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12-18-2009, 07:14 PM   #1
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1 month of experience with Pentax K-x white

I want to report back a month long experience with Pentax K-x white with you all. It kind of surprises me in a way that has changed my CBA (camera buying addiction) and LBA (lens buying addiction) planning. I like the K-x small body so much that I get lured for the limited trio. I would probably be the same had I bought K-7 instead. But the K-x with the high ISO handling push me over the edge for the DA limited.




Initially, I was torn between which camera to get first -- Pentax K-7 or Pentax K-x white. And I like both based on the feedback from others and the features to go with each. I bought K-x first based on the intuition that I may want to wait out for the K-8 to come. Can the K-x completely replaces my K20D or a K-7? The rhetoric question, everyone ask! The answer is a definite NO. While I like the K-x white so much that I was immediately on rampage to scourge all the DA limited lenses, it is in a nutshell not a replacement for K20D or K-7. It is in a different class but it is the best entry level that I have seen. It reminds me so much of the K100D and K100D super when it first came out but you can't buy K100D to replace a K10D. It is a gem to use but unfortunately, all the dark forces in competition and marketing in Pentax is not enough to pull it up the scale. Having said all the disclaimer out of the way and with the color appeal for style, I have my highest recommendation to buy K-x as a backup body for professional work and as a traveling light body, or as an entry level with path to be serious enthusiast who defy the masses with "Be interesting" with a color choice.


The native ISO 200, the default sharpness in K-x is a touch soft for me in jpg. It excels in high ISO. I still find it a touch less not as outstanding as in K20D or outstanding samples from K-7. I can't quantify the statement but rather a general gut feel in a month long experience with K-x white. And there are many obvious features and functionality that I miss out in using K-x with my K20D staying home. It is a long list of compromises in the weather proofing, the iso button, the AF-C and AF-S selection, the red focus confirmation, the bracketing button, etc, etc but I manage to overcome the short comings and focus on what the K-x is good for in the style, high iso, small and compact and best with DA limited primes and many other good values in it.

When I take it out for events with friends and my family, it is a powerhouse that meet all of my needs and I am yet to catch up with this power house. I have not used it extensively for all the good hidden menu with filters and all other functions not exposed in the body buttons.


K-x with Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 and AF280T flash


The high ISO capability is outstanding but no matter how good it is, there is still the grain and loss in detail that kind of expected in a high ISO picture in 6400.


1/60 sec, f/2.4, 70mm, iso 6400, +0.7 Ev, Pentax K-x and DA 70mm limited


1/13 sec, f/2.4, 70mm , iso 640, +0.7 Ev, Pentax K-x with DA 70mm



Overall, I am extremely happy with my purchase. It has revived my Height again like the K100D and it really gets the best of me to be excited about my amateur love of photography. The body is outstanding especially in event and I did three event shootings with the K-x and it has not disappointed me but I do have the moments of reservation where I missed the quick access to AF-C, the MF is not as comforting without the Red dot (what is Pentax thinking) but I do get by with the shortcomings.


1/125 sec, f/4.5, 70mm, iso 320, 0 Ev with Sigma 17-70mm on K-x


And out of all of my two DA limited, the Pentax DA 40mm f/2.8 limited surprises me the most as I thought there is compromise made on the thinnest lens, was I so wrong when I start using it like a normal lens


K20D and DA 40mm limited


I will hopefully continue to update on my blogs and tagged articles for Pentax K-x

Thanks,
Hin


Last edited by hinman; 01-22-2010 at 12:16 PM.
12-18-2009, 07:18 PM   #2
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I changed the native lowest ISO to up the sensitivity to the extended range in 100 to 12800 and test it out with FA 50mm f/1.4. More will come ...


1/250 sec, f/5.6, 50mm, iso 100 , 0 Ev with FA 50mm f/1.4


Though I heard from others that the best is in ISO 200, I tried many shots in ISO 100, it is quite good. I don't know the technical behind when I upped the ISO to the extended range.

All are shot casually in jpg.

Hin
12-18-2009, 07:47 PM   #3
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Nice, I love the food shots!

What lens do you find works best for food? The 40mm?

I have the 31mm and love it, but the size and weight of the 40mm make it so attractive... I'm still debating the purchase.
12-18-2009, 08:03 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by jacksonpritt Quote
Nice, I love the food shots!

What lens do you find works best for food? The 40mm?

I have the 31mm and love it, but the size and weight of the 40mm make it so attractive... I'm still debating the purchase.
I should be the last dude you ask the question about the 31mm limited -- my ex Lady Queen that needs a diet. I ain't the normal shooter, I sold my 31mm to get DA 35mm f/2.8, Sigma 28mm f/1.8 and DA 40mm f/2.8. I bought all used thing and end up not differing by much on the overall cost. My DA 35mm f/2.8 is always my go-to lens for documentary and that usually include food shots. But the DA 40mm f/2.8 limited is one of a kind that surprises me positively. For a long time, I always think the thinnest lens must be a compromise on quality, was I so wrong in that thinking. Not only has the DA 40mm f/2.8 outperform in style and the best combo on K-x due to its small size. The surprises come in the field usage that small does not necessarily mean any lower standard, it is quite up in par with the rest of the DA limited. Everyone's opinion is different, I love all my DA limited as much as my FA lenses. But the best combo on the K-x is the DA 21, 35, 40, 70 due to its small size.

K-x goes in style and the DA limited primes are the best of the best to be mounted on the K-x small body. And coupled that with the high-iso capability of very usable shots in iso 6400, the slower speed on the DA limited is almost a non-issue. They are fast, small, stylish and compact.

I don't have a particular lens for food shoot, any of the DA prime like the 40, 35 or the FA 50 will do the job. I prefer the bokeh in 50 followed by 40 and then 35. But if I need the best in close up, that will go to the 35 and I care less on the bokeh

Thanks,
Hin

12-18-2009, 08:19 PM   #5
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Excellent report. How do you like iso 3200( may be even iso 6400) for available light portraits ? any iso 6400 night shots ?

Thank you
12-18-2009, 08:24 PM   #6
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I have a small high ISO report in Pentax K-x White High ISO where I have links to casual and non-scientific jpg shots with default medium NR and low NR in iso 6400 and 3200.

The shadow detail in the dark is quite good, eg.



iso 6400, NR default in Medium
lens used is DA 40mm f/2.8 limited
1/200 sec, f/5.0, 40mm, iso 6400, 0 Ev


I have links in the blog post for original jpg files. In my non-scientific gut feel kind of testing, I can trust the K-x to have excellent shot in 1600, good in 3200 and usable shot that can be worked with in PP in noise software. With my K20D, I can trust it to 1600 and feel uncomfortable to shoot over to 3200. With the K-x, I can trust it on 3200 and have usable shots in 6400 that seem to be dealt with in software. I don't see obvious color shifting and botches of color especially in the dark area under shadow. Shadow detail is quite good. In high ISO, I do see the loss of detail in NR=Medium and even NR=Low but I fell short in trying to set NR=No and try to work on PP in software. And I am still a jpg amateur, not finding the time for RAW processing yet, shame! I know!


Thanks,
Hin

Last edited by hinman; 12-18-2009 at 08:34 PM.
12-19-2009, 09:46 PM   #7
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iso 3200 with default NR medium
1/200 sec, f/4.0, 40mm, iso 3200, 0 Ev, with DA 40mm limited

12-19-2009, 09:58 PM   #8
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What a timely post...

Hin I have sat here all day struggling about pushing the button on the Kx with kit and 55-300. A great price of 650 on amazon.

But I still have not been able to do it. My K20 is in the shop and I think I may just be jones'n for a new cam.

I was worried, since I am such a MF lens shooter and the veiwfinder, lack of red dot might be a draw back.

I still got it sitting in my cart...

Nice to hear you are enjoying yours.

12-19-2009, 10:17 PM   #9
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Why are you all worried about the red dot? It only indicates which focus point is in use. To verify focus, one uses the green hexagon, not the red dot.
12-19-2009, 10:25 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Igilligan Quote
Hin I have sat here all day struggling about pushing the button on the Kx with kit and 55-300. A great price of 650 on amazon.

But I still have not been able to do it. My K20 is in the shop and I think I may just be jones'n for a new cam.

I was worried, since I am such a MF lens shooter and the veiwfinder, lack of red dot might be a draw back.

I still got it sitting in my cart...

Nice to hear you are enjoying yours.
I am going to be honest about it. Missing the red dot will have the most impact on the use of MF lens. I tried it and I much desire the K20D with the red dot and all the semi-pro features along with buttons for quick easy access. Hence I say it up front that it can't replace K20D as a replacement feature to feature and button to button. Having said this, the lack of red dot can be overcome. It won't be as easy, but it can be overcome. I will elaborate in more detail with pictures when I find the time.

In short, I can adapt easily for AF lens with not much an issue. With MF, I feel a bit handicapped when I do MF in indoor. In outdoor with good lighting, it is not an issue except when the environment is noisy. In indoor when light is dimmer and along with catch-in focus enabled, you will have a tough shooting with MF. More patience and less whining is required. But I find the challenge rewarding. That goes to challenge one's love on taking photos with MF lenses.

The K-x will be better suited to DA types of lenses with AF. The best of the best combo will be with the DA 40mm limited, this is subjective but I can say it with confidence as the combo has smoked me up in high. It is fast, furious, stylish, and great pictures even in 3200, 6400 and you name it for the indoor shooting. The IQ is outstanding but I do have some reservation on the lower ISO when compared to K20D. That camera is amazing! If you use it with any f/3.5 and f/2..8 primes along with ISO 3200, 6400 as your scenes dictate, you are empowered to make the shot. You feel the king of aps-c for sure, my biased opinion of course.

Hin
12-19-2009, 10:28 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Canada_Rockies Quote
Why are you all worried about the red dot? It only indicates which focus point is in use. To verify focus, one uses the green hexagon, not the red dot.
It is not much an issue in outdoor but it is an issue for me in dim lighting along with macro shooting where precision is important for the point you are focusing. It can be overcome as I said earlier with patience in practices.
12-19-2009, 10:41 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by hinman Quote
It is not much an issue in outdoor but it is an issue for me in dim lighting along with macro shooting where precision is important for the point you are focusing. It can be overcome as I said earlier with patience in practices.
Even then, the red dot is not particularly reliable as an indicator of where the camera is focusing, only which area it is using. An example is that the area of the focusing point in the centre of my k10d screen is the ( ) - and the red square is so tiny comparatively that it is completely useless in indicating what the camera is focusing on. I do thoroughly enjoy the light show when I have multiple focusing points auto select turned on and use one of my DA lenses - it's neat. But meaningless.
12-20-2009, 12:04 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Igilligan Quote
Hin I have sat here all day struggling about pushing the button on the Kx with kit and 55-300. A great price of 650 on amazon.

But I still have not been able to do it. My K20 is in the shop and I think I may just be jones'n for a new cam.

I was worried, since I am such a MF lens shooter and the veiwfinder, lack of red dot might be a draw back.

I still got it sitting in my cart...

Nice to hear you are enjoying yours.
Push the buy button Gus, just do it!
12-20-2009, 12:15 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Canada_Rockies Quote
Even then, the red dot is not particularly reliable as an indicator of where the camera is focusing, only which area it is using. An example is that the area of the focusing point in the centre of my k10d screen is the ( ) - and the red square is so tiny comparatively that it is completely useless in indicating what the camera is focusing on. I do thoroughly enjoy the light show when I have multiple focusing points auto select turned on and use one of my DA lenses - it's neat. But meaningless.

I get your point but I really want to relate my personal experience in which I quite depend on the red dot in shooting. No matter how unreliable or how wrong that I use the red dot, it is something that I have been using even with K100D. I will be surprised if Pentax has a K20D, K-7 or the K-8 without the red dot. And I can't imagine if I shoot in AF-C in in Auto focal point select with 11-point and 5-point that it will be comforting to rely solely on the AF confirmation in the bottom green hexagon . And not seeing which of the 5 points or 11 pointers get locked on the target is not assuring at all in the shooting. All the inconveniences can be overcome with practice. But it is a missing focusing aid that I find uncomfortable in MF. I am not professional but I still find it a bit lacking to do MF in the dim light and noisy environment.

I shot these shots in the church in about 20 feet and it is noisy with the performance, I can't depend on the AF confirmation as I can hardly hear it and see it in the dim light and noisy venue, the catch-in focus fouls me repeatedly in not releasing the shutter due to subject moving and me moving. I used a Tamron SP 200mm f/3.5 in wide open aperture and I sure feel uncomfortable in the whole shooting. I try to focus best efforts on the eyes and without the red dot, it is not giving me the confidence and assertion that I need. Few are off focus but I get quite a number of keepers. I would have liked the presence of the red focus confirmation.


1/100 sec, f/3.5, 200mm, iso 6400, 0 Ev, MF


I hope more K-x users with MF experience share their experience so that others are better informed.

Last edited by hinman; 12-20-2009 at 12:21 AM.
12-20-2009, 12:36 AM   #15
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Thank you Hin

As always Hin, your honesty is something I can count on. I appreciate it.

I have used the K20 and briefly the K7 Live view (digital zoom)for for mf in tough conditions. How is the Kx live view with magnification? Have you tried it that way? I think I read the Lcd on the Kx is not as good as the K7's.


QuoteOriginally posted by hinman Quote
I am going to be honest about it. Missing the red dot will have the most impact on the use of MF lens. I tried it and I much desire the K20D with the red dot and all the semi-pro features along with buttons for quick easy access. Hence I say it up front that it can't replace K20D as a replacement feature to feature and button to button. Having said this, the lack of red dot can be overcome. It won't be as easy, but it can be overcome. I will elaborate in more detail with pictures when I find the time.

In short, I can adapt easily for AF lens with not much an issue. With MF, I feel a bit handicapped when I do MF in indoor. In outdoor with good lighting, it is not an issue except when the environment is noisy. In indoor when light is dimmer and along with catch-in focus enabled, you will have a tough shooting with MF. More patience and less whining is required. But I find the challenge rewarding. That goes to challenge one's love on taking photos with MF lenses.

The K-x will be better suited to DA types of lenses with AF. The best of the best combo will be with the DA 40mm limited, this is subjective but I can say it with confidence as the combo has smoked me up in high. It is fast, furious, stylish, and great pictures even in 3200, 6400 and you name it for the indoor shooting. The IQ is outstanding but I do have some reservation on the lower ISO when compared to K20D. That camera is amazing! If you use it with any f/3.5 and f/2..8 primes along with ISO 3200, 6400 as your scenes dictate, you are empowered to make the shot. You feel the king of aps-c for sure, my biased opinion of course.

Hin
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