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04-11-2015, 06:28 PM   #1
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Looking at getting a Pentax Kx

Hi everyone,

I'm new to the forums and new to photography. I've never owned a proper camera before and never really tried photography. I'm looking at getting a second-hand camera and one that has popped up a couple of times is the Pentax kx. Do you think I should get a dslr as my first camera? I want to learn as much as I can, so I like the idea of a manual camera over a point-and-shoot. I'm interested in nature photography (animals, plants, landscapes), I also want to capture clouds and stars if possible.

There are two for sale that I've seen, one for $150 and one for $250 (in Australia). I think they have different lenses though, so not sure if they are the same quality. Obviously $150 is pretty cheap so I don't think I can go too wrong.

Pentax K-x DSLR Great Entry Level Digital SLR | Digital SLR | Gumtree Australia Queensland - Brisbane Region | 1074360554

Pentax K-x camera with lense | Digital SLR | Gumtree Australia Lake Macquarie Area - Dudley | 1074993609

Any advice would be really appreciated.

04-11-2015, 06:39 PM   #2
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The K-x is a good starter camera and yes I think going with a DSLR is a good choice, since it will give you the ability to go all manual when needed while retaining full automation while you're still learning. Plus, you get live view, which is helpful.

Both lenses above are identical optically, but the black one is a slightly more expensive variant with a distance scale, full-time manual focus override, and a hood. A hood is good to have IMO, but my one other recommendation would be to pick up a lens such as the DA 50mm or even an older manual 50mm so you can try out a sharp prime lens for those shots were you want the best possible image quality.

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04-11-2015, 07:16 PM   #3
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It may also be worthwhile to look into a secondhand K-30. It would be a little more expensive than the k-x, but you would get the advantage of more features such as focus peaking.
04-11-2015, 07:22 PM   #4
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The K-x is a good starter IMHO. As suggested by Auzzie-Phoenix, the K-30 could be a solid alternative. Both adds look good. If you do not need to Spacewar white look, the the $150 option could be a good one, as it comes with a hood, as pointed by Adam.

A strength of Pentax is the outstanding prime lenses (below 300 mm FL) and the backward compatibility. The latter will allow you to use older solid MF lenses, sometimes as cheap as $40-50.

Welcome to the forum.

04-11-2015, 08:24 PM   #5
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Looks like the same camera / lens combo , so just a different price ...
Ahhhh , the Kx .. I had one and it took some fantastic photos , for $150 its a worth while camera to purchase ..

$250 is a little too much , I would start looking at a K30 from that price point , or look at a K20D unless you want to do a little video ..
04-11-2015, 08:41 PM   #6
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From what I see the $150 setup would be the better choice, it comes with the DA 18-55 second version which has the metal lens mount and it has a hood. The white camera comes with the DAL version of the 18-55 lens which is a plastic mount and no hood. Optically these lens are identical but the metal mount is more durable. As stated before $250 seems kind of high for a Kx. I have seen K30's and K50's sell for not much more on here. I agree that a DSLR is a better way to learn. To truly appreciate and learn photography you need to have the ability to shoot in full manual mode. With a Pentax you have all the K Mount lens back to 1975 that will work on any Pentax DSLR without the need for an adapter.
04-11-2015, 09:05 PM   #7
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G'day mate and welcome to the forum, you might even find a K-5 as a bargain.
04-11-2015, 09:12 PM   #8
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The one issue with the k-x is that it does not show you where it focuses. Nearly all Pentax dSLRs light up the focus point in the viewfinder - but not the k-x. That could throw off a first time user as it may focus precisely on something you don't care about.

The best solution for most users is to set the camera up so it only focuses with the center point; generally that one is the most accurate, and once focus is found you hold the shutter button down !slightly! and then point the camera for best composition. Easy with practice, and you will be certain of what's in focus and change it later when you are more familiar with the camera.

If you see a k-r at a similar price grab that and the focus points will light up..but I found the k-x was more comfortable in my hands. It's smaller rounder and ..cuter than the boxy k-r even though size & weight are really similar. Obviously I still miss my k-x now and then!

Last edited by jimr-pdx; 04-11-2015 at 09:21 PM.
04-11-2015, 10:44 PM   #9
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The lenses are basically the same. The first link mentions 'II' which would be the preferred type as it should come with a lens hood (never know with 2nd hand) and has a distance scale and quick shift; the plastic mount of the (white) 'DA L' version is basically a non-issue.

I see there is also a $300 twin lens kit; this is technically a better option because you mention animals (but I'm don't know if it's worth the $150 difference).
04-11-2015, 10:58 PM   #10
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One of the nice things about the K-x is that it runs on AA batteries instead of a manufacturer/camera specific proprietary battery. If you don't have Eneloop NiMH rechargable AA batteries, get some. Alkaline batteries don't last long and my experience with other brands of rechargeable batteries was abysmal.
04-12-2015, 12:17 AM   #11

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Lithiums lasted a long time in my Kx and they're not that expensive now.
You can still get brand a brand new Kx including a variety of kits from Vanbar in Sydney. Not sure what you need to look out for if they've been in storage for four years.
Vanbar Online Catalogue=
04-12-2015, 02:41 AM   #12
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I had a K-X for 2 years before moving up to the K-30 I have now. It was a great camera and my first DSLR and I loved the low light high ISO pics it took. The only things that made me want to upgrade was for WR capabilities, AF assist light and most importantly VF Focus indicators, oh and it is 12MP vs the 16MP in the K-30. If it was me, I would look for a K-30 but if you are looking for a first time DSLR, the K-X was a great camera.
04-12-2015, 04:21 AM   #13
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KX , one of the best Sony sensors, 12mp more than enough and the metering with old lenses is excellent.
Anything more is just icing on the cake.
04-12-2015, 12:24 PM   #14
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It was my first DSLR and I loved it!
04-12-2015, 10:01 PM   #15
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Thanks so much for all the comments! I texted the woman who was selling the $150 kx but she said someone else will probably buy it this week. The only other pentax dslr that I can find that is a decent price is a k200d for $170, I tried looking for others that you have suggested but either couldn't see any or they were closer to $500.

This is the k200d ad if you're interested:
Pentax K200D and Pentax DA 18-55 f3.5 - 5.6 lens | Digital SLR | Gumtree Australia Casey Area - Endeavour Hills | 1074683512


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