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

AWB Colour:
LCD viewfinder:
Dynamic Range:


Pentax K-5 review


Price as reviewed:



Like the K-7, the K-5 uses a 77-segment metering system. Metering modes are accessed by the dedicated switch on the bottom of the shooting-mode dial. I like having a dedicated dial for quick access, although the switch is tiny and a little fiddly to turn, especially as I was often wearing gloves during the test. The K-5 produces pleasing exposures in most situations.

When using the multi-segment metering mode, previous Pentax cameras like the K20D have a tendency to underexpose scenes that pose a wide dynamic range, such as a landscape with a large sky area. This can leave a dark foreground. Arguably, it is easier to extract detail from dark shadows than burnt-out highlights, so underexposure is preferable to overexposure.

Underexposure was addressed somewhat in the K-7’s 77-segment metering system, and the K-5 performs in a similar way. Only in scenes of wide dynamic range that would throw any metering system is the multi-segment metering unable to capture the range. Generally for such photographs, multiple exposures or high dynamic range (HDR) photography are better choices, and the K-5 offers HDR capture.

  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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