These days, it isn't enough for mass consumer digital cameras to boast megapixel counts or lens measurements. To fend off the smartphone invasion, they also need to be as portable as these mobile devices, but also more powerful in their chosen field. Ricoh has just announced the PENTAX XG-1, a digital camera that sings to beginners who want a bit more out of a camera than what compacts and high-end smartphones can provide.
Ricoh bills the XG-1 as a bridge camera, that is, a digital camera that bridges the gap between a beginner and a more seasoned photographer. As such, it is designed with powerful features but, at the same time, remains easy to use and portable. As if to emphasize the point that this is not a high-end, professional shooter, and to reduce the amount of confusion for users, the PENTAX XG-1 eschews replaceable lenses with a single one that tries to cover all cases. That said, the body of the camera is molded after the regular PENTAX SLR form, making it at least look premium but still lightweight and compact enough to carry around with you.
As to its capturing capabilities, it has a 16 megapixel CMOS sensor that has a top sensitivity of ISO 3200. The lens is also quite talented, boasting of ultra-wide-angle shots at 24 mm as well as super-telephoto at 1.248 mm. And the 52x superzoom makes sure that you can capture not only special moments with friends and families but also the breath-taking vistas and death-defying encounters with nature from your vacation. The XG-1 offers three modes for high-speed continuous shooting. In full resolution, you can only reach a max of 9 images per second. But you can also increase that to 60 fps and 30 fps by reducing the resolution to VGA (640x480) and 4 megapixels (2304x1728), respectively. For recording videos, the camera is only capable of HD resolution video capture.
A digital camera normally offers several features that take advantage of the digital nature of images taken and the PENTAX XG-1 is no different. It offers several image filters, with some like black and white or sepia available even when recording video. There are also several capture modes available, like hands-off Auto Picture, Face Beautifier, and Movie. And for fun, there is a dedicated pet detection mode for your favorite animal companion.
One thing you might miss from this digital camera is built-in connectivity options, especially Bluetooth for smartphones and tablets. That said, it does have support for Eye-Fi wireless LAN SD memory cards, which could stand in for them if you happen to have one around. The Ricoh PENTAX XG-1 will be available stating mid-August this year and will carry a price tag of ₤249.99, roughly $430 on this side of the pond.