navigate, but one or two things are a little different to most cameras and the XG-1 doesn't feature the usual Pentax menus. To access shutter speed and aperture settings you use the exposure compensation button, as well as using the set button to change the white balance. The 3.0 inch screen has a decent 460k dot resolution and is easy to see in bright light. The electronic viewfinder is small and not ideal if you wear glasses as there is no dioptre correction. 

Pentax XG 1 (8)

Battery life is rated at just 240 shots according to CIPA test results, and the camera uses the same battery used as that found in the Kodak PIXPRO AZ521. We took a number of shots to test the camera's responsiveness, from switch on to first photo, shot to shot, focusing speed etc. We take a number of shots and then use the average to ensure accurate and consistent tests, making it easy to compare with other cameras.

Shutter Response 0.1secs
Wide - Focus / Shutter Response 0.25secs
Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response 0.4secs
Switch on Time to Taking a Photo 3.0secs
Shot to Shot without Flash 0.7secs
Shot to Shot with Flash 1.5secs
Continuous Shooting - JPEG
(shots before slow down)
10fps (8 shots)
Continuous Shooting - Flash N/A


Continuous shooting shoots at 10fps for 8 shots, which is good. 

Pentax XG-1 Performance

The performance section is where we look at the image quality performance of the camera. Additional sample photos and product shots are available in the Equipment Database, where you can add your own review, photos and product ratings.

Pentax XG-1 Sample Photos

Cat | 1/900 sec | f/3.2 | 4.3 mm | ISO 100<br /><a target="_blank" href="https://www.magezinepublishing.com/equipment/images/equipment/XG1-5559/highres/Pentax-XG-1-Cat-IMGP0081_1409648682.jpg">High-Res</a>
Cat | 1/900 sec | f/3.2 | 4.3 mm | ISO 100
High-Res
Flash Portrait | 1/60 sec | f/4.2 | 21.7 mm | ISO 200<br /><a target="_blank" href="https://www.magezinepublishing.com/equipment/images/equipment/XG1-5559/highres/Pentax-XG-1-Flash-Portrait-IMGP0155_1409648692.jpg">High-Res</a>
Flash Portrait | 1/60 sec | f/4.2 | 21.7 mm | ISO 200
High-Res
Normal | 1/640 sec | f/3.2 | 4.3 mm | ISO 100<br /><a target="_blank" href="https://www.magezinepublishing.com/equipment/images/equipment/XG1-5559/highres/Pentax-XG-1-Normal-IMGP0085_1409649063.jpg">High-Res</a>
Normal | 1/640 sec | f/3.2 | 4.3 mm | ISO 100
High-Res
Leaves | 1/250 sec | f/4.2 | 65.2 mm | ISO 100<br /><a target="_blank" href="https://www.magezinepublishing.com/equipment/images/equipment/XG1-5559/highres/Pentax-X-G1-Leaves-IMGP0025_1410353215.jpg">High-Res</a>
Leaves | 1/250 sec | f/4.2 | 65.2 mm | ISO 100
High-Res

Sample Photos - Colour is good and portrait photos taken with flash show no red-eye. Exposure is reliable with the camera delivering decent images.

Pentax XG-1 Lens test images

Wide | 1/70 sec | f/3.2 | 4.3 mm | ISO 100<br /><a target="_blank" href="https://www.magezinepublishing.com/equipment/images/equipment/XG1-5559/highres/Pentax-XG-1-Wide-IMGP0004_1409648770.jpg">High-Res</a>
Wide | 1/70 sec | f/3.2 | 4.3 mm | ISO 100
High-Res
Full Telephoto Zoom | 1/170 sec | f/6.4 | 223.6 mm | ISO 325<br /><a target="_blank" href="https://www.magezinepublishing.com/equipment/images/equipment/XG1-5559/highres/Pentax-XG-1-Full-Telephoto-Zoom-IMGP0008_1409648742.jpg">High-Res</a>
Full Telephoto Zoom | 1/170 sec | f/6.4 | 223.6 mm | ISO 325
High-Res
Macro | 1/34 sec | f/3.2 | 4.3 mm | ISO 128<br /><a target="_blank" href="https://www.magezinepublishing.com/equipment/images/equipment/XG1-5559/highres/Pentax-XG-1-Macro-IMGP0012_1409648750.jpg">High-Res</a>
Macro | 1/34 sec | f/3.2 | 4.3 mm | ISO 128
High-Res
Trees | 1/480 sec | f/3.2 | 4.3 mm | ISO 100<br /><a target="_blank" href="https://www.magezinepublishing.com/equipment/images/equipment/XG1-5559/highres/Pentax-XG-1-Trees-IMGP0001_1409648760.jpg">High-Res</a>
Trees | 1/480 sec | f/3.2 | 4.3 mm | ISO 100
High-Res

Lens Performance - Image quality is generally good with decent levels of detail, although the more you use the optical zoom, the more difficult it will be to get a sharp, detailed, contrasty shot, due to both air quality and the need to keep the camera steady. The is some purple fringing and lens flare when shooting with bright light in the frame, or areas with high levels of contrast. Macro performance is very good with the camera able to focus on subjects just 1cm away from the front of the lens.

Pentax XG-1 ISO test images

1/8 sec | f/4.2 | 21.7 mm | ISO 100<br /><a target="_blank" href="https://www.magezinepublishing.com/equipment/images/equipment/XG1-5559/highres/Pentax-XG-1-ISO100-IMGP0017_1409648922.jpg">High-Res</a>
1/8 sec | f/4.2 | 21.7 mm | ISO 100
High-Res
1/17 sec | f/4.2 | 21.7 mm | ISO 200<br /><a target="_blank" href="https://www.magezinepublishing.com/equipment/images/equipment/XG1-5559/highres/Pentax-XG-1-ISO200-IMGP0018_1409648929.jpg">High-Res</a>
1/17 sec | f/4.2 | 21.7 mm | ISO 200
High-Res
1/34 sec | f/4.2 | 21.7 mm | ISO 400<br /><a target="_blank" href="https://www.magezinepublishing.com/equipment/images/equipment/XG1-5559/highres/Pentax-XG-1-ISO400-IMGP0019_1409648938.jpg">High-Res</a>
1/34 sec | f/4.2 | 21.7 mm | ISO 400
High-Res
1/70 sec | f/4.2 | 21.7 mm | ISO 800<br /><a target="_blank" href="https://www.magezinepublishing.com/equipment/images/equipment/XG1-5559/highres/Pentax-XG-1-ISO800-IMGP0020_1409648948.jpg">High-Res</a>
1/70 sec | f/4.2 | 21.7 mm | ISO 800
High-Res
1/140 sec | f/4.2 | 21.7 mm | ISO 1600<br /><a target="_blank" href="https://www.magezinepublishing.com/equipment/images/equipment/XG1-5559/highres/Pentax-XG-1-ISO1600-IMGP0021_1409648957.jpg">High-Res</a>
1/140 sec | f/4.2 | 21.7 mm | ISO 1600
High-Res
1/280 sec | f/4.2 | 21.7 mm | ISO 3200<br /><a target="_blank" href="https://www.magezinepublishing.com/equipment/images/equipment/XG1-5559/highres/Pentax-XG-1-ISO3200-IMGP0022_1409648966.jpg">High-Res</a>
1/280 sec | f/4.2 | 21.7 mm | ISO 3200
High-Res

ISO Noise Performance - For the lowest noise and best detail possible we would recommend using ISO100, as images have low levels of noise and good levels of detail. For lower light situations ISO200 to ISO800 still provides good results, although noise increases and detail is reduced. At ISO1600 and ISO3200 noise levels become strong and we would recommend avoiding this setting if possible, although results may still be useful if resized and used on the web.

Pentax XG-1 White-balance test images

AWB Tungsten | 1/9 sec | f/3.7 | 7.0 mm | ISO 100<br /><a target="_blank" href="https://www.magezinepublishing.com/equipment/images/equipment/XG1-5559/highres/Pentax-XG-1-AWB-Tungsten-IMGP0013_1409648827.jpg">High-Res</a>
AWB Tungsten | 1/9 sec | f/3.7 | 7.0 mm | ISO 100
High-Res
WB Tungsten | 1/8 sec | f/3.7 | 7.0 mm | ISO 100<br /><a target="_blank" href="https://www.magezinepublishing.com/equipment/images/equipment/XG1-5559/highres/Pentax-XG-1-WB-Tungsten-IMGP0014_1409648845.jpg">High-Res</a>
WB Tungsten | 1/8 sec | f/3.7 | 7.0 mm | ISO 100
High-Res
AWB Fluorescent | 0.3 sec | f/3.7 | 7.0 mm | ISO 100<br /><a target="_blank" href="https://www.magezinepublishing.com/equipment/images/equipment/XG1-5559/highres/Pentax-XG-1-AWB-Fluorescent-IMGP0015_1409648818.jpg">High-Res</a>
AWB Fluorescent | 0.3 sec | f/3.7 | 7.0 mm | ISO 100
High-Res
WB Fluorescent | 0.3 sec | f/3.7 | 7.0 mm | ISO 100<br /><a target="_blank" href="https://www.magezinepublishing.com/equipment/images/equipment/XG1-5559/highres/Pentax-XG-1-WB-Fluorescent-IMGP0016_1409648835.jpg">High-Res</a>
WB Fluorescent | 0.3 sec | f/3.7 | 7.0 mm | ISO 100
High-Res

White Balance Performance - Auto White Balance (AWB) performs well  with a warm colour cast under tungsten lighting, with the tungsten preset giving an accurate result. AWB performs well under fluorescent lights, with the fluorescent preset giving a good result as well.

Pentax XG-1 Digital filters

Dreamy | 1/640 sec | f/3.2 | 4.3 mm | ISO 100<br /><a target="_blank" href="https://www.magezinepublishing.com/equipment/images/equipment/XG1-5559/highres/Pentax-XG-1-Dreamy-IMGP0098_1409649247.jpg">High-Res</a>
Dreamy | 1/640 sec | f/3.2 | 4.3 mm | ISO 100
High-Res
Fisheye | 1/640 sec | f/3.2 | 4.3 mm | ISO 100<br /><a target="_blank" href="https://www.magezinepublishing.com/equipment/images/equipment/XG1-5559/highres/Pentax-XG-1-Fisheye-IMGP0101_1409649259.jpg">High-Res</a>
Fisheye | 1/640 sec | f/3.2 | 4.3 mm | ISO 100
High-Res
French Style | 1/640 sec | f/3.2 | 4.3 mm | ISO 100<br /><a target="_blank" href="https://www.magezinepublishing.com/equipment/images/equipment/XG1-5559/highres/Pentax-XG-1-French-Style-IMGP0089_1409649269.jpg">High-Res</a>
French Style | 1/640 sec | f/3.2 | 4.3 mm | ISO 100
High-Res
Italian Style | 1/680 sec | f/3.2 | 4.3 mm | ISO 100<br /><a target="_blank" href="https://www.magezinepublishing.com/equipment/images/equipment/XG1-5559/highres/Pentax-XG-1-Italian-Style-IMGP0088_1409649281.jpg">High-Res</a>
Italian Style | 1/680 sec | f/3.2 | 4.3 mm | ISO 100
High-Res
Japan Style | 1/640 sec | f/3.2 | 4.3 mm | ISO 100<br /><a target="_blank" href="https://www.magezinepublishing.com/equipment/images/equipment/XG1-5559/highres/Pentax-XG-1-Japan-Style-IMGP0087_1409649291.jpg">High-Res</a>
Japan Style | 1/640 sec | f/3.2 | 4.3 mm | ISO 100
High-Res
Negative | 1/640 sec | f/3.2 | 4.3 mm | ISO 100<br /><a target="_blank" href="https://www.magezinepublishing.com/equipment/images/equipment/XG1-5559/highres/Pentax-XG-1-Negative-IMGP0097_1409649303.jpg">High-Res</a>
Negative | 1/640 sec | f/3.2 | 4.3 mm | ISO 100
High-Res
Part Colour Blue | 1/640 sec | f/3.2 | 4.3 mm | ISO 100<br /><a target="_blank" href="https://www.magezinepublishing.com/equipment/images/equipment/XG1-5559/highres/Pentax-XG-1-Part-Colour-Blue-IMGP0094_1409649314.jpg">High-Res</a>
Part Colour Blue | 1/640 sec | f/3.2 | 4.3 mm | ISO 100
High-Res
Part Colour Red | 1/640 sec | f/3.2 | 4.3 mm | ISO 100<br /><a target="_blank" href="https://www.magezinepublishing.com/equipment/images/equipment/XG1-5559/highres/Pentax-XG-1-Part-Colour-Red-IMGP0093_1409649326.jpg">High-Res</a>
Part Colour Red | 1/640 sec | f/3.2 | 4.3 mm | ISO 100
High-Res
Part Colour Yellow | 1/640 sec | f/3.2 | 4.3 mm | ISO 100<br /><a target="_blank" href="https://www.magezinepublishing.com/equipment/images/equipment/XG1-5559/highres/Pentax-XG-1-Part-Colour-Yellow-IMGP0095_1409649338.jpg">High-Res</a>
Part Colour Yellow | 1/640 sec | f/3.2 | 4.3 mm | ISO 100
High-Res
Punk | 1/640 sec | f/3.2 | 4.3 mm | ISO 100<br /><a target="_blank" href="https://www.magezinepublishing.com/equipment/images/equipment/XG1-5559/highres/Pentax-XG-1-Punk-IMGP0090_1409649348.jpg">High-Res</a>
Punk | 1/640 sec | f/3.2 | 4.3 mm | ISO 100
High-Res
Black and White | 1/640 sec | f/3.2 | 4.3 mm | ISO 100<br /><a target="_blank" href="https://www.magezinepublishing.com/equipment/images/equipment/XG1-5559/highres/Pentax-XG-1-Punk-IMGP0091_1409649359.jpg">High-Res</a>
Black and White | 1/640 sec | f/3.2 | 4.3 mm | ISO 100
High-Res
Reflection | 1/500 sec | f/3.2 | 4.3 mm | ISO 100<br /><a target="_blank" href="https://www.magezinepublishing.com/equipment/images/equipment/XG1-5559/highres/Pentax-XG-1-Reflection-IMGP0102_1409649372.jpg">High-Res</a>
Reflection | 1/500 sec | f/3.2 | 4.3 mm | ISO 100
High-Res
Salon | 1/640 sec | f/3.2 | 4.3 mm | ISO 100<br /><a target="_blank" href="https://www.magezinepublishing.com/equipment/images/equipment/XG1-5559/highres/Pentax-XG-1-Salon-IMGP0100_1409649383.jpg">High-Res</a>
Salon | 1/640 sec | f/3.2 | 4.3 mm | ISO 100
High-Res
Sepia | 1/640 sec | f/3.2 | 4.3 mm | ISO 100<br /><a target="_blank" href="https://www.magezinepublishing.com/equipment/images/equipment/XG1-5559/highres/Pentax-XG-1-Sepia-IMGP0092_1409649394.jpg">High-Res</a>
Sepia | 1/640 sec | f/3.2 | 4.3 mm | ISO 100
High-Res
Sketch | 1/640 sec | f/3.2 | 4.3 mm | ISO 100<br /><a target="_blank" href="https://www.magezinepublishing.com/equipment/images/equipment/XG1-5559/highres/Pentax-XG-1-Sketch-IMGP0104_1409649405.jpg">High-Res</a>
Sketch | 1/640 sec | f/3.2 | 4.3 mm | ISO 100
High-Res
Vignetting | 1/640 sec | f/3.2 | 4.3 mm | ISO 100<br /><a target="_blank" href="https://www.magezinepublishing.com/equipment/images/equipment/XG1-5559/highres/Pentax-XG-1-Vignetting-IMGP0099_1409649415.jpg">High-Res</a>
Vignetting | 1/640 sec | f/3.2 | 4.3 mm | ISO 100
High-Res
Vivid | 1/680 sec | f/3.2 | 4.3 mm | ISO 100<br /><a target="_blank" href="https://www.magezinepublishing.com/equipment/images/equipment/XG1-5559/highres/Pentax-XG-1-Vivid-IMGP0086_1409649426.jpg">High-Res</a>
Vivid | 1/680 sec | f/3.2 | 4.3 mm | ISO 100
High-Res
4grids Stylish | 1/640 sec | f/3.2 | 4.3 mm | ISO 100<br /><a target="_blank" href="https://www.magezinepublishing.com/equipment/images/equipment/XG1-5559/highres/Pentax-XG-1-4grids-stylish-IMGP0103_1409649240.jpg">High-Res</a>
4grids Stylish | 1/640 sec | f/3.2 | 4.3 mm | ISO 100
High-Res

Digital Filters - There are a number of digital filters and effects available, although there is no automatic panoramic mode built in.

Video - The camera offers full HD video recording, and optical zoom is available while recording, however image stabilisation doesn't appear to be very effective being electronic image stabilisation rather than sensor shift, and this will limit the usefulness of having such a long telephoto zoom when using the camera hand-held. 

Value For Money

The Pentax XG-1 is available for around £249 which makes it reasonable value for money, with a number of alternatives available:

50x optical zoom:
Fujifilm FinePix SL1000 - Tilting screen, £185
Canon Powershot SX50 - Vari-angle screen, £315
Olympus SP100EE - with dot-sight, £299

60x optical zoom:
Nikon Coolpix P600 - Wi-Fi, £299
Panasonic Lumix FZ72 - 60x, £285

Other ultra zoom bridge cameras can be found in the Top 10 Best Ultra Zoom Bridge Cameras Guide. You'll also need to buy a memory card and a case or bag to keep your camera safe and protected - have a look at our complete guide to camera bags.

Pentax XG-1 Verdict

The Pentax X-G1 offers a 52x optical zoom lens, and has a good number of rubber surfaces to aid grip. An electronic viewfinder can also help keep the camera steady when taking shots with lots of optical zoom. Built in is sensor-shift image stabilisation, although unfortunately this isn't active when recording videos. Images from the camera have bright saturated colours which will be pleasing to most people, and the camera is priced competitively, although it would be nice if the battery life was better. 

Pentax XG-1 Pros

10fps continuous shooting
52x optical zoom lens, f/2.8 at wide-angle
Manual controls
HDR mode
Colourful images
Good rubber grips

Pentax XG-1 Cons

Lacks panoramic mode
Image stabilisation not effective in video mode
Short battery life

FEATURES  
HANDLING  
PERFORMANCE  
VALUE FOR MONEY  
VERDICT  

The Pentax X-G1 offers a 52x optical zoom lens, an electronic viewfinder, and good rubber grip, with bright colourful images.

Buy Online

Pentax XG-1
£
Amazon.co.uk

Pentax XG-1 Specifications

ManufacturerPentax
Lens
Max Aperture f/2.8 - f/5.6
35mm equivalent 24mm - 1248mm
Optical Zoom 52x
Image Sensor
Pixels 16Mp (Megapixels)
Pixels (W) 4608
Pixels (H) 3456
Sensor Type CMOS
Sensor Size 1/2.33
Sensor Size (width) No Data
Sensor Size (height) No Data
Aspect Ratio
  • 4:3
  • 3:2
  • 16:9
LCD Monitor
LCD Monitor 3in
Screen resolution 460
Touch Screen No
Focusing
Min Focus 1cm
Focusing modes
  • Face Detection
  • AF Tracking
  • Multi
  • Centre
Exposure Control
Shutter speeds shortest 1/2000sec
Shutter speeds longest 30sec
Bulb mode No Data
Exp modes
  • Program
  • Aperture-Priority
  • Shutter-Priority
  • Manual
  • Scene modes
Metering
  • Centre-weighted - Average
  • Multi Pattern
  • Spot
ISO sensitivity 100 - 3200
White balance
  • Auto
  • Manual
  • Outdoors/Daylight
  • Cloudy
  • Incandescent
  • Fluorescent
Exposure Comp +/-2
Shooting Options
Continuous shooting 9fps
Video
Movie mode Yes
Video Resolution
  • 1920x1080 FullHD
  • 1280x720 HD 720p
  • 640x480 VGA
Video FPS 30p
Stereo Sound Yes
Optical Zoom with Video Yes
Other Features
Image Stabilisation Yes
Interface
HDMI Yes
USB USB 2
Wi-Fi No Data
Storage
Card Type
  • SD
  • SDHC
  • SDXC
File Type
  • JPG
Power Source
Battery Type Rechargeable lithium-ion battery LB-060
Battery Life (CIPA rating) 240shots
Box Contents
Box Contents Power adapter GAC-03, Rechargeable Lithium-ion Battery LB-060, USB cable, Strap, Lens cap, Operating manual (CD-ROM)
Dimensions
Weight 539g
Width 119mm
Height 89mm
Depth 97.5mm


Buy Online
Pentax XG-1 Amazon.co.uk
£
Related Photos
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TomDuffey

Link Posted 02/09/2019 - 19:42
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