Pentax K-x Viewfinder

The Pentax Kx's viewfinder is an optical, eye-level through-the-lens type, with the LCD monitor also able to display an image preview, in Live View mode.

Pentax says the K-x's optical viewfinder provides a coverage of about 96% and a magnification of approximately 0.85x. The K-x's dioptric correction adjustment (for eyeglass wearers) has a range from -2.5 to +1.5 diopter. The eyepoint is unspecified. Like basically every camera in its class, the Pentax K-x's viewfinder is a pentamirror design, which is less costly, but also less bright than pentaprism implementations. The focusing screen is not listed as being interchangeable, but it definitely is. We're a little surprised that Pentax doesn't make a big deal out of this, as it gives them another accessory to sell, and helps the Kx stand out from other entry-level DSLRs. From what we can tell, the Kx uses the same focusing screens as the K2000/K100D/K200D/K10D/K20D.

The Pentax K-x's viewfinder readouts mostly do a good job of communicating camera status and exposure settings, showing most of the usual info such as flash status, focus mode, shutter speed, aperture, focus confirmation, ISO sensitivity, EV compensation, anti-shake status, etc. One important indication is, sadly, absent however. While the K-x does show frames indicating the outside limits of the area covered by its autofocus points, it doesn't show their individual locations, nor does it offer any indication as to which point has been automatically or manually selected. Manual point selection is indicated on the LCD display, requiring the user to look away from the viewfinder while selecting AF points. In this respect, the K-x is identical to its predecessor the K2000 / K-m, which also lacked AF point indication. It's likely that a little cost was saved by excluding this feature from the design, but we have to wonder if it's a bit of a false economy. Pentax may be turning away potential users who might otherwise consider the camera, by lacking a feature that's pretty common in other consumer DSLRs (and pretty much essential in every prosumer or professional model). With that gentle rant over, see the diagram below (courtesy of Pentax) for the complete list of viewfinder indications.

AF Frame
Focus Indicator
Spot Metering Area
Number of Recordable Images
Flash Status
EV Compensation Value
Picture Mode
Exposure Value (Manual mode)
Shake Reduction
Shutter Speed
Manual Focus Mode
Aperture Value
AE Lock



Viewfinder Test Results

Good accuracy from the optical viewfinder, very good from the LCD.

70mm, Optical
70mm, LCD (Live View)

The Pentax K-x's optical viewfinder showed just over 95 percent coverage accuracy with our Sigma 70mm f/2.8 prime lens. There was also a slight shift in the image compared to the sensor. The LCD monitor showed just over 98 percent coverage in Live View mode, with no detectable shift. This is good performance for a consumer model, but just below Pentax's specification of 96 and 100 percent coverage respectively.


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