February 1, 2010
And now for something completely trivial.
Pentax’s recent “upper entry-level” DSLR, the K-x, has been getting favorable reviews lately. Within its circa-$550 price bracket, it offers a lot of value; in particular, “its high ISO JPEGs are possibly the best of all current DSLRs with an APS-C size sensor” (making it an intriguing model for me).
But marketing being what it is, the K-x is equally well known as the DSLR you can get in different colors. Woowoo!
In fact, within Japan, you can use an online configurator to choose between dozens of different finish options.
Which makes Pentax’s meager color choices for those who live elsewhere rather disappointing.
I won’t be too hard on the white version:
To my tastes, this look is a bit too “dental office.” But there’s a practical argument in favor of it.
A light-colored body won’t heat up as much in sunlight. This is probably healthier for the electronics; and it may even reduce image noise, in a few situations.
Buyers of the white K-x enjoy calling it the “Imperial Stormtrooper” edition.
The navy blue variant seems to be aiming for a metallic auto-body style:
Okay, that’s a very sober, masculine, and tasteful color. Great if you’re a silver-haired attorney, buying a luxury sedan.
But it’s not very, you know… colorful. And painting plastics in metallic finishes just makes them look more plasticky, not less, if you ask me.
As an alternative, what about this?
Now, that ought to be a hit among the outdoors crowd. It works for both tree-hugging birdwatchers and camo-wearing deer hunters. Olive isn’t bad either.
Tan has the same advantage of being a lighter color, but without showing dirt quite as quickly as white. And it gives the nice bonus of reducing the visual “weight” of the camera—making it less intimidating for people photos.
The most questionable K-x color option is the screaming fire-engine red:
Ouch. Okay, that is colorful. But it’s rather garish and conspicuous. And red+black feels very dated to me. Is this some ironic 1980s reference I’m not getting?
Anyway, let’s assume red was supposed to be the “fun & playful” option. How about acid green instead:
Again, it lightens the camera (literally and figuratively), while adding a bit of cheerfulness.
In the end it’s all a matter of taste of course.
But still—if Pentax is already producing so many different colors, who picked out such unimaginative ones?