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?
Dual Battery choice
Perhaps the most interesting feature of the K-r is its ability to take both a dedicated Li-Ion rechargeable battery and standard AA-type batteries.
This is relatively common in additional battery grips, and although we’ve seen AA batteries in a DSLR before, this is the first time there has been the choice of dedicated Li-Ion or AA in the body. The thought process is simple: if your rechargeable battery runs out unexpectedly or you can’t charge your battery for a long time, you can easily buy some new AA batteries – or keep some in your bag – and carry on shooting.
The one downside to this setup is that to use AA batteries the camera needs a special holder that must be bought separately for an additional £30, which seems a little miserly for such a useful addition to the camera.
Also, as a separate holder is required, it must be carried separately to the camera, ready for use. It seems a shame that the battery holder couldn’t have been designed to hold the AA batteries without a holder, although there obviously needs to be space to fit the square Li-Ion battery.
Interestingly, the included rechargeable battery is expected to give less than half the number of shots that a set of AA batteries would: roughly 470 per charge as opposed to 1,000 with AA units. Perhaps the answer is for a more unusually shaped rechargeable unit to fit the AA space, like those on professional DSLRs. That said, if buying the K-r, it is definitely worth adding the battery holder to your shopping basket.