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The digital camera market continues to defy the doom and gloom surrounding the rest of the economy. People are still buying new cameras, and more and more of them are choosing to buy digital SLRs.

Most of the manufacturers in the consumer DSLR market (Pentax, Canon, Nikon, Panasonic, Sony, Olympus and Samsung) make entry-level models aimed specifically at first-time users and those making the jump from digital compact cameras.

Pentax's model in this category is the new K-m (known as the K2000 in some territories), a beginner-friendly 10.2-megapixel APS-C camera currently selling for around £360 complete with an 18-55mm kit lens.

Competition in the entry-level DSLR market is fierce, and the K-m will be up against some impressive, popular and competitively-priced rivals. These include the Canon EOS 1000D (£430 kit), the Nikon D60 (£380 kit), the Olympus E-420 (£300 kit) and the Sony Alpha A200 (£290 kit).

The Pentax K-m is priced quite well relative to these other models, especially when you consider that it has built-in sensor shift image stabilisation; of the other entry-level models only the Sony A200 can make the same claim, although the kit price of the Nikon D60 does include a basic VR lens.

The K-m is a very small camera compared to other APS-C models. It measures just 122.5 x 91.5 x 67.5mm. Of the other entry-level models only the Olympus E-420 is smaller, but of course that has a Four-Thirds sensor and lens mount. Weighing 525g the K-m is surprisingly heavy for its size, in fact of the entry-level models listed above it is the heaviest, however that weight translates directly into build quality; having used all the other current entry-level DSLRs, the K-m certainly feels the most solidly made.

It's a nice looking camera, with clean lines and attractive styling. The body is plastic over a metal chassis, finished in matt black with a chrome trim strip, although a rather gorgeous limited edition white version is also available.

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March 31, 2009, 2:13 am

Comprehensive review, cheers Cliff!

Especially, thanks for covering the build quality/feel of the device - I picked up a friend's 450D a few months back, and it felt like a plastic toy compared to the nice metal casing of the entry level Olympus shooters. I imagine a lot of gadget lovers need reviews like these in the run-up to summer.


April 1, 2009, 6:41 pm

Thanks for this review - I was looking forward to hearing about the K-m.

Apologies if I'm being really obtuse, but where does the K-m sit in relation to the slightly older K200d? the Pentax website describes both models as "entry-class" or words to that effect. They're retailing at about the same (&#163370 with kit lens) as far as I can see.

Also, for a first time DSLR buyer, how does the Pentax K-M compare to the Alpha 200 (&#163300ish), Alpha 300 (&#163350) and Alpha 350 (&#163400)?



April 1, 2009, 6:43 pm

Apologies - the prices in my comment were ex. VAT (buying for business purposes) but the same still applies for the K200 and K-m Being the same price and the pricing of the alphas compare to the Pentax k-m

Cliff Smith

April 2, 2009, 2:15 am

Rodney - The K-m fits into the Pentax range below the K200D, which is itself below the K20D. As for how it compares to the Sony cameras, I'd say it has about the same image quality as the A200, but superior build quality, and the Pentax 18-55mm kit lens is a noticeably better than the entry-level Sony 18-70mm.


April 16, 2009, 4:05 pm

Well done review...from a very objective point of view!

Waiting for a same review of Pentax X70!


April 22, 2009, 3:39 pm

Thanks for review. The 'focussing points' issue is, well, a non-issue from my and possibly many other people's point of view. My current camera has selectable focussing points - I really haven't a clue how to use them (although I did play with them once or twice) as I always focus using the central one and then re-frame.

Some of these things are more complicated to use than video machines!

Mike 19

April 25, 2009, 4:14 pm

You say that the KM doesnt have an af illuminator or a preview function,but if you read the manuel both of these are present.The af illuminator is provided by strobe flash,if the flash is in upright position. The preview feature can be assigned to the help button ,see page 119 of manuel.Otherwise a great review.Thanks


May 14, 2009, 2:11 pm

Thanks for the review. I've been waiting to see what was said about this camera as I've been interseted in it for some time. I'm wanting to buy an entry level dslr and I've narrowed it down to the Pentax K-m or the Sony A200. Which is the best out of these two camera's. Can anyone advise me please? Thank you.

Simon Hall

December 28, 2009, 4:57 am

I am looking at an entry level DSLR and this camera looks very attractive. However there is one reason why it doesn't make my shortlist and that is the fact you have to power it with AA batteries.

Most other entry level DSLRS come with lithium ion cells so why not this one? Just like a budget compact you have to supply your own batteries.


January 6, 2010, 12:17 am

I have just purchased a Pentax K-x and so far I love the camera...and I especially love the price! regarding the battery comment: I have a number of digital cameras with "proprietary" batteries and there is no doubt that they are lighter than 4 AAs. However, I love being able to pick up an inexpensive set of lithium rechargeable AAs at any drug store or 24 hour Walmart! And should I lose my charger (left one in a hotel in September) I can pick one up pretty cheap! Here in the USA can get a charger with 4 AAs (2100 mah) for $10 to $12. I also just picked up 4 2650 mah AAs for $12.


December 29, 2010, 6:44 pm

Hi - Any idea how many frames it will take before the mechanics wear out?

I've taken about 15000 and wonder how many more I've got before it gets unreliable.

Must agree with drjoed, AA batteries was a requirement for me - along with SD card.

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