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Body and Design

The K-5 II (shown on this page) and K-5 IIS are almost indistinguishable from the older K-5. The body shape, construction quality and control layout are all identical. When we reviewed the Pentax K-5 we were impressed by the reassuring solidity of its magnesium-alloy body and the same is true of the new models. Despite their relatively small dimensions, their excellent build quality and well thought-out user interface makes them feel like a professional tools.

The top of the Pentax K-5 II is simple, with a locking mode dial, metering selection dial, hot shoe, a status display, EV adjustment button, ISO button and power switch surrounding the shutter button.

Side by side

The K-5 II is noticeably smaller than competitive cameras like Nikon D7100, and its modest proportions and angular design lend it a somewhat 'retro' appearance. Pick up the K-5 II, though, and this impression vanishes. The K-5 II has one of our favorite body styles and user interfaces. The K-5 is shown below, but the body size is the same.

In your hand

For a relatively small camera, the K-5 II is solid and well constructed, and has a reassuring weight. All of the major controls fall readily to hand, and we especially like the positioning of the ISO button just behind the shutter release and the physical switch for AF pattern on the rear of the camera. The rear control dial is well-placed too - easy to reach with the thumb of your right hand, but not directly underneath the thumbgrip, where it might get rotated by accident.

Viewfinder specs and view

One figure hidden away in every SLR's spec is the size of the viewfinder (often in a format that makes comparison between competing models impossible). The size of the viewfinder is a key factor in the usability of an SLR - the bigger it is, the easier it is to frame and focus your shots, and the more enjoyable and involving a process it is.

Because of the way viewfinders are measured (using a fixed lens, rather than a lens of equivalent magnification), you also need to take the sensor size into account, so the numbers in the diagram below are the manufacturer's specified magnifications divided by the respective 'crop factors'. The K5 II offers 0.92x magnification and 100% coverage which makes this a very pleasant viewfinder to frame your pictures with.

The Pentax K-5 II viewfinder size is more or less on par with other cameras in the enthusiast bracket. It is marginally smaller than the Nikon D7100's but larger than viewfinders in the entry level class which is represented by the Pentax K-r in this diagram.

Viewfinder crop

Most cameras at this level crop the frame slightly when you look through the viewfinder - in other words you get slightly more in the final picture than you see through the viewfinder. The K-5 II, in contrast, offers a 100% view (approx) of the scene to be captured.

Interestingly, the viewfinder of the K-5 II is some way off being completely neutral in color - it has a distinctly warm color rendition. This is far from unpleasant, and might in fact go completely unnoticed in normal shooting, but it does make the scene in front of the camera look slightly warmer than it actually is. This is worth remembering when shooting on particularly dull days.

Pentax K-5 II: 100% viewfinder.
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Comments

Total comments: 17
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.

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: 17