K-r: Best Performance/Price Ratio Camera for Still Images

Started Mar 29, 2011 | User reviews thread
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aaronhollows
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K-r: Best Performance/Price Ratio Camera for Still Images
Mar 29, 2011

I have owned an Olympus e-510, Canon 450d, Canon 40d, Nikon d90, Nikon d300, Nikon d700 and Canon 7d, so I've had a wide range of equipment from which to draw comparisons for this review. In short, I believe the Pentax K-r represents the best value on the market today, hands down. I was a bit disappointed at the low IQ scores dpreview assigned to the k-r in its review, as I've found it to rival the big boys in IQ, including the d700 and 7d. The small form factor is handy, because it's construction is very solid and feels much better-built than competitiors in its price range. The AF speed has been great, not quite 7d/d700 range, but better than any other camera within $500 of its price (although I hear the Sonys are as fast) and the continuous shooting speed of 6fps is ridiculous for the price. I've found the colors to be quite different than CanNikon's and at first, it took some getting used to. But I've come to realize that they're different because they're so much more accurate than other cameras I've used. Incredibly life-like colors, especially skin tones, which is crucial. The feature set is also very extensive, with high-end features and customization not normally found in this range. Lastly, the high-ISO IQ is, in my experience, only second (only just) to the d700. That means it's better than even the 7d. I don't shoot charts, I shoot subjects in the real world, and this camera creates easily captured top-notch images that better anything anywhere near its price class. One last thing that isn't adequately addressed in most reviews of Pentax: its backwards compatibility with 50+ years' worth of world-class Pentax lenses is second to none. I bought three manual lenses over 30 years old and I still get a focus confirmation beep with the K-r - amazing value. All three lenses together were less than $130. All this performance in a body I paid less than $550 for new. Pentax should receive waaay more press over here - Asian markets already know the value much better than we do, but having shot the Canikon equivalents, I can confidently recommend this camera and its lenses without reservation. If you don't have anunlimited camera budget (who does), then this should be your first consideration.

Problems:

The video mode is a bit stripped down by modern standards, but I have not had cause to use it much, so I won't expound except to say that the video quality looks comparable to current competitors to me. Also, so far, there is no battery grip for the k-r, but I'm sure they'll make one soon.

 aaronhollows's gear list:aaronhollows's gear list
NEX5R Nikon D5200 Sony SLT-A58 NEX5R
aaronhollows's score
4.5
Average community score
3.7
bad for good for
Kids / pets
excellent
Action / sports
good
Landscapes / scenery
excellent
Portraits
excellent
Low light (without flash)
excellent
Flash photography (social)
good
Studio / still life
great
= community average
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