Pentax K-5 In-depth Review
Body and Design
The K-5 is visually almost indistinguishable from the K-7. The body shape, construction quality and control layout are all identical which is not a bad thing. When we reviewed the Pentax K-7 we were impressed by the reassuring solidity of its magnesium-alloy body and the same is true of the new model. Despite its relatively small dimensions, the K5's excellent build quality and well thought-out user interface means that it feels like a professional tool and in terms of build and ergonomics it is up there with the very best in its class.
Ever since the very early days of the Spotmatic and the classic MX and K1000 SLRs, Pentax has excelled at miniaturization without compromising specification or handling. With the K-5, the company has managed to pack more functionality into a small body shell than ever before, and even the most banana-fingered of the dpreview staff have very few complaints about how the K-5 handles. If you want to find out more about the camera's control layout and operation please take a look at our Pentax K-7 review.
Side by sideThe K-5 is noticeably smaller than competitive cameras like the Canon EOS 60D and Nikon D7000 (and smaller again than the EOS 7D and Nikon D300S), and its modest proportions and angular design lend it a somewhat 'retro' appearance. This impression vanishes as soon as the K-5 is picked up though, and as we said in our recent review of the D7000, the K-5 is one of our favorite current DSLRs to hold and use.
In your hand
For a relatively small camera, the K-5 is solid and well constructed, and has a reassuring weight. We really liked the way the K-7 handled, and the K-5 is virtually identical, both in terms of ergonomics and design. 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 offers 0.92x magnification and 100% coverage which makes this a very pleasant viewfinder to frame your pictures with.
Interestingly, the viewfinder of the K-5 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.
|The Pentax K-5 viewfinder size is more or less on par with other cameras in the enthusiast bracket. It is marginally smaller than the Nikon D7000's but quite significantly larger than viewfinders in the entry level class which is represented by the Pentax K-r in this diagram.|
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, in contrast, offers a 100% view (approx) of the scene to be captured.
|Pentax K-5: 100% viewfinder.|
Jan 31, 2013
Mar 10, 2011
Feb 7, 2011
Jun 29, 2013
|Douaumont Ossuary by Eric 54-BNF|
from Armistice Day
|Silhouette at sunset by Jill Hancock|
from Portrait Lens (around 80mm or equivalent - please check the full rules)
Sigma is discounting 13 different high-performance 'Art' series lenses from today until November 30th. The company is calling it an 'unprecedented' sale.
See DJI's 'AeroScope' drone-tracking technology in action. This is the system that DJI says can help law enforcement and airport (among others) track and identify rogue drones.
iPhone X owners can already accessorize their new phone with high-quality smartphone photography lenses courtesy of Moment's new lineup.
Considering buying Sigma's exciting new 16mm F1.4 DC DN Contemporary lens for crop-sensor E-Mount and M43? Check out these official full-res samples first!
Vimeo has just added support for 8K HDR 10-bit content, making it possible to show up to 75% of the colors the human eye can perceive vs the usual 35%. Take THAT YouTube.
The holidays are coming, but your gear isn't cutting it? It's time to treat yourself!
We're counting down our top 10 most popular sample galleries of 2017, and sitting pretty at #5 is the Fujifilm X-T20.
See some of the most iconic black-and-white photographs throughout history brought to life by a community of colorization enthusiasts and professional retouchers in the new book Retrographic.
Shopping for a photographer? Whether you are one yourself or not, chances are you could use some ideas. From stocking stuffers on up, we've got some photography gift suggestions for every budget.
We're counting down our top 10 most popular sample galleries of 2017. Drum roll please... the #6 spot belongs to none other than the Sigma 85mm F1.4 DH HSM Art.
Read the story behind this gorgeous wedding photo captured at Trolltunga in Norway by husband and wife duo Priscila Valentina Photography. The 14 hour hike in the rain that preceded this shot was TOTALLY worth it.
Go behind the scenes with filmmaker Nick Arcivos, who recently created a beautiful cinematic short film in Paris using only the iPhone X, a couple of gimbals, and a few lights. The results are very impressive.
A Bay Area startup offering a pay-by-the-photo camera service cleverly addresses the pain points photographers experience when they pick up their first DSLR. But can it survive the smartphone?
It's been a big year for software innovations, dual cameras and huge displays. Take a look at our picks for the top smartphone cameras and why we think they stand out.
We're counting down our top 10 most popular sample galleries of 2017. At the #7 spot is the ready-for-any-weather Olympus Tough TG-5.
By combining his skills as a time-lapse filmmaker and an engineer, Julian Tryba created this out-of-this-world creative 'layer-lapse' of New York City that alternates between night and day in time with the music.
Canon Japan's new lineup of novelty camera-themed gifts was just revealed online, including a lens mug and lens thermos, two retro camera-themed USB drives, and a picnic mat.
The Profoto A1 most certainly isn’t for everyone [...] But for those who are used to using the Profoto systems, and want something that pairs seamlessly with the strobes you already have, there is no better companion.
Fujifilm has asked a US district court to clear it of any wrongdoing, after allegedly being threatened with trademark litigation by Polaroid.
While a couple of our reviewers are out testing the Sony a7R III in Arizona, back in Seattle we slapped the camera in front of our studio scene to get a close look at its image quality. See how it stacks up against the competition.
We're counting down our top 10 most popular sample galleries of 2017, and the #8 ranking belongs to the Nikon D7500.
B+W has announced a new aluminum filter holder that offers three slots so users can use multiple filters at the same time. The holder goes with the 2mm thick 100mm square filters it launched earlier this year.
8K video is coming a lot faster than you think, and Blackmagic is ready for it. Meet the DeckLink 8K Pro, a new high performance PCI-E capture and playback card built to handle 'real time high resolution 8K workflows.'
"Glass is everywhere in photography. From Eugène Atget’s reflective vitrines to Lee Friedlander’s sly self-portraiture, photographers have long been in thrall to the visual complications glass can inject into a composition."
Former Apple Aperture lead developer Nik Bhatt has designed an iOS app called RAW Power that lets you edit raw photos from your professional camera using your phone and tablet.... color us intrigued.
Advertising photographer Blair Bunting got his hands on the new Microsoft Surface Book 2, and it blew him away. Bye bye MacBook Pro...
The OnePlus 5T retains many of the 5's features and specs, but comes with an edge-to-edge display and a dual-camera that is optimized for low light.
Sony's recently announced IMX461 backside illuminated medium format sensor will bring 100MP resolution and almost 2x the speed to the next-gen Fuji GFX and Hasselblad X1D.
With the ‘Rent a Hasselblad’ camera equipment renting program, the camera makers is aiming to give enthusiast and professional photographers easier access to its medium-format photography products.
They say seeing is believing, and that's exactly what happened when one DPR staffer took the Google Pixel 2 out for an afternoon shooting under challenging conditions.