Pentax K-x

Pentax K-x (space white)

Following up on their K-7, Pentax has now come up with an entry-level K-x. While it doesn’t bring anything groundbreaking that wasn’t already seen on the K-7, it packs in many of the features seen on many competitors’ midrange model, and perhaps pending reviews on image quality and disregarding the overall Pentax system upgrade options, is probably the best choice out there currently for the beginning photographer/student.

The big headline features:

  • 12.4MP CMOS (different from the K-7 14.6MP sensor, but interestingly also uses CMOS unlike all previous Pentaxes which used CCDs)
  • ISO up to 12.8k
  • Live-view with face-detect AF
  • 720p, 24fps video
  • 4.7fps continuous shooting
  • $650 MSRP with 18-55 kit lens (and likely to drop further once it gets off pre-order)
With the specs listed, this is a camera you’d expect in the high-hundreds, competing with the likes of Canon’s Rebel T1i or Nikon’s D5000/D90, yet it’s got a price closer to that of the entry-level Rebel XS or D3000.

A comparison:

Pentax K-x comparison

Camera Canon Rebel XS Nikon D3000 Pentax K-x Nikon D5000 Canon Rebel T1i
Sensor, crop 10MP, 1.6x 10MP, 1.5x 12MP, 1.5x 12MP, 1.5x 15MP, 1.6x
ISO range 100-1600 100-3200 100-12800 200-6400 100-12800
Live-view? Yes No Yes Yes Yes
Live view AF Yes None Yes, face-detect Yes, face-detect Yes, face-detect
Video None None 1280x720, 24fps 1280x720, 24fps 1920x1080, 20fps
AF 7pt, 1 cross-type 11pt, no cross 11pt, 9 cross-type 11pt, 1 cross-type 9pt, 1 cross-type
Continuous FPS 3fps jpg, 1.5fps raw 3fps 4.7fps 4fps 3.4fps
Image stabilization lens-based lens-based sensor-based lens-based lens-based
Size 127 x 97 x 61mm 127 x 97 x 64mm 122 x 91 x 69mm 127 x 104 x 79mm 130 x 97 x 61mm
Weight 450g 485g 516g 560g 480g
Price (with kit lens, Amazon) $499.95 $529.95 $649.95 $719.63 $781.89

In a comparison with the $500 entry-level cameras, the K-x blows them away in nearly aspect, and goes toe-to-toe or even exceeds the D5000 and Rebel T1i in every single category, despite being significantly cheaper (especially once the street price drops lower from MSRP)

Interestingly enough, the Pentax K-x will come in a variety of colors, including an ultra-spiffy red (below), the space white shown above, and your ordinary black.

Interestingly enough, Pentax Japan features a site where you can come up with your own custom color scheme, and apparently order it as well, which personally is an insanely appealing prospect.

Pentax K-x (red)

Pentax K-x custom design - design your own!

Pentax K-x custom design - design your own!

I think this is a ranking of custom designs that users have created

I think this is a ranking of custom designs that users have created

Pentax K-x press release

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3 Responses to “Pentax K-x”

  1. Got my K-x and sadly, there’s big problem as a video camera, as I show in this video…

  2. John says:

    Having just watched Lee’s own video about how he’s found the solution to his problem mentioned above, I guess I should post his link for the sake of completeness.

    Myself – I got the white version and have trouble understanding why cameras are still all black when a hot camera means, as best I understand it, excess noise in your photos. The camera shop told me that Canon L series lenses went white to reduce heat – so why is everyone else so keen on black?

    Anyway – the K-x seems great, though it’s early days yet for me.

  3. Nathan Yan says:

    A hotter sensor would lead to more thermal noise, but I would think that the readout noise would still be the dominant form for the daylight situations where your camera might actually get hot (thermal noise needs some time (i.e. long exposures) for electrons to start bleeding out to adjacent photo wells).

    Also in those sunny situations, there’s plenty of light to be shooting at ISO200 or even ISO100, so noise isn’t a huge issue anyhow.

    Though you’re right, if you were after the best camera possible noise-wise, white would be the better choice. But like temperature distorting the optics of lenses, the effect isn’t the big night-and-day difference that would cause all the manufacturers to make the switch, especially over simple tradition, branding, and users’ aesthetic preferences.

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