Photo bogs are always speculating what the next ‘megapixel war’ will be. For high-end cameras, it seems the answer to that question is the high ISO war, but for the entry-level shooters, an argument could be made for a ‘burst mode war.’
Case in point, Ricoh just debuted the Pentax XG-1: a new entry-level superzoom that packs in some serious speed and reach, while hobbling the camera in other areas.
We’ll take a cue from old westerns and discuss the good, the bad and the ugly… in that order. The good has to do with the camera’s impressive (stabilized) reach, impressive speed, and reasonable price tag.
The fairly typical 1/2.3-inch 16MP BSI-CMOS sensor features sensor-shift stabilization and is placed behind a 52x 24-1248mm equivalent f/2.8-5.6 lens. And once you have your photos framed, you’ll be able to fire off full-res photos at 9fps, 4MP photos at 30fps and VGA quality photos at 60fps.
The bad and the ugly have to do with the sub-par hardware. The 3-inch LCD screen and electronic viewfinder fall short of today’s standards at 460k-dots and 200k-dots, respectively. Plus, your top ISO is only 3200… so you can forget seeing in the dark.
If you break all of this down, what you have is an entry-level superzoom that will appeal to consumers who want to make sure they can capture their kids sports games from the stands and not miss that critical moment. But they’ll need to be wary: at a rating of 240-shots per charge, the battery will only hold out for about 27 active shooting seconds at 9fps…