Before that I had a K20D, I have 6 months, and 8,500 images used long, also I have a Nikon D90 (11,500 images), so I can compare well the K20D and the D90 with the Kx.
The Kx is small, compact, yet smaller than the K20D, and much smaller than the D90, looks good, look and feel are still to be described as "dibasic" as though they do not quite come along with the K20D and D90. But at this point I was rather surprised. The usability is good if you are used to DSLR's to get immediately clear with this Kx, even without the manual. Most functions are logical and intuitive. The many -very guten- automatic functions seem like a good consumer-Compacts to (but in a good way) what beginners or climbers should come very accommodating of a compact units. But me as an old DSLR-hare the automatic modes and "scenes", etc. are very sympathetic because they work well and deliver good-quality images. Still, I would not classify the Kx as "beginner's camera," because they know more about the pro-heart desires, needs a lot of manual settings and configurations, all of the professional. Apart from a battery grip (BG).
Together with the 18-55 WR lens keeping a nice, small, compact DSLR in your hands, which is almost less than some bridge camera but with its APS-C sensor a much better image quality than a bridge, especially in low light conditions ( Low-Light). Compared to a bridge just stands out the freedom from noise.
Quite outstanding. That's the biggest surprise that provides the Kx, I think. For this price range quite exceptional image quality, with very natural colors, good sharpness / detail resolution, and amazingly low noise up to ISO 3200 (!). The image quality is better than the K20D and my D90 equal! That's saying something! So far for me was the D90, the measure of all things in terms of image quality with DSLRs in this price category. The Kx came by playing! Especially with my DA 18-55 WR lens provides the Kx crisp and natural images, including fully exposed very well, because the matrix metering the Kx reached D90 level and thus surpasses the K20D. But even with my Sigma 18-200 and 70-300 zoom provides the Kx very exquisite images with very little waste.
However, at one point the Kx does not come close to the K20D: In terms of image stabilization / anti shake the sensor. That's significantly less powerful than the K20D, or D90 in the Kx. It creates only +2 EV improvement and not as the K20D +4 and / or the D90 (the D90 depending on the lenses, because with Nikon sits the image stabilization in the lens, not the sensor). In any case: in focal length = 200mm I create with the Kx sharp images only up to t = 1 / 80s. In the K20D and the D90 there are up to 1 / 20s, that's a big difference.
So in summary:
++ Beautifully small and compact. Together with a Pentax 18-55 lens is a small beautiful camera that is easy to transport.
++ Look and feel good. Quality workmanship.
++ Excellent image quality and low noise up to ISO 3200 !!
++ Excellent JPG Engine -> Very good image quality out-of-the-cam (little to no post-processing software on PC required).
++ Good operability, logically arranged menus.
Wishes ++ All manual settings of the professional, yet.
++ Very good Automatic modes with presets, therefore very suitable for beginners and / or Compact - climber.
++ Intelligent Automatic (camera automatically searches for auto scenes).
++ HD video available and good (for me but not very important).
++ Fast and precise auto focus, my D90 equal (that's saying something!)
++ Very good, smart, matrix multi-field exposure with a "hit rate" greater than 90%, similar to my D90 (the D90 is set standards on this issue).
++ Using AA batteries. Although you can consider this feature as a disadvantage, it is for me -subjektiv- rather much a positive step. With Lithium AA batteries are supposed to be 1,000 rounds (which I have not yet checked). With Eneloop 2000 NiMH batteries I have so far managed 400 pictures, 10% of them with lightning.
++ HDR function (but only works with stand as motion blur can not be corrected, and only the final image is stored).
++ Automatic correction of lens errors (distortion and chromatic aberration), the camera is but this slows as this calls for computing power of the CPU, the check image after taking a picture is for example only after 4 seconds instead after. Despite good thing in some situations.
++ Pixelmapping available. Important and very good thing. Because each sensor can even get hot pixels. The K20D has this important function well, not my Nikon D90, however.
++ Anti Shake / image stabilization on the sensor, which means interchangeable lenses need not have image stabilization in the lens and are therefore smaller, lighter and cheaper.
- Housing may * to * small (although the smallness has many advantages as appropriate), but some chunky man's hand might not cope with this smallness.
- Housing is so small that you can get with large lenses as with my Sigma 70-300 problems, the lens has no counterweight and hanging vertically down, very annoying if you are carrying the camera lens combo on camera strap around your neck. With a small 18-55 lens, however, the Kx is delightfully small, light and compact, and hangs well and pleasantly by the collar.
- A battery grip to compensate for the above-mentioned problem some can not be retrofitted (!). So this is probably a mistake by Pentax, which have thereby only thought. This might be the main point, which is why one should denote the Kx as a beginner DSLR and maybe not suitable for professionals.
- No indication of the focus in the viewfinder. (Has not bothered me surprisingly little since the AF excellent and reliable functioning). But for example, for macro shooting This is but a strong disadvantage.
- Weak image stabilization, just +2 EV.
- Unsuitable and unreliable battery indicator, you never know how much energy you have, you have to guess and always have spare batteries here. There is virtually no warning, suddenly the batteries are completely empty.
- Housing not sealed against dust and splash as the K20D (my D90 is also not sealed), therefore a disadvantage only to the K20D.
- Live View is simply useless, too slow (like Nikon and Canon are not also are better at this point, only offer Sony DSLR's useful Live View)
- DAL 18-55 kit lens comes without lens hood, only plastic bayonet and has no Quickshift (manual correction of AF) as the AL II Lens
Overall I give four stars and a buy recommendation for beginners climbers of the compact class, women (and men?) With small hands, and are more important to people for the image quality and low noise as criteria such Handbarkeit (handling, size), battery grip, etc. are.
For advanced amateurs and / or professionals I recommend this nice little Cam but rather as a second camera, a full recommendation I can not bring myself .... My subjective opinion ...
The Kx is very for "professionals" to recommend eg do not want to lug 4 kg cameras and lenses at a mountain hike or bike ride but to do something small and lightweight, but without compromising on image quality. For this, the Kx is awesome suitable. As a second DSLR precisely.
The Kx is highly Backpack suitable as it were, the ideal DSLR for mountain tours.
PS if you have experienced this review helpful: I am very pleased with each click on the "Yes" button - it's nice when you realize that it is useful to create a review here.