Pentax K-r review

January 29, 2011

Overall Rating:


Pentax K-r

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Price as Reviewed:


This new mid-level DSLR offers a highly competitive feature list that will please current Pentax owners and new users alike, but does it have enough clout to ruffle the competition?

Pentax K-r at a glance:

  • 12.4-million-pixel stabilised CMOS sensor
  • Prime II image engine processor
  • Pentax K mount
  • SAFOX IX 11-point AF system
  • 3in, 921,000-dot LCD
  • 16-segment TTL metering
  • 720p HD video capture
  • Street price around £510 with 18-55mm lens

Pentax K-r review – Introduction

Pentax had quite a prolific 2010, bolstering its DSLR range with three new cameras at a time when most manufacturers struggled to update more than two models apiece in their ranges. The new K-5 and K-r have doubled Pentax’s existing DSLR range, while the 645D created a new medium-format DSLR category to cater for the high-end or professional photographer.

This expansion has been a welcome sign for Pentax users as it has reinforced the company’s commitment to the DSLR market and gives users confidence in the future of the brand. It also makes the Pentax K-mount system more appealing to new users, as there is now a wide range of models for them to choose from and upgrade to.

The Pentax K-r sits as a mid-level model in the range, above the entry-level K-x but below the K-7 and flagship K-5. It has a compact body, much like the K-x, and yet it offers a more advanced feature set so it stands apart. With a street price of around £510, the Pentax K-r is competing with many competitors’ entry-level offerings, and this could be its strength.

It brings some strong features from higher in the range, such as the SAFOX IX 11-point autofocus system and a large, high-resolution LCD monitor, as well as an innovative new battery compartment that can house either a dedicated rechargeable unit or four standard AA batteries with an adapter.

It also offers the second highest ISO sensitivity in the Pentax range, with a maximum expanded ISO equivalent of 25,600. This all sounds encouraging, although the Pentax K-r does retain the same 12.4-million-pixel sensor and 16-segment metering of the earlier K-x, which is likely to show as a significant weakness against the competition.

  • External mic: No
  • Video: 720p HD, 25fps, AVI
  • White Balance: Auto, 10 presets with fine-tuning, manual
  • Built-in Flash: Yes (GN 12 @ ISO 100)
  • Dioptre Adjustment: -2.5 to +1.5 dioptre
  • Shutter Type: Vertical-run focal-plane shutter
  • Memory Card: SD/SDHC
  • Viewfinder Type: Pentaprism finder
  • Output Size: 4288x2428 pixels
  • LCD: 3in, 921,000-dot LCD
  • AF Points: 11-point system (all cross-type and fully biaxial)
  • Field of View: 96%
  • White Balance Bracket: N/A
  • Sensor: 12.4-million-effective pixel CMOS
  • Max Flash Sync: 1/180sec
  • Focal Length Mag: 1.5x
  • Exposure Modes: Program, aperture (Av), shutter (Tv) and sensitivity (Sv) priority, manual, scene modes, auto
  • Weight: 544g (body only)
  • Power: Rechargeable D-LI109 Li-Ion, 4 AA-type batteries (with adapter), AC power
  • File Format: JPEG, PEF or DNG (raw)
  • Shutter Speeds: 30-1/6000sec plus bulb
  • Drive Mode: 6fps
  • Colour Space: Adobe RGB, sRGB
  • Lens Mount: KAF2 mount
  • ISO: 200-12,800 (100-25,600 expanded)
  • Focusing Modes: Single, continuous, auto, manual
  • DoF Preview: No
  • Dimensions: 97x125x68mm
  • Metering System: 16-segment open aperture TTL
  • Connectivity / Interface: USB 2.0, AV out, IR remote
  • Exposure Comp: ±3EV
  • Compression: 3-stage JPEG
  • RRP: £599 with 18-55mm lens

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