Pentax doubles its DSLR range to four cameras with its new 16.3-million-pixel K-5 flagship model. We find out what it is about the K-5 that justifies this status

Product Overview

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Pentax K-5

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LCD viewfinder:
Dynamic Range:


Pentax K-5 review


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Pentax K-5 at a glance:

  • 16.3-million-effective-pixel sensor
  • ISO 100-12,800 expandable to 80-51,200
  • 7 frames per second
  • 1080p HD video at 25fps
  • Safox IX+ AF system
  • Street price approx £1,000

Pentax K-5 review – Introduction

When Pentax introduced the K-7 in May 2009 as a replacement for the K20D, which was its only current DSLR at the time, it had been 18 months between releases. Simultaneously, the company released its entry-level K-x, which doubled the number in its DSLR range. Move forward another 18 months and Pentax has released the Pentax K-5 and K-r, doubling the range again.

This time the company states that neither of the new bodies replaces the older ones, and they are likely to line up alongside each other in the shops. The new Pentax K-5 sits at the top of the range as Pentax’s flagship DSLR model, while the K-r sits between the K-7 and K-x as an upper entry-level DSLR. This is good news for those who already own a Pentax DSLR and for those interested in buying one, because it suggests Pentax is pouring resources into developing and enhancing its DSLR range.

The Pentax K-7 was a real leap forward from the K20D. After testing the K-7 (AP 15 August 2009), it was clear that this was not just a wannabe enthusiast-level or ‘prosumer’ DSLR, and could hold its own with equivalent Canon and Nikon models. In fact, it boasted class-leading detail resolution and many unique features, such as a self-levelling sensor and in-camera HDR mode.

There is much to like about the K-7, and the good news is that the Pentax K-5 appears to have improved upon this model with a 16.3-million-pixel-resolution sensor (the K-7 has 14.6 million pixels), while maintaining elements that work such as a small, light yet rugged body. I look forward to seeing how much of a leap forward the Pentax K-5 is from the K-7, and whether it adds to the range or is more of a logical replacement for the K-7.

  1. 1. Introduction
  2. 2. Features
  3. 3. Build and Handling
  4. 4. White balance and Colour
  5. 5. Metering
  6. 6. Autofocus
  7. 7. Noise, Resolution and Sensitivity
  8. 8. Dynamic range
  9. 9. LCD, Viewfinder and Video
  10. 10. Our verdict
  11. 11. The Competition
Page 1 of 11 - Show Full List
  • Steven Murray

    I bought the Sony HX9V as a replacement to a lost Panasonic TZ10 last christmas and after one year with it, I can only say that I am rather disappointed with the images I get out of it. My main crumble is the colours in indoor lower light conditions. They seem over saturated and artificial compared to my old camera, particularly in the intelligent modes to the point of unusable. The worst thing about it is that the colour reproduction is much more natural in video mode but I have not been able to adjust the settings for still images to have exactly the same.
    Outdoor images are however very good as is the video quality. However with a pending new arrival and my dislike of the indoor images, I’m looking at returning to a Panasonic

  • Garry

    By faraghadmi March 10, 2012 – 10:59 amCan Anyone palese help ?? I’av got this cam and it does amazing yet i’m facing a problem that when I transfer the vidoes to my PC and run them by any player (even with DVD etc) they don’t run continously rather giving breaks and fluctuations both in voice and picture.. I’av consulted manual too but of no use.. palese help.