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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


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.

  • Tested as: Enthusiast camera

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