Pentax K-x Digital Camera Review$650.00
The K-x offers a fully automatic shooting mode that attempts to use scene recognition and set the camera accordingly. We like this approach, and found that the system usually made an appropriate choice. Among the other shooting modes, the only oddball is Sv (for sensitivity value), which adjusts the aperture and shutter speed based on changes to the ISO setting.
The K-x incorporates a significant autofocus system improvement over the K2000 introduced earlier this year. The camera now uses 11 autofocus points (versus 5 for the K2000) and offers four AF point selection modes: the camera can choose from 5 or 11 points, the user can select one of 11 points manually, or the center point can be set in spot mode.
Autofocus speed isn't lightning-fast, but it's not bad — certainly up to the task for day-to-day shooting, and even sports photography works reasonably well, particularly when using continuous focus mode.
If you're trying to snag a sharp shot of a moving subject, catch-in focus is available. You set the focus on a point that the subject will pass and hold the shutter button halfway. When your quarry appears and is in focus, the shutter trips automatically.
The camera doesn't have a dedicated autofocus assist lamp, relying instead on a brief burst of light from the pop-up flash to help achieve focus in dark environments. Fortunately, the system works quickly enough in most low-light conditions even without the flash assist, so you'll be able to take your indoor candids without being branded a flasher.
When focusing manually, the viewfinder focus confirmation indicator lights when the subject comes into focus. However, the focus ring on the kit lens has very little friction, making manual focusing a chore, and hitting the precise point where that indicator light blinks on is awfully tricky.
The K-x supports four resolution settings. There are three available JPEG compression settings. In both RAW and RAW+JPEG modes, shooting is supported in Pentax's PEF format or the DNG format created by Adobe. One of the many options for the programmable Green Button is switching temporarily to RAW+JPEG mode.
Post-Shot Image Adjustment
This is an innovative idea we don't remember seeing before. Say you shoot a JPEG image and realize you should have used a different white balance setting, As long as you haven't taken another shot, you can press the left-most button on the four-way controller and bring up the white balance setting screen. You can then change the white balance setting, while viewing an on-screen playback of the photo you just shot, and save an alternative image based on the original uncompressed data stored in the buffer, avoiding any image quality deterioration that ordinarily occurs when editing JPEGs. You can also change the custom image setting in the same way, based on uncompressed data, though the procedure for doing this described in the manual is entirely incorrect. Instead of pressing the right four-way controller button as specified, you have to bring up the quick menu system and choose Custom Image to make the adjustment.
Copyright and Photographer Info
Copyright and photographer name information can be automatically stored in the EXIF data with an image.