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?
White balance and Colour
Image: Colours are bright and zingy from the K-r while remaining natural in their appearance
For white balance the K-r offers ten presets, including four types of fluorescent light plus Pentax’s unique CTE setting to enhance dominant colours in the scene, which is ideal for the likes of sunsets. All the presets can be fine-tuned on a blue/amber, magenta/green scale, although there is no white balance bracketing.
Auto and manual settings are also included, which take a reading when the shutter is pressed. In auto white balance, there is the option in the custom menu to leave tungsten light with a natural warm glow or to neutralise it altogether, depending on your preference.
Overall, the auto setting performs very well, although I found low-light scenes look overly warm at times with the default subtle correction, while indoors it gives a more natural-looking effect than the strong setting, which results in images closer to the tungsten setting.
Images from the K-r don’t suffer from over-brightening or unreal levels of contrast. Both JPEG and raw files are natural and well coloured without appearing muted or lacklustre.
I have always found that Pentax DSLRs give pleasant colours and the K-r is no exception. If you’re looking for more extreme effects, however, there is a collection of options available, ranging from the colour settings to effects such as monochrome, vibrant and reversal film, through to cross-processing and digital filters for more extreme effects.