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ISO Accuracy

The actual sensitivity of each indicated ISO is measured using the same shots as are used to measure ISO noise levels, we simply compare the exposure for each shot to the metered light level (using a calibrated Sekonic L-358), middle gray matched. We estimate the accuracy of these results to be +/- 1/6 EV (the margin of error given in the ISO specifications). We found that measured ISO from the K-5 II is roughly 1/3EV lower than indicated - so ISO 100 = ISO 80 (approx). This holds true throughout the entire ISO range, but a discrepancy this small has little practical impact upon everyday photography (remember that this test is performed in manual mode without reference to the camera's metering system).

Noise and Noise Reduction (JPEG)

This is our standard studio scene comparison shot taken from exactly the same tripod position. Lighting: daylight simulation, >98% CRI. Crops are 100%. Ambient temperature was approximately 22°C (~72°F).

Note: this page features our new interactive noise comparison widget. By default, we show you the default noise reduction settings of the camera tested, and three other models of the same class. You can select from all available NR options, and from other cameras. The 'tricolor' patches beneath the familiar gray/black/portrait images are taken from the same test chart, and show how noise impacts upon blue, green and red areas of a scene.

The Pentax K-5 II offers six noise reduction settings - Off, Low, Medium, High, Auto and Custom. Auto is the default setting and calculates and applies an 'optimized' amount of noise reduction at each ISO step. The Low, Medium and High settings apply a constant level of noise reduction across the ISO range, and in custom mode the noise reduction can be defined by the user for each sensitivity setting.

The Pentax K-5 II's noise reduction does a remarkably good job, though Pentax seems to have backed off a little on its noise suppression at ISO 25,600 and 51,200 compared to the K-5. At default settings the Pentax keeps a good balance between noise reduction and retention of fine detail up to very high ISO levels. At ISO 1600, which only a few years ago was the maximum ISO setting on many DSLRs, you can view the K-5 II's output at very large magnifications without noticing any noise or detail blurring.

Generally the differences in high ISO performance between the APS-C models of this latest generation of digital SLRs is fairly small. From ISO 3200 and up, however, the K-5 II's control over chroma and gray noise is a little better than the Nikon D5200, Canon 60D and Olympus E-M5.

RAW noise (ACR 7.4 noise reduction set to zero)

Here we look at the RAW files processed through Adobe Camera Raw (in this case version 7.4). Images are brightness matched and processed with all noise reduction options set to zero. Adobe does a degree of noise reduction even when the user-controlled NR is turned off.

The amount of NR applied 'under the hood' is not high, but it does vary by camera (Adobe is attempting to normalize output across different sensors), so inevitably we are still looking at a balance of noise and noise reduction, rather than pure noise levels. However, the use of the most popular third-party RAW converter is intended to give a photographically relevant result, rather than simply comparing sensor performance in an abstract manner.

There are minor signs of noise even at the lowest sensitivity settings (remember these samples have noise reduction turned down to zero in ACR) but from ISO 400 upwards it becomes visible that the Pentax-K5 output is cleaner than some of the competition in this class. After ISO 1600, the gap between the K-5 II and other cameras widens. Looking at the image noise patterns, it seems Pentax begins to apply processing before saving the Raw files. DxO's results detect "smoothing" starting at ISO 3200, which also appears as a noticeable turn from the trend in our graph above, especially when looking at the Chroma noise results.

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Comments

Total comments: 20
zos xavius

Even now this camera is amazing. I have a K-3 too and the K-5 IIs still gets regular use. It has been the most faithful and reliable Pentax I've had over the years. It's IQ has never let me down and is better than even the K-3 in certain ways. 16mp and decent lenses have given me beautiful poster sized prints. It's no D800, but its a lot smaller and lighter than one too. Paired with some small limiteds it is really hard to go wrong unless you need absolute speed or shoot sports. The files from the IIs have a crispness that the K-5/K-30/K-50 all lack. Removing the AA filter really makes a difference in a big way and has forced me to upgrade my kit to take advantage of it. Not that moving on to better lenses is ever a bad thing..... :)

There are tons of amazing and fun vintage lenses you can get for pentax for peanuts too. Yeah you can adapt them to other systems, but being able to just slap a lens on a mount and not worry about aperture or AF if the lens has it is nice.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Chood

Why is "Pentax K-5" listed under "Semi-professional" whereas "Pentax K-5 II and Pentax K-5 IIs" listed "Mid Level"?

I'm planning to buy Pentax K-5.

Thanks.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
cgarrard

No mention that I saw on the review that the LCD screen has a GLASS outer layer preventing scratches and the use of those annoying LCD screen covers. The glass screen is an upgrade along with it being gapless (better anti-reflection and no more dust etc. between the screen and protective layer like the K5 exhibited).

The K5II/s are at killer prices now and are 10 times the camera a Rebel or comparatively priced mirrorless camera are. What's not to love about this one?

5 upvotes
Tactical Falcon

I couldn't agree more. I looked at the Nikon, and Canon etc. The K-5II is such a terrific camera bargain.

1 upvote
davids8560

Does the K-3 have a LCD with a glass outer layer too? Thx.

Comment edited 47 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
SgtUSMC

I Have Both The K3 & The K5IIs i did not Like The K3 so i gave it to my Wife and took the K5IIs back ...they are both great cameras but i am use to the K5IIs setup
the K3 is all new inside.....

0 upvotes
mgunt

I see a lot of people asking if the K5 II is a good camera. After becoming too frustrated with point and shoot cameras I took the plunge and bought the K5 II. My wife and I LOVED it. It is true that the camera does not change focus during video capture, but that wasn't important to us. Heck, our little Cannon point and shoot took better video - but that may have just been our ambivalence. It was great at everything we wanted - immediate response, color and sharpness, low light capabilities, burst shooting, etc.. I say "was" because it is no longer with us. It may be water resistant, but it certainly is NOT waterproof - oops! When I can afford to, I will probably buy another.

0 upvotes
waxwaine

There is no DSLR wATER resistant, as you painfully learned. For K-5II users , this is wEATHER resistant, to dust, light rain and snow. Hope you can get a new one soon.

0 upvotes
XT

Could anyone tell me why this is not a good camera for video? I love everything about it, but I would like to make videos too. I am hesitating between this one and the Canon EOS 5D Mark II.

0 upvotes
Leandros S

If your requirement is "would like to make videos too", it may be good enough. You should ask yourself whether you're going to need to re-focus after starting your video. If the answer is yes, you should look at Panasonic and Canon. If you're shooting wildlife, inside churches, or other kinds of stage performances, this may not be a factor. In terms of quality, audio and video are excellent in the K-5 II and IIs.

Comment edited 15 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Lucas1981r

Ok - K-5II have better AF and... and... but why only 80%/ s-81%? If old version K-5 have 83%?
and Nikon D7100 have 85% - but everybody knows - who used this dslr's that Pentax is better...??

3 upvotes
Derma pro

I heard and read alot about this pentax. and I believe it is a very good camera. what I know is that pentax k-5II is better regarding the details of the photo. and D7100 is better regarding the colors and the auto white balance. do you think the pentax is better is other situations?

0 upvotes
Hansel300

DigitalRevtv on Youtube showed the K-5iis trouncing the D7100. I think the colors are better than the D7100 (Imaging resources comparometer). Stabilization in K-5 auto levels, perspective control + tilt shift capable, astrotracking + wides and primes are stabilized. D7100 only has a digital zoom & extra auto focus points (which are superfluous except for sport). Ask yourself how often do you switch from the center AF point? K-3 has got even more AF points- big deal ! I thought the image quality of the D7100 was a backward step from the D7000, high ISO was better too.

2 upvotes
KZMike

The S has everything I need [Time Lapse too], EXCEPT a LCD that moves/articulates. . . ughhh!!!!

0 upvotes
Kfrog

The auto focus in low light is better and the redesign of the rear LCD has been change for better viewing in bright light. Not much else as far as I know. I purchased the K-5II because I often take photos in low light situations and can use all the help I can get!

0 upvotes
dousanmiaography

Seriously, what is the difference between K-5 and K-5II? Every single specification are the same.

0 upvotes
Rutterbutter

The removal of an anti-aliasing filter. this allows for sharper images in the II but sacrifices the tendency to produce moire.

0 upvotes
Old Baldy

errrr. from the review "Pentax took a great camera and upgraded it with a faster autofocus system, an improved LCD, and largely left the rest alone - save for the effective removal of the low-pass filter in the K-5 IIS"

1 upvote
JeffAHayes

It has faster autofocusing, dousan. It has added AF sensitivity, as well, enabling it to autofocus down as low as -3 EV (making it one of only 2 cameras, APS-C OR FF, amateur, enthusiast OR PRO, with such sensitive low-light AF prior to Pentax's release of the K-3, which has the same low-light AF capability). Many Pentax shooters who've had all three cameras say it's the sharpest of the bunch, as far as pics go -- especially at higher ISOs. And, of course, the K-5 IIs also has NO anti-aliasing filter, which DEFINITELY makes for sharper pictures, but could ALSO mean you end up with MOIRE in some pictures (which Photoshop MAY be able to remove, so it's probably not the end of the world in most cases, anyway).

So IF you have a K-5 IIs, it has NO AA filter, which means ALL your shots will be a bit sharper and for most that won't present a moire issue.

Those are the major improvements of which I'm aware. I'm still deciding if I want one as a new second camera now that I have the K-3.
Jeff

1 upvote
PhotoRoy5

Can you see the moire in the view finder? I looking for the K-5 IIs as I already have a K-5 II. I need a second bosy so I don't have to change lenses

0 upvotes
Total comments: 20