Pentax KP

24MP APS-C CMOS sensor | In-body image stabilization | Weather-sealed

What we like:

  • Excellent image quality
  • Unique interchangeable grips
  • Well-designed control setup

What we don't:

  • AF system behind the competition
  • Below average battery life
The Pentax KP Is a compact, stylish DSLR with great controls, unique ergonomics and excellent image quality from its 24MP APS-C sensor that is cradled in a new 5-axis in-body image stabilization system.
As is standard for Pentax DSLRs, the KP is fully weather-sealed. It also the improved 'Function Dial' from the K-1 that helps users tailor the three dial control setup exactly to a their needs as they shoot through the bright pentaprism viewfinder or from various angles using the 3" tilting LCD.
The Function Dial helps users tailor the three dial control setup exactly to their needs
The KP has as 27-point autofocus system which struggles with both approaching and randomly moving subjects. Live view AF is unreliable, as well.
The KP shows excellent dynamic range at low ISOs and well-controlled noise at higher sensitivity settings, except for the extreme ISOs approaching the maximum ISO 819,200. JPEG image quality is improved over previous models, with noise reduction retaining detail as ISOs increase as well as some of the best cameras in the segment. While Raw image quality is very good as well, it's worth noting that noise reduction is 'baked' into Raw files, so adjusting NR while post-processing already has some bias built-in.
Video features aren't as robust as stills, with 1080p only having a maximum of 30 fps. Also, the KP lacks on-sensor phase detection autofocus, a feature that is available further down Ricoh's product line and in much of the KP's competition. Those content with the video spec however will be impressed by the KP's quite solid video image stabilization.
Frankly, to choose the relatively expensive KP over similar DSLRs requires either a love of its looks, or an existing investment in the system already. For Pentax enthusiasts, this is one of their best cameras yet. For other photographers, it offers some great stills capability with compromises that need to be considered at its price point.

Studio Test Scene | Specifications Compared

Sample photoSample photoSample photoSample photoSample photo