Pentax KP review – An advanced enthusiast DSLR with a few quirks

May 24, 2017

Overall Rating:


Pentax KP

  • Features: 8/10
  • Build/Handling: 8/10
  • Metering: 8/10
  • Autofocus: 7/10
  • AWB Colour: 8/10
  • Dynamic Range: 9/10
  • Image quality: 9/10
  • LCD viewfinder: 8/10


  • - Effective in-body stabilisation that works with all lenses
  • - Extremely robust body with weather sealing
  • - Interchangeable grips let you tailor it to your needs
  • - Impressive dynamic range


  • - Slow and clunky live view performance
  • - In-camera JPEG processing heavily suppresses detail
  • - No top-plate LCD or dual card slots
  • - Spongy shutter button



Price as Reviewed:

£1,099.00 (body only)

The Pentax KP is loaded with features, but does it do enough to stand out from the big guns in the enthusiast DSLR market? Michael Topham put it through its paces

Pentax KP review – At a glance

  • 24.3-million-pixel APS-C sensor
  • PRIME IV imaging engine
  • Pentax K mount
  • ISO 100-819,200
  • 7fps continuous shooting
  • 3.5mm headphone socket

We often get asked questions about when a replacement model for a camera might be due. The truth is we’re no better informed than you, the AP reader, when it comes to knowing what products camera manufacturers are working on and when they might arrive. Researching the life cycle of a product is one way of getting a clue as to when we might expect a new model to emerge, but occasionally a new camera appears from nowhere without warning, completely out of the blue.

One camera announcement that caught us slightly off guard in the first quarter of this year was the Pentax KP – a DSLR that presents a slightly different proposition from the two-year-old Pentax K-3 II. It inherits features from the full-frame Pentax K-1 as well as the mid-range K-70 and is out to target keen enthusiasts who are committed to photography and insist on advanced features in a solid, weather-resistant body. Its launch price and specification puts it the same league as popular models like the Canon EOS 80D and Nikon D7200, but unlike its rivals it presents many desirable features that these models don’t have. There’s no shortage of things to say about the KP, but it has a lot to do if it’s to tempt people away from the big-brand alternatives and be considered as a serious contender in its field.

  • Sensor: 24.3-million-pixel APS-C CMOS
  • Output size: 6016x4000 pixels
  • Focal length mag: 1.5x
  • Lens mount: Pentax K mount
  • Shutter speeds: 30-1/6,000sec (mechanical), 30-1/24,000sec (electronic)
  • ISO: 100-819,200
  • Exposure modes: PASM, auto, scene
  • Metering system: 86,000-pixel RGB light-metering sensor
  • Metering modes: Multi, centre-weighted, spot
  • Exposure comp: +/-5EV in 1/2EV or 1/3EV steps
  • Drive mode: 7fps
  • Video: Full HD (1920x1080) 60i/50i/30p/25p/24p
  • External mic: Yes
  • Viewfinder: Pentaprism viewfinder, 0.95x magnification, 100% coverage
  • Display: 3in, 921k-dot tiltable LCD
  • Focusing: SAFOX 11 27-point AF system
  • Memory card: SD, SDHC or SDXC
  • Power: Rechargeable D-LI109 Li-Ion
  • Battery life: 420 images
  • Dimensions: 131.5x101x76mm
  • Weight: 703g (including battery and card)

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