|Average Customer Review: ( 47 customer reviews )
Write an online review and share your thoughts with other customers.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
127 of 129 found the following review helpful:
Why I decided on the Pentax Kx Feb 08, 2010
By Mike C
I am an avid reader of reviews and many times use this information to help in my buying decision. Since I suppose I am like most others who shop, compare, read, read some more and still can't decide I hope this might help in your quest for the right camera. Of the cameras I tried, all were very nice and I would be happy with any of them.
I have been looking for a camera that will give me the biggest bang for my buck! I hope to spend more time using my camera as a hobby. Until now have used my point and shoot Canon S3IS digital for kids, family, show choir and sporting events. The Canon S3IS is a great camera; I just want to step up a bit.
I started looking at used Nikon camera bodies as I had an old Nikon 2020 35mm film camera with the 35-70mm & 70-210mm AF lens. I stopped by my local camera shop and found my old lenses would work on the Nikon D50, D70, D80 and D90 bodies. I didn't find anything used locally or on eBay (too expensive) that I wanted so I looked at the new Nikon D90. Since Canon is the other big player in this field I decided to consider their cameras as well.
Both manufacturers offered what I wanted in a camera; the ability to capture video, able to shoot in low light and had quick and accurate autofocus capabilities. I tried both brands back and forth for several weeks and preferred the Canon T1i. I proceeded to sell my older Nikon equipment to help pay for the Canon T1i and move that direction
While saving for my new purchase and reading about digital SLR cameras I became aware of some of other SLR brands. I found several online reviewers that had good comments about these less popular cameras. Sony, Olympus, etc had nice features but for one reason or another I took them out of contention. Sony, I thought the lenses were too expensive. The Olympus just didn't click with me.(pun intended) Pentax had very good remarks and had similar capabilities as the Canon T1i. Best of all, the Pentax is considerably cheaper than the Canon.
What helped me to lean towards the Pentax Kx was that I was able to watch some video shots taken with the Nikon, Canon and Pentax on Google. I preferred the Pentax video, it didn't seem jerky in motion. Still pictures side by side were also very similar in clarity. I also read several reviews comparing the Canon and Pentax side by side with very similar remarks about the performance of both cameras. The biggest positive comment about the Pentax was the exceptional low light pictures it could take. The biggest complaint with the Pentax Kx was a battery issue mentioned by a number of reviewers. I called Pentax and spoke with a technical rep about the battery issue and any other issues Pentax might be having. I was told the battery issue has been taken care of with a firmware update. I must say I was impressed with the tech rep. He was very helpful, took time to discuss his products and said that if I ever had a problem with my Pentax to give them a call as they were here to help me out.
I can use any Pentax lens, new or old on this camera. The lenses I will likely use most is the 55-300mm or the 18-55mm. Both these are included in the kit I purchased. Since vibration reduction is built into the body of the camera instead of the lens, any lens I use will automatically be a vibration reduction lens.
I purchased the Pentax Kx with the 18-55mm and 55-300mm lens package for $653.00 on Amazon. It stated the Pentax camera kit would ship in 1-4 months but I ordered it on Friday and it arrived the following Wednesday, less than a week's time, not bad!
My thoughts about the camera.
-It's a fairly compact body but not too small. My wife likes the size and it's not heavy hanging around the neck.
-The menu is fairly straight forward (I haven't had to pull the book out yet and can still get around easy enough!)
-Takes very good pictures in several of the modes I tried. Very pleased.
-The auto focus is relatively fast and hits dead on at what I am pointing at.
-Some nice filter features are included in the menu options, great to play with but doubt I'll use them much.
-The low light pictures I've taken so far are impressive. When I downloaded pictures they were very clean, without any or very little noise even set at the high ISO setting!
-Used the batteries that are included and absolutely no problems.
-Lenses seem a bit light but balance well on the camera and focus smoothly.
-The shutter action could be quieter. This is my biggest complaint. It's not like everyone will turn around everytime you take a picture but I'd rather not hear it!
-The dust reduction feature rattles inside when you turn the camera to its side but I read that was normal as was mentioned by a reviewer. Otherwise I would have thought something was loose inside.
-I liked the view finder of the Canon. I think the information inside is a bit larger.
-The Pentax does not have auto focus points that light up when looking through the view finder but to me that doesn't make any difference. As I said when I pointed at what I intended to point at, it focused right on it, so this to me is a mute point.
- It seems a bit slow when first reviewing my picture after each shot but I think that is due to the cheap memory card I'm using. I'll get another one tonight and expect it to correct the slow process. If it doesn't, I'll update this review and mention it! Otherwise, assume it was taken care of with a faster card.
Would I say it feels quite as solid as the Canon? No, but I really like the Canon! However, I am still very impressed with the Pentax Kx. The Pentax isn't quite as thick or wide and I think the size might be most of the difference. You know you're shooting a SLR and my wife likes it! For the price, I figure I saved close to $400 over the Canon with similar lenses. If you want a Nikon or a Canon I'm sure you will be perfectly happy. If you decide to purchase the Pentax you won't be disappointed in this camera either. It's not the big name of Nikon or Canon but I bet you'll start to see more of Pentax with what all they offer and at the price point it is offered for! My budget was limited to $1600.00 but of course I was hoping to spend less. That's a lot of money to spend on a camera and I could have bought up to a higher level camera which I considered but I am comfortable this camera will give me what I'm looking for and saved me quite a bit in the process. I added a few pictures on flickr that were taken with this camera to give you an idea of the photo quality. Remember, I'm not a pro, I just enjoy taking pictures. Go to flickr and search for scubaguy4409
Tips to consider:
I suggest when buying online you check the retailer thoroughly. I searched several sellers on both Google and Bing and found prices from $400.00 to $900+for a Pentax Kx camera kit. The two low priced sellers I checked on had horrid reviews about shipping and more importantly when I called to ask about their camera packages they were very short with me on the phone. I don't like to spend anymore than the next guy but i figured if I had a problem with my purchase I would be %$#% out of luck with this guy!
29 of 31 found the following review helpful:
PENTAX Time! Feb 01, 2010
By Juan Schultze-kraft
Seems the time has come for a PENTAX.
Being loyal to Canon and loving Nikon DSLRs, I just gave this new camera the chance and think its going to change the top list for the first time.
So long, it has been a fight between Canon and Nikon, but now PENTAX got ready to go for it.
My decision was made taking into account the price for what you get, and the rivals where Canon Xti and Xsi and Nikon D5000 and D3000, but think this PENTAX kit is a real rival if not better in many features (my case, fps is an issue for my action pictures) and the price of course.
Go ahead for it and do not let others make you worry about this choice!
March 10th 2010
Just an update:
So far, my camera is doing great!
Some people complained about the AA batteries, so I wanted to state that my camera has not shown any trouble with batteries, maybe because its software is the last version, but aside of that, I just found it works great with Sony AA CYCLE ENERGY batteries: Sony Cycle Energy AA Ni-MH Rechargeable Batteries (4-Pack)
When buying, take also into account that the filter for lens 18-55 is a 52mm and the one for the 55-300 is a 58mm.
The bag I am using for this camera, both lenses, an aditional fisheye, batteries, and a couple of things more is the Lowepro Adventura 170, which is good on quality, space, and price: Lowepro Adventura 170 Camera Case (Black)
23 of 25 found the following review helpful:
Best Buying Decision Possible! Jan 30, 2010
By J. Bush
Don't let other brand loyalists sway you away from Pentax. You can buy EXCELLENT vintage lenses for these cameras. Manual focus is truly where it is at, at least for me. If you do not agree, Pentax has plenty of new AF lenses to suit anyone. However, excellent manual focus optics are easy enough to try for much less money than newer lenses of any brand. Nobody..... and I do mean NOBODY else offers the total lens compatibility of millions of vintage lenses available only to Pentax users. This particular camera is one hell of a buy. I had the money to buy a D5000 or D90 if that is what I wanted. When it comes to Image Quality, I feel I bought every bit is much camera without sacrificing any features that were important to me. This camera takes beautiful pictures and I have only scratched the surface of its abilities. The two lens package (18-55 and 55-300) was an unbelievable deal at $643. Amazon delivered the camera WAY ahead of the crazy shipment date they list. Do not hesitate. If you are considering this package, pull the trigger. Do a keyword search to find online Pentax Forums if you need more information about Pentax products.
19 of 21 found the following review helpful:
STILL Like it more all the time - Nikon guy Buys K-X # 2 May 07, 2010
By Upward Call
Shooting with a borrowed Nikon D40 convinced me it was time to augment my pocket-friendly point and shoot (P&S) with a digital single lens reflex (dslr) APS format camera.
My favorite film SLR was a Nikon FM2.
Out of habit, I wanted to buy a Nikon DSLR.
I tried HARD to buy a new Nikon - D3000 / D5000 / D90.
Instead - I bought the Pentax K-X from Amazon.
And two weeks later, I bought the K-X -- again.
Here is why...
(Updated comments added at bottom.)
1. ACTUAL EQUIPMENT PERFORMANCE DIFFERENCES ARE SMALL IN THIS CLASS OF CAMERA.
Camera reviews are written by experienced professionals with a critical eye and sophisticated evaluation tools. They work hard to find, explain, and magnify nuances.
My photo needs & tastes are generally simple ones. This class of camera is priced for people like me, upgrading from a digital point & shoot (P&S). Professionals expect to spend thousands for a camera body, and thousands for a lens.
2. PRICE DIFFERENCES ARE REAL.
The Pentax K-X is an above-average, entry-level dslr.
You can spend less, and get less performance.
Unless you spend significantly more, you will not get better performance.
A Nikon D90 and a K-X are both very nice 12mp cameras.
BUT- they don't cost the same.
3. AA BATTERIES - My Favorite Feature!
Some people cringe at the AA batteries in the K-X. I've chased proprietary batteries for my P&S before. I was drawn to this camera because it has a simple power needs. Who wouldn't prefer an inexpensive, accessible power source, easy to find, at a good price?
The Eneloop rechargables are working out very well for me.
4. SD CARD - My Next Favorite Feature!
I have a bunch of these already, and can easily find more, at a good price.
5. LONG KIT LENS - Try to find a kit that includes a 300mm zoom...
I wanted a 300mm lens. The nice K-X kit lens makes friends for Pentax. The Canon XS 300mm zoom lens seems to be a source of irritation/disappointment for its owners.
6. LIVE VIEW - SO WHAT?
As useful (to me) as a cigarette lighter in a non-smoker's car. I don't use this feature.
Camera focuses faster without it. It works fine, just not a factor for me.
7. HD VIDEO - DITTO.
If you want to shoot HD video, there are more satisfying ways to accomplish this. This feature is not good enough for the camera to take the place of a dedicated video camera.
8. BOUGHT IT A SECOND TIME
The first K-X camera I bought had a small piece of debris (not dust) on the sensor.
Probably user correctable with a bulb blower, probably left over from manufacturing/assembly.
(NOTE: The PENTAXIAN on-line user community is a helpful,friendly group.)
Opted for Amazon's excellent return for credit process. FAST EASY with EXCELLENT Results!
9. WHY REPURCHASE K-X?
When I saw them side by side, I was amazed the K-X was so similar to the Nikon D40. When Amazon confirmed my full refund, I tried to convince myself I really wanted a NIKON after all. I had a chance to re-think ALL of my earlier evaluations, against the backdrop of a dslr price war that produced even better prices on the Canon Rebel XS and the Nikon D3000. There were even new old-stock D40s at great prices. BUT the Pentax K-X was small and friendly like these, with a lot of newer features and many small, incremental, extras. So the final selection was the same as the first time, when I opted for a K-X.
10. RELAX. It is hard to make a "bad" dslr selection.
Any of the top-selling dslrs are going to do an excellent job for just about any user.
New dslr purchasers strongly influence the sales for the cameras listed in each week's "Top Ten". They know they have a safe bet if they stick with one of the two dominant brands - Canon or Nikon, etc.
When I think about how well the PENTAX K-X is meeting my needs, and how much more I would have paid to get an equivalent Nikon (or Canon) I remain very satisfied with this camera.
If you are in the market for an entry level dslr, and you think a Pentax K-X meets your actual photographic needs, you're probably right.
The more I use this camera, the better I like it.
I got a black one, but there is an amazing array of body colors in the K-X product line.
The white one is known as the "Storm Trooper" a la Star Wars.
The "feel" is very good. Control placement seems intuitive.
The build quality is very solid.
The automatic settings make it easy to take decent pictures right out of the box.
The features allow for plenty of growth as your skills change.
(Translation- it really does help to read the manual.)
The kit lenses (18-55 & 55-300 ) are serving me very well.
They may be a trifle better than some other "kit lenses".
The close up shots are very impressive, and the image colors are satisfying.
Only a heavier, more expensive camera can match the combined features of the Pentax K-X.
Overall, I am very happy I bought this camera.
Post-Post Script July 2010:
In the back of my mind, I wanted the 300mm lens for a chance to shoot an occasional airshow and get more satisfying results. Last week I did just that. The focus is fast and crisp, and the resolution was wonderful- even at the 10mp setting. Very happy with the results. Continue to be very happy with the K-X.
9 of 9 found the following review helpful:
The Pentax K-x is a giant killer! May 29, 2010
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 red was killer, but I wasn't that brave. And 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.
See all 47 customer reviews on Amazon.com