Pentax really shocked me this time. I’m really happy with this camera, it’s amazing, indeed. I would have never imagined that for such a cheap price I could have such a great camera. Of course it has bad things too, but almost none of those “bad” things have a direct impact to the final results, that, by the way, is the most important thing! :)
This is not a pro camera, it’s an entry level one. But to be honest, you can have the same performance as many pro equipments. This camera has really full set of options, a big manual to read and a really huge menu to configure almost anything. BUT the great thing is that Pentax K-X has options for people that don’t know anything about photography as well. It’s possible to use it in automatic and never enter in the menu. This is a great thing and a big challenge at the same time: “How to make a camera that will make a pro feel comfortable and an amateur feel that an DSRL is not hard to use.”
Before introducing the details, here you have a quick description.
Good: Pentax K-X is good for night photography, it has a wonderful ISO competitive with high end pro cameras. It’s fast to focus, is light and easy to carry. It has a nice design, it takes the advantage of doing video with a DSRL, it’s compatible with almost all Pentax lenses, even the very old ones. It’s completely configurable and, at the same time, extremely easy to use. It’s good for pro and amateur. It has a really good price!!
Bad: It’s noisy, the plastic is good, strong but cheap. The menu design is ugly but at least really functional. It lacks of video and HDMI output.
The design is unique! You can choose from several colors combination. If I have to be honest with you, I confess that I never was interested in these things, but having something that is not only good for its purpose but also nice, helped to set my mind in a more creative and funny attitude.
It’s equipped with a High resolution 12.4 megapixel CMOS image sensor. K-X also features sensor-shift Shake Reduction for stabilized image and video capture up to 4 stops max! I tried it and I could really notice the difference! Specially when I was carrying the 300mm lens. I usually use that lens in the night, so helped by the darkness and the distance, I could have a discrete photowalk ;-)
The LCD is large up to 2.7 inches, featuring Live View with contrast, phase difference, and Face Detection autofocus. The quality is really good and the image is almost the same in a real monitor.
It also performs a widescreen HD video capture in full 720p resolution (1280×720) at 24 FPS cinematic framerate. It can use any PENTAX 35mm lens giving the possibility to experiment a huge range of angles. I will upload a video that I’m preparing to show the quality of the video with this camera later on.
I usually process my pictures in Lightroom but for those that love to do on-the-fly processing, like changing colors or applying special filters, this camera has a huge set of effects as many compact cameras do.
It has a fast 4.7 FPS capture speed and 1/6000 second maximum shutter speed. Specially for sport or nature pictures. I also use this option to shot people expressions in events. This is something I learned from my friend Jim Grisanzio. Just a little change in the muscles of the face makes a huge difference in the final expression. In portraits the subject knows that he/she is going to be photographed but in events, people is not usually aware of this, and photographers take advantage of this situation to catch natural expressions. It’s hard to catch that moment, specially for moving subjects. In this case a good FPS capture ration helps a lot. Check Jim’s pictures in flickr, to understand what a really natural expression means :)
The focus is fast!! It’s noisy, but fast. A responsive 11 point wide angle SAFOX VIII autofocus system helps for this purpose and can easily track moving subjects.
One more great thing is that it uses common universally available and easy-to-find AA lithium batteries (also compatible with AA NiMH rechargeable and alkaline batteries). I already tried using just one charge for the whole day and I didn’t even see the battery low signal.
Let’s talk about the lenses. I got the combo with the 18-55mm that also matches the color of the camera and a 300mm.
The performance and quality is really good. Some of the pictures bellow can be downloaded in full resolution.
The ISO is just GREAT! For that price I have a 6400 ISO with a really low level of noise!
Just to compare the ISO and the differences with older cameras and a new Canon G11 check this pictures at different ISO’s.
Speed 1/100 and 5F for all pictures.
Pentax ISO 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400. Click the images to see the original full resolution, it’s huge!
Nikon D200: ISO 400, 800, 1600, 2000, 3200. Click the images to see the original full resolution, it’s huge!
Canon G11: ISO 400, 800. Click the images to see the original full resolution, it’s huge!
Nikon D70: ISO 400, 800. Click the images to see the original full resolution, it’s huge!
One more example using the Pentax K-X with ISO 1600 in the night of Shinjuku (Tokyo), click to enlarge full size:
These are some pictures that I took with Pentax K-X during these days. I’m still getting used to it :)
Do you like the colors?
Do you feel uncomfortable to carry a colored full camera with you?
I think that other makers should think about this possibility. The color does not change the quality of the camera. I would like to see a Nikon D3s in red or blue! why not! Don’t you?