Unexpected acquisition: Pentax Kx first look

It was quite a nice day on Sunday, so Lisa and I decided to go to ‘Kings Park’ and take some photos. We had not been there in years and I really wanted to shoot some stitches. I will cover this in more detail when my films are developed, hopefully tomorrow afternoon. As I eluded to in the previous sentence, I shot some film as well as digital, so after we were done we went to our local ‘Fuji’ booth to drop the films off for developing. While there I noticed there was a special sign in front of the Pentax Kx’s. I had been thinking about picking one up since I recieved a nice Pentax 30-80mm auto zoom which I had just taken to Max to be serviced. These normally retail for about $700-799, however not this week. Upon closer inspection of the special sign they were on special for this week at $360 with 18-55m zoom lens! How could I pass this up? I had to buy it.

Upon first inspection I am very happy with the build, it feels very sturdy in my hand. I however noticed that the LCD screen was unprotected, so the first thing I did was put one of those sticky Iphone screen protectors over it to protect it from scratching. I turned it on and flicked through the menu, set it to store in Raw plus Jpeg and went about test shooting wanting to see how it performed out the box, before I went and made all my customary settings changes. Right off the bat I was impressed with how quick the auto focus was. Having been shooting both my Minolta 500si and 700si film cameras all day along with my Sony Nex digital, I was craving the viewfinder of my film cameras. That was the first thing I fell in love with about the Pentax Kx, it felt more like shooting a film SLR. The lenses seemed sharp and contrasty and the sensor seemed to render very nicely. The LCD on this however, is nothing in comparison to that of the Nex, no contest. The Nex wins hands down. This is not the point of the screen on the Kx however, it is intended solely as a review screen to see if you captured the shot ok. You can shoot in live-view however this is very slow, again nothing in comparison with the Nex, but again this is not the intended usage of the Kx. Having knocked out just an initial test shoot around the house, I have to say I am pleasantly surprised by the quality of the shots, this is a very good camera.

This is not intended as a full review just now, more just a first look at how it performs out the box. Here are a few of my first test shots:


Shot using the 18-55mm @ 55mm, Sh. Sp. 1/100, Ap. F7.1, ISO 200

Shot using the 18-55mm @ 55mm, Sh. Sp. 1/60, Ap. F7.1, ISO 1600

Shot using the 18-55mm @ 23.1mm, Sh. Sp. 1/60, Ap. F5, ISO 1600

Shot using the 18-55mm @ 47.5mm, Sh. Sp. 1/800, Ap. F7.1, ISO 200

Shot using the 18-55mm @ 55mm, Sh. Sp. 1/1000, Ap. F8, ISO 200

Shot using the 18-55mm @ 55mm, Sh. Sp. 1/2000, Ap. F7.1, ISO 200

Shot using the 18-55mm @ 42.5mm, Sh. Sp. 1/1000, Ap. F7.1, ISO 200

Shot using the 18-55mm @ 55mm, Sh. Sp. 1/80, Ap. F7.1, ISO 1600

Shot using the 35-80mm @ 80mm, Sh. Sp. 1/160, Ap. F8, ISO 800

Shot using the 35-80mm @ 80mm, Sh. Sp. 1/800, Ap. F8, ISO 200

Shot using the 18-55mm @ 55mm, Sh. Sp. 1/30, Ap. F5.6, ISO 1600

Shot using the 18-55mm @ 55mm, Sh. Sp. 1/200, Ap. F6.3, ISO 200

Shot using the 18-55mm @ 40mm, Sh. Sp. 1/125, Ap. F4.5, ISO 200

Shot using the 18-55mm @ 55mm, Sh. Sp. 1/100, Ap. F5.6, ISO 200

Shot using the 18-55mm @ 55mm, Sh. Sp. 1/2500, Ap. F7.1, ISO 200

Shot using the 18-55mm @ 55mm, Sh. Sp. 1/200, Ap. F8, ISO 200

After this initial test shoot I am very happy with this camera and it will always be in my kit from now on. Stay posted for the full review in a few weeks when I have had a thorough test.

Here are the specs of the Pentax Kx:

Image Sensor
Sensor Type: CMOS
Sensor Manufacturer:
Total Megapixels: 12.9
Effective Megapixels: 12.4
Sensor Format: APS-C
Sensor Size (dia.): 1.11″
Focal Length Multiplier: 1.5
Color Filter Type: RGBG
Self-Cleaning: Yes
Sensor-shift Stabilized: Yes
Image Capture
Image Resolution: 4288 x 2848 (12.2 MP, 3:2),3936 x 2624 (10.3 MP, 3:2),3072 x 2048 (6.3 MP, 3:2),1728 x 1152 (2.0 MP, 3:2)
Image File Format: JPEG (EXIF 2.21), 12-bit RAW (.PEF, .DNG)
Video Capture
Movie Mode: Yes
Movie Resolution: 1280×720, 640×416
Movie Frame Rate: 24, 24
Movie Audio: Yes
Movie File Format: n/a
Optics
Lens Mount: PENTAX KAF2; KAF3/2, KAF, KA
Kit Lens: smc Pentax DA L 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AL
Focal Length (35mm equivalent): 27 – 84 mm
Zoom Ratio: 3.00x
Aperture Range: f/3.5 – 22 (W), f/5.6 – 38 (T)
Normal Focus Range:
Macro Focus Range:
Optical Image Stablization: No
Digital Zoom: No
Digital Zoom Values: n/a
Filter Thread: 52mm
Auto Focus
Auto Focus: Yes
Auto Focus Type: SAFOX VIII TTL phase-detect 11 point (9 cross) AF: 11 pt auto, 5 pt auto, AF pt select, center/spot
Face Detection: Yes
Auto Focus Assist Light? Yes
Manual Focus: Yes
Optical Viewfinder
Optical Viewfinder: Yes
Optical Viewfinder Type: SLR type; fixed eye-level pentamirror, 96% coverage, 0.85x mag., -2.5 to +1.5 diopter
Display
LCD Viewfinder: Yes
LCD Size (inches): 2.7
LCD Resolution (pixels):
Articulating LCD: No
Max Playback Zoom: 16.0x
Exposure
ISO Settings: Auto (200-6400), 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400, 12800
Auto ISO Mode: Yes
White Balance Settings: Auto, Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent (D, N, W, L), Flash, Custom
Shutter Speed Range: 30 – 1/6000
Bulb Mode: Yes
Exposure Compensation: +/- 2.0EV in 0.3EV steps
Metering Modes: 16-segment Multi, Center-weighted, Spot
Program AE: Yes
Aperture Priority: Yes
Shutter Priority: Yes
Full Manual Exposure: Yes
Creative Exposure Modes: Auto Picture (Portrait, Landscape, Macro, Action, Night Scene Portrait, Picture (Portrait, Landscape, Macro, Action, Night Scene Portrait, Standard Flash Off), Scene (Night Scene, Surf & Snow, Food, Sunset, Kids, Pet, Candlelight, Museum, Stage Lighting [JPG], Night Snap [JPG]), Sensitivity Priority
Self Timer: 2 or 12 seconds
Time Lapse:
Flash
Built-in Flash: Yes
Flash Modes: On, off, redeye, slow sync, slow sync w redeye, slow sync w trailing curtain, wireless
Flash Guide Number (ISO 100): 11 m / 37 ft.
Flash Range Description: Depends on lens
Max Flash Sync: 1/180
Flash Exp Compensation: -2 to +1 EV in 0.5EV steps
Ext Flash Connection: Hot Shoe
Image Storage
Usable Memory Types: SD / SDHC
Memory Included (MB):
File System: FAT32
DCF Compliant: Yes
Connectivity
Composite Video Out: Yes
NTSC/PAL Switchable: Yes
Video Usable as Viewfinder: No
HD Video Out: No
HD Video Connection:
Built-In Wi-fi: No
Computer/Printer: USB 2.0 High Speed
PictBridge Compliant: No
DPOF Compliant: Yes
Remote Control: Yes
Remote Control Type: Optional IR
Other Connection: AC adapter available
Power
Battery Form Factor: 4 x AA
Usable Battery Types: Lithium, Alkaline disposables; NiMH rechargeables
Batteries Included: 4 x AA Alkaline disposables
Battery Charger Included: No
CIPA Rating: 420
Software
Included Software: CD-ROM
OS Compatibility: Windows XP/Vista/7, MacOS-X 10.3+
Miscellaneous
Notes & Features: Sensor-shift shake reduction, 720p HD video capture, Live View with face detection. Available in black or white.

 

 

 

 

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