Overall Rating:


Pentax K-5

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Price as Reviewed:


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

Our verdict

With the launch of the K-5, Pentax has enhanced the core of the K-7 while maintaining its rugged, well-built yet lightweight body. The K-5 sits comfortably in the hand, has intuitive handling and with every genuinely useful feature present it is likely to please any enthusiast. A higher resolution offers larger prints, and the faster frame rate and sensitivity push the shooting boundaries to greater possibilities.

The K-5 has the same viewfinder as the K-7, which is still a bit too dim for me and, although the AF system has been enhanced, it struggles in crowded action scenes in low-contrast light., which is a shame as the better frame rate will be of interest to sports photographers.

Pentax states that the K-5 does not replace the K-7, but rather the two sit side by side in the range. However, a glance at the specification of the K-5 suggests otherwise, especially considering the advancements in the 18 months since the K-7 was launched. The K-7 started life at a similar price as the K-5, although it has come down a lot. Whether the K-5 is a worthy purchase for a K-7 owner will depend on how much they require the enhanced shooting and higher resolution.

The K-5 is solid, produces detailed images and boasts impressive low-light capabilities. Those looking to upgrade to an enthusiast-level DSLR won’t be disappointed because, in a competitive market, the K-5 fights its corner very well indeed.

Pentax K-5: Focal points

The switch to change the dioptre is available from above the viewfinder without needing to remove the eye cup.

This switch gives control for spot, centreweighted and multisegment metering.

Live View
Live View is accessed directly by this button and any changes to exposure are displayed.

Picture modes
There is direct access via this button to the nine different colour modes with fine-tuning for saturation, hue, key, sharpness and contrast. The default colour mode is ‘bright’.

Up to nine exposures can be taken on the same frame and there is the option for auto EV adjustment to ensure an accurate exposure.

Horizon correction
As well as the digital level gauge that acts like a spirit level, the auto horizon correction can be activated to level an uneven horizon during the image processing.

New to the K-series is the cross-process scene mode. Colours in this mode can be fine-tuned and up to three custom settings saved.

Interval shooting
Up to 999 exposures can be captured, with in-camera control over the start time of the sequence and set interval time between each photograph.

  • Tested as: Enthusiast camera

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