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With cameras, do color choices equal lower quality?

Color choice was once strictly the domain of simple snapshot cameras, but a couple manufacturers are changing that--for better or worse.

Does the body color of a camera say anything about how it performs? Pentax

On September 16, Pentax launched the K-x, an entry-level-ish digital SLR that it's offering in navy, red, white, and black versions. While different body colors are not unusual for point-and-shoot digital cameras, offering more than a black dSLR is still rare. (In fact, just Pentax and Sony offer color options, currently.)

Unfortunately, after testing many snapshot cameras available in a single color as well as those offered in several colors, I've developed a working theory that the more colors a camera comes in, the more likely there's something wrong with the model.

It's not the case with all cameras, but more often than not that's how things shake out. It's especially true if its available in more than four options and if the company has gone with two-word color names like flaming red or warm silver.

Want examples? Check out the Nikon Coolpix S220, the Canon PowerShot SD1200 IS, and the Casio Exilim EX-S5. The Nikon and Canon come in six different colors, the Casio in five. And all three of them have issues with performance, photo quality, or both. (Though, if forced to go with one, the SD1200 has the fewest issues.)

All of these are lower-end models, too, which brings me to my next point: expensive point-and-shoot cameras come in three colors or fewer, and usually only in one: black. Serious photographers only buy black cameras, right?

Which brings me back to the Pentax K-x. The camera colors are definitely refreshing and will likely get people questioning you on the street. They also make the K-x more approachable for those switching from a pocket camera, which fits its entry-level status. But would you take someone seriously if they were shooting with a bright red digital SLR? I'm leaning toward "no." Much like laptops, colorful cameras are great until you want to be taken seriously.