updated 12:00 am EDT, Thu September 17, 2009
Pentax K-x camera brings HD movies
Pentax tonight aggressively tackled the starter DSLR field with an overhaul for its least expensive K series camera. Now using the Japanese naming scheme, the K-x becomes the least expensive DSLR ever to shoot video and records 720p at 24 frames per second. Compared to the K2000 it replaces, it also gets a much improved 12-megapixel CMOS sensor (up from a 10-megapixel CCD) that takes in more light and has a dramatically larger ISO range that normally sits between 200 and 6,400 but can extend to 100 and 12,800 with an override.
Several other elements have been given an upgrade as a consequence of the sensor and the updated PRIME II imaging processor. The autofocusing system has more than doubled from just five points on the K2000 to 11 on the K-x, and burst shooting has accelerated from 3.5 frames per second to 4.7. Software now gives access to a high dynamic range mode that composites three photos together to expose the added detail, a 16-person face detection system, and 16 in-camera special effects that can be combined in the same shot.
Despite the feature increase, the K-x will be one of the least expensive new DSLRs on the market and should cost $650 in a kit with an 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 lens. Two dual-lens kits are also due that will tout both the kit lens as well as either a 50-200mm f4-5.6 telephoto lens (for $750) or a new 55-300mm f4-5.8 lens (for $850). All three ship in October, and kits will come both in traditional black as well as navy blue, red and white, all with color-matched lenses.