A simple digital SLR camera for beginners.
- Onboard image stabilisation and dust removal
- No rechargeable battery, average kit lens with noisy focus
The entry-level Pentax K-m digital SLR is built to a high standard, with features rivalling more expensive models from competitors. The bundled 18-55mm lens is nothing special, but overall the Pentax K-m is a great SLR for beginners.
Price$ 1,075.00 (AUD)
The Pentax K-m is a digital SLR camera for novices, with a simple interface and good image quality. Its picture enhancement features are superior to competing budget SLRs, and although the bundled lens is a let-down the overall package is a great choice for a beginner.
Its basic specifications are similar to the Canon 1000D and the Nikon D60. It has a resolution of 10.2 megapixels; the same as the Nikon D60 and 0.1Mp greater than the Canon 1000D. Its 2.7in LCD has the edge over the other models, which only possess 2.5-inch panels. However at 625g it's heavier, despite being more compact than the other cameras.
We expect the reason for this is the fact that the Pentax K-m uses four AA batteries rather than a proprietary lithium-ion cell. Though Pentax quotes upwards of 1500 shots on a single set of batteries, the lack of an easy (and free) recharge option is a slight annoyance. If you’re a traveller, though, you will appreciate the ease of swapping out batteries.
Sensor-based image stabilisation makes a welcome appearance. We found it improved low-light performance measurably, helping capture clear shots down to a shutter speed of around 1/50 at f3.5. While this is no substitute for a flash or a better quality lens, it is nice to see decent on-body image stabilisation on a low-end digital SLR. In their defence, both the Canon and Nikon bodies have bundled kit lenses with image stabilisation.
The Pentax’s K-mount lens system can accept lenses designed for the small APS-C sensor size, but it also fits 35mm film-size lenses as well. The 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 lens bundled with the Pentax K-m body is nothing special — we’d put it on par with the equally mediocre 18-55mm from Canon; in our opinion the Nikon’s kit zoom is the best of the three.
All the Pentax K-m’s controls are located on the right side of the body and can be operated with one hand, leaving your left hand free to operate the lens zoom (and focus, if you’re feeling adventurous). Included in these standard controls is the new '?' button, which activates a help menu to offer composition advice for the current shooting mode or explain the functionality of camera buttons. If you are just starting out with digital SLR cameras this is useful for gaining an initial understanding of what does what.
The Pentax K-m digital SLR camera also features an Auto Picture mode, which attempts to choose the most appropriate scene mode for your shooting conditions. There are four of these modes, covering night, motion, landscape and macro; a dedicated Scene setting allows 10 more to be chosen.
The information display on the LCD panel when taking a photograph is comprehensive, showing a wide range of shooting details as well as offering direct access to more in-depth menu functions such as selecting individual focus points and image stabilisation. These menus are equally comprehensive and well thought out — we think that Pentax’s adoption of a Canon-like menu is a positive step. The Custom Image submenu lets you choose settings for colour, contrast and sharpness and offers a good preview mode of the effect changes will have.
There is no Live View mode, unlike the Canon 1000D. We don’t really mind — Live View is no substitute for looking through a viewfinder in our opinion.
As can be expected of a digital SLR, the Pentax K-m takes high quality images. The 18-55mm lens isn’t the sharpest or the fastest to focus, and it has a noisy autofocus, but it gets the job done and the images captured by the Pentax K-m are of the quality we have come to expect from a 10Mp SLR. Images are vibrant and consistently clear, with no noticeable chromatic aberration or distortion that we could see. Images up to ISO 400 were clear, while from ISO 800 upwards images suffered speckling and loss of detail.
The Pentax K-m is a fast camera, powering on in 0.7sec and releasing the shutter in 0.04sec. Burst mode captures images at around 3.5 frames per second, which is par for the course.
Sitting roughly on par with models from Nikon and Canon, but with the advantage of a slightly lower price-tag, the Pentax K-m digital SLR is a good choice for a beginner.
Join the newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Ring Video Doorbell review
- 2 Sony Bravia 2017 TVs: Full, in-depth review
- 3 Garmin Fenix 5 fitness tracker smartwatch review
- 4 LG 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- 5 Tag Heuer Connected Smartwatch and Android Wear 2 review
Latest News Articles
- Boom: SanDisk just dropped the world's largest SD card
- Camera app makers tap into RAW power with iOS, and look forward to dual lenses
- Google Camera 3.2 lets you snap pictures while recording video
- CES 2016: Top 10 trends
- Sony α7S II aimed film-makers and low light photographers
PCW Evaluation Team
I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.
It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.
The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.
Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
- Sony's latest Ultra HD OLED debuts in Australia
- Panasonic Ultra HD OLED TV Review
- GAMOSPHERE: Your August Roundup of Gaming News
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTProject Manager ( Loyalty projects)Other
- FTDigital Architect - AWSQLD
- FTSystems TrainerACT
- FTSenior Research AnalystOther
- CCDesktop Support EngineerNSW
- FTPMO Project Coordinator, TelcoNSW
- FTSenior Project AnalystOther
- CCJunior PMO AnalystACT
- FTRobotic Process Automation DeveloperOther
- CCSenior Python DeveloperVIC
- FTSenior Systems Engineer (WINTEL) Midrange L3ACT
- TPInfrastructure ArchitectNSW
- FTAccount Manager (Healthcare & Aged Care)Other
- FTInfrastructure Project Coordinator/ Junior Project ManagerOther
- TPTest LeadQLD
- FTIOS DeveloperWA
- CCAgile Technical Business AnalystQLD
- FTNetwork ArchitectNSW
- CCSenior SQL Database AdministratorNSW
- CCIteration Lead - Telco - Melbourne CBDVIC
- FTSite SupervisorOther
- TPCommercial Support AnalystVIC
- CCFleet Management System SpecialistQLD
- TPAgile Project ManagerQLD
- FTBusiness Analyst (Infrastructure Hardware)ACT