Excerpt: When knowledgable (and thrifty) photographers want a good deal on a budget SLR, Pentax has been the go-to brand for decades. To this day, you can still fi nd young photography students shooting with Pentax K1000 fi lm SLRs. Does the company’s current entry-level DSLR, the 12.4MP K-x ($537, street, with 18–55mm f/3.5–5.6 lens), live up to the Pentax legacy? It sure does.
Summary: I compared the camera to other Pentax models and a Nikon D40. It’s a very capable camera. Much better high ISO ability than the D40 and faster focus. Much easier menus and faster to make adjustments to common critical settings. In fact I’ve come to like the fast access to the settings found with the Info button. You can very quickly change things like focus tracking, etc. The control pad buttons allow nearly instant changes to ISO, AF points etc.
Pros: Very good and easily understood manual. Although it could use a better index., Easy user interface and menus, Simple and straightforward button layout, Fast shutter mechanism and excellent Fps., Very good AF in most light sources., AWB is greatly improved over previous models. Very good adjustments with indoor light, Good detail and color in still images. Good quality 720p video output., Good image quality in low light, very good retention of fine detail at high ISOs,...
Cons: Green Button difficult to activate for bigger hands., No AF LED’s in veiwfinder., Menu resets to first page on exit and should reopen on last page viewed., SD Card format feature buried too deep in the menu., Should have accessory grip available as an option even if only for spares storage., Bright or direct sun makes viewing VF data difficult. Data display could be brighter, Mode dial detents need to be more defined or add K-7 lock to avoid accidental changes, Optica...
Excerpt: Budget-priced DSLRs make up a pretty crowded sector and one that deserves investigation from anyone about to enter the wonderful and empowering world of this type of shooting gear. As a DSLR, the Pentax K-x is about as good as it gets and, aside from engaging with a venerable name in cameras, taking it on would also deliver a camera to you with the benefits of Live View and High Def movie capture.
Conclusion: “The K-x is a great DSLR camera.” It’s simple, in the $599 range (and comes with a basic lens), has great performance, powerful optics and flash, tons of color choices, and close to being Micro Four Thirds size. While I don’t see it being the most successful and best DSLR you can buy with more than 600 bucks in your savings, I do see it as one of the best options.
Pros: Strong image quality, Fast shooting, Easy menus, Easy to change the settings back and forth, Small, compact size
Cons: Semi-glossed body isn’t necessarily attractive, nor grippy, It’s 2010 Pentax, and you’re using AA batteries for this thing!, No HDMI port
Excerpt: So we learned earlier this year that we would be seeing two new cameras from Pentax and an updated version of an existing camera. The K7 showed up last month and was a new model. Now we get the K-x announcement, which appears to be a replacement for the K-m/K2000. That still leaves us with one more camera to be announced in the next few months. Perhaps a K20D replacement?
Summary: A very impressive DSLR with an excellent feature set and possibly the best high ISO performance in its class. The lack of visible AF points is a frustrating omission, but if you can live with that the K-x is a little cracker, and a bargain too.
Pros: Good detail and color in JPEGs at base ISO, Class-leading image quality in low light, very good retention of fine detail at high ISOs, Good quality 720p video output (but Motion JPEG format produces large files), Decent build quality, Quick and responsive operation, Coherent user interface, Very small dimensions for a DSLR, 11-point AF system with flexible AF-point selection, ISO range up to ISO 12800, 4.7 frames per second continuous shooting (though buffer runs full...
Cons: Tendency to clip highlights in high-contrast scenes, Relatively little RAW headroom means it is difficult to pull back blown detail even when shooting RAW, No visible AF points in viewfinder, Shake-reduction not too efficient, AF in live view very slow (like most SLRs), Unreliable Auto White Balance in artificial light (but very good presets and WB fine tuning), No HDMI-connector, ISO in movie mode is capped which can result in underexposed videos
Review – Pentax K-x Part 2: Features, Menus, Ergonomics
Enticing the Light
13 April 2010
Excerpt: In the first section we had a quick look at the primary features most shooters look at first. In this section, we’ll have a closer look at setting up the Pentax K-x and using it. Since receiving the camera, I’ve taken about 1000 shots. Some keepers and many test images. This is giving me a fairly good impression of what a new user will experience.
Excerpt: Pentax K-X shown with FA50mm f1.4 lens which is not included in the kit. Battery for size reference. As a very active shooter I’m always looking at new gear to see what’s happening with all brands. I was also looking for a camera that could serve a few different uses: 1) I wanted something small that my wife would enjoy because my regular camera bodies are far too big and heavy for her to take any interest—she’s wanted to learn how to use a DSLR but these cameras have...
Conclusion: The Pentax K-x is one of the better specified entry-level DSLRs and its small size and light weight makes it a suitable companion for your travels. With a variety of affordable lenses on offer, it’s the most versatile of the four options and also one of the least expensive. In terms of quality, its APS-C sensor has the edge over rivals and along with the optical viewfinder providing the clearest method for composition (with LiveView as an option), it provides a great...