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?
Viewfinder, LCD, Live View and Video
The viewfinder gives a 96% field of view with a 0.85x magnification, which is very respectable at this level. It features dioptre adjustment of between -2.5 and +1.5 and a small rubber eyepiece, which feels a little tough to touch but is by no means uncomfortable. Shooting information in the viewfinder is presented via a green LED underneath the display, but it can become difficult to see if the rear screen remains on between shots.
The rear LCD screen is large in size and high in resolution, with 921,000 dots on a 3in display. It is clear and bright, and gives accurate colour definition for reviewing images or composing using Live View. It is also easy to check sharpness, especially when zooming in to images. The screen has an almost flawless angle of view, so composing from extreme angles using the screen is possible even though it does not have a vari-angle feature.
Live View functionality is one of the K-r’s strong points. The display is crisp and bright, although the refresh rate is quite slow, which is noticeable when panning. The AF point selection allows you to place your focal point anywhere, apart from at the edges of the frame, making it useful when you are using a tripod and are locked on to a composition. Another nice addition is the automatic zoom when half-pressing the shutter.
For video capture the K-r shoots in AVI motion JPEG format, with 720p HD resolution at 25 frames per second. This frame rate is more common with motion pictures than the potentially smoother 30 frames per second seen on some models. The motion JPEG format, however, is a less popular choice, as it doesn’t offer the same quality or compression as AVCHD or QuickTime H264 formats. The video shows signs of compression and noise in playback but is still acceptable. Clip length is limited to 12 minutes and has a relatively large 36Mb/s data rate. Sound is also limited by having just a mono built-in microphone and no external microphone port.