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Pentax's K-x digital SLR. Photo provided by Pentax Imaging Co. Pentax K-x digital SLR announced, previewed
(Thursday, September 17, 2009 - 00:00 EDT)

Pentax Imaging Co. has today announced its second new single-lens reflex digital camera model of the year, the Pentax K-x.

The K-x replaces last year's K2000 model in the company's lineup, and continues the same hyphenated naming schema that debuted for the US market with the company's flagship DSLR, the Pentax K-7. (In markets outside of the United States, the K2000 is known as the K-m, and so was the first model to adopt a hyphenated name).

The Pentax K-x takes some of the impressive features from the K-7, and places them in a more consumer-friendly body whose design is almost unchanged from that of the K2000. The main changes in the are a new image sensor and processor, Pentax's 11-point SAFOX VIII AF module, the addition of both live view and 24fps high-definition video capability, and significant boosts to both the camera's maximum shutter speed (1/6000), ISO sensitivity (up to a boosted ISO 12,800) and burst-shooting (4.7 fps) capabilities. As with its flagship sibling, the Pentax Kx has a rated shutter life of 100,000 cycles - unusually high for such an affordable camera.

The K-x also includes the unusual high dynamic range mode that debuted in the K7, and retains the company's wide range of filter effects and custom image modes, as well as in-camera Raw processing capability - all of which combine to offer a significant degree of creative freedom without the need to touch a PC. One new effect has been added to the Pentax Kx, dubbed the Cross Process mode. It's intended to offer a similar effect to the film processing technique. Cross processing of film involves intentionally using processing chemicals with a film type for which they weren't intended, with unpredictable but sometimes eyecatching effect. The Cross Process filter in the Kx makes quasi-random changes to an image, with the final effect unknown until it is shown on the camera's display.

The Pentax K-x digital SLR will initially be available from October 2009 in three different kit versions, and two body colors - either black or white. The most affordable kit version will include an smc Pentax DA L 18-55mm zoom lens for a total price of around US$650. Two twin lens kits will couple this 18-55mm lens with either an smc Pentax DA L 50-200mm zoom lens for about $750, or with a new smc Pentax DA L 55-300mm zoom lens for approximately $850. As with the previously announced DA L lenses, the new lens is a variant of an existing lens with certain alterations made to reduce weight and cost, such as the use of a plastic lens mount. Two unusual limited edition Kx body colors - red or navy blue - will also be available in limited distribution, with details on those versions to be announced at a later date.

For more details, read our hands-on Pentax K-x preview!

Pentax K-x
Pentax's K-x digital SLR. Photo provided by Pentax Imaging Co. Click for a bigger picture!
Camera TypeSLR
Model NumberK-x
Dimensions4.8 x 3.6 x 2.7 in.
(122 x 92 x 69 mm)
Weight20.5 oz
(581 g)
Planned Price$650
Planned AvailabilityOctober 2009
Image Capture
Sensor TypeCMOS
APS-C (approx. 1.11 in. diagonal)
12.90 megapixels (total)
12.40 megapixels (effective)
Filter TypeRGBG
Focal Length Multiplier1.50
Aspect Ratio3:2
Image Dimensions4288 x 2848 (12.2 megapixels)
3936 x 2624 (10.3 megapixels)
3072 x 2048 (6.3 megapixels)
1728 x 1152 (2.0 megapixels)
Capture SpeedContinuous: 4.7 frames per second for 17 frames
Image Quality3 levels
Image Preview / Review
ViewfinderYes, SLR type; fixed eye-level pentamirror, 96% coverage, 0.85x mag., -2.5 to +1.5 diopter
LCD2.7 in. diagonal
230,000 dots (approx. 77,000 pixels)
Playback Zoom16.0x max
Lens TypeInterchangeable Lens
3x optical zoom
52mm lens thread
Lens MountPENTAX KAF2; KAF3/2, KAF, KA
Image StabilizationYes
Focal Length18.0 - 55.0mm (actual)
27 - 84mm (35mm equivalent)
Aperture Rangef/3.5 - 22 (W), f/5.6 - 38 (T)
Focusing SystemSAFOX VIII TTL phase-detect 11 point (9 cross) AF: 11 pt auto, 5 pt auto, AF pt select, center/spot
Has AF assist lamp
Manual focus possible
ISO SensitivityAuto (200-6400), 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400, 12800
Shutter Speed30 - 1/6000 second
Exposure ModesAperture, Shutter, Manual
Metering Modes16-segment Multi, Center-weighted, Spot
Exposure Compensation+/- 2.0EV in 1/3EV increments
White BalanceImage Sensor - Auto, Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent (D, N, W, L), Flash, Custom
Internal FlashGuide Number: 12
Modes: On, off, redeye, slow sync, slow sync w redeye, slow sync w trailing curtain, wireless
Range: Depends on lens
Flash Exposure Compensation+/- -2.0EV in 1/2EV increments
Scene ModesAuto 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 TimerYes, 2 or 12 seconds
Movie FormatMax. clip length: 1,500 seconds ()
Recording MediumSD/MMC including SDHC
File SystemFAT16, FAT32, complies with Design Rule for Camera File System (DCF)
File Format12-bit RAW (.PEF, .DNG), JPEG (EXIF 2.21)
VideoStandard definition: Yes, NTSC / PAL switchable
ComputerUSB 2.0 High Speed
OtherAC adapter available
Battery TypeLithium, Alkaline disposables; NiMH rechargeables
Battery Form Factor4 x AA
Product Bundle
Battery / Charger4 x AA Alkaline disposables battery
Digital Print Order Format (DPOF) compliantYes
PictBridge CompliantYes
Internal MicrophoneYes
Internal SpeakerYes
Tripod MountYes
Remote ControlYes, Optional IR
NotesSensor-shift shake reduction, 720p HD video capture, Live View with face detection. Available in black or white. Limited edition colors of red and navy will become available at select locations to be announced.
More Photos
Pentax's K-x digital SLR. Photo provided by Pentax Imaging Co. Click for a bigger picture!
Pentax's K-x digital SLR. Photo provided by Pentax Imaging Co. Click for a bigger picture!
Pentax's K-x digital SLR. Photo provided by Pentax Imaging Co. Click for a bigger picture!
Pentax's K-x digital SLR. Photo provided by Pentax Imaging Co. Click for a bigger picture!
Pentax's K-x digital SLR. Photo provided by Pentax Imaging Co. Click for a bigger picture!
Pentax's K-x digital SLR. Photo provided by Pentax Imaging Co. Click for a bigger picture!
Pentax's K-x digital SLR. Photo provided by Pentax Imaging Co. Click for a bigger picture!
Pentax's K-x digital SLR. Photo provided by Pentax Imaging Co. Click for a bigger picture!
Pentax's K-x digital SLR. Photo provided by Pentax Imaging Co. Click for a bigger picture!

Original Source Press Release:

Pentax Announces Affordable, New Pentax K-x With High-End Features Including HD Video And Live View

GOLDEN, CO (September 16, 2009)… PENTAX Imaging Company redefines the entry-level digital SLR category with the introduction of the K-x digital SLR. This latest PENTAX camera offers high-end features including Live View and HD video. And, since there’s no rule that SLR cameras must come in black only, the K-x will be available in a choice of white or black, as well as special, limited edition red and navy.

Priced at $649.95 USD (for body with DA L 18-55mm lens), the extremely compact and lightweight PENTAX K-x forges ahead on the trail initiated by the popular PENTAX K2000. With a one-handed shooting design and simple, easy-to-use operation, the K-x is perfect for users stepping up from a point and shoot digital camera to their first digital SLR.

The PENTAX K-x offers photographic performance that challenges higher class DSLR models and offers several features that set this camera apart in the entry-level category:

  • 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).

  • Widescreen HD video capture in full 720p resolution (1280x720) at 24 FPS cinematic framerate, using any PENTAX 35mm lens.

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

  • True High Dynamic Range (HDR) image capture blends 3 bracketed images into a single picture with outstanding shadow, highlight, and midrange detail.

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

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

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

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

All combined, the PENTAX K-x is the perfect camera for new digital SLR camera users as well as an ideal backup camera for more experienced photographers.

Along with the K-x, PENTAX announced the smc PENTAX DA L 55-300mm F4-5.8 ED super-telephoto zoom lens. This lens will be exclusive to a K-x Twin Lens Kit package consisting of a K-x body, this new lens and the smc PENTAX DA L 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 lens. The lightweight design of this zoom lens offers the exceptional optical performance found in all PENTAX lenses for super-telephoto photography with the K-x and other PENTAX digital SLR camera bodies.

The PENTAX K-x is now available for pre-order in black or white on http://www.pentaxwebstore.com/
Product images are available here: www.pentaximaging.com/press/pressfiles.html
An informational video is available here: www.youtube.com/Pentaxian1

PENTAX Imaging Company is an innovative leader in the production of a variety of digital cameras including weather resistant digital SLRs and compact, waterproof cameras, as well as lenses, flash units, binoculars, scopes, and eyepieces. For 90 years, PENTAX has developed durable, reliable products that meet the needs of consumers and businesses. With headquarters in Golden, Colorado, PENTAX Imaging Company is a division of PENTAX of America, Inc.

# # #

Consumer contact:


12.4 effective megapixels
The K-x incorporates a newly developed CMOS image sensor to assure high-speed image data readout and more flexibility with varying ISO sensitivity levels. With approximately 12.4 effective megapixels, this image sensor accurately reproduces true-to-life images with fine detail and rich color depth. The K-x offers a wide sensitivity range between ISO 200 and ISO 6400 and allows users to expand the sensitivity range between ISO 100 and ISO 12800 via a custom function to offer greater creative freedom to photographers.

Compact, lightweight body
The PENTAX K-x is one of the most compact, lightweight digital SLR cameras in its class. The stainless-steel chassis and overall design offer a space-efficient layout.

Widescreen HD movie recording at 1280x720 pixels at a cinematic 24 frames per second (720p24)
The PENTAX K-x movie recording function* captures 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. Compatible with every PENTAX interchangeable lens ever made, the Video Capture mode opens a new world of creativity for PENTA K-x owners.
* When the PENTAX K-x’s AV output terminal is used, movie clips are viewed at normal resolution. The data must be transferred to a PC for the playback of movie clips at high-definition TV proportions (1280 x 720 pixels).

PENTAX-original SR mechanism for sharp, blur-free images
The K-x features the PENTAX-developed Shake Reduction mechanism that effectively compensates for the adverse effects of camera shake by as much as four shutter steps. This innovative mechanism extends its benefits to all PENTAX interchangeable lenses — even those designed for film-format cameras.* With this SR mechanism, the K-x produces sharp, blur-free images even under demanding conditions such as telephoto lens photography, shooting in dark or low-light setting without a flash illumination, and 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.

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. This is the fastest of all entry-class models. The K-x also features a more reliable shutter unit, which passed a demanding action test of more than 100,000 shutter releases. The top shutter speed of 1/6000 second allows the photographer to preserve sharp, crisp images of fast-moving subjects.

High-performance, high-speed PRIME II imaging engine
The K-x features the newly developed PRIME (PENTAX Real IMage Engine) II, that is an upgrade of the original PRIME imaging engine. This new imaging engine offers greater data processing speed and enhanced capability to produce higher-quality images with richer, more accurate color rendition, as well as faster transmission speed of movie data.

Live View function with Face detection of up to 16 faces
In addition to the camera’s viewfinder, the K-x features a Live View function that allows users to view subjects on the LCD monitor during shooting. The K-x also offers a choice of three different focusing modes in Live View:

  • Contrast Auto Focus optimizes the focus based on the subject’s contrast.

  • Face Detection Auto Focus automatically detects up to 16 faces, then selects the main subject’s face from multiple faces, and captures it in sharp focus.

  • Phase Difference Auto Focus accesses the AF sensor positioned in the camera body to optimize focus on the subject.

Innovative Image Processing Functions

Digital Filter function
The K-x’s digital filter function allows users 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 including Color Extract, Retro, Soft, Starburst, Toy Camera, and more (including a custom filter for building multiple effects), photographers may apply multiple filters to a single image for customized effects.

Cross Process mode
The K-x features a new Cross Process mode that automatically and randomly adds finishing touches to exposures to create eye-catching images with unique, intriguing colors (just like images treated with Cross Process* in film photography). This mode adds a whimsical element to digital photography since photographers don’t know the results until the captured image is actually displayed on the camera’s LCD monitor.
* A film development technique that takes advantage of unconventional film developers to create a distinctive finishing touch with intriguing colors.

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

Additional features

  • Custom Image modes offer high quality processing for images

  • 2.7 inch, high-resolution color LCD monitor with approximately 230,000 dots of resolution

  • Auto Picture mode for effortless, automatic selection of the most appropriate shooting mode, even during Live View shooting

  • Status screen for easy, at-a-glance confirmation of various settings on the LCD monitor

  • Ten scene modes, including Night Scene, Surf & Snow, Sunset, Kids, Museum, and more, available via simple icon selection

  • PENTAX Digital Camera Utility 4 software package, with RAW-data processing and image browser functions

smc PENTAX-DA L 55-300mm F4-5.8 ED Lens Fact Sheet

A lightweight super-telephoto zoom lens for focal lengths between 84.5mm and 460mm (in the 35mm format)

ED (Extra-low Dispersion) glass optical elements to assure true-to-life image descriptions and faithful color renditions through effective compensation of chromatic aberrations over the entire zoom range.


smc PENTAX-DA L 55-300mm F4-5.8 ED

Pentax's smc PENTAX-DA L 55-300mm F4-5.8 ED lens. Photo provided by Pentax Imaging Co. Click for a bigger picture!
Focal Length

55-300mm (Equivalent to 84.5-460mm in 35mm format)


F4 - 5.8

Minimum Aperture

F22 - 32

Lens Construction

12 elements in 8 groups

Angle of View

29 - 5.4° (wiith PENTAX D-SLR camera body)

Minimum Focusing Distance

4.6 ft.

Maximum Magnification


Filter Diameter


Diaphragm control

Fully Automatic

Number of Diaphragm Blades


Maximum Diameter & Minimum Length

2.8 x 4.4 in


15.0 oz.


Includes SP (Super Protect) Coating


PENTAX,K-x and smc PENTAX are trademarks of HOYA CORPORATION.
PENTAX Digital Camera Utility and SDM are trademarks of HOYA CORPORATION.
All other brands or product names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies.
Designs and specifications are subjects to change without notice.

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