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Operation and Controls (contd.)

The K-5 offers a large number of external buttons and dials which, in combination with the camera's Control Panel, means that, after an initial setup, you'll only have to enter the menu system very sporadically. To beginners the plethora of options and parameters could potentially look a little intimidating but a seasoned DSLR user will find their way around the camera relatively quickly.

Status Screen and Control Panel

The K-5's control panel screen (which is brought on screen by pressing the 'info' button) gives you a good overview of all relevant shooting settings, but this screen is not interactive.

Pressing the INFO button again brings up the so-called Control Panel (right) which you can navigate using the four-way controller...
...and clicking 'OK' on one of the settings brings up a sub-screen, on which you can alter the corresponding parameters. Here, we've shown you ISO and Auto AF point selection. Some of the options on the Control Panel can also be reached via the menus or a hard button but once you've familiarized yourself with it, the Control Panel is a good alternative, and very quick to use.

Record review and play displays

Pressing the Play button will display the last image taken or the last image on the SD card. You can enable blinking highlights and shadows by enabling 'bright/dark area' in the playback menu. Change the display mode by pressing the INFO button.

One of the display options in review mode is the image without any shooting information. This is the review screen with only basic shooting information included. In the playback manu you can also opt to see highlight and shadow areas.
In this full shooting data view you get to see all essential shooting parameters and a thumbnail version of the image. In the histogram view you can switch between RGB histograms and a luminance histogram by pressing the down arrow on the four-way controller.

Play thumbnail index and magnification

Thumbnail and magnification views can be entered using the rear dial. The K-5 only offers one thumbnail display screen (3 x 3) and magnification up to 32x. You can also optionally preset the initial zoom step to something more than 1.2x.

3 x 3 thumbnail view 1.4x magnification
4x magnification 32x magnification

Live view/Movie displays

This is the standard live view screen, showing a selection of key shooting information. You can add various types of grids and blinking shadows/highlights to the live view screen. Here you can also see the electronic level that indicates pitch (on the extreme right) and roll (upper right) of the camera.
Pressing any of the hard buttons lays a parameter screen over the live view. Here you can see the individual color/contrast settings of the 'Bright' color mode on the left, and on the right, the various white balance options, including up to 3 manual WB settings.
You can magnify the live view up to 6x by pressing the INFO button. This is the standard movie recording screen. If you've activated a grid and/or the electronic level in live view they will be visible during video capture as well.

Other screens

On the K-5 the function of a number of buttons and dials can be customized. Here you can see the functions that are available on the RAW/FLEX-button (left) and the programming of the dials and green button in P mode (right).

Unfortunately, the button customization is relatively limited - we'd like (at least) to be able to assign direct video shooting to one of the K-5's external buttons, and the 'AF' button customization (which extends solely to AF enabled/AF disabled) is disappointingly limited.
Extended bracketing allows you to bracket a range of parameters, including sharpness and contrast, as well as more conventional options like exposure and white balance. In custom mode Noise Reduction can be fine tuned for each ISO setting.
The image adjust menu is accessed by pressing the down arrow in review mode. It offers basic retouching options including digital filters, in-camera RAW conversion and - new on the K-5 - basic movie editing.
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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