Pentax K-x

Last update (21 November’12):
– Review by

Pentax K-x is a 12.4 megapixel DSLR camera features Auto Picture and Scene Modes, Creative Processing and Filter Modes, HDR Image Capture, 4.7 Frames per Second Capture Speed, 11 Point Wide Angle Focus, Widescreen HD 720p video at 24 FPS, and a 2.7 inch LCD with Live View and Face Detection. The camera measures (W x H x D): 4.8 x 3.6 x 2.7”, weighs approx. 20.5 oz and is running on AA lithium batteries.

Pentax K-x has won the 2010 TIPA Awards in Best DSLR Entry Level category.

Overall Rating: ★★★★½ | Latest Price Info

Expert Reviews

Pentax K-x Reviews reviews the Pentax K-x and writes;
“The Pentax K-x is an attractively priced entry-level camera with exceptional image quality. I’d give it five stars, if it weren’t for the inexplicable exclusion of AF points in the viewfinder. The 11-point AF system is fairly configurable, but, without seeing the AF points in the viewfinder, you never really know where the camera is focusing. “
Rating: ★★★★☆

Pentax K-x review video by TigerDirect;

AmateurPhotographer reviews the Pentax K-x and writes;
“Colour noise is well controlled in-camera at all ISO sensitivities. Looking at unedited raw files produced by the K-x, colour noise starts to appear at around ISO 400 but it only becomes a real problem at ISO 1600. “
Rating: ★★★★☆

Shutterbug reviews the Pentax K-x and writes;
“The Pentax K-x is not perfect, however few modern devices—cameras included—are, but everybody who I’ve recommended Pentax’s entry-level SLRs to over the past several years have found them to be useful and practical and are happy with the images they’ve produced. I think you will be, too. “
Rating: N/A

AlphaMountWorld reviews the Pentax K-x and writes;
“The K-x gets a big pass from me here. Delightful to use and has excellent image quality- very impressive… The K-x’s LCD will show lack of contrast at a certain angles where the K7 does not. Again, this is not a major issue just something I noticed. As is I like the LCD plenty on the K-x. “
Rating: N/A

PopPhoto reviews the Pentax K-x and writes;
“The K-x is one of the least-expensive DSLRs to offer HD capture. Sure, it’s 720p at 24 fps, not full 1080i at 30 fps, but at this price who can complain? The image quality of the Motion JPEG AVI footage we shot was on par with what you can expect from most DSLRs.”
Rating: N/A

InfoSync reviews the Pentax K-x and writes;
“We did notice a slight difference in quality between RAW and JPEG, but not anything earth-shattering, and certainly a narrower gap than previous generation K-series cameras.”

Rating: N/A

ImagingResource reviews the Pentax K-x and writes;
“The Pentax K-x’s printed output is really impressive, able to make usable 20 x 30-inch prints at ISO 100 and print quality remains good up to ISO 800… ISO 3,200 shots also look decent printed at 13×19 inches. ISO 6,400 shots are generally usable at 11×14, remarkably, but of course better at 8×10.”
Rating: N/A

CNET reviews the Pentax K-x and writes;
The bottom line: A fast, inexpensive dSLR with better-than-average low-light quality, the Pentax K-x nevertheless has some flaws, such as unreliable image stabilization, to watch out for.”

Rating: ★★★★☆

DCRP reviews the Pentax K-x and writes;
“Despite a few flaws, most of which are minor, the Pentax K-x is an impressive entry-level digital SLR. It brings very good image quality (especially with a decent lens), snappy performance, tons of features, HD movie recording, and good build quality to the table for under $650 (with a lens). If you’re looking for your first digital SLR, then the K-x should be high on your list.”
Rating: N/A

MacWorld reviews the Pentax K-x and writes;
“Overall, the K-x offers an image quality and a photographic performance to rival many higher end cameras, with the inclusion of fun and user-friendly features to satisfy the most creative of beginners and enthusiasts alike”
Rating: ★★★★☆

RegHardware reviews the Pentax K-x and writes;
“Overall, the K-x offers an image quality and a photographic performance to rival many higher end cameras, with the inclusion of fun and user-friendly features to satisfy the most creative of beginners and enthusiasts alike”
Rating: ★★★★☆

NeutralDay reviews the Pentax K-x and writes;
“the K-x is very small, while still being quite comfortable to handle…because the K-x is so fun to use, takes such good pictures, and is so darned affordable, it’s not just highly recommended, it’s “Essential“.”
Rating: ★★★★½

LaptopMag reviews the Pentax K-x and writes;
“While there are other DSLRs, such as the $629 Nikon D5000, that offer better image quality for both photos and videos, there’s no question that the Penatx K-x is still a good value.”
Rating: ★★★½☆

PCMag reviews the Pentax K-x and writes;
“Breaking the boring, black D-SLR mold, the colorful Pentax K-x is the least expensive HD-video-capable D-SLR you’ll find. And it takes great pictures, too, even in low light..”
Rating: ★★★★☆

Video Review by JakesTechBox;

DCI reviews the Pentax K-x and writes;
“The bottom line is precisely that: a price-performance judgment call. If good-enough image and video quality is good enough for you, the Pentax K-x is a fun and flexible camera..”
Rating: N/A

WDC reviews the Pentax K-x and writes;
“The K-x manages to offer plenty of functionality in a small package, and produces images of a high standard. As a beginner’s camera it provides plenty to explore, while equally it wouldn’t be out of place as backup to a more expensive model, given its portability.”
Rating: ★★★★½

DigitalCameraHQ reviews the Pentax K-x and writes;
“…the noise has a film-like quality that adds character rather than distraction to the images. It’s a genuine joy to use a camera that can shoot clean images at ISO 1600 and produce extremely usable shots at 3200 and sometimes 6400. (ISO 12800 isn’t recommended except when you absolutely must have a shot for documentary purposes.).”
Rating: N/A

Pocket-Lint reviews the Pentax K-x and writes;
“For those looking for (nearly) all the latest must haves in one package, the Pentax K-x feature set offers a good value return for your money, whilst also being friendly to use via the prominence of its auto settings. Results straight out of the camera require minimal post processing too”
Rating: ★★★★☆

Photocracti reviews the Pentax K-x and writes;
“Buy it. The Pentax K-x is fun and easy to use. And it’s a bargain! If you’re worried about the batteries, you’ll probably do okay just carrying around a spare set of lithiums.”
Rating: N/A

PhotographyBlog reviews the Pentax K-x and writes;
“Noise is well controlled by the Pentax K-x, starting to appear at ISO 1600 and becoming more easily detectable at the faster settings of ISO 3200 and 6400 when viewing images at 100% magnification on screen”
Rating: ★★★★★

DCR reviews the Pentax K-x and writes;
“he K-x performed very solidly in our lab tests. We measured shutter lag (press-to-capture, pre-focused) at 0.03 seconds, which is just below the Olympus E-620. AF acquisition (using the viewfinder) came in at 0.25 seconds, while the K-x’s continuous shooting reigns supreme at the top of the pile, at a fast 4.4 fps”
Rating: N/A reviews the Pentax K-x and writes;
“Pictures taken with the test camera were similar to the shots we took with the K-m. Contrast and saturation were restrained; out-of-camera sharpness was acceptable and colours were natural-looking. Autofocusing was acceptably fast and metering was accurate across a wide variety of subjects and with all metering modes.”
Rating: ★★★★½

TechRadar reviews the Pentax K-x and writes;
“The K-x takes absolutely superb pictures, and that’s the main thing. It handles noise well and the extended ISO range isn’t just bragging on the specification sheet – there are times when it’s genuinely useful.”
Rating: ★★★★☆

ePhotozine reviews the Pentax K-x and writes;
“It’s unfortunate that this is the case with the K-x as the picture performance is very good. The colour chart is punchy in the primary colours and I like the balance of the earth brown and forest green. The skin tone pink could be stronger and there’s a distinct lack of colour in the pastel tiles.”
Rating: ★★★★½

User Opinions

Pentax K-x User Reviews

Excellent entry level DSLR Rating: ★★★★★
“..I think Pentax K-x is super buy for the beginners. Not only it has all the features needed, it outperforms higher grade DSLRs in certain area like low noise…” – by Jinsoo

Simply Awesome Camera Rating: ★★★★★
“I bought this for my daughter, and she had it working and taking pictures in less than 3 minutes after the initial configuration. Low light, bright light, macro and even stopping the blades of a helicopter with the 1/6000 of a second shutter speed make this camera one with the specifications of a high end model, at an entry-level price….” – by Waldo

Little Wonder
“Pentax Kx images in natural setting are not bright and saturated like competitor like Canon DSLR, but they are more muted and a bit cold. It is similar to Nikon DSLR such as Nikon D90. Nikon and Pentax Kx uses Sony sensor, and that might explain the similarity.” – By Enche Tjin
Rating: ★★★★★

Wonderful little camera
“The in camera shake reduction works with all my lenses including my old manual lenses from 30 years ago. The neat thing about using manual focus lenses (and wearing glasses like I do) with this camera is that you can set the camera to beep when you have focused the lens correctly, and there is also a visual indicator when you look thru the viewfinder.” – By W. Struth
Rating: ★★★★★

Wow! What a great Camera
“I have only had the Pentax K-X camera for 24 hours but cant get over the build quality. It takes fantastic pictures and has more options and tweaks than you could ever want. Its very easy to use right out of the box even for my wife, yet if you want to tweak your photos and get into it everything SLR offers, the options are there and then some.” – By jackmaddy
Rating: ★★★★★

Initial Impressions
“I just received and unpacked the K-x. The K-x feels solid and quality built, this is great for the class and has features that many more expensive cameras lack. I shot a few pictures and they are looking awesome… I will need more time to do a complete review, but overall the K-x looks great. I think this Camera has tremendous Value and will push more consumers to look at Pentax for dSLR.” – By 2eXceL
Rating: ★★★★★

Digital SLR, Love my K-x
“The other thing I love about this camera, is the RAW format. It lets you choose between the Pentax RAW (PEF), or the highly used .DNG (Digital Negative) format, which is so very versatile. I like shooting in .dng, since it’s non proprietary, and Adobe Photoshop has no problem with it. As for the picture quality, and camera settings, they are what you would expect to be with any DSLR.” – By Mark BALCHER
Rating: ★★★★★

WOW Pentax K-x
“Hand Shake compensation is built into the camera not the lens making lenses less expensive and it works extremely well. This is the most compact DSLR I have held. It fits my 8 year old daughter’s hands and also fits my somewhat large 45 year old man hands at the same time. Simplicity of use. In auto mode my wife and daughter take excellent photos.” – By D. Kelley
Rating: ★★★★★

Big punch packed in a small body
” I took the camera for a shoot down Waikiki at night with very good results. You’ll be amazed how many of your shots come out well with this camera, even running the auto setting! Auto focus is quite fast, and despite what some may say about the kit lenses (i got the kit with the 18-55mm and 55-300mm), the image quality is very sharp and clear, and the zoom and focus dials are really smooth.” – By waiehu92
Rating: ★★★★★

More user opinions | Write your opinion


Pentax K-x Sample Photos

Pentax K-x Sample Photos @ ImagingResource
Pentax K-x Sample Photos @ DCRP
Pentax K-x Sample Photos @ RegHardware
Pentax K-x Sample Photos @ NeutralDay
Pentax K-x Sample Photos @ PhotographyBlog

Pentax K-x Sample Videos


Pentax K-x User Manual (PDF)

Click to view or right click and select Save Target As..(Firefox) or Save link as.. (IE) to download

– Download Pentax K-x User Manual (PDF – 16.4 MB)

Pentax K-x Firmware Version 1.01

* Added 3 effects to the Cross Processing presets 1, 2, and 3.
* Added Cross Processing function to the Green Mode.
* Improved battery level indicator accuracy and stability.

Download Pentax K-x Firmware Version 1.01 for Windows
Download Pentax K-x Firmware Version 1.01 for Mac


* You will need a blank, formatted memory card with a capacity of 32 MB or higher.
* You will need your camera’s USB cable, or a memory card reader.
* Make sure your batteries are fully charged (or that you are using an optional AC adapter) to prevent power interruptions during the update process.


1. Click the Windows link below to download the self-extracting firmware archive file (kx_e101w.exe). Click SAVE to save the download file to your computer’s hard drive. Saving it to your desktop, for example, will make it easy to find after the download is complete. Please note: this download file is not the firmware update file itself, but a compressed archive that must be expanded in the following step.
2. Next, double click the download file to expand it. Once expanded, you will see a readme text file (README.TXT) and the firmware update file itself (FWDC206B.BIN). The readme file contains instructions similar to what you are reading on this page.
3. You must now copy the firmware update file (FWDC206B.BIN) to your camera’s memory card. When you connect the camera directly to your computer (or if you use a card reader), the memory card appears as a removable disk drive in the My Computer window. Make sure you are using a blank/formatted memory card, then drag & drop (or copy & paste) the firmware update file (FWDC206B.BIN) from the desktop to your removable disk window, which is the camera’s memory card. Please note: You must put the firmware update file (FWDC206B.BIN) directly onto the removable disk; it cannot be in any sub-folders. It must be on the top (or root) level of the memory card.
4. Now that you have copied the firmware update file (FWDC206B.BIN) to your camera’s memory card, you are ready to install it. Make sure your camera is turned off and disconnected from the computer. Make sure that the memory card containing the firmware update file is inserted into your camera. Also, make sure you that you have adequate power in your camera with fully charged batteries.
5. To begin the update, turn your camera on while holding down the MENU button. If you have followed the above instructions precisely, the camera will begin to load the new firmware. You will see the message “NOW LOADING” then the camera will display the firmware update menu.
6. Select “YES” using your camera’s 4-way controller (the default is “NO”) then press your camera’s OK button.
7. The camera will now update its firmware. This may take a couple of minutes, so be careful to not interrupt the process.
8. When the update is complete, you will see “COMPLETE” on your camera’s LCD screen. Turn the camera off and remove the memory card.
9. With the memory card removed from the camera, check your new firmware version by turning the camera back on while holding down the MENU button. Before you begin to take pictures again, be sure to format your memory card to erase the firmware update file.


Mac users can follow this same process after clicking on the Macintosh download link below.

* Download and save the Macintosh download file.
* Decompress it with your Stuffit expander program if necessary (this step may be automatic).
* Connect the camera to the computer.
* Copy the firmware file (FWDC206B.BIN) to your camera’s memory card, then disconnect the camera from the computer.
* Proceed with the installation of the firmware as outlined above.


High-resolution 12.4-megapixel CMOS image sensor features sensor-shift Shake Reduction for stabilized image and video capture up to 4 stops max.

Large 2.7-inch LCD features Live View with contrast, phase difference, and Face Detection autofocus (up to 16 faces).

Capture widescreen HD video in full 720p resolution (1280×720) at 24fps cinematic framerate, using any Pentax 35mm lens.

Highly compact DSLR body design allows for 1 handed operation and comfort when travelling.

Powerful automatic modes, including Pentax Auto Picture and scene modes, ensure the perfect shot in any situation, while helping new photographers learn DSLR photography.

Creative processing and filter modes produce high quality finished images, while offering the ability to explore artistic freedom through unique special effects.

True HDR image capture blends 3 bracketed images into a single picture with outstanding shadow, highlight, and midrange detail.

Fast 4.7fps capture speed and 1/6000 second maximum shutter speeds are possible with the Pentax PRIME II image processing engine.

Responsive 11-point wide-angle SAFOX VIII autofocus system focuses quickly and accurately, and can easily track moving subjects.

Capture up to 1900 shots with universally available, easy-to-find AA lithium batteries (also compatible with AA NiMH rechargeable and alkaline batteries).

Expanded ISO range covers sensitivities from 100-12800 for extreme low light photography.

What’s in the Box

* USB Cable I-USB7
* Strap O-ST53
* Hotshoe Cover FK
* Eyecup FQ
* Body Mount Cover
* Software CD-ROM S-SW99
* AA Lithium Batteries (x4)

11 Responses to “Pentax K-x”

  1. Lukas says:

    I bought this camera last week.

    It takes nice images but I m disappointed cause some “marketing cheats”.

    I wanted to take HDR pictures and that was the reason why I bought it – but! You can take HDR only in JPEG not in RAW.

    Is it some kind of technical limitation or a marketing purpose?

    It would be fair when saying “you can take HDR pictures” to say also “but only in JPEG”.

    This applies also as for “cross filters”.

  2. probob says:

    If you want to make high-quality HDR images you have to store a number of RAW images with different exposures. It will allow you to make accurate adjustments to each of the shots to make your ultimate HDR.

    In your case you get just a basic version of possible HDR merge and having that image in RAW is not really reasonable, because it means one extra RAW file in addition to 3 already made, or one instead of those 3.

  3. Michael says:

    I bought this camera the day that it came out and haven’t looked back. I absolutely love everything about it. So much that I decided to start a community about it. If you have questions or want to know more about this camera check out my blog at I also have many samples of pictures taken using the camera.Check it out.

    Its a fun camera to own trust me!

  4. rodfs says:

    this is just a gem and really the best bang-for-buck dslr out there!

    very easy to use and the IQ is really impressive.

  5. chris says:

    I bought this camera last week and i need to know how to take a picture with a long shutter speed, the problem I’m having is its all white or very bright. I’m trying to take a picture of a fountian and I want it to look flowing.Do I get this effect by changing the shutter speed?Everything I read says that you need to change the shutter speed to get that effect?

  6. Fred says:

    The problem you are having is because while trying to obtain the “flow” effect with a slower shutter speed, you are also letting too much light in, that is why the results are bright. I have seen results taken during day hours that look superb. I am not sure how this is done. But what I do know is that you head out early or late – say dusk or just before dawn – you should be able to let in the light to get the right results, overall. I achieved this at a place called “the flume” which due to its setup, had very low lighting condtions. I got some decent waterfall shots. Good luck!

  7. Ray says:

    For waterfall our fountain flowing shots and very bright lighting use ISO 200, Aperture f/22, Exposure 1/1 to 1/6 sec and you will get the effect that you want. f/22 so that lesser light will come in as you will go for long exposure.

  8. d says:

    Don’t use the hdr feature to take HDR photos you use auto-bracketing which you can shoot in RAW

  9. MrCyberdude says:

    Why is there no Self-Timer option when using HDR?

    Is this Pentax’s way of forcing users to buy a remote, which I cannot find in stock in Australian stores? or is there a known technical reason for this?

    This is surely a simple Firmware modification that should not be beyond the knowledge and experience of the Pentax engineers!

    Does anyone know where to submit the suggestion to pentax? Link Please?

    The Battery Firmware fix was appreciated and it seems unbelievable to have the timer turned off in the HDR mode when it is needed.


  10. John says:

    Your blog is awesome !

  11. CJ says:

    If still not working, put the circular polarizer or neutral density filter on will help. Quite often, I would rather put the additional filter on than using the small aperture. The IQ deteriorates with very small aperture because of lens diffraction. Additional filter lens deteriorates IQ too but not as much.

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