This camera (Pentax K-x) has the potential to break a lot of hearts... hearts convinced that you gotta buy full frame if you want to take photos in low light...hearts conviced that Micro Four-Thirds cameras like the Olympus E-P1 and E-P2, Panasonic G-1, GH-1, and GF-1 are the only big sensor/small camera options available....hearts convinced that the image quality of the bulky Canon G11 is good enough for a camera of that size...and hearts convinced that camera has to be black.

Frankly, I'm blown away by the new Pentax K-x. In many ways it outperforms my much more serious, bigger, and pro-am minded K20d. It's considered an entry-level camera but in many ways punches above it's weight class; it's like the Manny Pacquiao of digital SLRs.

With the DA 40/F2.8 Limited pancake pictured it's easy enough to add to your messenger bag, large purse or murse and always have with you. The picture quality of this combo will blow away all point-and-shoots and can also embarrass more serious, larger dSLRs. When the sun sets, it will take pictures in really low light without breaking a sweat. I took photos of my nephew blowing out the candles on his birthday cake. He's only 4 and that was the only light in the room.

One of the dirty little marketing secrets of the digital SLR world is that entry-level dSLRs are capable of great images. The sensors in the entry-level models are very often very capable, but the product marketing folks have seen fit to exclude some usability and convenience features as well as compromise build quality in order to enter the entry level and not cannibalize their more expensive lines. The Pentax product marketing folks have done the same - this camera doesn't have a bright viewfinder or little red dots to tell you where the focus point is, or a second dial to control both shutter and aperture, or the weather-sealing of it's more expensive cousins.

But none of these are real deal-breakers for me. For years, photographers with lesser gear but more skill have taken breathtaking photos, and I know that my photographic journey continues more in my head than with what's in my hands.

Oh, and did I mention that it's available in red?

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