The Pentax K2000 gave Pentax fans an answer to their call for a lighter, less bulky DSLR. Today, they've unveiled the Pentax K-x, another lightweight entry-level unit designed to lure customers away from their point and shoots. The bait? A 12.4 megapixel CMOS sensor, a 2.7 inch LCD with live view, and 720p HD video recording.
The 12.4 megapixel CMOS sensor on board the K-x is stabilized to a gain of up to four stops by way of sensor-shift stabilization. The whole unit weighs in just a hair lighter than the K2000 with a "loaded and ready" listing at 20.5 ounces.
Ready for its closeup
Those who considered a K2000 but were turned off by the lack of video recording capability will be happy to hear that the Pentax K-x records HD 720p video at 24 fps. Other manufacturers offer HD recording at higher frame rates, but the addition of HD video is certainly a welcome feature.
Also notable is a boost in continuous shooting rates for the K-x. While our own review clocked the K2000 at 3.4 fps, the K-x boasts up to 17 JPEG images at a rate of 4.7 fps thanks to a CMOS sensor and the new PRIME II image processor.
Moving on up
For added step-up appeal to current point and shoot users, the K-x will offer Live View functionality with its 2.7 inch, 230k dot LCD. Those who aren't attracted to Live View will be able to use a 96% coverage optical viewfinder to compose images. Like the K2000, the K-x is powered by four AA batteries.
This model will also be equipped with fully automatic shooting modes including Pentax's Auto Picture mode and a wide variety of scene modes that will feel very familiar to current point and shoot users.
The K-x also touts a True High Dynamic Range image capture mode. It combines three bracketed images of varied exposures to create one photo with a wider apparent dynamic range.
Moving down the list of new features to the K-x, you'll find that this model is equipped with "creative processing and filter modes" to give users some simple creative options in-camera. They range from straightforward Retro and High Contrast to less-conventional Starburst and Toy Camera.
DSLR of a different color
In addition to traditional black, the K-x will be available in white and, in limited quantities, navy and a very bold red.
Pentax DA L 55-300mm f/4-5.8 telephoto lens
Alongside the K-x, Pentax announces today the DA L 55-300mm f/4-5.8 super telephoto lens. It will be sold only with the K-x as part of a step-up Twin Lens kit. Pentax doesn't offer many details about the new lens aside from its lightweight design.
Pricing and availability
The Pentax K-x will begin shipping in October and will start at $649.95 as a kit with 18-55mm lens. A two-lens kit also includes a 50-200mm zoom lens for $749.99. For $849.99, the two-lens kit includes the 18-55mm and the just-announced 55-300mm lens.