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Pentax K-x review

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

Pentax k x review

We liked:

The K-x's image quality really stands out, and the kit lens is superb. We also like the build quality, which feels tough, and the ergonomics. And, while its video capabilities are a little hit and miss, the ability to fire off a 720p video with such gorgeous colours and depth of field makes the K-x versatile.

The screen is bright and sharp, and easily visible in Live View mode. We also like the layout of the controls on the camera - after a few days we were zipping through the menus and changing settings at lightning speed.

It's a flexible camera - there's enough help in the menu system to make it a good choice for beginners (although not as much as the Nikon D3000) and enough high-end features and speed to allow plenty of headroom, making this an excellent choice for a first DSLR.

We disliked:

The biggest problem the K-x currently has is its price - it's brand new and that means you'll pay around £600 for the version we've reviewed.

That puts it at a slight disadvantage against the excellent Nikon D5000 and Canon 500D both of which offer great value for money. You should keep an eye on the K-x's price, though, as it's likely to drop significantly in the run-up to Christmas.

Other than that there's little to dislike. It's less comfortable than the Nikon D5000, and to us it appears to produce worse camera shake in video mode, which isn't ideal if you're looking for a one-size-fits-all camera.

Whether or not you like the use of AA batteries will be a personal choice - the upside is around twice the battery life of most mid-range DSLRs. The downside is that you'll either need to regularly replace batteries, or spend £20 on top of the already steep price to get a charger and a set of rechargeables.

Verdict:

The K-x takes absolutely superb pictures, and that's the main thing.

It handles noise well and the extended ISO range isn't just bragging on the specification sheet - there are times when it's genuinely useful.

The K-x also handles superbly and the bundled lens is outstanding. HD video is nice to have and undeniably high quality. There are compromises to accept, but that's true of all HD-capable DSLRs at the moment.

The K-x is worse than some - the lack of on-the-job focusing isn't ideal and sensor wobble can be severe. But if HD video is an occasional hobby and you're looking for a good, well-made DSLR to grow into, the K-x is a strong possibility.

Tech Specs

Product TypeDigital SLR Camera Body Only
Battery Size SupportedAA
Maximum Video Resolution1280 x 720
Effective Camera Resolution12.4 Megapixel
USBYes
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 Addresshttp://www.ricoh.co.uk
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