Pentax K-x entry-level DSLR: $650 for 12.4MP and 720p

Pentax have outed their latest entry-level DSLR, the Pentax K-x, complete with a 12.4-megapixel CMOS sensor, 2.7-inch LCD with Live View and a very attractive base price of just $649.95.  That gets you the K-x and a bundled DA L 18-55mm lens, together with 720p HD video recording and image stabilization.

There's Pentax's PRIME II processing engine together with 11-point wide angle SAFOX VIII autofocusing, Auto Picture and scene modes, and an HDR (high dynamic range) mode that combines three separate shots into one, maximising shadow, highlight and midrange detail.  Best of all – for those holiday power panics – it can run on AA lithium batteries, with a fresh set good for 1,900 shots.

The Pentax K-x will be available not only in black but in navy blue, red and white; however the red and navy will be limited editions, so you may have to snap them up sooner rather than later.  It'll arrive, at $649.95, in October; alternatively Pentax will sell you the K-x and both the smc PENTAX DA L 18-55mm lens and smc PENTAX DA L 50-200mm zoom lens for $749.95, or for $849.95 a K-x body, the smc PENTAX DA L 18-55mm lens and the smc PENTAX DA L 55-300mm zoom lens.

Press Release:

PENTAX Announces Affordable, New PENTAX K-x With HD Video and Live View

GOLDEN, Colo.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–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 USD $649.95 (for body with DA L 18-55mm lens), 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 easily tracks 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).

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 PENTAX K-x is now available for pre-order in black or white on and the product will ship in October 2009 in three options:

K-x single lens kit with body and smc PENTAX DA L 18-55mm lens for USD $649.95.

K-x twin lens kit for $749.95 with K-x body, smc PENTAX DA L 18-55mm lens and smc PENTAX DA L 50-200mm zoom lens.

K-x twin lens kit for $849.95 including a K-x body, the smc PENTAX DA L 18-55mm lens and the smc PENTAX DA L 55-300mm zoom lens.

Limited edition colors of red and navy will become available at select locations to be announced.