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

Overall rating:

Pentax K-5

Noise/resolution:
Metering:
Features:
AWB Colour:
LCD viewfinder:
Dynamic Range:
Build/Handling:
Autofocus:

Product:

Pentax K-5 review

Manufacturer:

Price as reviewed:

£1,099.99
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Build and Handling

Pentax K-5

We really liked the body of the K-7, and the only difference between it and the K-5 is in the name on the top left on the front of the body.

The K-7 and K-5 share identical dimensions and weight, which means that the K-5 is smaller and lighter than its direct competitors, the Canon EOS 60D and Nikon D7000. Although the difference in size and weight between the K-5 and its competitors is fairly marginal, it is noticeable when walking around during a day’s shooting.

Despite its relatively small size for a camera of this level, the K-5 feels rugged and well built, with a magnesium-alloy body encasing its stainless-steel alloy chassis. There are 77 weatherproof seals to keep out dust and moisture. This is just as well because I tested the K-5 on several freezing cold and snowy days.

The body is complemented by Pentax’s rather limited range of weather-resistant (WR) lenses. I used the 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 WR lens with the K-5, which requires a little persuasion to fit on and pull off as it locks extra tightly to the body.

Like the K-7, the K-5’s contours on the handgrip are ideally shaped to sit comfortably in the hand. The LCD screen is flush to the left of the back, which means that apart from the playback and delete buttons, and the shooting mode dial with metering switch, most of the controls are to the right of the screen and within thumb’s reach.

When the built-in GN13m @ ISO 100 pop-up flash is in use, it is positioned slightly further above the lens than the flashes of most other DSLRs. This is preferable because it can make for more flattering lighting for portraits and reduce redeye.

The menu is as simple as one could expect from a camera that offers so many functions, although I would like to see customisation options like those found in the competing Canon and Nikon models. However, it does not take long to become accustomed to the frequently used settings.

The four pages of custom settings include expanding the sensitivity settings to ISO 80-51,200, auto EV compensation and autofocus (AF) single and continuous frame settings.

  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
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