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
A wide dynamic range of over 12EV ensures detail is present in shadow areas
The K-5 holds no surprises with regard to its dynamic range and can capture more than 12EV. Highlight and shadow correction are possible individually through the dynamic range (D-range) setting and can be applied pre- or post-capture through the raw editing.
When the highlight correction is applied, the available ISO (in expanded mode) is raised to ISO 160 to enable underexposure for preserving highlights. Adding shadow correction boosts the dynamic range slightly, and used post-capture with raw files it shows that plenty of detail is retained in shadows.
HDR capture is available in JPEG format only, or it can be applied post-capture to raw files through the in-camera image-editing menu.
As well as auto, there are three levels of strength for HDR mode. I found that the auto mode generally produces pleasing results in most situations.
Auto align makes use of the shake-reduction (SR) system and is useful for HDR capture; SR compensates for movement when shooting without a tripod, as the multiple exposures are taken one after the other to form one image. Processing of HDR images is a little slow at around 20 seconds.