Written by: Aidan Noda
Buying a dslr is a huge investment. It is hard to really understand what to look for in a camera, as most people just focus on megapixels. That’s how you impressive the average non-photographer with your camera know-how. “What’s that you have a 25 megapixel camera? Right on Mr. Rich!”
Let me tell you a little secret though, megapixels aren’t what you should be looking for in a camera. That’s a rookie mistake. It is important to consider what you need a camera for first, then consider its price range compared to similar products while noticing the features it offers, and the dependability or build of the product. The Pentax K-x is the perfect example of a relatively affordable entry-level dslr that is built to last.
The Pentax K-x offers many versatile features despite its simple design. While holding the Pentax K-x it is easy to notice that there are very few buttons compared to other dslrs , such as the Canon T1i and the Nikon D3000. However, the interface is very intuitive with every setting being readily available for access with the simple menu button and four direction buttons.
The Pentax K-x is also very compact for a camera with this many features. It is much smaller than the Nikon D3000 and the Canon T1i. This may be a problem for users with larger hands, but in my case it feels much nicer than the average dslr. The smaller weight makes me feel like it is easier to stabilize, since less effort is used to prop the camera up. Additionally, the small size makes it very nice for taking one handed shots when you are in a rush. The camera also comes in a variety of colors. In Europe and America it is available in black, white, blue, and red. In Asia the camera comes in more colors than there are in a box crayons with the option to customize your own camera.
The Pentax K-x has 720p HD video, which is a little low for modern dslrs since most now offer 1080p HD capabilities. However, the quality of the videos are stunning although you have to manual focus when you film, which is pretty standard for most dslrs. It is also required to film, while viewing through the 2.7″ LCD screen. The LCD screen is nice, but it does not offer any sort of pivot movement as seen in the Canon T1i and Nikon D3000 for protecting the screen from damage. Also, the quality on the LCD is noticeably different than the quality seen in the Nikon D3000 and Canon T1i. Most pictures taken with the Pentax K-x don’t appear very impressive when viewed through the LCD, but once you take the time to upload it onto a computer-they look gorgeous.
The camera is also stunningly fast with its auto focus, which is due to its 11 point sensor system a vast improvement over Pentax’s previous entry level model the K2000 which had a 5 point sensor system. This means that you will be able to take quick stealthy photographs with relative ease. However, it is important to note that unlike most cameras the Pentax K-x will not show the area the camera will focus on when the shutter button is pressed down. This is unfortunate, because it is very helpful to see where the focus of the image will be before it is taken. Although, it is just a minor set back.
The Pentax K-x also performs very well in low light settings with very little noise even at 1600 iso. Noise is the grainy particles that appear in photographs taken without ample amount of light. Also the camera has a very nice shake reduction feature that helps stabilize images in low light conditions even further.
A major selling point of this camera is the fact that it is powered by four double AA batteries. Depending on your situation, this may be a god send or a curse. Personally, I have found the AA batteries to be convenient and beneficial as they add a little bit of weight to the otherwise light Pentax frame. However, there are times when the camera refuses to shut down and the battery claims that there is no energy left in the batteries even when I switch to fresh batteries. I believe the problem is usually with the camera adjusting to different batteries, which temporarily messes up the sensor. It is currently the only dslr on the market that does not use proprietary lithium ion powered battery packs, which make the switch between batteries much simpler. Although, the relative ease of finding AA batteries makes up for these issues, because no matter where you are in the world it is much simpler to find spare AA batteries than the normal batteries used in most cameras. If you do end up purchasing the Pentax K-x than I would suggest buying some Sanyo Eneloop Batteries as they are longest lasting rechargeable batteries on the market that I have found so far.
1) Pentax offers numerous color options
2) Extremely fast auto focus and works well in low light situations with very little noise
3) Nice features including image stabilization and an hdr image function
4) HD Quality video at an affordable price
5) Ability to add practically any lens from the Pentax history
1) Double AA Batteries drain extremely quickly, unless you use high quality rechargeable ones such as Eneloops
2) There is a lack of lens being produced by Pentax in comparison to Canon and Nikon
3) The LCD screen’s quality leaves something to be desired
4) There is a lack of a microphone input and only one usb connection input
5) No auto focus indication when the shutter button is pressed down halfway
Overall, the Pentax K-x is an amazing camera for its price. There is a ton of features in it and the color options may seem a bit gimmicky, but since Canon and Nikon have a monopoly on the camera industry at this point in time you have to give Pentax some credit for trying to go in different directions. The Pentax K-x has been harder to find as of late, because Pentax has stopped manufacturing it instead replacing it with its successor the Pentax K-r. The Pentax K-r from my research has the same features as the K-x, but is a vast improvement overall. As I have only shot the Pentax K-x it is hard for me to say, but I believe that either camera model would be an excellent choice for an entry level dlsr.