Jul 222010
 

The Pentax Kx Digital Camera Real World Review – Yes, I am back with another review of a camera that arrived to me from B&H Photo a couple of weeks ago. The Pentax Kx DSLR. This will be a short but sweet review on the camera, which is a massive “bang for the buck” DSLR. The cool thing is I was able to shoot it with the very cool Pentax 200 f/2.8 lens. A stroll through the Zoo and a trip to europe to shoot part of the Seal tour, I have taken this little/big guy with me everywhere.

The little bro to the K7

As some of you may remember, a while back I wrote a very positive review of the Pentax K7 camera. I thought the K7 had so many great qualities that I ALMOST bought one for myself. It had a great build, smallish size, weather sealing and terrific image quality and color. It’s only flaw or drawback was its high ISO performance. The K7 was and still is a great buy in a DSLR. The video was also very very good with terrific image stabilization. When I reviewed the K7 many asked me to check out the little brother, the Kx. The Kx is around $500 with lens, and is smaller but it is also made of plastic where the K7 is a more sturdy pro metal build.

My 1st impressions when I opened  the box with the Kx was WOW, this IS small! But it felt pretty good in my hand. I have smallish hands so not sure how this little guy would behave in larger hands, but for me it felt nice. My son also loved the feel of the camera and liked it better than his Nikon D3000. One thing I noticed right off the bat is that it takes AA batteries. When I heard about this originally I was turned off by this but after shooting with it for a while I actually thought of this as a positive. If the batteries run out, you can always have spare AA’s on you, or buy re-chargeable batteries. This way you can always shoot without having to worry about having spare factory batteries on hand and charged.

GORGEOUS – I shot this with the 200 f/2.8 using spot metering on the Flamingo. It was a bright, harsh, sunny AZ day but the camera handled it with ease. This was shot wide open at 2.8. I love the color.

While using the Kx I did not like it as much as the K7 due to it having less control via dials, or buttons. I am a huge huge fan of having a camera where all of the controls are easily accessible. The K7, being a semi-pro body had all of that and more. The Kx is more of a dumbed down camera with ease of use in mind. I am not saying it’s a “dumb” camera or made for “dummies” just that its not as easily controlled as the K7. But when it comes to image quality, the Kx shines and provided me with winner after winner.

The Auto focus speed was fast. Not blazing as in Nikon D3 or Canon 1d but fast for a $500 DSLR body. I had no problems capturing the Zoo action :) It has the same 11 point AF as found in the K7, so that is pretty sweet. You usually don’t get this in low/mid range DSLR’s.

The Pentax Kx with 200 f/2.8 – The AF had no issues keeping up with this guy. Sun was HARSH and shooting anything white is usually a disaster for dynamic range, and yes we have some blown highlights here but overall its not so bad. The Kx has 11 point AF like the K7 but I always use center point anyway.

The Pentax 200 f/2.8 lens

The Pentax 200 f/2.8 lens was also pretty impressive. Right out of the box I knew it was up there with the pro Nikon and Canon build quality and was wondering how the optical quality would be. Its a DX lens, so not a full frame 200, so it’s pretty compact (for a 200 2.8).

Here are the specs of the lens, which IMO is a GORGEOUS lens up there with the 2.8 Nikon and Canon offerings.

The Pentax SMCP-DA* 200mm f/2.8 ED (IF) SDM Lens is a high-quality telephoto lens that is designed for exclusive use with Pentax digital SLR cameras. It offers a focal length that is equivalent (in 35mm format) to 300mm. This wide coverage is ideal for a variety of telephoto applications, including portraiture, sports and scenery.

Pentax DA* (DA-Star) zoom lenses come equipped with the SDM System, which assures smoother, quieter auto-focusing operation by using a built-in supersonic motor. When mounted on the K10D digital SLR camera body, the focus mode is automatically switched to SDM-assisted auto-focusing. When mounted on older Pentax digital SLR camera bodies, the conventional autofocus mode using a camera-mounted motor is selected.

Like all Pentax lenses, this lens is treated with smc coating for maximum light transmission, sharp definition, and high contrast images. In addition, SP (Super Protective) coating made of a special fluoride compound has been applied to the front surface of the lens through the use of a unique evaporation process. As a result, the lens offers excellent water- and oil-repellent performance and makes for easier cleaning should the lens be accidentally smeared with fingerprints or cosmetics.

Note! Not compatible with “full-frame” (35mm size) cameras

Designed for Digital SLRs

The image circle in DA-series lenses is designed to perfectly match the 23.5mm x 15.7mm size of the CCD used in Pentax digital SLRs to optimize camera performance. This design also contributes to a drastic reduction in size, weight and production cost, compared to 35mm-format counterparts with similar specifications.

DA*-Series

DA*-series lenses feature tightly sealed, weather-resistant and dust-resistant construction that enhance durability for use in rain or dusty conditions.

SP Coating

SP (Super Protective) coating made of a special fluoride compound has been applied to the front surface of the lens to offer excellent water- and oil-repellent performance.

Quick-Shift Focus

Quick-Shift Focus System allows to instantly switch the focus mode from AF to manual with a slight twist of the focus ring.

High Optical Quality

Incorporates Extra-low Dispersion (ED) glass lens elements to compensate for chromatic aberration.

The Pentax Kx Feature List

The Pentax K-x Digital SLR incorporates advanced DSLR features – including Live View and HD 720p video - in a very capable entry-level camera for those looking to step beyond the limitations of point-and-shoot digicams. Bundled with a Pentax 18-55mm zoom lens (a 27 to 82.5mm zoom on a conventional 35mm camera), the compact Pentax K-x makes the transition to a ‘serious’ camera system with interchangeable lenses easy and painless.

The Pentax K-x contains a 12.4-megapixel APS-C format CMOS sensor that incorporates a sensor-shift Shake Reduction System that allows you to hand-hold the camera at shutter speeds up to 4-stops slower than normal under low-light situations and still maintain image sharpness. Aside from the K-x’s bright optical finder, you can also compose images in Live View mode using the camera’s 2.7″ LCD.

Despite the K-x’s entry-level price point, still images can be captured at a fast 4.7 frames-per-second at shutter speeds up to 1/6000th-second as JPEGs or RAW files. And along with conventional still imaging, you can also capture wide-screen, full resolution 720p (1280×720) HD video at 24fps using the full range of Pentax optics. For travel or everyday family events, the Pentax K-x makes for an ideal imaging companion.

Other advanced features found on the Pentax K-x include an 11-point, wide-angle SAFOX VIII autofocus system, a variety of automatic and manual scene modes, and a True High Dynamic Range (HDR) feature that captures a series of 3 bracketed images and combines them into a single optimized image with a full range of highlight, midrange, and shadow detail.

The Pentax K-x can capture up to 1900 exposures on a set of AA lithium batteries and is also compatible with AA NiMH and alkaline batteries.

12.4-megapixel APS-C Format CMOS Sensor

The K-x incorporates a newly developed CMOS image sensor to assure high-speed image data readout and more flexibility with varying ISO sensitivity levels. With approximately 12.4 effective megapixels, this image sensor accurately reproduces true-to-life images with fine detail and rich color depth. The K-x offers a wide sensitivity range between ISO 200 and ISO 6400 and allows users to expand the sensitivity range between ISO 100 and ISO 12800 via a custom function to offer greater creative freedom to photographers.

Wide Screen HD 1280x720p Video Recording @ 24 Frames-per-Second

The Pentax K-x movie recording function* captures true-to-life movie clips in 16:9 high-definition TV proportions (1280 x 720 pixels) at a frame rate of 24 frames per second. Compatible with every Pentax interchangeable lens ever made, the Video Capture mode opens a new world of creativity for Pentax K-x owners.

High-Speed Continuous Shooting at approximately 4.7 Images-per-Second

The K-x’s high-speed continuous shooting mode records as many as 17 images (in JPEG recording format) at a maximum speed of approximately 4.7 images per second. This is the fastest of all entry-class models. The K-x also features a more reliable shutter unit, which passed a demanding action test of more than 100,000 shutter releases. The top shutter speed of 1/6000 second allows the photographer to preserve sharp, crisp images of fast-moving subjects.

High-Performance, High-Speed PRIME II Imaging Processor

The K-x features the newly developed PRIME (Pentax Real Image Engine) II, that is an upgrade of the original PRIME imaging engine. This new imaging engine offers greater data processing speed and enhanced capability to produce higher-quality images with richer, more accurate color rendition, as well as faster transmission speed of movie data.

Live View Function with Face Detection of up to 16 Faces

In addition to the camera’s viewfinder, the K-x features a Live View function that allows users to view subjects on the LCD monitor during shooting. The K-x also offers a choice of three different focusing modes in Live View: Contrast Auto Focus, Face Detection Auto Focus, and Phase Difference Auto Focus.

Digital Filters

The K-x’s digital filter function allows users to process recorded images in a variety of creative ways within the camera and produce highly creative visual expressions. With a choice of 16 different filters including Color Extract, Retro, Soft, Starburst, Toy Camera, and more (including a custom filter for building multiple effects), photographers may apply multiple filters to a single image for customized effects.

Cross Process Mode

The K-x features a new Cross Process mode that automatically and randomly adds finishing touches to exposures to create eye-catching images with unique, intriguing colors (just like images treated with Cross Process* in film photography). This mode adds a whimsical element to digital photography since photographers don’t know the results until the captured image is actually displayed on the camera’s LCD monitor.

High-Precision 11-Point AF Sensor

The high-precision, wide-frame SAFOX VIII autofocus system of the K-x features 11 sensor points (with nine cross-type sensors positioned in the middle) to automatically capture even off-centered subjects in sharp, crisp focus. Photographers also may select one of the sensors as a focusing point to accommodate specialized applications.

Additional Features Include:

Custom Image modes offer high quality processing for images, a 2.7″ (230,000-dot) high-resolution color LCD, Auto Picture mode for effortless, automatic selection of the most appropriate shooting mode, even during Live View shooting , a Status screen for easy, at-a-glance confirmation of various settings on the LCD, 10 scene modes, including Night Scene, Surf & Snow, Sunset, Kids, and Museum available via simple icon selection, and Pentax Digital Camera Utility 4 software package, with RAW-data processing and image browser functions.

Took a stroll through the Phoenix Zoo in the 110 degree heat and it was torturous but I still came away with some nice shots. Both of these were with the 200 f/2.8 at 2.8

HIGH ISO

The Pentax Kx has great image quality, and even better high ISO than the Pentax K7 and for the under $500 price point it is fantastic. I can not think of another DSLR for under $500 that gives you as much as  the Kx does. The Canon Rebel is nice but if I were starting fresh, I think I would take a Pentax Kx over a Rebel. Just personal pref. Below is the high ISO test I did with the Kx and under that the ISO 3200 and 6400 of the K7.

Here is the K7  high ISO example from my Pentax K7 review (see it HERE)

Does the Kx have the usability factor?

Ahhhhh! One requirement for me is that ANY camera I buy be easy to use, easy to control and it should not have a deep menu driven system where you have to click three buttons and scroll through menus to change ISO, or aperture, etc. The Pentax Kx is pretty good in this area but as already stated, not as good as the K7. Still, while out with it I never had any issues with settings. ISO was easy as it has a dedicated button. I guess all of the “important” features were easy to set up or change. The body feels a little on the cheaper side when comparing it next to a K7, Nikon D300 or Canon 7D but remember, this is a $500 camera, nit a $1500 camera. For the money, this has some serious “bang for the buck” potential. So does it have the usability factor? Somewhat. Nothing like a Leica M8 or M9 but its there. :)

I even took the Kx with its 18-55 Kit lens over to Heart Attack Grille in Chandler, AZ where my Nephew at the 8000 Calorie Quadruple Bypass Burger. Their patties are 30% fat, their buns are dipped in lard, their fries are made in 100% pig fat and they do not sell diet drinks. Just sugar coke from Mexico, lucky strike cigarettes and everything and anything that is bad for you. Check out their site HERE. I ate there but only had a single at 2000 calories :)

These were all converted to B&W using Silver Efex Pro

This review has been short but sweet mainly because I did not use the camera as much as I had hoped due t o having four others to review at the same time. Between this, the Sony NEX-3 and 5, the Leica X1 and other lenses I did not get too deep into the Kx but from what I have seen of it, I would not hesitate for one second to buy one. I took it out and it gave me great results, as most cameras do these days anyway. It is a better camera than an Olympus E-P series camera as far as image quality goes, but it’s still a but larger than one of the m4/3 cams or the Sony NEX series.

When you look at these cameras side by side, the Kx, the X1 and the NEX-5 it is pretty amazing how SMALL that Sony is, and they all have the same size sensor.

Shooting the Kx in a pro setting – Concerts

I was lucky enough to have this camera along with me when I went to Europe to join the Seal tour for a week. I had planned to shoot this as the main camera for the week but after the first night I realized I was not 100% happy with the results. It was good, but it was missing focus quite a bit when the lights wet down, and I had a hard time getting clean files. I did get a few keepers…

Sound check was no problem as it was sunny outside. Here I caught Mark Summerlin, Seals guitar player in a happy moment :)

Early in the night there was still some light, but I preferred the more intimate approach of the M9 for the shows. I guess I just like getting closer into the action.

Bass player Marcus Brown otherwise known as “chops” – “crash” and “wolverine” (just kidding, was a joke on the bus)

Looking at the above images you would thing that the camera handled the shows well. It has decent high ISO but in really low light, it suffers a bit when compared to higher end cameras. Also, it was a bit hard to handle for an extended time with the 200 on it. Seemed like the body was a bit too small. But overall, for the $$, this is a superb little camera. Not so much in love with it though as the K7. That one has everything for under $1000.

Colors

The Pentax Kx comes in several colors. Black of course is the standard but if you want to get creative you can also purchase this one is Red, White or Blue. My #1 camera shop of choice, B&H Photo has them ALL in stock.

PROS/CONS

Pros:

  • The size is nice.
  • 12.4 Megapixels is plenty for almost anything.
  • HIGH ISO is improved over the Pentax flagship, the K7
  • 11 Point AF works well
  • Battery life is superb. Expect 1,100-1,500 shots per charge.
  • Live View
  • HD 24 FPS movie mode
  • 4.7 Frames Per Second
  • 100,000 shutter click life span
  • All around feature packed for a great price
  • Takes AA batteries and can use re-chargeables
  • Comes in four cool colors for those who are in to that sort of thing :)

Cons:

  • Some may think it is too small
  • Movie mode not very user friendly
  • Shutter is LOUD and clunky sounding
  • AF is good but in low light struggled a bit

The final Word…

Well, if you are looking for a SMALL DSLR that can give you great results, easily, then this little guy is one to be considered. It will give you better image quality than most smaller cameras, and has the advantage of mounting some of those killer Pentax lenses like the 31 f1.8 Limited and 77 Limited f/1.8. For about $500 you get a well made, super cool little SLR. Me, if I were to buy one, I would buy it with the 31 Limited and call it a day. The 200 f/2.8 is stellar for a 200 but personally, I am not a telephoto guy. If I was, this lens would be on my list as well. The Kx may not have the last word in detail, sharpness and dynamic range but its VERY GOOD for its price point. As a matter of fact, I have yet to see a $500 camera give me better results. B&H has the black kit in stock with 18-55 for $529 – Yep, $529 WITH a lens, and the lens is not bad at all. Better than most kit zooms I have seen and the same one that ships with the K7.

Overall this one sits in a weird area for me. I didnt get really excited by it, but I did not dislike it. It is what it is, and that is a great “bang for the buck” camera. I had no major complaints with the Kx, it performed as advertised. Still, if given a choice I would buy the K7 over the Kx, for me. I just preferred the body, the weather sealing, the feel and even the shutter. Can’t go wrong with either though, both are superb for the money. I cant wait to see what Pentax brings out as a replacement to the K7. Should be interesting.

Hope this real world use review was somewhat helpful. I usually do not get into the uber details in my reviews, just more of a “real world use” review where I let the images speak for themselves. Thank you!

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  33 Responses to “The Pentax Kx Digital Camera Review”

  1. Looks a sweet little DSLR and shooting with the 200 2.8 is always pretty special.

  2. I noticed the Kx’s JPEG engine is a little strong with the reds in your zoo shots. I experience the similar with my E-P1, and always have to push the white balance more to the green side in pp. Interesting that the Kx should behave similarly.

    And – the X1 is soooo sexxxxyyyy! ;-)

    P.S.: The PayPal donate button’s gone – problems again?

    • Thx. Yes, I am only using google for donations as paypal, well, paypal is awful IMO. I have always had issues with them and yesterday they froze the acct due to “suspicious activity” and requested all of this personal info, which I will not give them. Paypal has always been a headache for me, and google has always been awesome. Thanks

      Steve

      • After being a Paypal customer for years, they messed me up when I went to buy my M9. It arrived at the dealer’s on Christmas Eve, and he was kind enough to ship it to me that day. He sent me a Paypal invoice, and I called to notify them I was going to make a large purchase. They noted it on my account, and when I went to pay, they promptly froze my account due to “suspicious activity.” I called back only to be told that the hold would take 24-48 hrs. to release and that there was nothing they could do until 24-48 hrs. later. Ended up canceling paying through Paypal, but then the dealer had to reverse the invoice, and I had to call and pay over the phone. :p

        So long story short, Paypal can be convenient, but they can also mess you up. So I understand your decision to switch to Google, and it took less than 2 minutes to donate.

  3. I try as hard as I might to sell the Kx at the camera shop where I work but everyone comes in the door wanting the “rebel” camera. Sometimes I manage to swing them towards Nikon but pentax is left in the corner. Great little camera and feels much much more sturdy then the cheap nikon / canon / sony offerings.

  4. @ Eric, if they bring out a full frame rangefinder with M mount and split image manual focus… you will have to been them (and me) off with a stick!

  5. I’ve gone back to using an 80′s small all-manual Pentax MX with a collection of Pentax-M prime lenses, trying to get my reactions back to “manual” again, because switching between auto modes and manual settings messes me up. A number of these old -M lenses are really good, and if Pentax were to make a full-frame digital MX or LX I’d jump at it. (and with Leitax mounts could use my Leica R lenses also!)
    My Leica M6 has been at the repairman for some time, or I’d be using it; but Pentax has always made cameras that feel great in your hands and are a joy to use. The Kx and K7 are interesting, but I still want a full-frame. The M9 is still out of reach for us retired folk.

  6. looked good,i prefer x1,but it is expensive,ahahahah.

  7. Just a tidbit about the Pentax DA* 200 f/2.8. From what I’ve read, even though it is part of the DX line, the DA* 200′s design is exactly the same as the design of its full frame cousin the Pentax FA* 200 f/2.8. For this reason, people speculate that it is full frame compatible, even though it wasn’t intended for that format. I’m sure your notes about compatibility are still wise to mention, though, because if Pentax ever did come out with a full frame system they’d probably design a full frame specific lens at that focal length.

    On the whole, a good review and I concur with you on most points. I had a K-x and K-7 duo for awhile and I ended up selling the K-x to my sister in law and I now await what Pentax will come out with this fall, even though what exactly that will be remains a mystery.

    • rumours are a more proffesional version of the K7. Rumours are often wrong though. I wish i had the option to pick which ever brand on I wanted, Full frame sony would have gotten my money, if not then eventual full frame pentax, alas college doesent work like that.

      • Sony dslr’s worry me. I can’t get over my past experience with their constant failings and shoddy build. About the only thing sony has made that hasn’t died out on me prety early on is an older compact – that isn’t used much (and donated to my girlfriend). As a technology professional I definitely would rank them as the least reliable manufacturer, not what I want in photo gear. I guess it’s prejudice – but I do keep trying to like their new stuff. I guess Sony rub me the wrong way. It’s probably just a run of bad luck.

        • Hear, hear! Never owned a Sony camera, but every other piece of Sony equipment I have ever owned has gone belly-up in short order. No exceptions.

          • Wow. Never had a problem with any Sony gear, including years in sales and service. I would still rate them as one of the most reliable brands dollar for dollar. That is one of the reasons I am considering a NEX for mirrorless.

  8. You know, when I was dslr shopping I didn’t really even consider pentax. I think part of the reason was possible resale (not that popular) and wondering how they will do in the end (lens availability). I suppose a portion of that was my ignorance. I knew Leica, and Canon. I briefly tried a d90 before buying a 7d (it didn’t ‘feel’ right to me). Interesting review Steve, I wonder if Pentax needs more advertising, at least in the USA… they just aren’t really a huge consideration I think for most people at present – judging by your review, that shouldn’t be the case, especially given the price point. In fairness in the semi pro arena, I think Canon hit a home run with the 7d and in the consumer market with the t2i…it seems like everyone is playing catch up. You should take my 7d for a week with the 15-85 and compare it to some others! You’re welcome to it if you ever feel like putting it to the test.

    • Thanks Edward. The 7D is indeed a fine camera, and i even sort of fell for the 1dMKIV after shooting it for one night. But the 7D, yea, it’s fantastic. Thanks for the offer as well.
      Steve

  9. [...] weiß ich selbst nicht so genau. Heute gibt es mal eine Abwechslung: Kollege Steve huff hat ein Review der Pentax Kx online gestellt. Wie immer bei seinen Reviews testet Steve die Kamera in der Praxis [...]

  10. Hi Steve,

    I was just wondering, your review of the EPL-1 was very positive, and I would rate your review of the Kx as “average”. However you commented that the Kx ” is a better camera than an Olympus E-P series camera as far as image quality goes” .

    Does this mean that the Kx is still better than the EPL-1 if we’re concerned only with image quality? Do you have any side b side comparisons to share?

    • Id say you get better IQ from the Pentax but I fell for the little Olympus due to a mixture of IQ, JPEG quality, size, and video. The Kx will give you the better quality file though :)

  11. I love my k-x and agree that it is possibly the best bang for the buck camera out there FULL STOP. The sensor is one of the best DX sensors ever (check it’s ranking at http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/en/Camera-Sensor/Sensor-rankings it rates higher than the original 5d, M9, 7d etc!) High ISO is killer (I use ISO 4500 as I used to use 1600 3 years ago) Shake reduction on ANY lens is a boon as well…. Love it. Stick one of the tiny but excellent fast Pentax Primes on it like the 50mm f1.4 or the 35mm f2 and it becomes an amazingly nimble, just above compact camera sized low light machine. Stick the tiny 40mm 2.8 pancake on and it becomes jacket pocketable! I use it for the roughly 70% of my paid work (weddings, events etc) and am getting stunning results imho….

    Just like TomB above I loved my MX back in the day and a simpler, smaller camera like this gets me closer to that experience. It’s small but solid and just feels good in my hands…. Shooting RAW, AWB, auto iso to 4500 in AV mode I NEVER need to enter menus, never need that second wheel. I find it a very pure photographic experience and highly recommend it to anyone interested in a more compact option for ‘serious’ [cough] candid low light photography. And any other kind of photography really!

    Some examples of gigs and stuff here:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/edwaring/sets/72157623529952510/
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/edwaring/sets/72157622810945440/

    and here’s an example at 4500 which just really shows off the high iso. View full size and check out her face and arms

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/edwaring/4106278339/in/set-72157622684643931/

    ed x

    PS I know dxo marks aren’t the full story… Numbers are just numbers, not photos or tones or feelings but just wanted to point out that technically it’s up there with the big boys!

  12. I think the Pentax KX is for people who don’t read websites like this. It’s a great little camera up to a point. I think it loses in the ISO department. Not that Leica is great in that regard, but Canon and Nikon, (Pentax competition), is and most people will go for Canon, then Nikon. I love the Pentax cameras though, having owned a few, but I would rather go for the next level up in their D-SLR line than this camera. For beginners it’s a great camera though.

    • Actually, it’s exactly the other way around. Pentax is for people who do read websites like this and the more popular Canon and Nikon are for everyone else. Popularity and quality are different concepts. People who do read this website (and follow the advice) are more likely to buy a KX (and KR) or K5 than the inferior equivalently priced Canon or Nikon cameras because reviews consistently put them ahead. It is mass market and discount stores that push the others. The other thing made very clear in this review is that it kills the competition in the ISO department. The similarly priced Canon and Nikon DSLRs don’t even come close.

  13. [...] The Pentax Kx Digital Camera Review | STEVE HUFF PHOTOS The Pentax Kx Digital Camera Review | STEVE HUFF PHOTOS. [...]

  14. @Elaine: K-x loses in the ISO department? IINM right now it’s one of the best APS-C camera in terms of high ISO noise. Better than any in its price class. Check DXO mark.

  15. K-x has a better sensor (Sony) than the K7 (Samsung) and generally gives better pics than the K7, especially when cranking up the ISO. Rumor is that Pentax will be showing a new model (possibly the K5) at Photokina in September that will bring the semi-pro features of the K7 together with the Sony sensor in the K-x. That would be a killer piece of kit.

  16. Bought the KX here in the US. Great build – great feel and the colors set themselves apart. Really like “post photo” editing and filters. It’s easy to get hooked on the creative/color filters and I have not seen these features in other cameras at this price range. Also like the quick shutter (4.7 frames per second). Cons: visual focus points that light up in the viewfinder (in other cameras) are really cool, never quite trust the KX here you just set 5, 11 or single/spot in your settings and hope it works out. Not impressed with the video or Liveview, and the high ISO (at least for me) has not been practical > very grainy (to be expected at these high settings…).

  17. [...] Digital Camera Review Untitled Document I found some cool stuff here: Untitled [...]

  18. I’d like to see your review of the K-R and K-5 too! :-)

  19. I was a devoted Pentaxian, using the Zx-5n film camera for everything. I waited and waited for a digital that replicated the look and feel of the Zx-5n and the K-x is it. The only material difference for me, is that the aperture cannot be changed on the lens barrel with the legacy FA lenses. But Pentax overrode that feature before digital with the old *ist cameras. I never understood that, since changing aperture on the barrel while setting speed was simply fast and elegant manual photography. But, the K-x is still fast for aperture or shutter priority or in Program or scene mode with Exposure compensation. Changing the dial to get to movie mode is not a big deal – no need for a dedicated instant on button – I’d possibly activate it by accident with some frequency. I had bought into the 4/3 system with the Olympus 510 while waiting for a better, small Pentax DSLR, but was never happy with the viewfinder and the image quality was not quite up to what I used to get with my Pentax lenses. I actually preferred the older Olympus C-5050 for its 1.8 lens. now the larger 4/3 system is essentially unsupported except at the highest professional end. i think moving everything to the micro 4/3 system so soon was a big bait and switch for those who supported 4/3 in the early years. But, without all of the system compatibility issues that Olympus users now face, the K-x just elegantly takes all of the old Pentax lenses without complication and it just shines in image quality and has that compact feel of the old Zx-5n in a true smaller sized DSLR with a real optical viewfinder. Pictures are sharp and colors are nicely rendered with the 35mm F2.0, 50mm F1.4 and 77mm F1.8. The kit lens is quite good as well, but primes are recommended for more satisfaction. Pentax glass is still stunning and the K-x makes it fun to use again. Buy one before it disappears like the Zx-5n.

    • Reading Pauls comment, I know the feeling of feeling at home, immediately, with a new piece of equipment:

      Many years after I had scrapped the idea of using SLRs (my newest were from the days of screw mount!), I progressed from the mazing Minox 35 (I wore two out, completely), to Konica Big Minis, and then to digital Konicas (KD-500, which had low noise and stunning colours – not too different from my Minoxes – I wore that out, too). Next came a few more capable compacts (not champions of low noise and nice colours, but having other capabilities I thought I needed then), and then to the Pentax K-x.

      Pa Paul writes, a lovely little camera, that renewed my friendship with Pentax (some of my old lenses had been Pentax), with an amazing danamic range. Then came the K-7, which more of a photographer’s camera, and then the pure race horse, the K-5, which combined all the good bits of the K-x with those of the K-7, and then a few steps further.

      Never thought I would buy another DSLR camera in my life, not unless I suddenly had become very rich.

      Then my virtual path over the internet crossed that of Steve Huff, and he introduced the NEX-5N into my life, and I must say I am very happy he did! I love my K-5, but the colours of the 5N is far better, not least the reds (most Pentax digitals – and many others – have problems with oversaturating their reds). And the electronic view finder is simply superb (hard to find on the market, used or new, but eventually I traced one down), with a resolution surpassing the already very good rear display, and the sensor is an updated version of that you can find in the K-5, so slightly tweaked, for the better!

      I use my Pentax FA lenses with the NEX-5N, and they rock, as does the old Pentax-M 400mm tele lens! I think I’m. at last, in a photgrapher’s heaven!

      Maybe one day there will be an adapter for my more modern lenses, but that can wait :-)!

      Take care,

  20. good looking,like the color and view.does any crazy comparison for kx vs d300s d7000 m9 nex7 and so on.ahahahahah……….
    super expecting………

  21. I own 4 cameras, three of them are Pentax =o] An MX film camera, K100D Super, and a newly acquired K-r. I don’t care what anyone says, Pentax is probably the best bang for your buck in DSLRs right now. They really make the most of their sensors, and the K100D Super is proof of this. It may only be 6mp, but it takes really nice photos! The K-x/K-r are top notch cameras that sadly get overlooked by all the Canikon hype. Also, it doesn’t help that Pentax doesn’t have a lot retail shops carrying their gear. So they’re not as visible. Hopefully, with Ricoh taking over, this will change. I guess we’ll see how the Q and the K-1 go over.

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