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Pentax X90 - Test Shots - Detail And Lens Performance

By Cliff Smith


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A range of general test shots are shown over the next two pages. In some cases, the full size image has been reduced for bandwidth purposes, and a crop taken from the original full resolution image has been placed below it to show the overall image quality. Some other pictures may be clicked to view the original full-size image.


Pentax X90 test photo

Here's the usual detail test shot of the West Window of Exeter Cathedral, for you to compare with other cameras. See below for a full res crop, or click to see the whole picture. File size 3.6MB.


Pentax X90 test photo

The level of fine detail is impressive, and slightly better than the X70, nut it still looks a bit over-processed.


Pentax X90 test photo

The new lens produces no barrel distortion despite the 26mm wide angle.


Pentax X90 test photo

Centre sharpness is excellent.


Pentax X90 test photo

There is a little corner blurring, but no chromatic aberration.


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July 2, 2010, 3:58 am

Great review Cliff, and I agree with your score that this camera deserves.

Lately, I don't understand the trend of using "1/2.3" sensors for most of the new P&S Cameras, every new camera that is being interduced in the photography market had also increased their pixel counts but the sensor remains small. Many of these manufactures are top companies like Pentax, Sony, Canon, Nikon, etc.... They do realized that smaller senor size and increase mega pixel counts = more noise and lower quality images.

I wonder, if it cost more for these companies to produce cameras that use larger CCD/CMOS sensors and keep the pixels at around 10 to 12 Meg?

As consumers, can we get a good P&S cameras that works reasonably well in dark conditions without too much noise?


July 2, 2010, 6:19 am

@Cliff Smith - Sorry if this is a bit off topic, but I didn't know where else to post it...and I would greatly appreciate it if you took the time to answer these questions.

When will you be reviewing Sony's NEX-3 and NEX-5? And what about Fujifilm's new HS10, and Samsung's EX1, any plans on reviewing them anytime soon?? Just a few models I would like to get your opinion on..(I'm interested in versatile cameras with articulated monitors that produce great quality images)

BTW, how would you compare the image quality between a Panasonic DMC-GH1 and a Canon Powershot G11?? (I know they're not in the same category at all, that's why I'm asking)

Have a good one!!


July 2, 2010, 5:52 pm

@money - I'd love to see an affordable superzoom with a bigger sensor and better low light performance too but I suspect manufacturers steer clear of this to avoid cannibalizing DSLR sales - same reason they usually only come with a weedy built-in flash and no hotshoe.


July 4, 2010, 9:21 pm

Epic - As I understand it, there are 2 main reasons these bridge cameras have smaller sensors. One is cost, since more small sensors can be made on one wafer. Secondly its because smaller sensors need relatively small lenses to focus the image onto them, and as you increase the surface area of the chip you'll need to increase the size of the lens setup in order to throw a bigger image onto the sensor.

Or something.


July 4, 2010, 11:54 pm

What superzooms and bridge cameras need is:

A larger sensor with a lower pixel count

A hot shoe OR synch lead socket for studio/external flash

A screw on filter ability. Adding an ND or Polarising filter makes a huge difference to the final image.

Better quality optics

BUT few manufacturers will embrace these needs preferring to offer fripperies to attract the casual user.

I use my ancient Olypmus SP 510UZ for semi pro illustrations in a modeller magazine. Mostly it works fine at the lowest ISO rating and working at the 'macro' end of its lens range. The lens chromatic aberrations mean that judicious cropping is needed.

I have looked at a DSLR, 4:3rds or hybrid to replace the super-zoom but so far the cost/return ratio is too steep and the results are not a huge stride on from those I am currently getting.

I would take on another superzoom as they offer me the best all-round performance without needing to carry around an entire camera store of lenses and accessories to grab a small number of different shots.

Without a hot shoe/external synch socket and the lack of a screw-on filter ability the Pentax X-90 is another failure in an increasingly long list.


July 11, 2010, 4:31 pm

Driver - I ended up buying an FZ38 & am really please with it. There are filters & teleconverters available for it, and the lens is pretty good too. No hotshoe though, but for £230 you can't really go too far wrong.

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