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Pentax K-x review

A terrific DSLR for beginners with masses of headroom for those learning the ropes

Our Verdict


  • Well built
  • Great image and video quality
  • Excellent kit lens
  • It's speedy


  • Frame wobble in video mode
  • Expensive at launch
  • No autofocus in video mode
  • AA batteries a double-edged sword

Pentax has been a strong name in the burgeoning budget DSLR market for a long time. The Pentax K-m, for instance, is a surprisingly good 10.2MP camera that can be had for as little as £330.

The £599 Pentax K-x continues in a similar vein. Indeed, hold both cameras at the same time and it's only the branding that allows you to tell them apart.

Their outward specifications are identical - they're the same size and almost exactly the same weight, and they both have a 2.7-inch LCD on the back. The layout of the buttons on the back of the cameras is the same as well.

That means all the changes are internal. The K-m's PRIME (Pentax Real Image Engine) has been replaced by the PRIME II engine, and where the older camera has a 10.2MP CCD sensor, the new K-x has a 12.4MP sensor.

pentax k x

It isn't just the pixel density that has gone up - the K-x's sensor is a CMOS chip, and that means the headline act isn't bigger pictures, but HD video.

Like most of the HD-capable DSLRs we've seen, such as the Nikon D300S, the Pentax produces excellent quality video. It records in Motion-JPEG AVI format, like Nikon's HD-capable cameras, and you can choose from 1,280 x 720 (720p) at 24 frames per second or 640 x 480 (480p).

Tech Specs

Product TypeDigital SLR Camera
Battery Size SupportedAA
Maximum Video Resolution1280 x 720
Effective Camera Resolution12.4 Megapixel
Wide AngleYes
HD Movie ModeYes
Memory Card SupportedSecure Digital (SD) Card, Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) Card
Image StabilizationOptical
Optical Zoom3.1x, 3.1x (Lens 1) - 5.5x (Lens 2)
Brand NamePentax
Screen Size6.9 cm (2.7")
Video FormatsMotion JPEG (AVI)
Viewfinder TypeSLR
Weight (Approximate)515 g
Maximum Image Resolution4288 x 2428
Number of Batteries Supported4
Display Screen TypeLCD
Total Camera Resolution12.9 Megapixel
Camera AssemblyBody Only
Height91.5 mm
Width122.5 mm
Depth67.5 mm
Autofocus Points11
Focal Length18 mm to 55 mm (Lens 1) - 55 mm to 300 mm (Lens 2)
Image FormatsJPEG, RAW
Focus ModesAuto, Manual
ManufacturerRicoh Imaging Company, Ltd.
Product ModelK-x
Product NameK-x Digital SLR Camera
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberKX1855MM55300MMKIT
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

The K-x design is based on the award winning PENTAX K-m, an entry-class digital SLR camera launched in October 2008 that gained popularity for its compact, lightweight body and simple, user-friendly operation. The K-x features a newly designed high performance CMOS image sensor and an upgraded filter function. It also features a whole host of advanced features and such as live view shooting and movie recording, approximately 12.4 megapixels and high-speed continuous shooting. The K-x is the perfect camera for first-time digital SLR camera users, as well as an ideal backup camera for more experienced photographers.

Battery Life1900 Shot
Package Contents
  • K-x Digital SLR Camera
  • Lens 18 to 55
  • Lens 55 to 300
Display Resolution230000 Pixel
Limited Warranty1 Year
Built-in DevicesMicrophone