Pentax unwrap unexpected K-x

Pentax K-x - 12.4 megapixel APS-S size CMOS

For those who can't stretch to the $1300 / £1050 asked for the Pentax K7 (such as photojournalists, press photographers and indeed pretty much anyone working as a photographer these days), the company has introduced a new upper entry level model based on the K2000 (K-m). In a first for Pentax the new K-x has a 12.4 megapixel CMOS sensor and has many similar features to the K7, such as the much needed 11-point AF system, shooting at a brisk 4.7fps, and sensitivity from ISo200-64,000. There's the ubiquitous Live View and HD video capture too. We think this is a mighty fine camera already, and we haven't even seen it yet.

Read the full specification in the press release after the jump.

Virtual K-x, from the comparator on the Japan website

Want to see what your K-x looks in various colors (there's a choice of four in the US and Europe), but for the home market, check out the comparator (Japan only).


An Entry-Class Digital SLR Camera with Sophisticated Features

PENTAX UK is pleased to announce the launch of the PENTAX K-x lens-interchangeable digital SLR camera. The K-x combines a variety of advanced features and user-friendly functions to ensure an outstanding level of photographic performance within a compact, lightweight body.

The K-x design is based on the award winning PENTAX K-m, an entry-class digital SLR camera launched in October 2008 that gained popularity for its compact, lightweight body and simple, user-friendly operation. The K-x features a newly designed high performance CMOS image sensor and an upgraded filter function. It also features a whole host of advanced features such as live view shooting and movie recording, approximately 12.4 megapixels and high-speed continuous shooting. The K-x is the perfect camera for first-time digital SLR camera users, as well as an ideal backup camera for more experienced photographers.

The K-x is launched in conjunction with the smc PENTAX-DA L 55-300mm F4-5.8 ED super-telephoto zoom lens. This zoom lens is designed to be lightweight without compromising the exceptional optical performance common to all PENTAX lenses, making super-telephoto photography easier and smoother for K-x users. The smc PENTAX-DA L 55-300mm comes as part of a K-x twin lens Kit package.

Main Features of the PENTAX K-x:

1. High-quality image reproduction
(1) Approximately 12.4 effective megapixels for true-to-life image reproduction
The K-x incorporates a newly developed CMOS image sensor to assure high-speed image data read-out at varying ISO sensitivity levels. With approximately 12.4 effective megapixels, this image sensor can reproduce true-to-life images with fine detail and rich depth of colours. The K-x also offers a wide sensitivity range between ISO 200 and ISO 6400 and allows the user to expand the sensitivity range between ISO 100 and ISO 12800 via a custom function, giving greater creative freedom.

(2) High-performance, high-speed PRIME (PENTAX Real Image Engine) II imaging engine
Thanks to new technologies supplied by Fujitsu Microelectronics Limited, this new imaging engine offers greater data processing speed and enhanced capability to produce higher-quality images with richer, more accurate colour rendition, as well as faster transmission speed of movie data.

2. Compact, lightweight body
Despite the incorporation of the large 23.6mm x 15.8mm image sensor, the K-x is one of the most compact, lightweight digital SLR cameras in its class.

3. Live View function, with Face detection of up to 16 faces
The K-x features a live view function, which allows the user to view the image on its LCD monitor during shooting. The K-x also offers a choice of three different focusing modes during live view shooting: Contrast AF, which optimises the focus based on the subject’s contrast; Face Detection AF, which automatically detects up to 16 faces, selects the main subject’s face from multiple faces, then captures it in sharp focus; and Phase Difference AF, which uses the AF sensor positioned in the camera body to optimise focus on the subject.

4. High-quality recording at 1280 x 720 pixels, with HDTV-proportion movie recording at 24 frames per second
The K-x provides a movie recording function* which captures beautiful, 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. This extends the benefits of high-quality SLR photography to the world of movie shooting.

5. PENTAX-original SR mechanism for sharp, blur-free images
The K-x features the PENTAX-developed SR (Shake Reduction) mechanism. This innovative mechanism extends its benefits to almost all PENTAX interchangeable lenses - even those designed for film-format cameras.** Thanks to this mechanism, the K-x produces sharp, blur-free images even under demanding conditions prone to camera shake, such as when using a telephoto lens, shooting in the dark without a flash illumination, and taking pictures of 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.

6. 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 - the fastest of all entry-class models. The K-x also features a new, reliable shutter unit, which proved its dependability and ruggedness through a demanding action test of more than 100,000 shutter releases. Its top shutter speed of 1/6000 second allows the photographer to preserve sharp, crisp images of fast-moving subjects.
7. Innovative image processing functions to produce distinctive photographic expressions
(1) Digital filter function
The K-x’s digital filter function allows the user 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, the user can even apply different filters one after another to a single image to create more personalised visual effects.
(2) Cross process mode
The K-x features the new cross process mode, in which the camera automatically and randomly shifts photographic parameters for each exposure to create eye-catching images with unique, fanciful colours — just like pictures treated with the cross process*** in film photography.
*** A film development technique that takes advantage of unconventional film developers to create a distinctive finishing touch with intriguing colours.

8. High-precision 11-point AF sensor
The K-x’s high-precision, wide-frame SAFOX VIII autofocus system features 11 sensor points (with nine cross-type sensors positioned in the middle) to automatically capture even off-centered subjects in sharp, crisp focus. The photographer can also select one of the sensors as a focusing point to accommodate specialised applications.

9. Other features
(1) Energy efficient circuit design for longer battery life, capable of capturing
approximately 1,900 images with four AA-size lithium batteries
(2) Custom Image function to create unique finishing touches
(3) DR (Dust Removal) mechanism to eliminate annoying dust spots on
recorded images and visually check for the adhesion of dust to the image sensor
(4) 2.7-inch, high-resolution colour LCD monitor with approximately 230,000 dots
(5) Auto Picture mode for effortless, automatic selection of the most
appropriate shooting mode, even during Live View shooting
(6) HDR (high dynamic range) function to create one composite image with
an extra-wide dynamic range from three images with different exposures
(7) White balance control, featuring a new CTE mode to emphasise
the colour components of sunset scenes
(8) Status screen for easy, at-a-glance confirmation of various settings
on the LCD monitor
(9) Ten scene modes, with selection via simple icons
(10) Automatic compensation of distortion and lateral chromatic
aberration (available only with DA and D FA series lenses)
(11) PENTAX Digital Camera Utility 4 software package, with
RAW-data processing and browser applications
Major Features of the smc PENTAX-DA L 55-300mmF4-5.8ED lens
1. A lightweight super-telephoto zoom lens for focal lengths between 84.5mm and 460mm (in the 35mm format)
2. ED (Extra-low Dispersion) glass optical elements to assure true-to-life image descriptions and faithful colour renditions through effective compensation of chromatic aberrations over the entire zoom range.
K-x with kit lens 18-55mm DAL: $649.99 / £599.99
K-x with double kit lens 18-55mm DAL + 55-300mm DAL: $849.99 / £749.99

September 2009


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