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Pentax K-x

Build Quality 
User Interface 
Image Quality 
Reviews Views Date of last review
109 922,741 Thu June 1, 2023
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $505.37 9.01
Pentax K-x

Pentax K-x
Pentax K-x
Pentax K-x
Pentax K-x
Pentax K-x


The Pentax K-x is an excellent entry-level DSLR which in 2009 revolutionized the market for beginner cameras.  With a kit price of below $700, the K-x offered amazing performance at an extremely affordable price.  Its highlights include a 12.4 megapixel CMOS sensor with excellent low-light performance, Pentax's shake-reduction and dust removal systems, full-auto "green" mode, a use-friendly menu, and a very large LCD screen. The K-x was discontinued in 2011 being replaced by the K-r.

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Camera Manual:

Pentax K-x
©, sharable with attribution
Year Introduced
In Production
No (Discontinued 2010)
Current US Price
In-Depth Review
Sensor Format
Sensor Type
2848 x 4288 pixels
AA Filter
Super Resolution
Bit Depth
Minimum ISO
Maximum ISO
ISO Range
200 - 6400 (100 - 12800)
Exposure Modes
Auto Picture, Scene, P, Sv, Av, Tv, M, B
Program Modes
Normal, Portrait, Landscape, Macro, Action, Night-scene Portrait, Flash Off. In live view also: Blue Sky, Sunset
Maximum FPS
Continuous Shooting
Hi: 4.7 fps to 17 frames (JPG), 5 frames (RAW) Lo: 2 fps until card is full (JPG), up to 11 frames (RAW)
Shutter Speeds (Auto)
30s - 1/6000s (stepless)
Shutter Speeds (Manual)
B, 30s - 1/6000s
Shutter Life
Exposure compensation
+/-3 EV
Auto bracketing
Exposure (3 frames)
Expanded dynamic range
Highlight (on, off), Shadow (high, medium, low, off)
Exposure lock
Self timer
2 s with mirror lock-up, 12 s
Metering Sensor
Meter range
1 to 21.5 EV
Meter pattern
Multi-Segment,Center Weighted,Spot
Mirror lock-up
Interval shooting
HDR mode
Multiple exposures
Yes, average and additive, 2 to 9 shots
Pixel mapping
Scene Modes
10: Night Scene, Surf and Snow, Food, Sunset, Stage Lighting, Night Snap, Kids, Pet, Candlelight, Museum
Exposure modes with M and K lenses are restricted to Av (with aperture always wide open) and M (with stop-down metering)
Lens Mount
KAF2 (no aperture coupler)
Composition Adjustment
Yes (sensor-shift SR)
Power zoom
Not supported
Supported Lenses
All Pentax K-mount lenses except for lenses with the KAF4 mount variant. Manual focus only with K-, M-, and A-series lenses. Stop down metering only with K- and M-series lenses. M42, Pentax 645 and Pentax 6x7 lenses with the appropriate adapters (stop down metering and manual focus only).
Lens correction
Distortion,Lateral Chromatic Aberration
Autofocus (viewfinder)
Yes (SAFOX VIII, 11 focus points (9 cross type))
AF Points
Autofocus sensitivity
-1 EV
Front/back focus correction
Autofocus with SDM
Autofocus assist
0.85x, 96%
Viewfinder type
Diopter adjustment
-2.5 to +1.5
AF Points in viewfinder
Exchangeable screen
Depth of field preview
Digital preview
Yes (with image magnificaion)
Live View
Focus Peaking
Back LCD
2.7 in. 230,000 pix
Weather resistant
Control wheels
Battery grip
Card slots
Dust removal
Yes, Sensor Shake DR
Dust alert
Memory card type
SD, SDHC (max. 32GB), SDXC via firmware update
Size (W x H x D)
122.5 x 91.5 x 67.5 mm
515 g (580 g with lithium batteries and SD card)
File format
Battery life
4 x AA
Built-in flash
Yes, GN 12 (ISO 100/m)
Sync speed
P-TTL flash
Flash functions
Auto discharge, On (leading curtain sync), Redeye reduction, Slow-speed sync, Trailing curtain sync, High-speed sync*, Manual*, Wireless*, Contrast control* * Available when combined with external flash
TTL flash
Flash exposure comp
-2 to 1 EV
Resolution / Framerates
1280x720 (16:9) at 24 fps,
640x416 (3:2) at 24 fps.
Composite video out (no HDMI out)
Exposure Modes
Movie mode restrictions
The aperture is fixed during recording
AF During Recording
Sound in Movie mode
Mono (built-in mic) No provision for external mic
Not Supported
PC/AV terminal (USB 2 compatible)
Latest Firmware
Version 1.03
User reviews
Embed copyright information in EXIF, In-camera RAW development
Megapixels: 12.4
ISO Range: 100-12800
Weight: 515g
FPS: 4.7
LCD: 2.7"
Type: Intro-Level
Weather Sealed: No
Price History:

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Forum Member

Registered: March, 2020
Posts: 70

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: June 1, 2023 Recommended | Price: $65.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros: Cheap, light, compact, IBIS, AA batteries, good battery life with latest firmware, beautiful JPEGs when adjusted a little, pleasing noise pattern up to ISO1600, no solenoid issues
Cons: Ergonomics could be better, only central AF point shown in the viewfinder, AE not always so reliable, super-slow LV focus, lack of shadow detail can be a problem, non-standard USB port
Years Owned: 2 months    Ergonomics: 4    Build Quality: 6    User Interface: 8    Autofocus: 6    Features: 7    Value: 10    Image Quality: 8    Noise: 7    New or Used: Used   

I bought my K-x as a starter bundle for someone looking to move up from an old P&S and payed less than 140 bucks for the body, an 18-15mm AL II as well as an old Sigma 70-210mm F4-5.6 for telephoto and some accessories. Came to me with just over 5300 clicks on the clock and in pristine condition; everything actually. So from the perspective of 2023, I would call that a bargain at the very least!

Being an entry-level camera from 13 years ago, I did not have exceptional expectations, but I knew from multiple reviews that low-light performance up to about ISO3200 should still be relatively respectable in comparison to its competitors of the day. Seemed to be holding up quite well in my testing, and I'd say the noise pattern at ISO1600 looks more natural and pleasing than my other 2010 camera, a Nikon D7000. Not as clean as to current bodies, sure, but useable. Where I came away impressed was the JPEG engine after I tweaked some settings. Eventually settled on "Bright" with saturation +2, contrast +2, fine sharpening enabled and those files rarely needed any touching up --- ideal for someone who doesn't want to mess with post-processing. Also didn't have to switch away from AWB as the color reproduction was nice for both sunny and cloudy days.

Continuing with overall IQ, I've found AE to be less reliable than I would have liked. Backlit scenes often required +1 EV and even some otherwise mundane compositions (say a bright white flower surrounded by dark green foliage) ended up being underexposed on occasion. Despite highlight and shadow correction enabled, the shadows sometimes were too dark and lacking in detail. Tried to dial back the contrast but it didn't seem to make any difference, so maybe it's an issue of dynamic range with the sensor or processor.

As for more timeless qualities, I did like the size and weight of the K-x. Easy to carry and not a strain on the shoulder when coupled with a compact lens, and having four AA batteries in the hand grip area didn't upset the balance too much. However, I found some things to complain about in terms of ergonomics: the e-dial was too far away from the edge of the camera for easy manipulation by my thumb and initially I often rotated the mode dial by accident instead. It's one the same axis and directly above the e-dial and cannot be locked other than by using tape, I guess. That's why many DSLRs have the e-dial(s) and mode dial on opposite sides of the body. I would have also appreciated if some if the menu buttons were on the left side of the camera instead of grouped all together in one cluster.

My biggest gripe however the fact that only the central AF point is visible in the viewfinder despite the K-x featuring 11 points in total. Auto-5 or -11 just leaves the user guessing. Essentially, I just resorted to focus and recompose with a single AF point in the middle in some sort of throwback to the late 1980s. Why cut corners here of all places? AF was snappy and reliable enough in general with the exception of LV autofocus: way too slow for anything but tripod work. Certainly a notch or two below the D7000 and that body's LV AF is barely passable to begin with.

Yes, the viewfinder is a pentamirror and not the largest. It did not bother me. The propriety USB port did.

Everything else was acceptable in my opinion. Build quality was fine, there's IBIS of course, battery life with modern Ni-Mh rechargeables was really very good if the monitor was kept off as much as possible (can be configured in the options), the menu was system was intuitive enough, and the back screen was of a high enough a resolution to at least tell if things were in focus or not. Visibility in bright light not great as is typical for old bodies.

Conclusion time then. I think the K-x is still a reasonably competent camera in 2023 if the user can look past the central AF point issue. I'd say it truly makes or brakes this camera. Otherwise, it goes for cheap these days, the JPEGs can be really good OOC, and it's not hard to learn the basic controls and user interface. With IBIS and legacy lens support, it could very well be a decent backup body without any solenoid issues to worry about.

Veteran Member

Registered: August, 2012
Posts: 678

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: September 25, 2015 Recommended | Price: $114.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Great feature set, good battery life once firmware was updated.
Cons: No LCD screen on top
Years Owned: 2 months    Ergonomics: 9    Build Quality: 9    User Interface: 9    Autofocus: 9    Features: 9    Value: 10    Image Quality: 10    Noise: 10    New or Used: Used   

I've had a K2000 for about three years now and the Kx is pretty much its direct successor. Everything I like about the K2000 I like about the Kx and everything I dislike about the K2000, I dislike about the Kx. I still miss having an LCD screen on top to show basic information like exposure settings, battery level, etc. but I'm getting used to having just the single rear screen. Somehow, it has been less of an adjustment with the Kx, probably because I've been using the K2000 for almost three years. Like the K2000, the Kx does feel slightly cramped in my hands, which aren't terribly large. My slightly larger K100D is much more comfortable to hold

When I first got the camera, I had an issue with rechargeable batteries. It always registered freshly charged Eneloops as being only half charged and would show them as being nearly dead after shooting just a few frames. On the advice of fellow forum members, I summoned up my courage and updated the firmware, which seems to have fixed the problem. I was initially very scared to do this because I had killed a beautiful *ist DL a few years ago with a firmware upgrade gone horribly wrong. Fortunately, this one went off without a hitch and corrected the battery issue. Other than that, I have no problems with this camera, which is now my new go-to.

I should add that my Kx is blue, which is apparently one of the less common color variations for this model. Pentax calls it "navy blue" although to me, it's somewhere between slate and indigo. I like the color. It's got a sporty elegance to it that's fun but not frivolous. Mine did not come with a lens and as far as I can tell, there isn't a color-coordinated kit lens available like those included with the fire engine red and "stormtrooper" white models.

UPDATE: I pulled this camera out for the first time in several years to photograph some eBay items I was listing and found I really liked it for that purpose since it's very light weight, allowing me to shoot a bunch of items without my arthritic elbows hurting. A little later, I found another one in basic black (like I really need another camera, sheesh!) for $66 shipped with a DA L 18-55 kit lens and a shutter count of around 30,000, compared with the blue camera's count of just under 1,300. I updated the firmware but it still has the same battery issue the other one had before updating. I'm not sure this one's going to be a keeper.
Junior Member

Registered: March, 2014
Posts: 38

7 users found this helpful
Review Date: April 20, 2015 Recommended | Price: $400.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Size, weight, picture quality, batteries
Cons: none from my standpoint
Years Owned: 5    Ergonomics: 8    Build Quality: 8    User Interface: 8    Autofocus: 8    Features: 8    Value: 10    Image Quality: 9    Noise: 9    New or Used: New   

I'm a different kind of user. And I'm talking to guys like me here. People say this is a beginners' camera. Oh, applesauce. Well, the more "professional" the camera is, the more features it has, right?

Well, applesauce again. I disable the features of every DSLR I own (3 Pentaxes, 2 Canons, 1 Nikon), shoot at ASA 400, and put the camera on manual. I MAY use single spot focussing, but that's if I'm using an autofocus lens which is about 1/3 the time. Program modes? Doodads? Heck no. Disable them all. AV or TV modes? what are they?

My basic camera is a Linhof monorail, and in medium format I still shoot a Mamiya C330. I've worked as a pro for many years in my younger days. I want a shutter, an aperture series, and a body that holds film or a card. That's it. I couldn't care less about anything else.

And I know there are others out there like me. You want a rugged and compact little machine that takes batteries you can buy at any General store anywhere, takes the full range of K-mount lenses, is a fantastic hand held lightmeter for your 4x5, and takes digital shots as good as it gets, here's your baby.

Entry level DSLR? Crappola. This is a picture-taking monster, not a Pro-sumer fop machine. Grab one and it'll be there for you whenever you need it. I bought a white one just to be perverse.
New Member

Registered: February, 2015
Posts: 19

3 users found this helpful
Review Date: February 12, 2015 Recommended | Price: $200.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Good at high ISO, Superb colour, Easy to navigate menus, AA Batteries
Cons: Pictures tend to be a little soft
Years Owned: 9 months    Ergonomics: 9    Build Quality: 8    User Interface: 10    Autofocus: 8    Features: 9    Value: 10    Image Quality: 9    Noise: 9    New or Used: Used   

In March last year, my Dad let me use his Olympus E-3. I was impressed by the quality of the pictures it produced and got the SLR bug again. I decided there and then to look for a DSLR of my own. At the time I was using a Samsung P&S, and, hadn't taken the Spotmatic out for years.

While searching ebay, I decided to have a look at what Pentax cameras were on sale. The Spotmatic had always felt like a well constructed camera and had given trouble free service since my Dad had bought it in the late '70s.

I found a K-x that suited my budget and came with a lens (FAJ 28-80). It had been well looked after (must be a Pentax thing?) and was in superb condition.

Using the K-x made taking pictures fun and relatively easy for someone who was new to digital SLR photography.
The ergonomic design made it comfortable to hold, while the menus made changing settings quite simple.

I have recently bought a K-3 and the K-x has been passed on to my brother to use. Would I recommend the K-x? Definitely! If you're looking for a beginners DSLR that will get you started with DSLR photography, and, at the same time takes great pictures, you'll be pressed to find a camera as good as the K-x.

I've uploaded a few pictures because they say much more than I could ever say about what a great camera the K-x is.

Lens - SMC Pentax-DA 55-300mm F4-5.8 ED @ 300mm
ISO - 200; f - 5.8; T - 1/180s
A less than ideal shot with a squirrel sitting on a fence in the shade, with a field (full of bokeh buttercups) in full sunlight in the background.

Lens - SMC Pentax-DA 55-300mm F4-5.8 ED @ 300mm; ISO - 200; f - 9.5; T - 1/350s
This isn't even a good photo, the bird is not very well focused, mainly my fault because I was in a hurry. I've processed it as a before (RAW, bottom right) and after (Edited, top left) picture. When I first opened this up on the PC, I was blown away by the colour. I didn't even have a polarising filter at the time.

Lens - SMC Pentax-DA 55-300mm F4-5.8 ED @ 300mm; ISO - 1600; f - 5.8; T - 1/250s
This one I took while letting the camera make ISO decisions, I wanted to see what choices it was going to make. It went with ISO 1600 here and I was amazed at how little noise there was. Although it performed quite well, I decided to keep it on a short leash with ISO.

Lens - SMC Pentax-DA 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 AL @ 35mm; ISO - 200; f - 16; T - 1/500s
A shot of the beach from our holiday last year using a wider angle lens. I'm still loving the colours from the camera.

My post processing skills are not brilliant so I try to keep processing to a minimum, levels, clarity and sharpening. Of the four pictures above, only the last two have had any colour enhancement, and even then it was only minor.
New Member

Registered: July, 2013
Posts: 2

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: November 10, 2014 Recommended | Price: None indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Solid performance in high ISOs, OOC JPEG, Easy to handle
Cons: No WR, Penta mirror VF instead of Penta prism VF
Years Owned: 6 months    Ergonomics: 7    Build Quality: 9    User Interface: 10    Autofocus: 7    Features: 9    Value: 10    Image Quality: 10    Noise: 9    New or Used: Used   


I took this camera for 200 USD from an used shop as a back-up K-mount camera for my main
K5IIs. Luckily, It was in a pretty good condition. I have been shooting with this camera for birthday events, low light snaps etc.. Last summer, I covered almost all of my shots with K-x + DA 35mm F2.4 during my trip to Tokyo Disneyland. This little camera produced some clean and wonderful images in the night when I was roaming around near the Disney castles.

With the right combination of prime lens, this camera can not be beaten in IQ. The JPEGs are clean even in ISO 1600 and pleasant to eyes.

Now, with my DA 40mm F2.8 Limited lens, It became even lighter and easy to carry anywhere camera.

My preferred lenses to use with this camera are :

SMC FA 35-80mm F4-5.6 ( @F=7 onwards, produces amazing JPEG colors)

SMC DA L 35mm F2.4 (for log light street snaps)

SMC DA 40mm F2.8 Ltd (for family portraits)

SMC Takumar 55mm F1.8 (Produces "warm" images)

I highly recommend this camera as a main body or a back-up body DSLR.

Site Supporter

Registered: June, 2013
Location: Port Angeles, WA
Posts: 505

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: February 28, 2014 Recommended | Price: None indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Size, IQ, how it handles noise
Cons: No WR, menus tricky
Years Owned: 1.5    Ergonomics: 8    Build Quality: 8    User Interface: 7    Autofocus: 8    Features: 10    Value: 10    Image Quality: 10    Noise: 10    New or Used: New   

Finally gotten around to reviewing this, as it is the only DSLR I use after getting rid of the K100d.

In comparison to a K100d, the build quality doesn't seem as good. The menus/UI are a bit more confusing, and it took a lot longer to learn how to use this quickly than a k100d. The added features are mostly bloat, and I don't use them.

AF performance is a bit faster than the K100d. Not too relevant to me, but it's there. Handling wise, I can't think of a camera that beats the K100d for handling with MF lenses. The K100d didn't have a green button, but I set the AE Lock button to stop down metering. The green button is there on the K-X, which gives a bit more usability, but it's a bit more awkward to reach.

I would've liked WR, but that's not a big deal, given it's a more entry level camera.

IQ is fanstastic for its 12 MP. It handles noise very well, i.e., at moderate ISO settings, the noise can actually be somewhat pleasing. Not unlike a small amount of grain in a film like Portra 400.

Value wise, they are also excellent. Unless you're a birder, or sports photographer, there's no reason to need anything more than what's here.

I never understand the upgrade arms race, as photos have not gotten appreciably 'better' with upgraded and newer DSLRs since they hit this range. Any fairly recent DSLR in the hands of an artist will produce stunning images. It's as simple as that.

If you're looking for an excellent entry or mid level DSLR, then stop looking here, and get one. They're cheap enough these days. If you're looking for WR in the same price range, it's tough to beat the K20d.
New Member

Registered: November, 2013
Posts: 14
Review Date: February 8, 2014 Recommended | Price: $400.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: very sharp,good colors high contrast up to 1600 ISO
Cons: few noise visible on big posters by 3.200 iso upstairs
Years Owned: 1.5 years    Ergonomics: 10    Build Quality: 10    User Interface: 10    Autofocus: 9    Features: 10    Value: 10    Image Quality: 10    Noise: 9    New or Used: New   

for high ISO and converter shootings my first choice.

Love AA-cells.

++ Excellent elimination of CA's with set lens 18-55 II and WR I prefer f8

++ with DA 2,4/35 f3.5 still very sharp pictures and with DA 1,8/50 between f5.6 and f ,6.7

++ For star's shootings (astro) highest ISO 12,800 really usefull, if changing filter menue to highest contrast (much more better night photos than k-s1 and k-s2). stars are with k-x shooted totally sharp.

++ Quick precise AF. Good interpolation for posters possible with PSh.

For low ISO shootings I prefer K200,too. With 100 ISO K200 is still sharper and a few more intensive in colors and sharpness (details). But with higher ISO K-x is much more better. It's a working horse like K200D.

ps.a precious tip:try in menue item filters to modify the third item "higher contrast" to put it on first level:astonishing sharpness. must be activated after switching on, once more, unfortunately.
New Member

Registered: February, 2013
Posts: 8

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: December 14, 2013 Recommended | Price: $245.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Hardly any low ISO shadow noise, size, AF, good high ISO IQ, lens compatibility
Cons: Low resolution LCD, slow image review
Years Owned: 1    Ergonomics: 9    Build Quality: 9    User Interface: 9    Autofocus: 9    Features: 8    Value: 10    Image Quality: 10    Noise: 10    New or Used: Used   

Compared K-x with modern & much more expensive ones and found it to have very low shadow noise levels at base ISO and also great high ISO performance. My NEX-F3 has quite high levels of noise in shadows at low ISOs so I started to look for K-x. I found one as second hand for a great price of €179. Very good value.

The body is surprisingly solid and autofocus with the kit lens and FA 35-80mm f4-5.6 lens is very good. Since I need it mainly outdoors I have been quite happy with the above mentioned FA lens but I'm looking for another one. it is a great thing to be able to use lenses made for film cameras with autofocus and auto aperture.

I have owned a Nikon D90 in the past and I feel this one has greater value. D90 has better build and specs but I feel K-x has the edge in IQ. Also, old Pentax lenses are cheaper than corresponding Nikkors. Compared to NEX-F3, IQ is great, especially noise control is better (RAW). K-x isn't as great for manual focus as NEX with focus peaking so for macro work I use only NEX.

Overall, a great little camera with very high value. :

New Member

Registered: December, 2010
Posts: 14

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: November 24, 2013 Recommended | Price: $500.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Lots of mid-range features for a low-end price
Cons: Poor video support, no AF-point display in viewfinder
Years Owned: 2    Ergonomics: 8    Build Quality: 8    User Interface: 9    Autofocus: 7    Features: 9    Value: 10    Image Quality: 8    Noise: 8    New or Used: New   

My (bright green!) K-x is my first DSLR. I chose it mainly from the positive reviews I read and because I had a Promaster zoom lens from my old Pentax P3 SLR that was sitting in a closet. The user interface and displays are very easy to understand and use. I like that one of the RAW formats is the industry standard, DNG format, so most photo editing software can open it without a special plugin or OS update. The in-body image stabilization is very good and works with every lens. It's also nice that even old manual-only K-mount lenses work just fine with minor limitations.

The one minor glitch with my example that I have noticed since I bought it is that the control wheel is wearing out and losing responsiveness (not every click of the wheel turning registers with the UI).

All-in-all I'm very happy with my K-x. Not until the K-30 arrived have I considered upgrading, but I probably won't until the K-x dies.
Forum Member

Registered: October, 2013
Posts: 94

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: November 13, 2013 Recommended | Price: $100.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Size, controls, live view, manul lens compatibility, high ISO
Cons: Slow writing RAW+, gimmicky menus, low res screen, no AF lights
Years Owned: 1    Ergonomics: 9    Build Quality: 7    User Interface: 8    Autofocus: 7    Features: 8    Value: 10    Image Quality: 9    Noise: 9    New or Used: Used   

Bought as a (cheap) companion to my K200D because I like using manual lenses and it's easier with live view. I much prefer the control layout on the K-x which is more akin to a *cough* Canon (which I also own) however the gimmicky HDR and other filters etc don't seem very good - definitely aimed at a different type of photographer to me. The screen is also not really sharp enough to get accurate manual focus, but better than the viewfinder.

The 12MP CMOS sensor produces good images, though I have to say the 10MP CCD on the K200D produces better images. There's not a lot in it, and it boils down to the K200D producing sharper RAW images and having greater tonal range giving more scope for capturing fine detail. The K-x seems to produce quite 'soft' images although you can use in-camera sharpening and contrast to improve JPEGS.

Build quality is not up to K200D standards, but then I suspect that's true of most cameras under $3000. The size and low weight do make it more suited to carrying around, but at the same time also more likely to get damaged. The K-x also eats up AA batteries faster than the K200D, presumably because of the sensor and use of live view.

Would I recommend it for enthusiasts? Yes and no. If you only want one body, then no. It is clearly designed for beginners and P&S converts rather than experienced photographers. The HDR function is awful as is the cartoon-like info menu. On the plus side it has much higher ISO than the K200D and many other cameras in this price range, and personally I like the graininess of high-ISO images (being brought up on B&W 35mm film).

I find it very slow writing files in RAW + JPEG and when using (not that I do) some of the special effects filters. However it is fully compatible with all the old manual lenses and thus becomes of interest to a different type of photographer. It's a mixed bag - good image quality and ease of use in manual, but apparently designed to appeal more to novice users.

Then of course there's the lack of illuminated AF points. In truth it probably doesn't make much difference, but it frustrates me greatly. To save a few bucks they handicapped the camera by omitting something you just expect to find. AF seems very accurate but if you don't use the centre point you have no idea what's in focus. This really lets the camera down in my opinion.

For the money I paid I can't complain - what else would I find with similar qualities? Used Pentax seem cheap in comparison to every other make, are better built, and generally well designed and user-friendly. It's a great camera, just not the greatest Pentax camera!

PS To the reviewer below - you do know you can change the flash output?
New Member

Registered: December, 2010
Location: Edmonton
Posts: 19
Review Date: October 30, 2013 Recommended | Price: $500.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Small, Beautiful, sharp pictures, great color capture
Cons: no focus points, flash is too bright for normal use, difficult to focus with longer lenses
Years Owned: 3    Ergonomics: 9    Build Quality: 10    User Interface: 10    Autofocus: 7    Features: 9    Value: 9    Image Quality: 8    Noise: 8    New or Used: New   

Even though i also have a Nikon D90 i still prefer my pentax. Colors are not as yellow as in the nikon. I got it in white and it doesnt smudge or anything is still as pretty as the first day.
Inactive Account

Registered: October, 2013
Posts: 2
Review Date: October 29, 2013 Recommended | Price: None indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: iso range,shake reduction feature
Cons: Battery life
Years Owned: 2012    Ergonomics: 8    Build Quality: 9    User Interface: 9    Autofocus: 8    Features: 9    Value: 8    Image Quality: 9    Noise: 8    New or Used: Used   

Pentax K-x is an outwardly simple but inwardly very capable digital SLR camera with lots of class-leading features.
Veteran Member

Registered: January, 2011
Location: Bay Area, CA
Posts: 603
Review Date: October 28, 2013 Recommended | Price: $400.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: IBIS, Dynamic Range, lightweight, compact, IQ
Cons: no focus confirmation points in viewfinder, no AF assist light
Years Owned: 2.5    Ergonomics: 10    Build Quality: 8    User Interface: 10    Autofocus: 8    Features: 9    Value: 10    Image Quality: 10    Noise: 9    New or Used: New   

Cross-posting from my website:

I bought my first DSLR 3 weeks back. And to surprise to a lot of people, it is a Pentax K-x. I chose to go with Pentax K-x over Nikon D3100 and Canon 500D. I get asked “WHY Pentax” many times. Well, modern-day cameras are very much advanced and are very capable. All are so close in terms of IQ that it is difficult to decide on one. Because of this, we need to consider other aspects of them to come to a conclusion.

So let’s begin -

In-body image stabilization – Pentax offers in-body image stabilization that both Canon and Nikon don’t. Pentax has implemented image stabilization in the camera body by using sensor shift mechanism. The sensor shifts itself (kind of vibrates) at a very fast rate to compensate with the camera shake induced by shaky hands of the photographer. Main advantage of in-body image stabilization is – well, it is in body. So, ANY lens you mount on the camera becomes stabilized by default. In contrast, Canon and Nikon prefer image stabilization in lenses, which makes the lenses bigger and of course expensive.

Ergonomics – My Pentax K-x just feels right in my hands. All the controls are at the right place. The body is smallest of the lot with just right amount of weight. The Canon was the worst of the lot with the Nikon coming very close to the Pentax.

Low light IQ – This is where Pentax scores most. This has become Pentax’s USP since K-x, K-5 and now K-r. Pentax takes a conservative approach towards noise reduction to retain details in photos. This enables us to process the image the way we want. The noise reduction software are getting better and better day by day, so I’d prefer to do it in the computer with all the processing power and intelligence than in camera.

Fastest among the lot – The K-x can shoot at 4.7 frames per second. This is the fastest burst shooting rate among the three cameras. Though I won’t need such high-speed shooting everyday, it’s a nice to have feature.

Backward compatibility with older glass – Pentax has maintained backward compatibility with all old lenses they have ever made. So I can use ANY Pentax lens EVER made with my K-x. Some of the prime manual focus lenses are very cheap in second-hand market. Though Canon and Nikon both have a larger set of lenses on offer, Pentax gives me way more choices than I will ever buy.

Largest and brightest view-finder

Bang for the buck – Have you ever seen a Pentax advertisement on TV or a hoarding on a road? I haven’t, because Pentax doesn’t spend much on marketing. They are a very small company focused on R&D behind their products. This enables them to price their products lower compared to Canon and Nikon. I bought my K-x along with 18-55mm and 55-300mm lenses for USD 629. In this amount with Canon I would have only got the body, or with Nikon one kit lens with the body.

One negative point for Pentax is their absence in retail outlets. Not sure why but Pentax don’t stock enough cameras, lenses and accessories in retail electronic stores. This keeps prospective customers away from trying a Pentax camera in the store. They don’t have good service network too in most of the countries. In India, they don’t have any presence at all. So if this matters to you, you may want to be safe and go with either of Canon or Nikon.

The main point going against the Nikon D3100 was the stripped down body. Nikon has removed the focus motor from the D3100, so the lens has to have a focus motor to auto focus. It also doesn’t have the bracketing feature, which is considered very basic and very useful for HDR imaging. Nikon tends to do such things with their entry-level DLSRs.

The main point going against the Canon was the price and how quickly they obsolete camera bodies. 500D is now 2 generations old camera as 550D is in market since few months now and 600D already been announced.

If I had a little more budget, I would have gone for the Pentax K-r. It is new and improved K-x with things like -
  • Dedicated AF assist lamp. It helps the camera in focusing in very low light (no entry-level DSLR has this).
  • Visible focus points in view-finder (most K-x reviews rant about this point)
  • 3 inch LCD with 921k pixels
  • Even higher shooting rate of 6 fps
So there I have it, the Pentax K-x.
New Member

Registered: January, 2010
Posts: 12
Review Date: October 20, 2013 Recommended | Price: $600.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Image quality, Fast, user friendly, economical, light weight,..
Cons: No AF point in view finder,
Years Owned: 4    Ergonomics: 10    Build Quality: 10    User Interface: 10    Autofocus: 8    Features: 9    Value: 10    Image Quality: 10    Noise: 10    New or Used: New   

I like this camera mainly because of its Image quality at very low price. It uses the sensor which is used in Nikon D90 & Nikon D5000. But produces slightly better quality compared to both. Its JPEG processing has a great balance between Noise and detail.

Its very easy to use, has direct access to ISO and WB settings.

The only problem I faced is absence of AF lock points in view finder. We need check carefully to see where the camera has focused when we are using 11 point AF. But its not a big issue.

JPEG produced from camera is superb and has lots of details.\

Its high ISO performance is GREAT. I shoot till 2500 in low light without a great issue.

AF struggles in low light. I guess this problem exists in all the economical camera with an economical lens.

But overall its a great camera for the price I paid.

I paid $600 for Pentax KX, 18-55mm & 55-300mm combo pack.
New Member

Registered: July, 2011
Location: Memphis
Posts: 3
Review Date: October 20, 2013 Recommended | Price: $300.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: great quality raw, great post effects
Cons: image stabilizer is loud, audible in video
Years Owned: 2    Ergonomics: 8    Build Quality: 9    User Interface: 8    Autofocus: 7    Features: 10    Value: 10    Image Quality: 8    Noise: 6    New or Used: Used   

Overall awesome camera, very economical as well. Kit lens has awesome depth of field.
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