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What's new

Like most other recently introduced DSLRs the Pentax K-5 doesn't offer any radically new 'killer' features but concentrates on improving what is already there. The most important new component on the K-5 is arguably the 16.3 megapixel CMOS sensor - possible the same unit (at least likely to be closely related) that has impressed us in the Nikon D7000 and the Sony SLT-A55, and which can reach - in the K-5 - a maximum ISO sensitivity setting of ISO 51,200 (equivalent).

That's not all though - the K-5 also boasts an upgraded AF system, improved electronic spirit level, and an assortment of new digital filters and menu options, some of which we have already seen on the upper entry-level K-r. You can find more detail on some of the K-5's new technology below.

The K-5 captures its images on a 16.3 megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor. This is probably closely related to the hardware used in the Nikon D7000 and Sony SLT-A55. Uniquely amongst current APS-C DSLRs, the K-5's ISO sensitivity can be extended up to ISO 51200 (equivalent) at full resolution. The new SAFOX IX+ AF system has 11 AF points (9 cross-type) and the sensors now cover a wider area than in the K-7, and are sensitive to the type of light which falls on them, not just its intensity. In theory, this should aid the reliability of AF under low, artificial light.
The K-5 is equipped with an electronic level which shows horizontal and vertical tilt. This can be activated in the rec menu, and it can also be assigned to the RAW/Fx button. The K-5 offers full HD 1080p video recording at 25 frames per second. Custom image modes and digital filters can be applied to video footage. There is also a socket for an stereo microphone (sold separately).
As with the K-7, the K-5's high-ISO noise reduction is customizable. You can either apply the same level of noise reduction across the entire sensitivity range or select a specific level for each individual ISO setting.
With the extended bracketing function you can bracket a whole range of imaging parameters - not just exposure. Like the K-r the K-5 allows you to apply a cross-process effect to captured images. This is designed to mimic the results you might get when processing one film type in a chemical solution intended for a different type.
The K-5 offers nine custom image modes including a new one - Bleach Bypass. The number of digital filters has also been increased. There are now 18 filters in total including new Sketch and Posterization modes. In live view there are now three different grid overlays to choose from.
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Total comments: 5

Brilliant camera with stunning noise control, this is my own test of every ISO level:


When compared in RAW with the k-5II and the k-5IIs, the k-5 is clearly back-focusing. Compare the three cameras and center on the queen of hearts and look at the wall behind it. And also compare the left top checker test pattern in the test scene.

Comment edited 25 seconds after posting

What I find so disingenuous (and irritating) about these otherwise wonderful reviews is dpr's clear bias toward Canon and Nikon. The exact same specs can be found on a Pentax, but what we'll get is a measured, sometimes even tepid nod, while with the Canon/Nikon, there will be an enthusiastic thumbs up for the same feature. The Pentax line (as the most obvious example) is held to a different standard, it seems.

Take the Pentax K5 review, for example, which is called a "serious amateur's" camera and yet is compared to its "direct competition," the Canon 7D and Nikon D300s, cameras that are for "keen enthusiasts, professionals and aspiring-professionals..." and "semi-pros" respectively. Apparently Pentax "serious amateurs" are equal to Canon and Nikon "pros and semi-pros." We always knew that, of course, but still... try to be a little more objective in your reviews and a little less biased, one way or the other.


S0 true, and so aggrevating.. Always has been, though!!

1 upvote

Dear sir,

How is it possible that the Pentax K 5 has a higher resolution than the Pentax K5 II/IIS?

Brant van der Goot

Total comments: 5