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

Product Overview

Overall rating:

Pentax KP

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


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


Price as reviewed:

£1,099.00 (body only)

Pentax KP review – Performance

The Pentax KP was tested around the grounds of Scotney Castle

Use the camera set to its auto white balance setting and you can expect results to be more on the cool side than they are warm. Some may prefer this feel, but I got into the habit of warming my shots up a touch using the temperature slider in Lightroom. The 86,000-pixel RGB light-metering sensor delivers acceptable exposures, but I did occasionally apply +0.3EV or +-0.7EV of correction to prevent my images appearing a fraction underexposed. The HDR mode can be used to produce natural-looking shots when the bracketing value is kept below +2EV.

The fact that the KP lacks a top-plate LCD means you’re dependent on the screen and viewfinder when it comes to glancing at your camera settings. Though the KP’s screen is a little behind the times in terms of its resolution, the colourful info display with its large font makes it easy to read exposure settings. The main menu isn’t overly convoluted or difficult to navigate, but you get the impression it could be made more intuitive if it supported touch functionality.

If I had to sum up the KP’s performance in one word I would say it is satisfactory. It delivers acceptable results that you’re unlikely to be disappointed with, but you can’t help but feel it’s not as refined or as well-polished as some of the competition.

Users can shoot happily at ISO 6400


  1. 1. Introduction
  2. 2. Page 2
  3. 3. Page 3
  4. 4. Page 4
  5. 5. Page 5
  6. 6. Page 6
  7. 7. Dynamic range
  8. 8. Page 8
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