Pentax K-x review

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

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  • 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 The K-m's PRIME (Pentax Real Image Engine) has been replaced by the PRIME II engine, and where the older camera has a 10.2MP CCD sensor, the new K-x has a 12.4MP sensor.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 Body Only
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
Display Screen TypeLCD
Height91.5 mm
Width122.5 mm
Depth67.5 mm
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.

Package Contents
  • K-x Digital SLR Camera
  • Lens 18 to 55
  • Lens 55 to 300
Limited Warranty1 Year