Pentax K-5 II review

Metering

The K-5 II uses the same 77-segment metering system as its predecessor, which in its multi-segment mode has a tendency to underexpose - at times up to 1EV. This means that highlight detail is usually preserved, but images can be a little dark. Given that most enthusiast photographers work on their images post-capture, this is not a problem because the exposure can be brightened a little. For those who want print-ready images, dialling in up to +1EV is advised. However, the multi-segment exposure metering can be linked to the active AF point, so if one then switches to spot AF, the mode effectively turns to spot metering, which will be more accurate to the subject.

To change between multi-segment, centreweighted and spot-metering modes, the camera has a dedicated switch under the shooting-mode dial. Unfortunately, it is rather fiddly to control. Auto-exposure lock works really well, though. The button is handily placed on the top right of the camera's rear, and needs just a single press to lock the exposure, even over a number of frames. There is an auto EV compensation option for when a ‘proper' exposure is not obtained, but having used this control I am not convinced of its usefulness.

Image: The exposure in this landscape has been brightened +1EV, because the multi-segment metering errs to a darker exposure. Fringing is evident in this raw file on the far-left pontoon post, but lens corrections can be applied in-camera that deal with the issue in this instance