Is Pentax on to a winner with its first K mount DSLR featuring a shake-reduction system?....
Previous *ist owners will instantly feel comfortable with the camera, as it follows the form and design of other recent Pentax DSLRs very closely. Unlike the recent *ists though, this model is black only
The body is small – one of Pentax’s USPs is the size of its cameras – but feels robust and there’s plenty of purchase around the grip for long-fingered hands. The strength comes from a new stainless steel chassis surrounded by a fibre-reinforced engineering plastic housing, which Pentax claims provides rigidity and durability
Despite weighing just 560g, the camera does have a feel of toughness and quality. The port covers and battery compartment flap are secure and tough, too.
For this model, Pentax is sticking to normal batteries, as the camera takes 4xAA or 2 CR-V3 lithium cells.
The overall camera layout follows previous models, with a rear command dial for changing aperture and shutter, as well as other functions, and a limited number of buttons on the outside. Common functions can be found in a quick-access menu, via the function button and four-way controller. From here you can change white balance, ISO, drive modes and flash functions.
Several other functions need to be changed in the menu, which we found time-consuming and we’d like to have quicker access to metering patterns and AF point selection modes.
As this is an entry-level model, Pentax could add a help menu, as Nikon does, to help people along. For example, the Image Tone option offers two tones: Vivid and Natural. However, it uses a graphic to badly illustrate this, which doesn’t tell you anything. Other manufacturers manage to fit more into smaller screens; why can’t Pentax?
Other features fare better. The buttons are easily reached when you use the camera and, in AF-point selection mode, the four-way controller fairly easily allows the AF-point selection, which is nice.