Looking for a camera as a Christmas geek gift idea? If so, here's an updated version of my Pentax K-x camera review from earlier this summer. I've had my Pentax K-x camera for almost six months now, and I have to say, I remain very pleased with it. (I hope to pick up a nice camera lens or two over the holidays.)
Two weeks ago I bought a Pentax K-x camera from Amazon for just a little more than $500, and while I'm not a photography wizard by any stretch of the imagination, I do believe this is an excellent camera. Frankly, the worst thing I can say about it is that it's a little heavy, but even then, it's not any heavier than other cameras in its class.
Pentax K-x camera review
I have to start by saying that I didn't plan on looking at the Pentax K-x camera. I was initially looking at a Nikon D3000 10.2 Digital SLT or a Canon Rebel 12.2 MP Digital SLR. But when I shared that information with a friend who is an expert photographer (a professional photographer in Shepherdsville, Kentucky), she came back and suggested the Pentax K-x.
Here are some of her notes on the Pentax K-x camera:
The Pentax K-x is 12.4MP and has a fps (frame per second) rating of 4.7. It does have a smaller LCD viewer at 2.7" compared to the Canon's 3", but overall I really think it's a better camera.
You mentioned the lens portability of the Canon - well, Pentax will use any and ALL previous and current Pentax camera lenses (including thread mount with an adapter). You will lose some of the automatic capabilities, but that is something you can work around using the manual settings.
Let me see if I can compare some of what I think are some important parts....
Pentax: 4.7fps, video recording at 24fps 16:9, up to 4288x2848 image size, 4 stop camera shake reduction, 11 point AF sensor, 2.7" LCD view, uses all Pentax lenses, battery life up to 1100 shots (which I'm assuming is with lithium batteries), batteries to use: AA lithium, alkaline, or NiMH rechargeable, 200-6400 ISO (light sensitivity), maximum shutter speed to 6000, 16 point face recognition....
Canon: 3.5fps, can't find info if it takes video, up to 4272x2848 image size, can't find camera shake info, 9 point AF sensor, 3.0" LCD view, uses EF, EF-s, EX-series lenses, battery life up to 500 shots, (I'm assuming) internal rechargeable battery, 100-1600 ISO, maximum shutter speed of 4000, no face recognition...
Consumer reports listed the K-x as their recommended and 'best buy' choice for this category of cameras. I could go on, but you might want to check out the links below. I noticed you can get a bundle deal from Walmart online-to-store for under $600 for the camera body, 18-55mm & 50-200mm lenses.
(A Pentax K-x photo of the Little Susitna River in Alaska, 1/8th original size.)
Pentax K-x camera review - purchase and comments
I was lucky to find the Pentax K-x camera bundle she mentioned for just over $500 at Amazon, with free shipping, so I was pretty happy with that.
All of her Pentax K-x camera review advice has been dead-on right. The pictures the Pentax K-x produces are just outstanding, and it's super-fast in a lot of ways, including startup time (time from switching to "On" to being able to take the first picture), and time between shots.
I took the day off yesterday and went up to Talkeetna (Alaska) and took moving photos of birds, airplanes, and fast-moving boats, and the Pentax K-x performance was just outstanding. Although I've had the camera only a few weeks, I've already taken over 500 photos -- one of the benefits of living in Alaska.
Pentax K-x camera review - Sample K-x camera photos
I'll write more Pentax K-x camera reviews in time, but for now I'll leave you with two more Pentax K-x sample photos from an area known as Independence Mine. Independence Mine is in an area known as Hatcher Pass, Alaska (see my Hatcher Pass photos), and Hatcher Pass is near the towns of Wasilla and Palmer. (The other end of Hatcher Pass comes out in a town named Willow.)
First, here's an extreme close-up of a flower bud photo I took with the Pentax K-x, a photo I could never have taken with my old camera:
(A Pentax K-x camera photo - close-up of a flower bud, 1/8th original size.)
And finally, here's a small version of a Pentax K-x camera photo of the railroad tracks in Independence Mine. If you're brave, you can click on that photo to see the original Pentax K-x camera photo - a 6 MB, 4288x2848 monster size image:
(A Pentax K-x camera photo in Independence Mine, in Hatcher Pass, Alaska.)
Follow-up: I've posted more full-size Pentax K-x sample photos. The Pentax K-x resolution really is remarkable.