My New Favourite Digicam: The Pentax X70 Bridge Camera, 15 May 2023

My New Favourite Digicam: The Pentax X70 Bridge Camera, 15 May 2023

I picked up another of those dodgy digital cameras, the type that back in the day cost upwards of 400€ but nowadays you can pick up for chump change. This time it's the Pentax X70. It's what they used to call a 'bridge' camera - it looks like an SLR but the lens is fixed and it has features closer to those of a compact camera. The Pentax X70 is pretty good for its time, when it was released in 2009 it had all the mod cons of a decent camera, including a 12MP CCD sensor, without the outlay for an SLR kit.

When it found its way into my hands, the camera was in a pretty good condition. OK, the lens makes a strange grinding noise when it closes, and the clock resets itself to 31 December 2008 whenever you switch it off and back on again (I must find out how to access the internal battery), but aside from that it's working nicely. Oh, and the battery doesn't keep its charge for too long. If all goes well and it does what I'm after Imight have to invest in a new one.

This month (May 2023) I'm  hoping to take part in the #CameraChallenge on Twitter. The theme this month is 'architecture', and you can use any camera. I was planning to use a Konica Minolta Z6, but my eye caught a particular feature when I saw this  model, the well touted (at the time) 24x 'superzoom'.

I thought I had better take it for a test run, so I charged up the battery (I think it was also cheaper because it doesn't come with a charger, but my all-in-one charger soon had it ticking over nicely) and headed out.

The images were amazing! I was blown away by the zoom function, which if you compare a normal wide angle photo with a zoomed image of the same frame is phenomenal. Surprisingly, the zoomedimages are pin-sharp. Well, not up to a higher quality camera, but it’s ideal for my needs. 

It also has this function called '1cm macro', which is exactly what it says on the tin. You get the lens close to what you want and can get a lovely macro image. My results aren't perfect,  but the flowers and ferns came out perfectly. 

I used it on auto most of the time, but I also tried a couple of manual images with intentional camera movement and these worked out nicely, too. Especially the woodland image, which was actually taken with maximum zoom. 

So, to say I was happy with the Pentax X70 is a bit of an understatement. I have a camera that is ideal for the #CameraChallenge and all being well one that I can use for macro photography as well. I've just had an idea. I wonder what the moon will look like through that 600mm zoom?

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