Pentax K-5 II review

Noise, resolution and sensitivity

These images show 72ppi (100% on a computer screen) sections of images of a resolution chart, captured using the 16-50mm f/2.8 lens set to f/8. We show the section of the resolution chart where the camera starts to fail to reproduce the lines separately. The higher the number visible in these images, the better the camera's detail resolution is at the specified sensitivity setting.

There are no surprises with the level of detail the K-5 II can resolve, because like the K-5, the new camera also uses a 16.3-million-pixel APS-C-sized sensor. At ISO 100 in raw format, the camera can reach the 28 marker on our resolution charts when using Pentax's 16-50mm f/2.8 lens.

This level of performance is pretty standard at this level, but when pushed to its limits the K-5 II still performs well. For example, at ISO 12,800 the camera reaches the 24 marker. The camera's native ISO 100-12,800 range can be extended to a class-leading ISO 80-51,200 range.

As part of an extensive number of in-camera edits, the ISO setting can be adjusted up to ±2EV post-capture.

 

I suspect that if new enthusiast DSLRs are announced, the K-5 II's 16.3-million-pixel resolution may come up short.

We have already seen a 24.3-million-pixel APS-C-sized sensor used in the Sony Alpha 77 and Nikon D3200.

However, for those who do not print much larger than A3 size, this will be of little concern because the K-5 II's 4928x3264-pixel output provides prints sized 16.5x11in at 300ppi, without the need for interpolation.

While there is not much new to report on resolution, this will be a different story with the K-5 IIs. We can expect this version to resolve a higher level of detail than the K-5 II, and we will compare the two cameras in the coming months.

Image: Brightening the exposure +3EV shows that noise is well controlled even in shadow areas