Pentax Kx review

by Enche Tjin on November 5, 2009

Pentax Kx is Pentax digital SLR for beginner and enthusiast. Pentax Kx replaces Pentax KM / K2000. There are many improvements from KM, such as three stops higher ISO setting, video recording, faster continuous shooting, 11 selectable auto focus points and 12.3 megapixel image resolution (compare to 10 mp). Kx shares same body as the Km, so it is still very compact but not weather-sealed like Pentax k200, k20d or k7. It also uses four AA batteries instead of lithium batteries.

pentax-kx-reviewPentax kx main specs

  • 12.3 Megapixel image resolution
  • 11 Auto focus points
  • 2.7″ LCD screen, 230k
  • ISO 200-6400, expandable to 100 and 12800
  • 4.7 fps continous shooting speed
  • Built-in Shake Reduction
  • Auto HDR, weak and strong mode
  • Live view and Video recording 720p
  • viewfinder: 96% coverage / .85 magnification
  • Price: $650 with 18-55mm kit lens

Body design and Handling

Pentax Kx weights 581g, and its dimension is 122 x 92 x 69 mm. It is one of the smallest DSLR camera around, but not the lightest. It is quite heavy despite the compact size because of body material and 4X AA batteries.

Usage of AA batteries has been always been debated, some people  like to have lithium battery with their camera, especially those who concern about reliability of rechargeable batteries. Some might prefer AA batteries because they are available everywhere and the rechargeable one is relatively cheaper compare to lithium one.

Built quality of this camera is generally good for beginner digital SLR, sturdy and substantial. Ergonomic is not the best especially for people that has big hand or finger, but it is good in general.

Like KM, the camera interface has been simplified yet very accessible. It has one thumb dial which you will use this a lot to change setting values. There are dedicated trash button, AF/AE-L, exposure compensation button, customizabe green button, live view button, info button, four way buttons which are shared with ISO, WB, Flash, self timer. These are basically what you will need and expect from a good digital SLR camera.

There is also a shooting mode dial, where you can find manual and semi automatic control. There are also some popular scenes mode and video mode. Unique to Pentax, there is Sv (sensitivity mode), which allow you to set preferred ISO and let the camera decide on aperture and shutter speed value.

Changing setting is fast and easy because of availability of many dedicated buttons. Main LCD screen could be activated by turning the camera to ON position or pressing INFO button. Pressing INFO button twice, you will get 12 squares representing popular settings such as auto HDR, image size, shake reduction, etc.

This small control panel is a great help and better than Nikon’s info screen, but it is not better than Olympus super control panel.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Alexander Evensen November 23, 2009 at 8:22 am

If I’ve read this right, you say that the K-x has a swivel-screen. No images I’ve seen of it shows this, so I wonder if it’s really so. Is it?

A quote form the comparison to the Olympus E-620 on the last page of the review: “Like Pentax KX, it has swivel LCD screen”

admin November 23, 2009 at 10:32 am

Kx does not have swivel screen. Thanks for the correction.

Alexander Evensen November 23, 2009 at 2:50 pm

I see. I was hoping it did :) Maybe the K30D.

Michael February 17, 2010 at 12:13 am

Regardless of swivel screen or not, the kx is a great started DSLR camera. It takes great pictures and its compact size is unbeatable. I have coupled it with the Pentax 10-17mm zoom fisheye lens and have had great results. If you want to check out some samples I have them posted on my blog http://www.kxuser.com as well as tutorials and other info about this camera. Thats how happy I am with it. Regardless, have fun shooting!

Justin M August 4, 2011 at 6:31 am

This is a good camera until the PCB board goes out 3 months and purchasing it. When you send it in for repair you will be told the warranty will not cover it and it will cost half the price of the camera to repair it . It may be a great little camera until something goes wrong. This is a junk camera with a junk warranty

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