Pentax K-5 II review

White balance and colour

Image: In this portrait taken in the shade, the AWB gives colour rendition that is too cliical. The custom reading is notably warmer and better suited to the portrait

For the best part, the K-5 II can be left in its auto settings and its colour rendition is fine. There are a couple of manual adjustments that are worth making, though. The AWB setting is too cool for my liking, which is more noticeable in portraits where colour rendition is a little clinical. So, to keep a little warmth from a scene when using AWB, it is worth manually shifting the colour axis a couple of points away from blue to the amber side. Also, in the custom menu it is worth selecting the option to maintain warm colours in tungsten light when using AWB. However, most enthusiast photographers would, where possible, take time to make a custom WB reading to ensure the most accurate colour temperature. Taking a reading is a quick process, and up to three readings can be stored in the camera.  

As for manual control over the colour rendition, there are nine colour modes to choose from. Bright is a pleasant balance between the understated natural setting and the bold vibrant setting. Of course, each of the colour settings can be adjusted for saturation, hue, contrast, sharpness and high/low key. Black & white photographers will be pleased to know that as well as a cyanotype through to sepia tonal adjuster, there are eight filter effects, including red, green and infrared.