Pentax K-5 II review

Our verdict

More pixels, more AF points, more shooting modes and improved handling are the sort of changes we normally see when a next-generation camera is released. On the face of it, then, the K-5 II is a little disappointing. Its key improvements over the K-5 are its low-light focusing and brighter LCD screen, but otherwise there is little reason to upgrade. In its own right, the K-5 II is an excellent camera, with superb dynamic range and image quality in all lighting conditions. From a photographer's point of view, I can find virtually no gripes about its handling, either, as the camera simply does the job and caters for each shooting scenario. As things stand, the K-5 II sits pretty in the enthusiast DSLR market, but I do wonder if this will still be the case as and when the competition announce their latest models.

Pentax K-5 II - Key features

Noise reduction

The K-5 II offers high ISO NR like most other DSLR cameras, but also slow shutter NR. The latter deals with noise that can occur during long-exposure images, and has a manual on, off or auto mode. In its manual mode, NR is applied to exposures that are longer than 1sec.

As well as external flash units, Pentax has an additional GPS (O-GPS1) unit that attaches to the hotshoe. With it attached, functions include electronic compass, simple navigation, auto time sync. and astrotracer

Copyright information
The K-5 II can embed copyright data onto each image. Both the name of the photographer and the copyright holder can be individually set by the user.

Connectivity on offer includes a 3.5mm mic, HDMI, PC/AV, DC in and remote.

Flash sync
In its standard flash mode, flash sync is up to a modest 1/180sec. Handily, on the shooting-mode dial is the flash sync mode, which locks the shutter speed to 1/180sec. However, the K-5 II offers a high-speed flash sync mode with its AF540GZ or AF360GZ flash units, which allows for shutter speeds faster than 1/180sec to be used with the flash units.

Sensor maintenance
To maintain the cleanliness of its sensor, the K-5 II offers pixel mapping, dust alert, dust removal and sensor cleaning. Pixel mapping checks for defective pixels, dust alert can display on the LCD where any dust and dirt resides on the sensor, dust removal deals with dry dirt on the sensor through vibration, and the sensor cleaning raises the mirror to allow the user to manually deal with wet dirt.

Live view
With live view employed, the grid, info overlay, histogram and bright/dark area can be displayed, as can the autofocus method. In flexible spot AF mode, the AF point can be selected. In still capture the display can be a little sluggish.

Info button
Every press of the info button scrolls through the four LCD display modes, which includes shooting display, quick menu (where key exposure controls can be changed), electronic level and to turn off the LCD display, which is necessary for clear use of the viewfinder.