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Wednesday, 01 September 2010

Comments

hi,
for the price I paid for this camera, I could not dream of a better deal. Very briefly, the ISO handling is just amazing for such a entry-level camera. And I can still use my old loving M42 Takumar lenses with it. Really, having been with Pentax for more than 30 years now, I am still having fun today with their latest camera!

Mike, prepare for an avalanche of e-mails. I came close to buying one but backed off in the end. However, Peter Zack, a Canadian wedding photographer and collaborator on Enticing the Light, wrote this review you might like to read. Yep, he used it as part of his kit to shoot some weddings.

Since I love small, light cameras I bought one in February, thoroughly rung it out for three weeks, then returned it. I could not get results equal to the D40 under virtually all conditions I tried; I do seem to have a strong preference for the Nikon color space, so others might not agree. The K-x was also the first SLR-type camera I've ever used that actually seemed too small for my hands a lot of the time. The lack of visible focus points in the viewfinder is also difficult to get used to; I got many, many more out-of-focus frames than with other cameras I use.

Great little camera. Light, compact, excellent IQ including exceptional high ISO results - no qualms about 1600 on a routine rather than emergency basis. Single control wheel (as opposed to two on K7) not an issue once you are used to it. Range of adjustments displayed on rear screen a useful quick alternative to menus. Compatibility with vast range of old manual and other lenses a boon for enthusiasts and ebay-haunters. Image stabilisation actually works and does it for all lenses, not just the ones you pay extra for. With compact Pentax glass no need to downgrade to a G11 or LX3 for portability. Personally no evidence of the occasional image shake reported by a few users around 1/100th. Build quality good. And it's amazingly cheap.

Would I buy another? Absolutely, maybe this time in a cheerier colour :)

(Above remarks based on experience of a wide variety of film and digital SLRs of various brands going back 40 years)

Mike,

I love my K-x. I had intended it to become my hiking camera and back-up to my K20D. It's since become my default. Whenever I find myself reaching for a camera to go out shooting, it's always this one.

As with all cameras there are some quirks to work around. The lack of focus point illumination in the finder took a little getting used to, for example. The benefits greatly outweigh any niggles like that though.

I've been really spoiled by the high ISO capabilities of the camera. ISO 3200 and even ISO 6400 are usable sensitivities. There's noise, to be sure, but it has a very film like feel. Pentax has taken a very light approach to noise reduction which saves a lot of detail, too. I don't hesitate at all to crank the ISO when need be.

The kit lens that comes with the camera is surprising, too. It weighs almost nothing, but is actually a pretty capable little lens! I just wish I could find a small telephoto zoom of the same design philosophy to carry with me. I've tried a couple copies of the DA 50-200mm but neither has impressed me all that much. It would be wonderful to find a small, light telezoom for hiking in Colorado's magnificent mountains.

If there are any specific questions I can answer, please let me know. As a quick summary, all I can say is that I haven't missed any shots because of the K-x, but there are definitely many shots that I couldn't have done with most other cameras. I think that's about the highest praise I can give.

Chris May
Denver, CO

Well, technically I own the K-7, and it's hard to think about a less feature-rich camera, but I was able to try out a stormtrooper K-x my friend recently bought, and it's a great little package. The colors are actually quite cool, and I wish my K-7 also came in all white.

The only drawback that I can't understand is why AF points do not light up in the VF. That is seriously the only flaw I can see in the camera.

Pentax K-x es la mejor y más equilibrada cámara réflex digital creada por Pentax. Small K-x, big Pentax!

Hi!

Usage background: I use the K-x form 10 months already and have had two of them (currently only one is with me). I have made about 10 000 shots for this time.

General: A sturdy built little and light camera, it has a toy camera feel in the beginning actually. The display is quite average and the viewfinder is not the most comfortable out there too. The lack of focus points in the VF might also be annoying for those that are used to them, or really need them, I personally always use central point and recompose, so it was not a problem at all. The menu is very intuitive, with quite simple, lacking any "pretty design" look and is easy to use imo. The mirror operation is loud and reminds of old film SLRs, this might be a minus for some people, but it was a plus for me, I still enjoy it. The shot-to-shot speed is good for a cam in the given segment, the buffer in RAW mode is typical for the class. Dust removal works quite well in my experience and the SR is really useful - a big plus.

Operations: The lack of dedicated hardware buttons for some of the key controls make operations a bit more complicated and slow and unfortunately you have to "put down" the cam even when simply changing ISO. Still overall it is a fast camera - start up speed, shot to shot speed, writing speed, etc. are just fine. AF speeds, if anyone cares, are generally slower than those of Nikon and Canon gear, so dear reporters please keep your equipment with you. Battery life is excellent.

Design: Design...for crying out loud, this is a cam not a fashionable gadget forget design, or buy a Leica M8.2 Trophy edition, or an old SLR Pentax for design goals.

Image Quality: I'll start with the least important - The JPG settings by default are far from what I would describe as natural - the saturation should be a stop down from the neutral 0 settings and the contrast a step up, sharpness setting is a Bug plus if used in fine sharpness,mode, it really works great, way better than in simply sharpness mode.
Now for real IQ - the DR is excellent, the exposure metering does quite good job too, auto white balance is also just fine. High ISO is something to write back home about..and send a parcel too. Simply wonderful! At low ISO settings the cam delivers flawless IQ too.

What is the greatest Contra: Possible mirror slap problem causing ghost image at speeds between 1/60 and 1/100, you either have it, or not it is not something fixable, so if you have it they should just change your cam. Later models don't have it, so if you are still planing to buy a K-x, please ignore this.

The greatest Pro: Simple two letters MF - you have wonderful stabilization of any lens with the SR, Excellent metering using the green button, no need for electronic adaptors, good auto white balance no matter how perverse coating the producer of the lens used, you can use Aperture priority as well as Manual mode, you have a good focus confirmation system, you have an excellent up to 10x Live View for fine MF and you have available easily interchangeable focusing screens for the K-x. For some funny cost you can get a collection of lovely, great IQ, old manual glass which will leave you stunned how good IQ can be.

I guess I forgot tons of important details, but nobody's perfect.

All the best and good luck!

Cheers!
Yanko

A very good entry level camera.
It has one of the most comfortable grips I have held and is very small and compact.
The high ISO performance will rival most any camera out there, even the semi-pro ones.
Can be used with any k-mount pentax lense ever made.
Since it is an entry level camera there is no top LCD, no AF indicator lights, no second thumb wheel.
My biggest and maybe only complaint is that the AF system is not that good. Some lenses will focus fairly quickly and easily but a lot will hunt, hunt, and hunt some more.
But all in all it is the best entry level camera I have used.

Hi Mike:

I have a Kx and a K7 and find that having both cameras works great as a combination. The Kx is a very fun camera to use and has garnered its reputation as one of the better APS-C high iso machines. To be honest I was skeptical of the need for high iso shooting as most of my photography is landscape and nature shooting where it is below iso 400. However, when using the Bigma (Sigma 50-500) for wildlife shooting, having the ability to crank up the iso past 800 is great to keep adequate shutter speeds and enough DOF (the Bigma needs f9-11 for maximum sharpness). In addition, I did some shooting at a wedding last weekend (I wasn't the main photographer) and while the K7 did the bulk of the work, the Kx was used for indoor shooting with a long lens where I couldn't use a flash (ISO of 2500).

This 2 camera system came about quite accidentally, but is something I will consider in the future. Usually we think of 2 camera systems as being different makes where a person has a DSLR and possibly a EVIL camera for vacation shooting.

The Kx is small (not quite NEX size) and quite light. While the K7 is small and built like a tank, sometimes I will reach for the Kx for hiking with the Pentax primes such as the DA15, DA21, DA35 for a light package in my backpack.

While I will always use the K7 as my main camera, the Kx fulfills a photographic niche for me that is quite surprising and enjoyable.

Dale

I got my K-x a few months ago to replace my K10D. I basically bought it to have as a low light camera but I quickly sold my K10D after receiving my new toy.

I like the jpg-files, the size, the way the metering system works and that it takes my 35/2.8 Ltd which is mounted 90% of the time.

The one thing I am missing is the top display. I really hate looking at the LCD display and have learned to hold the camera so the aperture is visible from half a meter away. I would also prefer to have a Li-ion battery. Not so much for the battery time, but to save weight.

i've had my k-x since last fall of 2009.. prior to that i'd been using my k200d.... the difference... improved autofocus and superior high iso shooting (quality).... i've been using sanyo eneloops as well, never a problem (as others have discussed).... with battery life/number of shots..... i shoot primarily in 'av' mode.... natural setting... with just a minor +1 tweak to sharpening and +1 to contrast.... unless i've screwed up... i've only had to employ minor post processing to achieve some very nice results... also, the wb is significantly improved over the k200d... setting auto wb will usually do the trick....
negatives... no weather sealing... and the moronic chrome trim strip has worn (the chrome paint over plastic) from the strap itself.... would like to see a more robust battery door....this should be 'sealed' (can't cost them that much)......
i'm an avid amateur... and looking forward to some improvements to the new k-r.....
dave m.

Surprised there aren't any responses yet, as I was under the impression this is a popular camera. I bought one a while back. I haven't been making many pictures lately, but my impression overall is pretty good. The high ISO performance and range of features in a relatively small and well-constructed package appealed to me.

What I didn't realize before I bought it was how expensive the Pentax lenses are now. Earlier on they were relatively affordable, but about two years ago the prices really jacked up. In retrospect I think I would have been better off with a Canon or Nikon, because of the availability of relatively cheap and good quality primes. I know Pentax makes fantastic primes, but it doesn't much matter when I can't afford them.

I do have the 50/1.4, and as well as this lens is rated I've been quite underwhelmed by it. Especially when compared to the 43/1.9 which I used to own, back in the day. As the 50/1.4 is the only lens I have for the K-x, it's hard to say whether my tepid feelings are a reflection of the camera, the lens, or both.

For the price, Epic! The ISO at 1600 is very nice and at times usable at 3200. In my opinion the menu is well thought out and quick. Do I miss the illuminating focus points, yes. But you can’t have it all at that price.

I have a Kx modified with a CLR replacing the hot mirror, and a heat reducing system from Spencer's Camera in Utah. Taking into consideration that it was meant for entry level photographers, I am impressed with it's performance. A few drawbacks are as follows:
No way to turn off DFS
No manual controls for HD video
No tethering support (not expected)
No focus confirmation in viewfinder
The positives are as follows:
Price
Great resolution
Great low light performance
It shoots 720/24p HD video
AA batteries
Enough manual control to satisfy most
Overall an excellent camera for a low cost!

I like it a lot. No hint of the banding problems that were endemic to so many of the K10Ds (which is why my K10D hardly ever gets used any more). I think it particularly excels at night photography, either handheld with a fast lens at ISO 3200-6400, or on a tripod at lower ISO. It would be nice if it had a socket for a cable release, but that's pretty minor.

The kit lens is decent, and it seems like the body+lens often sells for less than the body alone, so no reason not to get it. Of course it gets even better with the 35:2/31:1.8. If you like 35mm equivalent though, there aren't a lot of Pentax options for a 24mm lens. The 21 pancake is probably the closest readily available option.

i love my k-x to bits!!!

its quick to focus, takes great shots, you can use any pentax lense from the mid 1970's with it as the lens mount hasn't changes...

the body can feel a little flimsy at times, especially the lens release button.

its so simple to set up your shot, the layout is intuitive and not complicated like canons and nikons :) and all the buttons are on one side, so you can operate the entire thing with one hand if u wish :)

you wont be disappointed with this, as long as this is your price range, if you usually pay £800+ for a camera, then you might be...but in this price range, its the best bang for buck.

I hate to repeat myself and probably bore your readers, but you did it again. About once a year, you remind me how stupid I was to sell all the Pentax k-mount gear I used to own, prime lenses from 24 to 400, a couple of film bodies, bellows, flash, etc. All because I got tired of waiting for a Pentax digital. And now you go and put a pic of the Spotmatic and the K-x for me to see on this afternoon here at work.

Hi Mike,
few days ago i wondered that the K-X is not so prominent at TOP ;-). I have one in beige (after my K10D Backwheel failed) and i like it very much. All i have read about it is true. A fantastic lil’ DSLR, which is nice to use. Pentax has also done a lot in the user menus which makes this “beginners” DSLR very attractive, also to me as a "not beginner". Until now, i did not miss the two wheel interface of the K10D. And the K-X is much more responsive (it feels that my FA 1.4/50 focuses 3 times faster) and the files look much cleaner from base iso on. A real step up in image quality. The only thing i figured out, the K-X is a bit more prone to blow-out the highlights than the K10D. But do you ever shot with 1.4 on a bright sunny day? 1/6000 sec rocks.
cheers
XebastYan.

I discovered my passion for photography when I picked up my red K-x. There's just something special about using the manual focus lenses that are available for the K-x. You get the feeling that photography should have remained this way and that all the recent innovations might have improved the image quality at the cost of removing the simple joy one takes to meter, focus and compose. We're obsessed with megapixels, sharpness, AF speed and anything quantifiable that we can use to prove that one camera is superior to another. What's the point? Shouldn't photography be so much more than the technical specifications of our equipment?

I'm sure others can give you a run down of how it gives you flawless images without noise at ISO 1600, a dedicated programmable button, a fast 4.7fps, HD video, the wonderful color options, its compact ergonomics, its ability to use any K-mount lens made in the last 30 years as well as any m42 or Takumar lenses made in the last 50 years... and how it should be a $900 camera yet only costs half as much. But these are only the tangible aspects of this camera. The intangibles such as how it makes you feel when you snap a picture is what sets this camera apart from the dozen other entry level DSLRs in its class.

The Rebel XSI may be my first true DSLR but I already know the K-x will have a special place in my heart when I'm someday old and wizened. I don't think I'll ever hold another camera like this again.

I've had the "Storm Trooper" white model for months and love its low light performance at ISOs up to 1600 and its movie mode. I use it instead of my K20D in twilight or early dawn shooting when the performance of the K20D suffers beyond ISO 400.
The real complaints I have are that its construction vs. the K20D makes it feel very much like a toy and it is too consumer oriented in its controls.
To get the best from this camera one needs to shoot virtually everything in full-on manual mode.

I have had my K-x for about four months. It's my first DSLR. I have a number of older K mount lenses from film cameras. With the diopter adjustment, focusing manually is not difficult. I find it easier to estimate exposure with manual lenses and make adjustments as needed than to meter in stop down mode. The ability to change the ISO quickly makes shooting in changing light easy. It's a lot of camera for the money.

I like it quite a lot ;-)
But now, what to say what is not already well known from many reviews? Any specific question?
I am using M42 lenses exclusively and I am traveling. For that the K-x is the ideal camera. It's small size and good shape makes it stay very firmly in my hand, together with a prime it makes a very inconspicuous but powerful package for the road. Because of it's good high ISO performance, dynamic range and smaller size I even chose it over the K-7. On receiving it I thought it to be fragile ( as compared to my *istDs ) but it's body seems stronger than I first thought.
The only thing I found bothersome was having to push a few buttons to turn off/on the SR and to do this faster instead turn the camera off and again on.
In the beginning I had used jpegs which got so much praise and because I was on the road filling SD cards. However I had not liked the colors it produced as compared to the RAWs of my earlier *istDS. Once I started to use RAWs on K-x I am ok with the colors, though I still prefer those of the *ist and thought to go back using the *ist during daytime. Did this only one day, but missed the improved DR and immediately went back using the K-x only.
For obvious reasons I can't comment on it's AF performance
best regards,
Andreas

The K-x is currently my second camera; it lives with the FA43 Limited attached and gets a lot of use. The image quality is second to none in the APS-C arena, with higher ISO images being no problem at all. I have turned off all in-camera sharpening and this gives RAW files that are very pliable in ACR. You can shape them as you like them with a good degree of fidelity to both the original scene (if you wish) or that image in your mind's eye.

The amount of in-camera development and filtering that is possible with the K-x seems designed to make the use of a computer completely optional. Certainly there are times when it is handy to be able to cook the best RAW files from a session into JPGs with cropping, contrast, sharpening, colour shifting and about 40 other options available. I placed a shot nationally due to this facility.

All cameras should be this small and have Shake Reduction built-in. But I do miss the larger clearer viewfinder of the top models. And the rear LCD could be larger and have higher resolution. This is not a body I would recommend for manual shooters with more money to spend.

Paul De Zan wrote "I could not get results equal to the D40 under virtually all conditions I tried; I do seem to have a strong preference for the Nikon color space, so others might not agree."

I would disagree for the simple reason that every aspect of the colour space model is customisable in the K-x. You couldn't have tried very hard to get the look you wanted.

But yes, the lack of focal point overlays is stupid for a camera that tries to make automation easy. I have simply gone back to the old-fashioned focus-recompose method using the central point. But that should not be necessary.

K-X: "You're a little short to be a stormtrooper."

Also not the best nickname when stormtroopers notoriously had poor vision. Granted, in Star Wars they had accurate firepower against Jawas.

I have noticed also the 1/90-120 sec mirror slap problem - but with latest firmware 1.01.00.10 and better accu charger it was fixed for my K-x from late 2009.
The K-x is for me the PENTAX with actual the best IQ of all models - and better than many other DSLR´s from other makers also.
Buy it again ? YES !

"You're a little short to be a stormtrooper."

Warning: Not workplace/school safe.

Mike

Pentax Kx is:

for me - well spent money

for PS shooters - a good argument to go DSLR

for competing brand DSLR owners - a good argument to explore other brands

for pros - do not care

for Pentaxians - a little David in an endless camera war with Goliath brands

for Pentax - a much needed breath of $$ air

for anyone reading this - a well rounded package at recession prices (not really but rather the price of a good PS + a Cola + a movie ticket)

Most people have commented on the general brilliance of this little gem. I part exchanged a Samsung GX-20 (sibling to the Pentax K-20) for my Kx and don't regret it one bit.

Just to re-iterate some of the few bad points for a balanced view: the lack of focus indication in the viewfinder; its slightly too small a body when coupled with larger lenses (I'd like more real estate to get my fingers round); lack of external controls (although this itself is mitigated by an intuitive and quick to use menu layout).

To my surprise, Live View has proved useful in conjunction with manual focus lenses, especially when it's dark. The ability to zoom in when in Live View and get focus absolutely spot on has been incredibly useful at times.

For awhile now the image quality of the the Sony 12 meg sensor in the Nikon d-90 & d300 & d-5000 has been the benchmark for a low noise image on the APS-C sensor. I was close to switching to Nikon. When the very compact and inexpensive K-X came out, for me, it was like this Sony Sensor became the new digital Kodachrome that for $500 I could pop into my Pentax Limited Prime lenses. I like the compact size of this kit. Even the kit lens you get for that $500 is far more compact and better built than what you get from the other companies.

What this new digital Kodachrome gets me is the ability not just to take better pictures in dim light, but to get more out of the shadows of my pictures in good light (landscapes at low ISO). (There is an example on the front page of the gallery URL linked below)

The K-X has this HDR jpeg feature I've never bothered to use. However, it takes a burst of 3 bracketed RAW shots such that I was able to take hand-held RAW HDR across SE Asia this past Spring. (See the 1st photo in the features Plain of Jars gallery linked to below)

I have gotten along just fine with the lack of focus points in the K-X viewfinder. At Photokina this September the rumor is that Pentax will get the new Sony sensors for the Nikon d90 successor at the same time Nikon does. If this happens it really changes the game for Pentax. It means that top-quality low-noise senors will not be a distinguishing factor -- but a common resource for the camera lines.

Mike,

Great camera. With the 40mm prime, it fits in a small bag that can hang on my belt. The best portable camera ever. I also have the 21mm which I absolutely adore.

High iso is great.

The one issue I have as landscape photographer, is the lack of individual focus points lighting up in the viewfinder. Not usually a problem, but for really accurate focusing, it's occasionally an issue.

I have SLR's from Nikon, Fuji, and Sony as well as P&S cameras from Canon and Samsung. This is my first experience with a Pentax, and I'm very pleased. I've had the camera for about a half a year.

Eli

I tried the K-7 and I bought the K-x and if you put the K-x performance in the K-7 body you'd have one heck of a camera!

I'd buy one tomorrow to replace my Samsung GX-1s, which is an *istD clone.

I have one and am very happy with it, but I also love my K7. I use it primarily with the DA's 15-70mm and find it's a great kit. I do really wish I had bought the white one.

The fact that Pentax made their cameras backward compatible has made me stick with them. I have a lot of K mount and M42 lenses.

I just wish Pentax would make an E-P2 style camera in K mount.

I miss the top LCD but that's about it. For what it costs it's a real bargain.

I do not have KX, but I have a K10 and I am most surprised and quite frankly, impressed, that so many really like the KX camera and tout many of its virtues. I do pay as close attention to the mechanics of the camera as I probably should, at least to see if it is performing up to par. I was surprised to read the KX has a high ISO performance. I sure could use that. But rumour has it that that K5 is coming out in Fall with high ISO ability. So I will wait.

JMR

Ditto to the rest, except that the K-x in this house is RED! Not "candy apple" or "cherry cola" or even "fire engine," but a nice, muted "1970's Dodge pickup" red. With a (decent) kit lens that matches!

BTW, "in this house" means I ostensibly bought the K-x for the better half as a replacement for her AE-1, but it slips into my bag pretty often as well...

I have my Pentax K-x White for nine months. It is the best camera that I have experienced among the four Pentax dSLR that I have from K100D, K10D, K20D and K-x. When coupled with Pentax FA and DA limited lens, it is a great travel camera especially with new lens as in Pentax DA 15mm f/4.0 limited. When I shoot with Pentax FA 77mm f/1.8 limited, the results are fantastic to my liking. I don't ever feel the need to go back to my K20D. Yes, the K7 would be a better camera but for the price, the small form factor and the wonderful high ISO, it will take another Pentax entry level camera to beat Pentax K-x. You can see some of my love with Pentax K-x

Pentax K-x White Arrived

and its use of DA/FA limited

Pentax K-x insane with Pentax FA 77mm limited

and its out-of-service with Memory Card Error, currently in CRIS in Arizona

Pentax K-x DEAD with Memory Card Error

Did you consider buying a Pentax ME Super for about $50 on eBay? It has a huge viewfinder which is bigger than most medium-format cameras, rather compact, manual focus with split-screen that makes sense and plain fun. Yeah, it does not come in white or pink or green, but hey with some Tri-X you get to choose the color filter you want:-)


Our Rotary Club in Soldotna, Alaska recently outfitted complete photo programs in six generally remote Alaska schools, including DesignJet130r and Pixma 9000 Mark II printer at three of the schools.

The K-X was the high end camera provided to these schools, usually in two lens kits (18-55mm and 55-300mm zooms). I tested each camera before sending them to these remotes schools and everything worked very well.

What particularly surprised me was the good sharpness of the 55-300mm zoom included in the kit. All of the kit tele lenses were more than adequately sharp across the entire image at a variety of focal lengths and apertures.

Several of those schools are largely Alaska Native students living in areas reachable only by small single engine air taxi planes. Obviously, good reliablity is important.

We needed cameras that could get high quality photos under adverse conditions when used by students. We also needed good low light capability because these cameras were going to be used by students and staff to document fading Alaska Native cultures in these areas.

So far, the K-X kits have proven very reliable and useful. The students and schools seem to like them. These were excellent buys. The image quality is better than expected in this price range and the price was definitely right, averaging about $700 for each two lens kit.

We're in the process of spreading this student-school cultural documentation photo project to Hawaii, Taiwan and Thailand through Rotary and we plan to buy more K-X cameras in the process. Nothing wrong with these cameras at all, especially for the price.

I owned the Pentax K-x in combination with my K-7 for awhile, before selling the K-x to fund future purchases. What I really liked about it is that of course you buy it at first because of the low price, but then it keeps surprising you with how good of a camera it actually is. Overall, the K-7 is a better camera besides the high ISO advantage of the K-x, but the K-x is good enough that most photographers could use it as their main camera for several years and not feel slighted.

I think it's good that a market that can support a $7,000 Leica M9 can also reward Pentax for putting genuine thought and care into its $500 camera's design. There are different photographers out there that can benefit from both types of cameras. And even as Pentax is rumored to be coming out with new cameras this month, I imagine the K-x will still have some life in it over the next year.

Don't have one, but I have been seriously considering getting one (possibly in OD green or maybe red) with the limited 35mm lens. Anyone out there with this combo think it's a bad one?

Sorry to hijack the topic, but what is this sudden obsession with short posts? To paraphrase the common saying:

"I read TOP for the articles."

That means that when you write a short post, I go unsatisfied for a day, and when there's two posts on the front page with a `Click here to continue reading X' link, I'm having a good week.

I come here because I like your writing, please don't become twitter?

Thank you,
Bernard

I shoot film almost exclusively. It's the first DSLR I've used that I actually like, and I've tried a few.

Having used film SLRs from the 1970s, I went digital with Pentax's K10 in 2006. The Kx joined the family earlier this year (2010). The Kx sensor is superb, and is up to the quality of the Pentax Limited Lenses. Indeed, my FA31 Ltd lives on the Kx. It alternates with the FA50 1.4. Both are great pairings.

Battery life with Lithiums is very good(800+ shots), Eneloops around 400.

The Kx tendency to blow highlights can be tamed with Ev (it's there to adjust, why not use it?).

Viewfinder focus indications are lacking, and that's a nuisance, although the spot setting gets around it.

Weathersealing and a flimsy-feeling battery door could be (and should be) fixed. However, for the price, it's understandable that these things got left off the wish list last time. As an amateur, I can afford to take the time to take care of my gear, so the lighter body is not so much of a disadvantage for me.

From a portability & weight perspective, the Kx & lenses like the 'pancake' Limiteds or FA50 are a handy combination to walk with, or stow in a day pack.

If I need environmental sealing, I use the K10 - easy. (And that's a good camera too - just as long as the shot is well exposed.)

The other area where the Kx excels is high ISO / low noise. It is head and shoulders above the K10 in this respect.

I found the controls on the Kx suprisingly easy to get used to - even with a single control wheel. The buttons and the onscreen menu are quite intuitive in combination. There is no end of customisation in setup as well.

So in sum, the smarts inside are as good as any other APSC-sized DSLR (barring those omissions above), as is the sensor.

In combination with a quality body (like the K7), this would be a match hard to beat by any brand. And did I mention the price?

Our K-x is the white edition.

Unfortunately it's almost impossible to use this camera as it has issues and even Pentax UK service couldn't find what is going on.

Let me add I've got K200D for more than 2 years now, grip, DA 35, DA 16-45, DFA 100, Tamron 70-300 and kit lens with it. Also around 20k of pictures taken with above camera.

Main issue with my K-x is that it cannot auto focus where I need. It focuses where it wants. Camera is set to use center focusing point, along with AE where AF is. Manual focus - fine. Live view AF, fine again.

On top of that there are shaking and blurring problems. I tend to turn off SR as it doesn't help much.

Last thing, battery indicator not very precise. I'm using Eneloops all the time. On K200D no problems. With K-x and fresh battery sets, no much of joy. Separate battery sets for K-x of course.

Latest firmware applied. No change.

The most important thing when you use AF is for it to be accurate and focus where user wants.

I'll battle with Pentax support again, however I'm not holding my breath.

Maybe I have wrong technique? Well, comparison shoots with K200D and K-x shows only one thing: something doesn't work with my K-x.

I do agree with all good comments about ISO, low weight and small size and low price. My fiance loves the camera. But come on.

I own K-7 and had a chance to try K-x in May, this year. It is very decent piece of kit with only one serious deficiency to my eyes. Literally. The viewfinder is small and dim. At least compared to K-7. If one is to rely on AF (which is not exactly Pentax' forte), it would be just about perfect camera. As it is now, it is just as excellent, but one has to be aware of this issue or alternatively have a very strong and good eyesight.

I have a white K-x. Pretty lil' thing.

On looking to upgrade from a K10D at the end of last year I was torn.

I loved the ergonomics, build quality and shutter sound (ruddy gorgeous) of the K7, but couldn't justify buying a more expensive camera with poorer image quality (at least at high ISO).

I've not been disappointed by the image quality of the K-x. I've shot up to 6400 ISO and had usable results.. It is so liberating to be able to shoot in such low light.

Predictably I am frustrated by the ergonomic compromises. I miss having two wheels, still crave a top mounted LCD, feel cramped in the viewfinder and am sometimes embarrassed by the racket I make.

8 months into owning it I can find my way around it fairly well, but as some menu digging and button-pressing are required I will often not bother changing that ISO or metering mode or focus point just to get the shot away.

In this respect I find it less fun than I did my K10D or than I would a K7.

But the results! The images it is capable of are quite stunning.

In a way I got exactly what I expected. Great image quality in a package that I admire more than love.

I have hopes - like many - that any upcoming update to the K7 line will take K-x image quality and wrap it up in K7 beauty and efficiency.

Will such a hybrid help me be a better photographer? Maybe I'm just convincing myself to justify the outlay, but I think it has the potential to, yes.

In some respects the K-x has sent me backwards. I make do with a slightly-sub-optimal ISO, hardly ever bother to navigate away from centre focus point, leave metering alone at the end of its menu, trust in RAW to enable me to delay any further decisions.

Sure I'm more spontaneous with the K-x, but I miss owning the process more. Shot-to-shot flicks of my fingers to change ISO, metering mode, focus mode, focus point, bracketing, exposure compensation. I miss the engagement.

The K-x is a great camera, that I would recommend to most, but it's a stop gap, an affair. For me, it makes too many concessions to photographic end product over photo-making process to be a long-term monogamous relationship.

Bring on the K7(x). She could be the one.

Bernard,
No worries. I'm many things, but a twit isn't one of them.

I recall a comment Ana Jones at "Camera & Darkroom" made after I submitted a particularly long camera review. I asked her on the phone how she liked it. There was a considerable pause, and she said, "Well, you certainly said everything that can be said, that's for sure."

[g]

Mike

All I will add to the previous praise is to mention that the K-x is excellent at supporting older Pentax lenses. Anything made back to 1983 which includes an "A" setting on the aperture ring will meter correctly in all modes (i.e. the body can set the aperture, which is then also recorded in the EXIF data).

I've been enjoying using a Pentax-A 50/1.7 --a superb performer, and a trim little combo on the K-x body. (The lens was an eBay find, and came with a "free" Pentax ME that I've also become inexplicably fond of.) Using a manual focus lens is a bit fiddly with today's shrimpy viewfinders, but the K-x's focus-confirm indicator has been reliable for me.

There's no crippling of which lenses will autofocus on the K-x either (unlike Nikon's lower-priced DSLRs).

My only K-x complaint is that the nice olive green color was unavailable in the USA until after I had already bought my albino one.

Aw, gee Mike, now I want one!
Will

I'm very happy with my K-x for the reasons covered by many others - fantastic lens compatibility, tiny pancake lenses, image quality, etc...

One feature of the K-x that I really needed was mirror lock-up, which is not available on most entry DSLR's.

As a K7 user wanting something smaller and lighter to leave on my gigapan Epic 100 robot head all the time, the Kx was a natural to buy. I've a navy which I like. It has proved to be very good at its role, with the exceptional battery life (7095 shots on the original set of Pentax supplied lithiums) being a huge advantage (taking a camera off the Epic 100 and putting it back on to change cells is a pain!). Only downside is a tendancy to take a black frame for the very first shot - I bet this doesn't happen with AF lenses (I use Pentax SMC-A lenses on it - my favourite is the A200 f4) - which is simple to correct on the gigapan head.

I have a K7 and a K200D but I find the K-x still tempting. Maybe it's the body colors, high ISO performance, the Pentax name and the price. Interesting post and comments.

I had a Pentax k-x for a few months, with a 40/2.8 Ltd lens in addition to the kit lens. I just had to have the red version, a wonderful conversation starter. There were a couple of show-stoppers for me: first, the infamous blur problem at certain shutter speeds. Turning off the SR seemed to help, but there is no physical switch as on the K10D. And second, the ergonomics. I think the K10D spoiled me. I sold the k-x with mixed feelings, and bought an Oly E-P2 with an 18-108mm f/1.6 (compared with the red k-x it's a whole other kind of conversation starter :-). I miss getting clean high-ISO images, but the shutter sound of the E-P2 sweetens the deal: Using liveview on the k-x for critical focusing is not popular in certain quiet areas. But that's using the wrong tool for the job, I guess...

I imagine that when I nominated the Pentax K-x for your "Camera of the Year" post a few month back, quite a few readers scratched their heads and muttered "What the...?" Perhaps the fact that the K-x has received so many positive comments from so many photographers will give the doubters second thoughts. It has its faults--all cameras do--but if you're looking for bang for the buck in this tough economic climate, you can't do much better than the Pentax K-x.

This is one fun camera. I switched from another make's entry-level DSLR and was surprised how much nicer it felt to hold the Kx compared to my old circa-2006 DSLR. Image quality is leagues better as well.

My biggest ergonomic complaint is the small and cramped multi-controller.

Initially I bought a constant 2.8 zoom for the camera, and started dabbling with primes by buying some affordable but high quality vintage manual focus Pentax primes. I loved the way the Pentax Kx felt (the focus confirm helps) when paired with primes. It started innocently with a couple of under $100 primes, then I obtained an FA31 Ltd and an adapted Leitz 90mm Summicron -- the camera is usually accompanied with those two lenses.

I always look forward to getting some outstanding images out of that equipment.

Despite owning a K-7, I often find myself trying to justify a K-x (olive green please) as an *essential* travel accessory. Its diminutive size and price tag make it quite an attractive base for a couple of Limited lenses (21 and 70 please) - as the photos on Ned Bunnell's blog demonstrate. Looking forward to your article!

I tried out the K-x and was extremely disappointed that they left out a connection for a wired remote. One can get around this issue with an IR remote but it was no good for me and I returned it. Why Pentax, why?

I'm a 4-year novice striving for Amateur status. I purchased the Kx as a backup to my K20D. I already had the DA 16-45 f/4 and DA 55-300 f/4-5.8, but if I was new, the Kx with the DA 18-55 f/3.5-5.6 and DA 55-300 f/4-5.8 gives you a lot of reach and great IQ for around US$700 when you hit a sale. It's an unreal deal.

When I shoot wide angle, I like putting my DA 10-17 Fisheye on the Kx while my K20D has the DA* 16-50 f/2.8, carrying both around my neck. And when I shoot tele, the DA 55-300 f/4-5.8 on the Kx might not match the IQ and buttery bokeh of the DA* 200 f/2.8 on my K20D, but I still get great action shots at 300mm f/8, f/6.3 and even f/5.8 when I want that extra reach and close-in.

People look at me for purchasing a red Kx body. But I did so because I can see the red without looking down and confusing it with my K20D. Besides, when someone gets arrogant in their eyes about my having the red body, they quickly also notice the K20D + DA* glass as well and don't bother saying something.

Kx ... for noobs, for novices, for amateurs, a great backup for 2nd body for the experts, and just an all-around value, especially in the US.

Of course, you stormtroopers will want to build your next image-editing PC in one of these:
http://www.nzxt.com/new/products/crafted_series/phantom

(Note the Imperial Guard red and Darth Vader black models!)

Which begs the question, "what if Apple designed cameras?"

I was thinking about getting a white and black Pentax Kx, but every time I went to press the shutter release, I heard an old British guy whisper in my ear, "These aren't the photos you're looking for. You should go about your business."

Go figure.

I love my k-x and use it for fully 70% of my paid work (events and weddings). It's the best value out there imho. If it had a pentaprism viewfinder it might even be my perfect camera. I shout auto ISO up to 4500 with no worries... Can't be beaten at high iso by any aps-c camera! And small!

Hope I'm not too late...

I love mine! To get a better one, I have to step up to way more bulk and price, the Canon 5D2 with L lenses. And even then it needs big prints to really make a difference.

The K-x is responsive, has excellent IQ and low-light abilities, and many wonderful prime lenses, I have several.

I love my pentax kx. I have no idea what it's auto anything is like because I use a manual aperture lens and operate it on full manual all the time (although I sometimes use the green button to get a read on the meter). It's an excellent camera with wonderful image parameters that is open to a very large selection of lenses from pentax and numerous third parties. I bought mine mainly for the voigtlander, zeiss and pentax lenses. But, I'm going to swear off any other brands because the camera gets out of the way so completely that I can't image using another in your face mega camera again.

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