Pentax K-m review
Pentax has built up something of a reputation for releasing high-quality entry-level DSLRs.
Its K range is now in its fifth generation of entry-level models with the addition of the K-m, a model which picks up almost directly from its predecessor – the K200D. Pentax has yet to confirm whether the K200D is to be discontinued in the UK, but this has already occurred in Japan. Given how remarkably similar the two cameras are, it would come as little surprise if the UK were to follow suit.
The K-m follows the recent trend set by both entry-level DSLRs and the new Micro Four Thirds type interchangeable-lens cameras, in so far as the main focus is the reduction of size. Measuring 122 x 92 x 68mm, the K-m is around 92% of the size of the K200D and weighs in at 575g compared to the K200D’s 630g. It’s fair to say that there has been a fair reduction in bulk between the two models.
Aside from this reduction in size, the majority of the inner workings remain the same. The K-m sports the same 23.5 x 15.7mm CCD sensor, which outputs 10.75MP and an effective resolution of 10.2MP, producing a maximum image size of 3872 x 2592 pixels – the same as the K200D. Files are stored in either Pentax’s linguistically quirky three-stage ‘Good, Better, Best’ JPEG compression, or in 12-bit Raw.
While it is becoming more common for manufacturers to ‘update’ their cameras without actually changing a great deal, one area that is normally improved upon is the LCD screen. With the K-m, however, Pentax has chosen to leave it alone – as with the K200D, the K-m sports a 2.7in, 230k-dot LCD screen, the size of which is still slightly larger than a few of its big name competitors.
As with the K200D before, the K-m features Pentax’s proprietary in-camera shake reduction system. With it, any K-mount lens attached to the body of the K-m automatically benefits from shake reduction. It’s not all identical between the K-m and its K200D predecessor with regards to the inner workings of the camera, however. The K-m features an extended ISO range that now offers a high ISO of 3200 (compared to 1600) that will be of benefit for those looking to shoot in low light and don’t mind a small amount of image noise. What may be seen as a loss for some from the K200D on the K-m is the reduction of AF points, which now number just five from 11. All of this technology is powered, as before in the K200D, with four AA batteries.