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.
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
Summary: Thanks to its durable design with multiple color options, fast burst shooting rate, 11-point Autofocus sensor, and the option of taking home two lenses for less than what you'd pay for a competing model, the $599 Pentax K-x is a compelling buy. While there are other DSLRs, such as the $629 Nikon D5000, that offer better image quality for both photos and videos, there's no question that the Penatx K-x is still a good value.
Summary: With competition very fierce in this sector of the market, it is perhaps no surprise that the K-x comes in a choice of four colours, including a bright red that may attract a few more fashion-conscious photographers than the dowdy, conservative black we are now used to. In Japan, the K-x is actually available in 100 colour combinations.
However, the K-x is far more than a fashion accessory, as the improvements over the K-m are worthwhile.
Excerpt: The K-x is available in red, blue and white, but in its more conservative black finish we'd struggle to distinguish it from the cheaper K-m. The layout of their controls is almost identical, as are the run-of-the-mill 2.7in, 230,000-pixel screens. The use of four AA batteries makes it easy to stock up on replacements, but they're heavier and clumsier to charge than a Li-ion battery. The benefits of the K-x over the K-m become apparent once the camera is switched on.
Conclusion: Ultimately the K-x is a camera that will endeavour to provide both beginners and more experienced users with their, er, kicks. It’s an affordable, well-featured all-in-one device and very capable with it too, making it a tempting proposition for those not already wedded to a rival system due to ownership of pre-existing lenses.
Pros: Comprehensive feature set that ticks most of the boxes for today’s DSLR user, sharp results with kit lens and at optimal settings
Cons: No HDMI output for hooking the camera up to a high-def TV or monitor despite it offering HD movies, no rechargeable battery provided