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September 16, 2009

New Pentax K-x offers a tempting AA-powered DSLR

Pentax has been tweaking their line-up, and as recently as last year, they went smaller with the K-m/K2000, RiceHigh's current favorite Pentax camera.

Now it looks, at least on paper, Pentax is introducing a more tempting (for the average consumer) and more feature-packed (for the photographer) type of a camera! In comes a 12mp APS-C CMOS sensor, a very respectable 4.7 fps burst mode, 11pt AF, and 720p HD-Video! And you can already get in-line for it, Amazon is accepting pre-orders, and now so is Adorama.

Main Pentax Kx Features

+ 12mp CMOS APS-C sensor
+ sensor confirmed to be made by Sony - see DC Watch
+ sensor-shift image stabilization
+ 11-point SAFOX VIII auto-focus
+ two RAW options (PEF and DNG)
+ 12-bit RAW
+ ISO 200 to 6400 (boostable to 100, 12800)
+ 100,000 shutter clicks
+ 4.7 fps (17 JPEGs)
+ Hot-shoe and pop-up flash
+ 720p HD-video (1280x720)
+ 16 digital filters
+ dust bunnies protection
+ 96% (0.85X) viewfinder
+ 2.7'" LCD (230K)
+ HDR feature (inherited from the K-7)
+ four AA batteries (amazing 1900 CIPA with lithium)
+ weighs just over half a kilogram
+ initial production output is 28,000 units per month (via Pentax Japan) [New!]
+ available in four colors, including Storm-Trooper-White, Respectable-Blue, Tractor-Red, and Serious-Black
+ (those are our own nicknames for the colors, not the official Pentax color names).

Pentax K-X Previews and Further Reading
+ NYC launch of the camera at OK1000
+ Pentax DSLRs blog by Yvon Bourque
+ Photoscala
+ Preview at Demystifying Digital
+ Preview at DC Watch
+ Press release at Imaging Insider
+ Brief hands-on at dpreview along with regular announcement
+ Preview at Tech Tock
+ Spec-comparison-a-thon at CNet
+ Imaging Resource
+ NOTE: currently experiencing slow-downs
+ 100 colors and styles in Japan - see Pentax Japan (also see picture below); (20 body colors times 5 grip colors) - even more at Camera Pentax


Disambiguation: the film Asahi Pentax KX
Old-school photographers and die-hard Pentax fans will automatically recall that the name KX was "taken" and of course they are right! Pentax made the KX in the 70s! You can learn (or refresh your memory) at the very excellent Pentax reference page by Bojidar Dimitrov.

You may find some of the film KX models on eBay.

The Big Ticket
Now you can take the white K-X to a Star Wars convention, and return, not only with pictures, but also with HD-Video. Not to mention the geek-cred and endless envy and adoration from fellow Star Wars geeks.


Price and Availability
The European price is 600 euro with an October 2009 release date. This includes the 18-55mm DA-L lens that made its debut last year with the K-m. The two lens kit (with the two DA-L (pronounced "dull"?) lenses) will go for 700 euro.

The US price is $650 with the K-X and the 18-55mm DA-L. If you prefer the standard two-lens kit, the price is $750. And the two-lens kit with the new 55-300mm f4-5.8 ED lens is $850. It's a more expensive zoom lens! Amazon is already accepting pre-orders.

Adorama is also taking pre-orders, and they have more color combinations, including the red body and lens (!).

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