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Monday, 26 April 2010


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The red K-x convinced my wife to set aside her venerable AE-1 and Tri-X and "try this digital photography thing." She said it wasn't the color that attracted her, but that I have a bag full of K-mount primes she can borrow.

Ah, but once I saw how well that little eye-catcher handled low light, she's had to borrow the body and the lenses! There is a lot more to like about these little Pentaxes than just their candy-colored shells...

Alas, they don't seem to be available in Europe - and I do lust for a blue K-x.

Not exactly a street photographers dream.

Designed for the discerning professional, who wants that extra edge. Impress your friends. You'll really stand out with these cameras at the next press conference.

Those must be the ugliest cameras I've ever seen! those are just loud... remind me of kids candies, or popsicles..? I know this is cheaper than getting me my DA 28mm f2, but still... I guess the "Now and Late" colored camera sells for pentax.

Be still my beating heart...

Heaven help us...

Wow - that's eye-catching. I had considered getting a K-x as a second body. Would make a great compact package with the pancake lenses..... but how could I ever decide on the colour.....

Oh my god! What fantastic cameras! [g]

Sheesh, Mike, you'll never get anywhere by using such bland names for colours.

Let's call them Nerf Green, Orange Burst, Turnip (or possibly Dark Orchid), and Pale Nanking Blue. :)

Very 1970s Porsche colors! I think those would be Viper Green, Signal Orange, Aubergine, and Albert Blue if they were 911s

Traditionalists may recoil in horror, but even a confirmed street-shooter like me will acknowledge that few subjects would be intimidated by the sight of a photographer wielding a bright green Pentax Kx with kit lens attached. If anything, you'd have trouble getting photos where your subjects didn't have an amused and somewhat questioning expression on their faces.

I like "Pale Nanking Blue." [g]


neon green hasselblad h4d... now THAT would be something I'd like to see.

As Lou Reed said "Linger on...your pale Nanking blue eyes". I've taken my daughter's apocalyptic red k-x out a few times and always get very positive and inquisitive comments from people.

I don't mind the colors, but since I already have a Pentax mount 18-55 lens from my 6 megapixel camera, do I really need another one? Why not colors in body only sales?

As far as I'm concerned, people can have whatever color they like. But what these 'far-out' releases from the manufacturers tends to conceal is the total lack of imagination in designing a new-looking DSLR.
Why do they still look like this? Most of the designs are not even ergonomic.

I keep hoping they will bring the yellow one over from Japan...

I want a "Hasselblad Yellow" Pentax!

Early on in its offering I succumbed to buying the white K-x shortly after having bought a K7 and the set of DA Limiteds. I have to admit the decision was based on its diminutive size and, yes, its color. I still shoot Canon professionally, but have not regretted my dalliance with Pentax. The K-x, in spite of discussions around cosmetics is a very capable and enjoyable tool for casual work.

The orange one should work especially well for street photography. No way anyone would know you were holding a camera!


Wow ... memories of the second iMac product line. You could get the computer in red, yellow, green, blue and purple. As for the first iMac, I'll twist the old cliche about Model T Fords and Bell telephones - you could have it in any color you wanted, as long as that color was Bondi blue.

Hmmm. I think I prefer the "classic black" - it's ever so slimming on a D300 with 70-200 2.8 lens.

However - would a white camera body absorb less solar energy, thus keeping the innards cooler? Or doesn't the shell color have enough of an impact to make a difference?

Not my cup of tea...but anything that garners new photographers into the hobby/art/mailing list is O.K. by me. Maybe those youngbloods just coming up will find the colors appealing?

I agree with Gordon Lewis' comment. While the colors are hardly discreet, the "toy in primary colors" look of the K-x provides excellent camouflage in many urban environments. At a glance, few would take it seriously.

On a different note, if I am not mistaken, didn't Pentax implement the colors to attract younger buyers who have other electronic devices (iPods, cell phones) in similar colors, and women? Japanese magazine stores now carry magazines that specifically target young women--a large demographic with money to spend on such things. Not to put a strong gendered spin on the discussion, but for some markets such as the one in Japan, the multi-color move makes sense. I would not be surprised if the same appeal carries over to China, Korea, Singapore, and other south east Asian countries.

Mike remember your one camera one lens challenge? It's your fault I'm the new owner of an M6 classic. After viewing the above cameras I now know that I made the right decision. God save us from plastic cameras.

@erlik: there is reason why people pay pr so mcuh. The color after you 'correct' their name seems appealing. Orange burst. Wow!

Hasselblad, no less, did this in the 90's -- yellow, red, blue and green 501cm's, as I remember. Pentax are just a bunch of copycats. The colored Hasselblad command premium prices on the used market.

Wow...some really mixed reactions in the comments.

Just to throw my hat in the ring - I like them.

I don't know that I'd ever buy one, but I think it's an overall good thing for photography in general.

This could bring in younger photographers to the fold, and the youth is full of excitement and raw vision.

I do actually like the white one BTW.

That's my take too. I don't need colors myself, but it seems like fun and I can't see any harm in it. Apparently some people really do like the colors, and more power to 'em.

Besides, from what I'm hearing, people come for the colors but then also really do like the camera.


While they are bright colors, I don't find them any crazier than the different color vulcanite replacements people throw on their Leica's and the likes.

Interesting responses. I talked to my students about these colored Kx cameras today. Their reaction was immediate acceptance and interest in the concept.

Most of them have multi-colored phones and music players. This concept fits in nicely with the other electronics they purchase. Pentax is smart to do this. And if it helps them sell more cameras, why would we care or belittle them?

It is good for Pentax -- the more sales the better -- and if someone does not like the idea of colors, they can buy a black one.

Or maybe Pentax can go way out on a limb and make a camera with a top deck colored silver, with the rest of the camera in black. Naah - who would buy a camera like that?

I'm holding out for Shy Retiring Grey (you Yanks will get the Gray variant, I assume).

If I had the cash I'd spring for the blue one in a flat second -- with the 31 limited. It would make a lovely contrast to my black M6, it would have much better low light performance, and in low light it would look dark grey, anyway.

Colour names are really just PR. For instance, on that page with Pale Nanking Blue... What they call Chinese Turquoise is called Pale Turquoise elsewhere. Their Deep Nanking Blue is called Royal Blue elsewhere. Et cetera, et cetera.

Concerning demographics: yes, it's apparently proven that women see more colours than men. that may be the reason for all those Aureolins and Pale Pears. OTOH, I wonder what average results would women have on the Farnsworth Munsell 100 Hue test. Or on that even harder one, which I can't find at the moment, where you have to arrange colours not in rows but in spiralled hexagons.

To hell with stealth! Try getting a natural pose with that torch pointed towards someones face...

Do they squirt water?

I think I'll get one in each color. Then I can match the color to my mood. Cool.

This reminds me a bit of what I see in camera coverings. The various brightly dyed snake and lizard replacement coverings have a small but steady appeal to the classic camera crowd.

On one side of the fence people are taping up their black cameras to make them even less conspicuous, and on the other side we get this. As they say, different strokes...

If Pentax was really smart they'd make the colored bits detachable so people could "skin" their cameras to go with their mood or their wardrobe. After-market sales!

I don't dislike them :)
I guess these cameras are rather bold statements of lifestyle and geek-hood, while maintaining their quality and not turning into toys. They have a very selfimage-aware target, most probably not the same as TOP's audience. This target happens to be also quite quality-aware!
And I do subscribe to the view that it doesn't expose you to much in street photography, since people won't really take you seriously. Yet, go with a Canon 5D and and a huge L-glass to the streets and I'm quite sure what the effect would be.

"Not exactly a street photographers dream."

Personally, I think it is. Instead of some big, black hulking piece, here's something that's obviously some amateur's (sarcasm) camera. And the person you're photographing pays you no mind.

I think it's a great way to remain discreet. People just think you're shooting with a toy so obviously you're harmless. And the camera is a heck of a performer, by most accounts.

It's the reason I bought the Blue EPL-1, or I grabbed the silver version of the 28-80 Nikon Zoom (not to mention it's often cheaper) for my DSLR.

If anyone asks, it's often asking if I'm shooting a community college photo class project (with some cheap camera), or I get compliments asking about the color..."how cute!" Every time, I've been approached as if I were an amateur or not serious.


Just the way I like it.

. . In other news today: The Hoya Corporation - maker of Pentax cameras - announced that it has been purchased by Mars, Incorporated - maker of the ever popular and colorful M&M's candy ... .

"Instead of some big, black hulking piece, here's something that's obviously some amateur's (sarcasm) camera. And the person you're photographing pays you no mind. I think it's a great way to remain discreet. People just think you're shooting with a toy so obviously you're harmless."

I think you're right, Jason. A long time ago I remember talking to a street photographer who used a big smiley-face sticker on the front of his camera. He said it made people ignore him, because they assumed he couldn't possibly be serious.


They're missing a trick here. If they're starting to sell multi-colour (or color, even) cameras in America, why haven't they done a Stars and Stripes version?
Would sell like hot cakes, surely?

I seem to remember a series of personal computers that came in lollipop colors. They sold like hot-cakes* and saved a company.

This is assuming hot-cakes sell at a rate of 800,000 in the first five months.

I really like the colors. I agree with all those who said that the "toy" look will make it easier to do street photography - it is definitely much easier to get people to feel at ease next to you when they don't take you seriously. As long as I get a good shot, I really don't care if I'm treated as a child with a bright toy, because at the end of the day I know I'm walking home with a great photo.

Which is actually my only concern with this camera. I wonder how well it really performs under low light conditions, and, most importantly, how quiet is it?

Does this mean that Pentax is running out of ideas?

Two words ... Fisher-Price


When I was thinking of buying a Panasonic GF1, I considered the red-bodied version.

I was planning a trip to India and I reasoned that people might respond more positively if the camera communicated a lighthearted message via a red body.

In the end I didn't buy a GF1 but I think there is something in what I thought.

So as a candid street camera, the Pentax might not be a sensible choice, but as a camera with which to approach people for a portrait shot, - yes it might be good idea.

There is one proviso to this - I think the particular colors (at least as they show in the image in your post) of the bodies of these Pentaxes are awful.

I thought the most exciting thing in the press release was the Art Filter set: "Smith", "Winogrand", "Mapplethorpe", "Adams" and several others.

Colours aside I love my K-x. It is a dream in low light and I now use it for roughly 80% of my paid work (I shoot weddings, events etc in the main) Was shooting a dinner on Wednesday and couldn't help but think that if someone had told me 3 years ago that I could get a camera of this size and price that could shoot ISO 4500 so very respectably I would not have believed them. A real winner of a camera IMHO and if Pentax would only start making a cheap autofocus 50m f/1.8 again I would not hesitate in recommending it to anyone interested in natural light photography as a first camera.

Mine is black BTW. I am ever so boring....

@Yanita... it's great in low light. Shutter noise is not amazingly quiet or cultured though but is not too intrusive (to my ears at least) nowhere near as nice as the K7d or a 5d etc though.

Here's an example at iso 6400, some camera shake. Processed in Lightroom from raw, no other NR. Was lucky with how the light and the sensor interacted to be honest as normally I don't go above 4500 unless I have to but this one in particular looks pretty great to me.

You can view full size on flickr here if you feel the need to pixel peep at the movement blur... lots of other examples at high iso as well.

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