Pentax K-5 In-depth Review
In terms of operation and design the new K5 is all but identical to the K-7. For this reason, to gain a '360' view of the K-5's body design and operation we therefore recommend you not only read this review, but also the relevant sections in our full review of the Pentax K-7.
When the K10D was launched in September 2006 it was Pentax's first foray into the 'enthusiast' DSLR market, competing at the time with rivals such as the Canon EOS 30D and the Nikon D200. Four years later in 2010 the enthusiast sector of the market is as competitive as ever and the K-5, Pentax' latest offering to the 'serious amateur photographer', will have to fight for consumers' attention with the likes of the Canon 7D, Nikon D7000 and D300S, and the Olympus E-5. At a launch RRP of $1600 (body only) the K-5 is currently at a similar price point as its main competitors but we would expect the street price to go down sooner rather than later.
At first sight the K-5 is virtually indistinguishable from the K-7 (in some markets the K-7 will remain in the Pentax line alongside the K-5). Apart from an additional 'Fx' (which stands for 'flex') label on the customizable RAW button and a subtle redesign of the AF switch on its rear there are no readily significant differences between the K-5 and its predecessor the K-7. However, there is more novelty to be found under the hood - the K-5's most notable new component is a 16.3 megapixel CMOS sensor, which is probably closely related to the sensors inside the Nikon D7000 and Sony SLT-A55. The new sensor brings with it a higher maximum sensitivity (ISO 51200 in expanded mode, the highest on any APS-C camera to date), faster continuous shooting (7.0 fps vs the K-7's 5.2fps) and a 1080p full HD video mode (the K-7 offered a rather non-standard 1536 x 1024 pixels maximum video resolution).
Other improvements include an upgraded SAFOX IX+ AF system, inherited from the recently unveiled medium-format 645D, which features color-detection, wider coverage of the AF points and improved speed. Also new is a dual-axis electronic horizon (now with pitch as well as roll indication) and a few extra digital filters and custom image modes. Despite the changes, however, existing K-7 users will no doubt require very little adjustment time if they decide to upgrade to the new model.
Although it might appear to be a near-clone of the K-7, the K-5 offers some significant improvements in specification. Here is a rundown of the key features:
- 16.3Mp CMOS sensor
- ISO sensitivity span of 80-51,200 (equivalent)
- 1080p HD movie mode
- Limited in-camera movie editing functionality
- Socket for external microphone input
- Triple-axis sensor-based shake reduction (horizontal, vertical and rotational correction)
- New SAFOX IX+ 11-point AF system (improved over the K-7)
- Support for older Pentax lenses with manual aperture rings
- Magnesium alloy body shell
- Improved handheld HDR function (JPEG mode only)
- Continuous shooting up to 7fps
- 100% viewfinder coverage (0.92x magnification)
- Choice of PEF or DNG RAW files
- 3in, 921k pixel LCD screen
Model line history
|Movie mode||LCD monitor|
|K10D||Sep 2006||10.2 mp||3.0 fps||n/a||2.5" 210K pixels|
|K20D||Jan 2008||14.6 mp||3.0 fps||n/a||2.7" 230K pixels|
|K-7||May 2009||14.6 mp||5.2 fps||1536 x 1024 30fps||3.0" 920K pixels + Live View|
|K-5||Sep 2010||16.3 mp||7.0 fps||1080p 25fps||3.0" 921K pixels + Live View|
Pentax K-5 compared to K-7 and K-r
The table below shows the specification differences between the K-5's predecessor, the K-7, and the recently released K-r. Apart from the new sensor, the differences between the K-5 and the older K-7 are quite subtle. It is clear that Pentax has opted for selective improvements rather than a complete overhaul.
|16.3Mp CMOS||12.4Mp CMOS|
|Prime II||Prime II|
100-3200 (6400 with expansion)
|100-12800 (51200 with expansion)||200-12800 (100 and 25600 with expansion)|
|Continuous shooting speed||
5.2 fps (40 frames)
|7.0 fps (40 frames)||6.0 fps (25 frames)|
|LCD screen||3.0 in, 920k pixels||3.0 in, 921k pixels||3.0 in, 921k pixels|
1536 x 1024 30fps
|1080p 25 fps||720p 24fps|
Mono internal or stereo external
|Mono internal or stereo external||Mono internal|
|Cross process mode||No||Yes||Yes|
|Night Scene HDR||No||Yes||Yes|
|Movie custom images modes||No||Yes||Yes|
|Battery||Rechargeable Lithium Ion battery||Rechargeable Lithium Ion battery||Rechargeable battery or four AA batteries (with adapter)|
|Cold resistant to -10deg||
|Weight (body only)||
Jan 31, 2013
Mar 10, 2011
Feb 7, 2011
Jun 29, 2013
|Steamin' Mad by ahrensjt|
from Angered Subjects (Street Photography)
|Smile by Olymguy|
from Ultra Asian Indian Female Faces
|Space Shuttle Cockpit- by vbuhay|
from Aircraft Control Stick
If you're thinking of using Canon's sports glass on the Sony a9, think again. The ultra-fast camera slows way down when you attach off-brand glass.
The Polish town of Katowice is not known as an area of beauty, but as all photographers know, that doesn't mean that beauty can't be found if you know where to look. Mariusz Pietranek used a drone to look down on the colorful sedimentation tanks at an ironworks.
New York Times video journalist Ben Solomon spent a harrowing three weeks accompanying Iraqi Major Sajjad al-Hour as he and his men fought to retake Mosul from I.S. forces.
The 3D VR camera launched through a crowdfunding campaign in 2015 goes on sale beginning June 26.
Noctilucent clouds, a crescent moon and Venus were visible in the pre-dawn sky over Budapest yesterday. Photographer György Soponyai captured NASA's astronomy picture of the day.
Squirming pets won't sit still for photos? A Kickstarter campaign is looking to help.
Find out how Chris Burkard shifted from editorial photography to his true passions: landscapes, conservation and, of course, surfing.
The updated EyeEm app scans your camera roll and picks images that are composed particularly well, have the best quality, or highest chance of selling on EyeEm Market.
It's three years old but still a solid option for a Micro Four Thirds shooter looking for a high-quality, fast, wide-angle prime. Take a look at how we got along with it.
Tamron has announced the longest all-in-one zoom lens currently available, the 18-400mm F3.5-6.3 Di II VC HLD. Designed for Canon and Nikon crop-sensor cameras, the lens will be available in July.
When you're ready to step-up to full-frame from an entry-level or midrange camera, the choices can be overwhelming. Find out which models came out on top in our $1200-2000 enthusiast ILC roundup.
Just a guy wearing a VR headset, smashing invisible Goombas in Central Park.
NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter captured this gorgeous aerial photo of the Martian landscape. And if you look really close, you can actually see the Mars Curiosity rover in the very middle.
The city of Laguna Beach, California has provided some clarification around the kinds of photography permits it offers.
Later this year, a VR180 camera will be Joining Yi's Halo and 360 VR cameras, which will offer stereo 3D capture, yet be as easy to use and compact as a 2D camera.
Caltech researchers have developed an 'optical phased array' chip that uses time delays instead of a lens to focus the incoming light.
Pricing and shipping have finally been revealed for two highly anticipated lenses from Sigma, announced in February.
These macro photos of clouds of paint billowing through clear water might look like high-quality CGI, but they're real photographs. And photographer Alberto Seveso told us how they were made.
Facebook is testing a feature that prevents people from saving, sharing, or even taking a screenshot of your profile picture.
We've reshot the Sony a9 in our studio. The short story: it's sharper! The long story... well you can read it all here.
The collection will be officially launched during the Europeana Transcribathon Campus Berlin 2017 crowdsourcing event which will be held on 22 and 23 June at the Berlin State Library.
Light gives us some insight into the preparations for the launch of the pre-order shipments of its much anticipated L16 multi-lens camera.
OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei has confirmed in a tweet that the second lens on the back of the OnePlus 5 uses a 1.6x optical zoom and that digital zoom is used to reach the claimed 2x zoom factor.
Fujifilm recently unveiled the second in its series of affordable cine lenses, the MK50-135mm T2.9. We got our hands on it for a couple days and took it for a spin.
Leica's first attempt at an M-series digital rangefinder was rough around the edges, but set a pattern for all of the cameras that came after it. In this week's Throwback Thursday article, Barney remembers the M8.
No stranger to extreme situations, legendary climber and filmmaker Jimmy Chin talks to Outside Magazine about his career, and the challenge of filming Alex Honnold's rope-free solo climb of El Capitain.
A company backed by Android co-founder Andy Rubin is attempting to make video conferencing less terrible.
Rangefinder magazine asked five professional portrait and wedding photographers about posting on Instagram; no surprise, they got five different answers.
This captivating stop motion film was created by stripping away one layer of wood at a time. It's hard to look away.
It will enable users to simulate the presence of the sun, moon and Milky Way and see how they interact with an area's topography.