The K-5 is the best Pentax we've tested thanks to a capable new sensor and sharp kit lens.
9 June 2011
Conclusion: Much of the K-5’s pre-release hype focused on the brand new 16.2 effective megapixel sensor. In our tests, we found the excitement to be justified. This Pentax matches or exceeds comparable models from Nikon and Canon, especially in the areas of sharpness and color accuracy. Even though there are plenty of hardware, design, and feature similarities to the K-x, the K-r, and especially the K-7; current owners may still want to give the K-5 a look as the upgrade is...
Conclusion: With the launch of the K-7 two years ago, Pentax played to its strengths by creating a digital SLR that was not only feature-rich, but also surprisingly compact for a weather-sealed, magnesium alloy-bodied camera. The K-7 was an important product for the company, providing some truly unique features, and its rugged, coldproof body reinforced Pentax's reputation for catering to the needs of sporty, outdoors types.
Pros: Extremely wide ISO range, excellent high ISO performance, one of the best APS-C sensors yet, Very detailed images and very good dynamic range, especially from RAW, 6.5 fps burst mode has very good buffer depths regardless of file type(s), Unusually compact magnesium-alloy body, but still packed with features, Weather, dust, and cold (14°F) resistant, and so is optional portrait / battery grip, Good control placement, surprisingly comfortable grip even for large hands,...
Cons: Extremely wide ISO range, excellent high ISO performance, one of the best APS-C sensors yet, Very detailed images and very good dynamic range, especially from RAW, 6.5 fps burst mode has very good buffer depths regardless of file type(s), Unusually compact magnesium-alloy body, but still packed with features, Weather, dust, and cold (14°F) resistant, and so is optional portrait / battery grip, Good control placement, surprisingly comfortable grip even for large hands,...
Conclusion: The weather-sealed Pentax K-5 is a fast-shooting digital SLR with in-body stabilization and fast burst shooting, but it's hampered by an underperforming kit lens, poor high ISO performance, and some other issues.
Summary: The Pentax K-5's compact, solid body, generally well thought-out ergonomics, comprehensive feature set and excellent image quality, in both still and movie modes make it one of the best APS-C DSLRs currently on the market.
Pros: Good detail and dynamic range (even better in RAW), Exceptionally low shadow noise in RAW files at low ISOs, One of the best APS-C DSLRs in terms of high ISO image quality, Very good build quality and handling, Maximum ISO of 51,200 at full resolution, Excellent burst depth in RAW mode (with firmware 1.0.1), 1080p HD video mode with basic editing built-in, Useful electronic level and composition adjustment functions, Comprehensive customization options including adjus...
Cons: AF system not as versatile as Nikon D7000 (which is a cheaper camera), Lockable exposure mode dial can be annoying, No dedicated movie shooting button, No AF during movie shooting, Poorly implemented live histogram in live view/manual exposure mode (doesn't show final exposure), No 'live' aperture control during movie shooting, Shadow Correction mode doesn't take full advantage of K-5's sensor, Jaggies can be a problem along very fine diagonal lines
Summary: If you’re a Pentax owner looking to step up, the K-5 is a worthy upgrade from the K-7 or any other Pentax DSLR. You’ll get a noticeable amount of added resolving power, at least an extra stop of usable ISO, and if you don’t mind noise, sensitivity up to ISO 51,200. Plus, the burst rate has been ratcheted up, to 7 fps over the K-7’s 5.2 fps.
Excerpt: FROM OUR EDITORS AT PHOTOKINA: Housed in the same the exact water-resistant, cold-sealed body, the all-new Pentax K-5 is more of an upgrade to Pentax’s flagship prosumer camera, the K-7, than a new camera all together—but despite the lack of noticeable changes on the outside, it is what's on the inside of the K-5 that counts.
Summary: The Pentax K-5 is an upgraded K-7 which slips past it as the most feature-rich digital SLR made to date, adding a second axis to the digital-level and featuring a more advanced image sensor. Its 16 megapixels sensor provides an ISO sensitivity range of 80 to 51200, 7 FPS continuous shooting and 1080p HD video.
Pros: Excellent control over image noise, Great retention of details, Superb dynamic-range, Accurate image colors, with correct white-balance set, Very good metering in Live-View, Very good focusing accuracy, Generally fast and responsive, Effective stabilization for all lenses, Automatic horizon correction greatly helps, Innovative exposure modes & program line, Extremely flexible image parameters, Customizable Auto ISO and NR, Digital white balance preview, Post-shot RAW ...
Cons: Automatic white-balance not so reliable, Noticeable image review delay, Useless ISO 51200, Live-view not exposure-priority and useless histogram, Difference between viewfinder and Live-View metering, Occasional over-exposure using viewfinder, Slow in-camera corrections, Reduced buffer-depth at high ISO, LCD flush with left side, Status screen does not turn off automatically, Pitch not visible in viewfinder, RAW button too sensitive, Camera strap gets in way of mode-dial
Excerpt: The Pentax K-5 uses nearly the same construction as its predecessor, the K-7 . There are 77 weather seals scattered throughout the body to protect it against dust, rain, snow, and cold temperatures up to -10 degrees Celsius. The body is made of a lightweight magnesium alloy, with an underlying rigid stainless steel chassis.
Summary: If you think 4 is a small number of cons for a DSLR, it should tell you something about this camera. Pentax has finally brought out a camera that photographers can trust in many situations, be it low light, birding, hiking, street shooting… The body is exceptionally well built with traditional Pentax ergonomics; it’s comfortable to hold and use.
Pros: Small size for an advanced DSLR., Good ergonomics despite its small size., Excellent IQ., Excellent high ISO performance for an APS-C sensor., Extremely low noise in shadows., Very malleable RAW files., Nice viewfinder (for an APS-C camera)., Weather sealing., Dual-axis electronic level: Tilt (up/down) and Roll (side to side)., 5 USER shooting modes., Quick menu navigation., In movie mode, aperture control can be set to fixed or automatic., In movie mode, shake reduct...
Cons: Histogram in live view is not that of the final image when shooting in Manual or using EV comp., The electronic level turns off when you half-press the shutter release button., No tilt indicator in the viewfinder, only roll., High release price of $1,600 in the US (especially when the similarly spec’d