Offering a conventional digital SLR design and layout, the 12.4Mp Pentax K-x digital SLR won't baffle anyone trading up from a compact camera.

Offering a conventional digital SLR design and layout, the 12.4Mp Pentax K-x won't baffle anyone trading up from a compact camera, as a point-and-shoot auto picture mode is the most prominent setting among the 14 options on its top-mounted mode dial. The pricing also includes a standard 18-55mm zoom.

The Pentax K-x digital SLR camera feels lightweight and plastic, although not in a bad way. With a decent, full-sized grip, its sturdiness is thanks to four AA batteries inserted into the base of the grip, plus a stainless steel inner frame. Pentax claims that rechargeable batteries will give enough power for up to 1,900 images; with normal batteries it's a less impressive 200 shots.

Flick the power switch encircling the Pentax K-x digital SLR camera's shutter release button and you're up and shooting instantly. The rear LCD displays essential information in a clear, colourful format, and a cool blue light illuminates the top plate. A dedicated Live View button makes switching between the optical viewfinder and rear LCD to compose shots easy.

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More unusually at this level, you can boost the Pentax K-x digital SLR camera's light sensitivity settings to an equivalent ISO 12800 for flash-free photography in near darkness - a setting usually only found on semi-professional digital SLRs. Add HD video recording - at 1280x720 pixels, 24fps - and in-body stabilisation from Pentax's own sensor-shifting Shake Reduction mechanism, and the K-x is a winning affordable all-in-one device.

Pentax offers a range of digital effects: toy camera, high contrast, soft, starburst, retro, extract colour, fish-eye, and a custom setting. Image wise, even exposures are the norm. Colours are a little cool - but realistically so - with the Pentax K-x digital SLR camera left on its default settings. In the main, the camera and basic kit lens configuration perform very well.

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Pentax K-x: Specs

  • 12.4Mp digital SLR camera
  • max resolution: 4288x2848 (stills), 1280x720p (video)
  • 2.7in LCD screen (230k)
  • 11-point AF
  • USB 2.0
  • supports Jpeg/RAW
  • SD/SDHC
  • 4 x AA batteries
  • 123x92x68mm
  • 515g
  • 12.4Mp digital SLR camera
  • max resolution: 4288x2848 (stills), 1280x720p (video)
  • 2.7in LCD screen (230k)
  • 11-point AF
  • USB 2.0
  • supports Jpeg/RAW
  • SD/SDHC
  • 4 x AA batteries
  • 123x92x68mm
  • 515g

OUR VERDICT

The Pentax K-x digital SLR camera is a beginner-friendly model featuring most of the latest must-haves – and the best choice here for those wanting video too – but the lack of a rechargeable battery is a pain.

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