Pentax's entry-level game just got interesting with the K-x: At $650, the followup to the K2000 is the cheapest DSLR that'll shoot 720p video. And it comes with blood red, shiny blue and cookies 'n' cream white.
It's got a 12MP CMOS sensor that'll shoot up to 12,800 ISO in expanded range, and the 720p video is limited to 24FPS. But despite being bottom o' the barrel, it actually cribs a feature or two from the K-7, like built-in HDR processing. The $650 MSRP means you should be able to find it for less, so it looks like you get a ton of features for the money, though we'll have to see how the photos actually come out to see if it's actually worth it. (I wish they'd make up their minds how much it is, since the press release touts both $599 and $649.)
PENTAX ANNOUNCES AFFORDABLE, NEW PENTAX K-x
WITH HIGH-END FEATURES INCLUDING HD VIDEO AND LIVE VIEW
GOLDEN, CO (September 16, 2009)… PENTAX Imaging Company redefines the entry-level digital SLR category with the introduction of the K-x digital SLR. This latest PENTAX camera offers high-end features including Live View and HD video. And, since there's no rule that SLR cameras must come in black only, the K-x will be available in a choice of white or black, as well as special, limited edition red and navy.
Priced at $599.95 USD (for body with DA L 18-55mm lens), the extremely compact and lightweight PENTAX K-x forges ahead on the trail initiated by the popular PENTAX K2000. With a one-handed shooting design and simple, easy-to-use operation, the K-x is perfect for users stepping up from a point and shoot digital camera to their first digital SLR.
The PENTAX K-x offers photographic performance that challenges higher class DSLR models and offers several features that set this camera apart in the entry-level category:
o High resolution 12.4 megapixel CMOS image sensor features sensor-shift Shake Reduction for stabilized image and video capture up to 4 stops max.
o Large 2.7 inch LCD features Live View with contrast, phase difference, and Face Detection autofocus (up to 16 faces).
o Widescreen HD video capture in full 720p resolution (1280x720) at 24 FPS cinematic framerate, using any PENTAX 35mm lens.
o Creative processing and filter modes produce high quality finished images, while offering the ability to explore artistic freedom through unique special effects.
o True High Dynamic Range (HDR) image capture blends 3 bracketed images into a single picture with outstanding shadow, highlight, and midrange detail.
o Fast 4.7 FPS capture speed and 1/6000 second maximum shutter speeds are possible with the PENTAX PRIME II image processing engine.
o Powerful automatic modes, including PENTAX Auto Picture and scene modes, ensure the perfect shot in any situation, while helping new photographers learn DSLR photography.
o Responsive 11 point wide angle SAFOX VIII autofocus system focuses quickly and accurately, and can easily track moving subjects.
o Captures up to 1900 shots with universally available, easy-to-find AA lithium batteries (also compatible with AA NiMH rechargeable and alkaline batteries)
All combined, the PENTAX K-x is the perfect camera for new digital SLR camera users as well as an ideal backup camera for more experienced photographers.
Along with the K-x, PENTAX announced the smc PENTAX DA L 55-300mm F4-5.8 ED super-telephoto zoom lens. This lens will be exclusive to a K-x Twin Lens Kit package consisting of a K-x body, this new lens and the smc PENTAX DA L 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 lens. The lightweight design of this
zoom lens offers the exceptional optical performance found in all PENTAX lenses for super-telephoto photography with the K-x and other PENTAX digital SLR camera bodies.
The PENTAX K-x is now available for pre-order in black or white on www.pentaxwebstore.com. Limited edition colors of red and navy will become available at select locations to be announced.
The PENTAX K-x (in black and white) will ship in October 2009 in three configurations: options:
* K-x single lens kit with body and an smc PENTAX DA L 18-55mm lens for USD $649.95.
* K-x twin lens kit for $749.95 including a K-x body, the smc PENTAX DA L 18-55mm lens and the smc PENTAX DA L 50-200mm zoom lens.
* K-x twin lens kit for $849.95 including a K-x body, the smc PENTAX DA L 18-55mm lens and the smc PENTAX DA L 55-300mm zoom lens.
Complete information is available here: http://www.pentaximaging.com/about-us.aspx?p=press
Product images are available here: www.pentaximaging.com/press/pressfiles.html
An informational video is available here: www.youtube.com/Pentaxian1
PENTAX K-x FACT SHEET
12.4 effective megapixels
The K-x incorporates a newly developed CMOS image sensor to assure high-speed image data readout and more flexibility with varying ISO sensitivity levels. With approximately 12.4 effective megapixels, this image sensor accurately reproduces true-to-life images with fine detail and rich color depth. The
K-x offers a wide sensitivity range between ISO 200 and ISO 6400 and allows users to expand the sensitivity range between ISO 100 and ISO 12800 via a custom function to offer greater creative freedom to photographers.
Compact, lightweight body
The PENTAX K-x is one of the most compact, lightweight digital SLR cameras in its class. The stainless-steel chassis and overall design offer a space-efficient layout.
Widescreen HD movie recording at 1280x720 pixels at a cinematic 24 frames per second (720p24)
The PENTAX K-x movie recording function* captures true-to-life movie clips in 16:9 high-definition TV proportions (1280 x 720 pixels) at a frame rate of 24 frames per second. Compatible with every PENTAX interchangeable lens ever made, the Video Capture mode opens a new world of creativity for PENTA K-x owners.
* When the PENTAX K-x's AV output terminal is used, movie clips are viewed at normal resolution. The data must be transferred to a PC for the playback of movie clips at high-definition TV proportions (1280 x 720 pixels).
PENTAX-original SR mechanism for sharp, blur-free images
The K-x features the PENTAX-developed Shake Reduction mechanism that effectively compensates for the adverse effects of camera shake by as much as four shutter steps. This innovative mechanism extends its benefits to all PENTAX interchangeable lenses - even those designed for film-format cameras.* With this SR mechanism, the K-x produces sharp, blur-free images even under demanding conditions such as telephoto lens photography, shooting in dark or low-light setting without a flash illumination, and sunset scenes.
*Lenses compatible with this mechanism: PENTAX K-, KA-, KAF-, KAF2- and KAF3-mount lenses; screw-mounted lenses (with an adapter); and 645- and 67-system lenses (with an adapter). Some functions may not be available with certain lenses.
High-speed continuous shooting at approximately 4.7 images per second
The K-x's high-speed continuous shooting mode records as many as 17 images (in JPEG recording format) at a maximum speed of approximately 4.7 images per second. This is the fastest of all entry-class models. The K-x also features a more reliable shutter unit, which passed a demanding action test of more than 100,000 shutter releases. The top shutter speed of 1/6000 second allows the photographer to preserve sharp, crisp images of fast-moving subjects.
High-performance, high-speed PRIME II imaging engine
The K-x features the newly developed PRIME (PENTAX Real IMage Engine) II, that is an upgrade of the original PRIME imaging engine. This new imaging engine offers greater data processing speed and enhanced capability to produce higher-quality images with richer, more accurate color rendition, as well as faster transmission speed of movie data.
Live View function with Face detection of up to 16 faces
In addition to the camera's viewfinder, the K-x features a Live View function that allows users to view subjects on the LCD monitor during shooting. The K-x also offers a choice of three different focusing modes in Live View:
PENTAX K-x FACT SHEET
* Contrast Auto Focus optimizes the focus based on the subject's contrast.
* Face Detection Auto Focus automatically detects up to 16 faces, then selects the main subject's face from multiple faces, and captures it in sharp focus.
* Phase Difference Auto Focus accesses the AF sensor positioned in the camera body to optimize focus on the subject.
Innovative Image Processing Functions
Digital Filter function
The K-x's digital filter function allows users to process recorded images in a variety of creative ways within the camera and produce highly creative visual expressions. With a choice of 16 different filters including Color Extract, Retro, Soft, Starburst, Toy Camera, and more (including a custom filter for building multiple effects), photographers may apply multiple filters to a single image for customized effects.
Cross Process mode
The K-x features a new Cross Process mode that automatically and randomly adds finishing touches to exposures to create eye-catching images with unique, intriguing colors (just like images treated with Cross Process* in film photography). This mode adds a whimsical element to digital photography since photographers don't know the results until the captured image is actually displayed on the camera's LCD monitor.
* A film development technique that takes advantage of unconventional film developers to create a distinctive finishing touch with intriguing colors.
High-precision 11-point AF sensor
The high-precision, wide-frame SAFOX VIII autofocus system of the K-x features 11 sensor points (with nine cross-type sensors positioned in the middle) to automatically capture even off-centered subjects in sharp, crisp focus. Photographers also may select one of the sensors as a focusing point to accommodate specialized applications.
* Custom Image modes offer high quality processing for images
* 2.7 inch, high-resolution color LCD monitor with approximately 230,000 dots of resolution
* Auto Picture mode for effortless, automatic selection of the most appropriate shooting mode, even during Live View shooting
* Status screen for easy, at-a-glance confirmation of various settings on the LCD monitor
* Ten scene modes, including Night Scene, Surf & Snow, Sunset, Kids, Museum, and more, available via simple icon selection
* PENTAX Digital Camera Utility 4 software package, with RAW-data processing and image browser functions
PENTAX-DA L 55-300mmF4-5.8ED Lens Fact Sheet
A lightweight super-telephoto zoom lens for focal lengths between 84.5mm and 460mm (in the 35mm format)
ED (Extra-low Dispersion) glass optical elements to assure true-to-life image descriptions and faithful color renditions through effective compensation of chromatic aberrations over the entire zoom range.
Focal Length 55-300mm
(Equivalent to 84.5-460mm in 35mm format)
Minimum Aperture F22-32
Lens Construction 12 elements in 8 groups
Angle of View 29 - 5.4° (wiith PENTAX D-SLR camera body)
Minimum Focusing Distance 4.6 ft.
Maximum Magnification 0.28X
Filter Diameter 58mm
Diaphragm control Fully Automatic
Number of Diaphragm Blades 6
Maximum Diameter & Minimum Length 2.8 x 4.4 in
Weight 15.0 oz.
Notes Includes SP (Super Protect) Coating