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61 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great little DSLR Penatx got it right with this one!
I am an advanced amateur and have been shooting with an SLR since the early 70's.
I bought my first digital in 1999, a Nikon 900s, and fell in love with the technology.
I've owned many many DSLR's since Canon introduced the first affordable (it was $3k)EOS D30 many years back.
I've since owned or shot with Nikon, Canon, Olympus, Fuji, Panasonic and others I...
Published on January 15, 2010 by fgm2001

versus
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great photos, looks great, has limitations
Received item promply from Adorama. Fit and finish were beyond my expectations for the price of this camera. It has by far the most features of any camera in it's class, including HD video. It is compact but solid, actually a bit heavier than expected. 300 page manual, in small print, makes for a bit of a steep learning curve but Auto Pict mode can get you taking great...
Published on May 26, 2010 by Richard A. Carnes


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61 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great little DSLR Penatx got it right with this one!, January 15, 2010
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This review is from: Pentax K-x 12.4 MP Digital SLR with 2.7-inch LCD and 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AL Lens (White) (Electronics)
I am an advanced amateur and have been shooting with an SLR since the early 70's.
I bought my first digital in 1999, a Nikon 900s, and fell in love with the technology.
I've owned many many DSLR's since Canon introduced the first affordable (it was $3k)EOS D30 many years back.
I've since owned or shot with Nikon, Canon, Olympus, Fuji, Panasonic and others I can't remember.
I have always wanted a small DSLR that could replace my Canon mid range models. Most recently the 40D.
The Rebel series was never comfortable for my large hands.
I bought this Pentax K-x on a whim as it was really inexpensive, offered a lot of features and promised very good high ISO results.
It has met or exceeded all my expectations!
I haven't been this impressed with a new camera since my 1st DSLR, that $3000 Canon D30!
It is small but comfortable to use, even in my big hands, and the pictures at ISO 1600 look like ISO 400 on other brands,
Even ISO 3200 is very usable!
The kit lens is very sharp!
As an added bonus you can use most any Pentax lens ever made which opens up a huge opportunity to try some Legacy lenses.
I have sold my Canon gear and this little Pentax does everything better and in a much more compact form.
It even shoots decent HD video.
I even was able to get a smaller camera bag.
Very Highly recommended!!
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48 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars its awesome, December 2, 2009
This review is from: Pentax K-x 12.4 MP Digital SLR with 2.7-inch LCD and 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AL Lens (White) (Electronics)
levels of details, image quality, noise, features - I love everything about this little gem. Video is good too and my only complaint is that it needed a lithium-ion rechargeable battery to support more battery life when using movie\live mode. Its enough when using 4 AA lithium batteries - it lasts for at least a 1000s shots plus some occasional live mode and movie usage. Ive read about Sanyo eneloop rechargeables (these should last longer) but havent tried them yet. But with regular rechargeables it doesnt last that long enough.

I love the low noise and amount of details I can get shooting up to 1600 ISO - night shots (no flash), aquarium or theater images now look beautiful and I dont have to use a flash. All shot with 1600 ISO gives me enough shutter speed to get great sharp and detailed images.

UPDATE: 12/15/2009
Pentax released a firmware update for k-x dSLR that fixes battery problem.
[...]

I have installed the firmware and it looks like it does fixes the problem. Now it doesnt give me half-battery orange indicator when I use my lithiums (its still green).
I havent tried it with rechargeables because I dont have any yet (still using my lithiums).

UPDATE: 04/01/2010
I bought Sanyo Eneloop Rechargeable Batteries - those working out pretty well in holding the charge.
Since December I think I only recharged them two or three times and the indicator got into red just yesterday.

For more images taken with k-x visit my flickr stream
[...]
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing entry-level DSLR for such a low price, February 22, 2010
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This review is from: Pentax K-x 12.4 MP Digital SLR with 2.7-inch LCD and 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AL Lens (White) (Electronics)
I have experience using film SLRs as well as a Nikon DSLR, and I've owned a few Canon compact cameras. After quite a bit of online research, I chose this camera to be my first DSLR, and I am very, very pleased with my decision.

The K-x is small for a DSLR, and I've gotten a few surprised comments from people seeing me pull such a fancy camera out of a small messenger bag. Even so, it has a sturdy feel to it and doesn't feel too tiny in my relatively large hands. I also like the black and white body and have gotten compliments about that as well.

The camera has an AUTO PICT mode for newcomers that takes control of the focus, shutter speed, aperture, and ISO; all you need to do is aim at your subject and press the shutter button. There are also a wide variety of scene modes (macro, portrait, landscape, candlelight, kids, etc.) that are tailored for specific situations. But for people who like to take creative control, there are the typical priority modes (aperture, shutter, and ISO) as well as manual mode. The buttons are few enough that you can easily memorize how to manipulate the camera without having to dig through menus for the important functions. There's even a green button that can act as a shortcut to certain features; I like to use it for enabling cross-processing.

Speaking of which, the K-x features some digital filters (toy camera, high contrast, retro, etc.) that seem superficial but can be very interesting to use. However, my favorite mode by far is cross-processing, which causes the colors, contrast, and saturation of pictures to be randomly distorted, creating some pretty spectacular results from seemingly unspectacular subjects. Enabling this mode adds some unpredictability and fun to digital photography normally exclusive to film cameras (lomography, anyone?) or Photoshop.

Of course, the K-x also packs a lot of serious features comparable with more expensive DSLRs on the market, such as a 12 meagpixel resolution, built-in image stabilization, 4.7 photos per second shooting speed, and a broad ISO range up to 12800. It boasts compatibility with any Pentax lens, which will be useful later on when I get tired of the kit lens. I also deeply appreciate the use of AA batteries, which are cheap to buy, easy to find, and can also be rechargeable. The built-in microphone and ability to record in sharp, 720p 24fps video is also great for spontaneous moments when you need to shoot video and don't have a camcorder handy.

After using the camera for about a month, I've encountered a few setbacks. The camera has difficulty automatically focusing in certain low-light situations, requiring manual focus. Then there is the lack of manual focus assistance in the viewfinder. If you are focusing manually, you have to rely on focusing by sight, which can be difficult. This is compounded by the fact that the resolution of the screen is not extremely sharp, enough so that when you review a picture the subject may not seem blurry unless you zoom in to check. The viewfinder also does not indicate which autofocus point is chosen, making its use a bit of a gamble. Also, there's the faint clicking noise that the image stabilization makes during movie mode, and there is no jack for an external microphone. Recording movies also eats batteries, eats memory card space, and causes the camera to heat up quickly, but these problems are present in all current DSLRs anyway, so don't buy a DSLR solely for its video capabilities. These are all the small problems I've encountered, but they hardly pose major setbacks and can be easily worked around.

Overall, this camera is highly configurable and packs an enormous amount of features for such an inexpensive camera. If you have never owned a DSLR before or are searching for a powerful budget camera, I highly recommend the Pentax K-x.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Pentax K-x is a giant killer!, May 29, 2010
By 
Edgar_in_Indy (Indianapolis, IN USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Pentax K-x 12.4 MP Digital SLR with 2.7-inch LCD and 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AL Lens (White) (Electronics)
I recently upgraded from my beloved Olympus e-510 DSLR with the 14-42mm and 40-150mm kits lenses in order to get a DSLR with better low-light performance and HD video capabilities. I loved my Olympus, but image quality took a nose-dive at ISO 800, and I liked the idea of having an HD camcorder built into my camera to capture high quality family photos and home videos in one device. I eventually settled on the Pentax K-x after first buying, and then returning, a Canon T2i.

I know that the T2i costs almost twice as much as the K-x, and they're not direct competitors, but I think my experience illustrates what a great camera and bargain the K-x is and how, for me at least, it was a giant killer.

I initially pre-ordered a T2i for the $900 MSRP after reading the glowing reviews in the press about the 18MP sensor, the high-ISO performance and the killer 1080p video. When I received the T2i, I was surprised by how cheap and plasticky it felt. It's not that the T2i was likely to fall apart, but my Olympus felt and looked like a higher quality camera, even though it was about $200 less than the T2i when I bought it. I realize that the T2i is a Rebel, but for almost $1000, I expected something more solid.

Even worse was the Canon 18-55mm kit lens, which felt like a toy compared to my Olympus kit lenses. It looked cheap, and the zoom action felt very cheap, and you could hear plastic-on-plastic as you zoomed in and out. There was no lens hood included, and the optional lens hood was only about an inch deep and looked ridiculous. The front element rotated when auto-focusing, which makes using some filters problematic, and you had to switch off AF to manually make focus adjustments. My Olympus lenses did not rotate the front element, and allowed full time focus override without turning off AF. And build-wise, they looked and felt like a higher end lens. But worst of all, Canon kits lens's optical performance was lacking, rendering the 18MP sensor moot.

I could live with the cheap feel of the T2i body and the ugly jelly-bean design, but I came to realize that in order to get a lens that would match the performance of the body, I would need to shell out another $500 or more, and as a hobbyist I just didn't have the budget.

The real deal-breaker with the T2i though, was the use of Quicktime format for the HD video. Quicktime is a proprietary Apple video format, and while I must assume it works well on a new Mac, the QT videos often gave PCs problems. I'd read about this from other users, but I figured that with my high-end PCs and my computer knowledge, I would be okay. But both my new Sony Vaio laptop with Windows 7, ATI 4650 graphics and 4GB of RAM and my desktop computer with Windows XP, dual-core processor, 4GB of RAM, Raptor 10K HDD and nVidia 8800GT graphics would stutter on playback of the 1080p files. And finding affordable programs to edit Quicktime HD video files is another headache. I wasn't about to buy a new Mac just to be able to work with the video from my new camera.

So back went the T2i, and my quest for a new camera continued. I was just about to pull the trigger on a Nikon D5000, when I came across the Pentax K-x.

The first thing that grabbed my attention was the styling. I thought the camera looked dead-sexy in navy blue, but when I saw the white version, I was in love. One thing I liked about my Olympus was that it was something DIFFERENT than all the Nikons and Canon Rebels you see every other parent carrying to school or sports functions. I would often get questions about it from people who didn't realize that Olympus even MADE DSLRs. With this Pentax, I would again have something out of the ordinary.

Then I started reading reviews of the K-x. One of the great things about the T2i is the high ISO image quality, and according to the reviews and the sample images I was looking at, the K-x was right there with it.

And the K-x also did HD video. There were some limitations, such as 720p and lack of full control over exposure while shooting video, but I didn't really mind since the samples I downloaded looked great, even on my 110" 1080P home theater projector. And 720p files take less space than 1080p and require less processing power to playback and edit. And best of all, the K-x uses Motion JPEG video format, which plays back great on PCs and is compatible with almost any Windows video editing program. The MJPEG format does use more disk space than the equivalent QT file, but hard drives and SD cards are cheap these days, so it's not a big deal.

Another great thing about the K-x is that it has sensor-based image stabilization in the body, so any lens you stick on the camera is stabilized. My Olympus used a similar system, and I was very happy with it. The big advantage is that you can be non-stabilized lenses so they'll be smaller, lighter, and less expensive.

I ended up buying the K-x in white with the 18-55mm lens. The K-x looks and feels like a higher quality camera than the T2i, and matches my Olympus in this department. The kit lens is also a very worthy piece of hardware.

With the money I saved on the Pentax, I was able to buy the legendary Tamron 28-75mm F2.8 lens, a Pentax 55-300mm zoom lens, and a Sigma speedlight. The flash was new, but I got great deals on the slighty-used lenses on eBay and Craigslist.

I've been using the Pentax for a couple months now, and have taken hundreds of pictures. I am absolutely thrilled with the camera and couldn't be happier with the photos and videos I'm getting. The T2i did have just slightly more detail, but other than that I would say the K-x has equal image quality. And the 12MP RAW image files of the K-x are faster to work with than the 18MP files of the T2i and take up much less space on SD cards, so you don't have to worry about filling up nearly as fast.

That's not too much negative I can say about the camera. I would like it to have a mini-HDMI port and a standard mini-USB port, and continuous auto-focus would be nice in video mode, but no other DSLR has that yet. Stereo mics would also be nice.

I suspect that the image stabilization system may not be as good as the one in my Olympus, but I can't say for sure since my 300mm is longer than the telephoto I had with the Olympus and will therefore be more prone to shake.

I get compliments on the Pentax everywhere I go, and it's been a joy to use and own. I could not be happier with my purchase.

In the future I'll probably add a Sigma 30mm F1.4 prime and a Sigma 10-20mm ultra-wide zoom to my lens kit.

Just for the record, I'm not trying to bash on the T2i. It is an amazing camera that is currently without peer in its price range. But if you're like me and you only have about $1000 to spend, I think you will get much more value by going with a less-expensive but almost-as-capable camera like the K-x, and using the extra money on high quality lenses. My F2.8 constant-aperture lens has been a revolution for me, and I recommend every budding photographer make room in their budget for something similar.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Overall Great Value, December 25, 2009
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Pentax K-x 12.4 MP Digital SLR with 2.7-inch LCD and 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AL Lens (White) (Electronics)
After looking through a lot of options this camera seems to offer the best combination of price performance.
Some first impressions are:
1. Good Hi Iso Performance with little noise. (Much better then Canon Xt then I used to own that only had 1600 max iso.)
2. Able to do HD Video (720p).
Video quality is ok, I compared it to my sony SR-12 HD camcoder its definitely not the same quality but it does have a unique movie type look to it, in low light its very grainy but in good light it does fine. Its a good back up to a camcoder, although you do have to get used to manual focusing to get good results. If you shoot a lot of movies get a bigger memory card, I have a 4 gig card and it only holds around 15 minutes of video in highest quality due to recording format.

3. First thing to do when you get the camera make sure you update the firmware to 1.01 that will solve the battery issue that many people been having. You can check which firmware you have by pressing the menu button and then turning the camera on.
So far a I took about 900 pictures and about 45 minutes of video on lithium batteries that came with the camera and only now the battery indicator shows orange.
4. As with any DSLR auto mode will not give you the best results, and every camera has its own "favorite" settings where it gets most consistent results. So far Im still figuring out what works best with this particular camera.
5. No camera is perfect but to me Good Hi Iso performance, Hd video option and price. Make it 5 stars.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great photos, looks great, has limitations, May 26, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Pentax K-x 12.4 MP Digital SLR with 2.7-inch LCD and 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AL Lens (White) (Electronics)
Received item promply from Adorama. Fit and finish were beyond my expectations for the price of this camera. It has by far the most features of any camera in it's class, including HD video. It is compact but solid, actually a bit heavier than expected. 300 page manual, in small print, makes for a bit of a steep learning curve but Auto Pict mode can get you taking great photos right away. I would prefer more knobs rather than nested menus. As typical,LCD screen can be hard to see in bright light. I had to get into the shade at a sporting event to change focus mode. Manual also notes that leaving the Live View on for longer periods can cause over heating of camera. This suprises me as I have had many Digital cameras in over last ten years, none ever had an issue with over heating. Image quality is just outstanding. The low light capabilities of the KX are almost unbeleivable. Hand held shots, without flash, in normal room light came out beautifully. The days of red eyed, harsh shadowed pictures may be over! This camera can use all K-mount lenses. However slow focusing in lower light situations is a documented issue with Pentax's current auto focus system. Sadly my fun came to an end about three weeks purchase when the the CMOS sensor failed and all went to black. It has been returned to Pentax for repair but I am hoping this not a sign of quality issues. The quick failure of my camera is the main reason for only giving three stars.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Value / High Quality, January 31, 2010
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This review is from: Pentax K-x 12.4 MP Digital SLR with 2.7-inch LCD and 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AL Lens (White) (Electronics)
I've owned this camera for over a month and I am pleased with the images and quality. The quality of the camera is exceptional and the image results are exceptional. However I have has problems with dust on the sensor and have had to clean it already. In addition it goes through battery very quickly. Lithium-Ion batteries are really the only choice. I've gotten about 700 pics on Lithium, 200 on Alkaline and it didn't work at all with rechargeable. But I still prefer the convenience of AA batteries over camera specific rechargeable. I would assume these battery results will improve in the summer. I've been shooting outside in sub freezing temperatures. Cold weather reduces battery performance. For most users the lens it comes with will be more than acceptable. But if you are more discriminating buy the body only and buy a high end lens separately.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great camera - looks good in white, January 16, 2010
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This review is from: Pentax K-x 12.4 MP Digital SLR with 2.7-inch LCD and 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AL Lens (White) (Electronics)
I had/have many digital cameras but for the short time I tried this one, it is a keeper. The settings and menues are nice - the low light quality is great. Even the lens is great - especially for being a "kit" lens. The color (I have the white one) is great - very different and makes it look smaller and less scary than regular DSLR. It is light, small, fits well in hand, controls are at the right positions, it has live view and sensor image stabilization that works well. A great, great camera - especially for people new to DSLR.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing performance, especially for the price, April 2, 2010
By 
Larry Colen "ellarsee" (Felton, CA United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Pentax K-x 12.4 MP Digital SLR with 2.7-inch LCD and 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AL Lens (White) (Electronics)
I bought this camera as an upgrade for my K100Dsuper, to use as a second body to supplement my K20D, and for when I needed better high ISO performance than the K20D.
It ISO 400-800 the image quality might not be quite as good as the K20, but beyond that, this camera is absolutely amazing. The Nikon D700 is still better, at four or five times the price.
Even though I somewhat prefer the UI of the K20 with it's second scroll wheel, the K-x has become my primary camera and the K20 my secondary. That's how wonderful this camera is.
Exposure accuracy is far better than either the K20 or K100, as is autofocus. The K7 may be better, but I haven't tried it for sure.

While the K-x is listed as an entry level camera, almost everyone I know who has one are experienced photographers who buy them for high ISO or second body, most of whom end up using it as their primary body.

I did not buy it for it's video mode, and it will take some practice to reliably get good video out of it, but the clips I've gotten where I got everything right are amazing. Put the FA77 on it and take some concert footage and it'll look like pro video.

While the kit lens is probably the best kit lens on the market, and I've gotten some great shots the couple of times that I've played with it, the camera definitely deserves some of Pentax's better glass. Put the DA40 on it and you'll have an amazing pocket camera.

The white body gets a fair share of notice especially when I put the helmet from a stormtrooper bobble head doll on it as a flash diffuser. I just wish that Pentax sold the hot pink bodies in the US.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Entry level DSLR, February 18, 2010
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This review is from: Pentax K-x 12.4 MP Digital SLR with 2.7-inch LCD and 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AL Lens (White) (Electronics)
I am very pleased with the Pentax K-x DSLR camera. The build quality is solid. The image quality (particularly at high iso settings) is also great. HD video recording and Live View are nice additions for an entry level DSLR. It has some really fun features like HDR and cross processing.
I already have a Pentax K1000 film SLR camera so I can use the K-mount lenses from that camera with my K-x (using manual focus).
The "Stormtrooper" white model may be an acquired taste but I find it striking and unique.
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